A fundamental problem in mass-production tract-housing construction today is that many owners and managers of large development companies are more familiar with marketing and sales rather than building construction.
The master builder of the past, who knew business, design, and construction from the ground up…has been replaced by MBAs and CPAs whose expertise is in acquiring land, sales-pitching projects to investors, and securing financing.
The corporate office is often comprised of people who have never poured a yard of concrete or hammered a 16-penny nail. This lack of hands-on experience creates a technical leadership vacuum at the top of the housing development company.
Thus the entrepreneurial energy and creativity that could go into innovating faster, better, and less expensive methods of construction is channeled almost entirely into financing, marketing, and architectural refinements. Housing construction has therefore remained virtually unchanged for the past 40 years.
Architectural styles, structural designs, building codes, fixtures, and appliances have all improved…but houses are still being assembled using the same methods and techniques that existed when I started my career in construction 25 years ago.