John McManus speaks with timber-framer extraordinaire Tedd Benson, exploring the path Benson took from living in a "miner's shack" to the founding of Unity Homes, Benson's "40-year start-up" company that promises to produce more affordable, defect-free, high-performance modular homes.
From the Unity Story video: There's a serious defect rate in American homes - between 15% and 80%. In any other industry, if you had a defect rate of 1%, you'd be out of business ... In American history, there was a very proud tradition of building. There was a time when almost every home had the opportunity to last hundreds of years because of the way it was built.But that standard got lost in the post-World-War-II years. Stick-built took over, and that allowed buildings to go up with less skill and more speed ... This new product is still delivered to the consumer with the whole idea that they will accept the defects ... We're really under-served by homes when they become places of worry and fret. They should be places that elevate us.
From the BUILDER article: The light bulb switched on a realization for Benson that care and skill on the part of the home builder—or practitioner—directly affects a home’s impact on a homeowner, or family living there. What’s more, that granular level detail—the mix of pride, proficiency, and care—multiplied. This, Benson muses, is what Churchill must have meant when he said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter, they shape us.”