With mobile housing, there is always a trade-off between mobility, and
security. Also, mobile homes are generally bears to heat/cool. Thery're
also fire hazards because they tend to go up so fast.
OTOH, having moved, oh, what, 23 time by now?, I can tell you that it gets
real old, real fast, to pack and move and then unpack your life every 2
years, and it'd be nice if there was a way to have a decent-looking and
decently-secure place that could also be moved in toto, just secure the
cabinets and door so stuff doesn't fly out.
I'm sure it can be done, but then there are problems.
1) The question of expense - design costs, building costs, transport costs.
2) Where do you put it when you get to the next destination? Ordinances
don't let you pt mobile units into neighborhoods; trailer parks might not
be suitable depending upon what you're mobile habitat is like; even if you
uproot a normal frame home, you still have to have an empty lot for it, and
those are very rare in any areas where there are jobs - even the outlaying
land in many areas has been gobbled up by developers and divvied up into
teeny little lots, and land near the core of towns/cities already has stuff
on it - a few tear-downs do free up lots, but then you run into the
3) What are the laws about transporting things? Of course a shed could be
built either on a trailer, or in a way so that it could be put onto a
trailer, but is it permissible to move it like that? How much would the
citations or permits cost?
So technically, I'm sure that a place could be desinged in a way that it'd
be modular - walls could have "inserts" and sections could "plu into" one
another; there could be pull-down/roller things (like those steel roll-down
shades) to close off each module during transport; and so on. Get a crane,
lift the units onto a flatbed, and there you go. But the odds are that
it'd be unfeasible, not because of lack of technology or ability, but
because of the laws, and ordinances, and rules, and regulations, and so on.
There was that construct at the Montreal World's Fair/Expo, the modular
Again, the main constraint, I think, is not that the structure (or subunits
of the overall structure) couldn't be designed (and designed to withstand
weather); I think that the main problem would be all the ordinances and
zoning and rules and neighborhood taste-police and so on.
If OTOH you could always be assured of having a big piece of land in an
unregulated area, I'd imaginge you could put up and live in pretty much
whatever you want. The problem is, how to get to work, if you can't work
over the net, or don't work as a consultant. And how to get to the
hospital if you have to. Things like that.
We've considered having a permanent place, built as we want, out in New
Mexico (had looked at a few places in Carlsbad), and just having temporary,
what is the term, "pied a' terre"?, type places where new jobs come
a'callin; for my Better Half. Just got to Houston for example, and got a
call yeaterday from a headhunter in California. And I still don't even
have everything out of the boxes yet.
If you can't have a mobile "container home", the next best thing would be
"container furniture". I've been getting more and more plastic containers
with snap-lids, and just keeping stuff inside of those. out of one closet,
into the other. Looking for one that'd fit into cupboards, for the plates
and stuff. Thing is that cardboard boxes are not cheap, and they're
wasteful. Can't keep 'em because they collect mold and bugs.
So what I'd like to do is come up with at elast some sort of modular
storage. Might have to get rid of some of the furniture (a shame because
the stuff has sentimental value but also was built to last for a couple
generations). But the continual packing-unpacking-packing-unpacking...good
Here's the thing. Design modular storage furniture *that looks good* but
also that is self-closing - can interconvert between furniture and
shipping/storage container. But it'd have to be sturdy because movers
*ALWAYS* find ways to break stuff. Now *there* is a challenge. Most stuff
I've seen that sort-of approaches being modular just looks like cheap
plastic crap that's OK for a college dorm but totally cheesy for a
professional's home. Yup, truely a challenge.
(Heh, "Transformers" in your living room...)
Not quite sure what you're point is above.
I didn't mean to dreg up any bad karma bring up the
shipping container home! I definitely touched a nerve
here tho!! <GG>
But what got me to thinking abt it is those portable
storage containers called PODS. See link
Seems like it makes good sense. Why not homes that way
I think that's a great idea above!! Everybody moves
around so much now days!
And I agree that it needs to be high quality good
looking furniture. Not this cheap stuff for college
I'm single.... a grown man. I want to live simple. And
have possessions that work for ME. not the other way
around. Its hard moving heavy traditional furniture
all by yourself. Id give anything for NICE furniture
that was foldable, compact, and good looking.
Something that one person could fold up and move by
My point is that you can't do anything you want if you live withing city or
even town limits.
IOW, even if a mobile modular home is a great idea, I doubt that you could
put it up and live in it in most towns/cities. Hell, I can't even put up
solar blocking film on my windows because of the neighborhood brown-short
association. There are more rules and ordinances withing town and city
limits than people realize - until they try to do something.
