Prefabs of Levitstown-NY

“The primary feature of this early Levittown house was its low, low cost– under $8,000 to purchase. With FHA-VA housing loans available, this meant home ownership with no down payment, or a tiny one, and a relatively low monthly mortgage “nut.”

Levitt was able to offer these houses so cheaply because he was applying construction methods perfected in the deployment of prefab housing in the armed services during World War II. Bill Levitt had served as a Seabee during the war, and he learned the techniques of rapid construction using standardized parts, tightly controlled suppliers of goods and services, and a workforce with highly specialized skills. Like the Army’s builders, like the Seabees, Levitt took the mass-production assembly line and converted it so that workers moved from site to site doing their specific targeted tasks. Life, Newsweek, Time, and many other magazines delighted in the story of the painter whose sole job was to paint the window sills of each house; but the example was an apt one, for by moving crews of workers sequentially from house to house, Levitt avoided the necessity of craft workers, unions, and the rest. In addition, his program could tolerate high labor turnover, a dreaded feature of the new prosperity after the end of the war. If one worker left, another could be quickly hired and trained as a replacement”…. <More> NYTimes Slideshow

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Filed under Architecture, Bannaga, Design, Industrial Design, Photos, Prefab House, Product Development, Products

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