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STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS & DEFECTS
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CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
COLUMNS & POSTS, DEFECTS
CONNECTORS, FASTENERS, TIES
DECK & PORCH CONSTRUCTION
DEFINITIONS of Mobile Home, Doublewide, Modular, Panelized
DEFINITIONS of ENGINEERED WOOD OSB LVL etc
DISASTER BUILDING INSPECTION & REPAIR
EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS
FIRE DAMAGE vs MOLD DAMAGE
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS
FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE
FRAMING DAMAGE, INSPECTION, REPAIR
GRADING, DRAINAGE & SITE WORK
HOUSE PARTS, DEFINITIONS
INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
KIT HOMES, Aladdin, Sears, Wards, Others
LOG HOME GUIDE
MOBILE HOMES, DOUBLEWIDES, TRAILERS
MODULAR HOME CONSTRUCTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING
PRE-CUT & KIT HOMES
RETAINING WALL DESIGNS, TYPES, DAMAGE
ROT, FUNGUS, INSECT DAMAGE
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS
STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION
STRESS SKIN INSULATED PANELS
STRUCTURAL WOOD ASSESSMENT
TIMBER FRAMING, ROT
TRUSSES, Floor & Roof
WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS
This article describes and illustrates the history of use of pre-cut wood framing lumber in the development of high-speed, mass-produced housing in the United States. We describe and define the different types of dimensioned lumber: full-sized and modern (smaller) framing lumber such as rafters, studs, and joists.
This FRAMING METHODS, Age, Types article series, lists common building framing materials used in different epochs of residential construction. Knowing when certain materials were first or last in common use can help determine the age of a building. The age of a building can be determined quite accurately by documentation, but when documents are not readily available, visual clues such as those available during a professional home inspection can still determine when a house was built.
Related articles: see Sears Kit Houses (Sears kit homes used pre-cut lumber), and see these two subsequent factory-housing methods: Panelized Construction and Modular Construction. Also see ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID and Framing Materials Age for the history and date ranges of various building framing materials. Also see NAILS & HARDWARE, AGE and SAW CUTS, TOOL MARKS, AGE for additional building age clues likely to be available when examining building framing materials. Page top sketch courtesy of Carson Dunlop
Original source of photographs used in this article: creative commons film: "Our Home Town: Leavittown, PA" a 1954 advertising film of Leavittown PA, one of the planned communities built by William Levitt & Sons.
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Pre-cut framing describes the use of dimensioned lumber that was pre-cut to standard lengths at the lumber yard where it was produced, then shipped to a building supplier or directly to a building site in order to speed, simplify, and reduce the cost of construction of homes.
Before dimensioned, pre-cut lumber was in widespread use on construction jobsites, lumber was often dimensioned and rough-cut, or cut to order at local lumber yards and building suppliers.
Leavittown New York Pre-Cut Lumber Constructed Homes
According to the Leavittown Historical Society, the default of the Strathmore development project by a Rockville Centre Long Island developer in the 1930's Great Depression forced lawyer and real estate investor Abraham Levitt to take over and complete development of the project even though he and his sons were not trained in construction.
That experience led to Levitt & Sons successful bid on a Navy contract to building homes for shipyard workers in Norfolk, VA where they perfected the techniques used for high-speed, low-cost, mass production of homes built in what became Leavittown at the end of World War II.
On Long Island, in Island Trees, a golden nematode infestation that wiped out much of the area's potato crop led to farmers' selling off land in order to survive.
For a description of the role that this mass-produced housing project played in the American civil rights movement, also see Levittown: Two Families, One Tycoon... by Kushner. Quoting from part of an Amazon.com review of this text:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the history of using pre-cut framing, lumber, & kits to build homes
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