Most of our fellow citizens in one way or another get acquainted with overseas life through Hollywood action films, and one of the first impressions is amazement at the flimsy houses, any wall in which Jean-Claude Van Damme is able to break through with his foot. Is it really?
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American plywood houses
In fact, the cardboard houses shown in the movies, built in the best traditions of Nif-Nif and Nuf-Nuf, make up the bulk of the housing stock throughout the United States, regardless of climatic conditions. A standard house of that very two-story America is a wooden frame made of boards, sheathed with plywood or similar material, covered with insulating panels and, in the case of “expensive-rich”, faced with decorative bricks.
The strength and reliability of such a structure is not comparable even to domestic Khrushchevs, more concrete is spent on filling the entrance to the garage than on the foundation, the rafters and logs are more like a fence board, but the cost of plywood real estate cannot be called pleasantly low.
In fact, every American, whether he is a resident of a private or an apartment building, always has in mind the strength (or lack thereof) of the elements of his home. If our person needs to hang a mirror or TV, then he boldly takes up a drill or puncher, while a US resident with this approach risks being left without a TV and without a wall that is not designed for his weight.
In addition, the overlap between the first and second floors in a standard American house is all made of the same plywood on a very modest size of logs, so there are always bedrooms on top, where they do not dance or gather in large companies. In the movies, you can also often see that Americans usually place sports corners in the basement, because a dumbbell dropped on the second floor can easily kill a wife in the kitchen of the first.
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Tornado and climate
It is widely believed among the domestic layman that the main prerequisite for the construction of such houses in the United States is the safety of residents in the event of a hurricane. Say, a major brick house will still be destroyed, but in a cardboard house its inhabitants will have less chances to die under the rubble. Naturally, this version has nothing to do with the true state of affairs.
Firstly, tornadoes in the United States pose a real threat only in some regions, while flimsy houses are being built everywhere, and secondly, a normal brick house in the wind of any force risks being only without roofing and windows, but making a trip to the Emerald City from He won’t be able to do Kansas.
Another popular explanation is the subtropical climate, which allows comfortable living in a plywood box all year round. But geography also refutes this version – in the northern states, up to Alaska, houses are being built similar to those in Texas and California, with the exception of improved thermal insulation and heating systems.
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The real reason is the price
A huge number of our compatriots live in houses and apartments that were inherited by their parents or parents of their parents during the Soviet era, when the housing stock was built in gigantic volumes and distributed among the population, including on a gratuitous basis. It is customary for us to scold the crooked walls laid out by self-taught bricklayers from the construction battalions of the Red Army, but it is not customary to remember that there was no need to pay lifetime mortgages for this housing.
If we talk about the United States, then here the attitude to housing is completely different. Families very often move, acquiring turnkey ready-made houses with household appliances, repairs and communications, children who have reached the age of majority move out from their parents, and they exchange a large house for a more comfortable and cheaper one in terms of utilities, some simply change the situation by purchasing housing in another region. Such a fluid real estate market dictates tough conditions and, in a highly competitive environment, price becomes a decisive factor.
Depending on the region and the specific location, the price of a plywood house in the US can easily reach a million dollars, which, at first glance, is surprising. However, the cost of such housing is formed in large part from very high land prices and construction costs, not materials. At the same time, Americans rarely make major repairs to a house – it is often easier to demolish it and build a new one.
Another interesting nuance is the difference in price between the finished house and the early stage of construction. The purchase of housing at the excavation stage is very popular with us and allows significant savings, while in the USA the difference in the cost of a house will be negligible (here contractors rarely run abroad with investors’ money), and the only advantage will be the opportunity to choose options for interior decoration, household appliances, etc. .d.