Saturday, July 30, 2022

I Have the Housebuilding Itch Again

Perhaps reasons will overcome the itch. As my wife and I have been watching San Fernando Valley 2.0 under construction down the street from our semi rural subdivision we have been talking about the very traditional and not very efficient manner in which frame houses are built.

Some builders a few years ago were starting to experiment with steel framing both because it is more fire resistant than wood and long-term pricing was more certain.  If you use even similar dimensions for the base beams and studs it should be far more resistant to earthquake and hurricane.

I was started on this thought experiment by a concrete structure house on the Oregon coast advertised as good to Richter 9.5, which that close to the Juan de Fuca plate seems like a good idea.   Yes, Oregonians seem on the edge of California gun control nonsense half the time but the Bruen decision is going to eventually cool their jets.  This perpetual heat and crowding is getting a bit much for me.

Fiberglass is becoming a popular experimental material for building.  You might build a conventional rectangular structure using the off-the-shelf structural members or go all out, tacking down fiberglass cloth to off-the-shelf structural members then pouring epoxy.  This would be a pricey pour of course.  Then there would be a load of dust mask sanding.

Another thought is the Monsanto House of the Future in Disneyland's Tomorrowland? Do you remember it?  It turned out to be nearly impossible to demolish.

Perhaps a cast dome?  You would need to cast conduits as you poured but fiberglass can be drilled and cut (although not as easily as gypsum board).  Drilling holes for pictures in interior walls is simple enough and patching is just using the right color epoxy.  Window frames would need to be cast in place. 

Fiberglas is an excellent insulator.  I suspect the traditional 6" wall would be far superior to any existing building code.   I cannot find clear information about fiberglass flammability.   The epoxy makes me nervous. 


  1. It doesn't seem to me that "the Bruen decision is going to eventually cool their jets."

    1. The Court will take a while but this will never be enforced.

  2. When I got the housebuilding itch I built two doll houses for my nieces. I still have to finish the second one.