Nah, not a nerve - well, OK< prob. over the proliferation of stupidarse
rules telling you that you can't even plant a cactus in front of your house
becuase even tho' it might suit the climate, it "doesn't maintain the
character of the neighborhood". And that sort of idiocy.
But no nerves re: modular-moveable homes. Personally, I think it'd be
great - as I'd mentioned, I've laready moved over 20 times (stopped
counting at that point) and it'd be a real blessing to not have to feel
like I live to pack and unpack ;) .
(The biotech industry can be a real PITA - as bad as the military but
without base housing...)
Those are advertised on TV as well.
As above, personally, I think it's a great idea for people who have to move
a lot. I'd like it - just close everything up, detatch the modules, close
them up (by whatever method - I though of steel roll-down shutter type
things), and stick 'em on a couple flatbeds. It's already around $12,000
to move even a *modest* household halfway across the continent, so how much
more expensive could it be to move a few modules...? Plus, you wouldn't
lose as much of your life to packing and unpacking, and plus again, it'd
save a lot of wear'n'tear on the nerves.
But the trick is where to put it when you arrive at your destination
Well, a lot fo people do.
I saw a segment - forgot which show - about "knock-down" furniture that
used quality cabinetry, the only difference being that the fasteners were
various disassebmlable types as opposed to permanent glues, screw, and
nails. But I'd go a step further and just make things that you could close
up and not have to empty out, but still would be light enough to be moved.
It'd have to be high-impact plastic, at least in part. The trick is making
it look good.
Anything that's particle board is no good - in fact, if it gets damaged at
all during your move, it's not even covered by the part of your moving
insurance that repairs (suppsedly at least) damaged furniture. And movers
are rough even with very expensive furniture (take it from me :( ); they
treat particle-board stuff like trash, bang it all the heck up. Heck, they
bang up stained glass and glass objects, what do they care about particle
So none of that. It has to be able to withstand a lot of abuse. The trick
is how to do that, and still have it look good...
For foldables, I know that such things were being marketed for a while.
I've unfortunately lost the notes I made at the time. All I can thin of is
to Google the terms "furniture" with the boolean "knock-down" or
"disassemble" or "folding" and NOT "patio" and NOT "outdoor".
I do know that for *building* furniture, you can get the knock-down
fasteners - try http://www.woodcraft.com for starters.
Well it just seems to me that there IS a market for
such and idea.
A lot of people are single no days.... live alone. And
it dams hard to move some of these heavy monster pieces
of furniture by yourself
And if you're like me..... you like being independent
and not having to ask anyone for help.... i.e. moving
But you're paying them, not the otehr way around.
Given the unbeleivably crappy job that had been done on the place we'd
bought (and thankfulyl were able to sell quickly <evil grin>), you better
believe I'd want to check up on the job every day if I was having a custom
place built. I would be rude or obnoxious, but I'd been checking. If they
got bent out of shape over that, I'd research whetehr I could replace them.
This reminds me of the pavillion-like Furniture House [Yamanaka, Japan;
1998; by Shigeru Ban] where the aim of minimal structure led to use of
pre-fab timber storage-plus-structural units [8' h x 3' w x 18-28" deep]
which replace internal walls,partitions and furniture [the rest is glass].
I think a demountable version could be practical, with pack-able floor and
roof etc [?] Not something your local mover could handle, but easy for a
large flatbed&hoist truck. Just prepare an open & level site to set it up
Well, I suppose that some folks might think a storage container is a viable
cheap alternative, but IMO, it'd take so much additional work (insulation
at the very least) that it's an untenable idea.
I think I even noted my objections to Mobile Homes as they are: they are
fire traps, they are so poorly insulated that it's a bad joke; ordinances
force you to live crammed cheek to arse with the otehr mobile homes; they
don't even pretend to be bullet-proof (I know I keep coming back to that
one, but hey, to paraphrase Henry Kissinger, just because you're paranoid,
it doesn't mean they're not out to get you...)
Re: actually living in a storage pod - it reminds me of some post-
apocalyptic SciFi story (book, movie, "illustrated literature", etc.).
OTOH, I seem to recall hearing something about some hotel type actually
taking the idea from the book "Neuromancer", where you get this space
that's just big enough to sleep in - except that the hotel guy is saying,
make 'em big enough to stand in and add a small shower/commode - "good for
the overnight businessman" (which is bunk, for a number of reasons).
So who knows, if humans continue to breed like rabbits, we might all end up
in something like storage pods, except smaller...
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