The Gypsum Files

Notes on the Rock Nobody Knows

Posts Tagged ‘Construction

The 1965 Parade of Homes

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The quality on this video is not great, but you can see a method of wall construction using sound-deadening board plus gypsum wall board that was used for the 1965 Parade of Homes in Alabama. As Boomer families grew and entertainment moved inside the home, the building industry played up the concept of the “Quietized” home.

via 1965 Parade of Homes, The – YouTube.


Written by Elizabeth McCullough

June 24, 2014 at 8:00 am

Building the American Dream

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I love these vintage films. This one captures the urgency and opportunity created by the post-World War II housing shortage and boom. It’s true, as the actors say, that house construction before the war was largely done by small contractors. Levittown and similar developments are examples of the dominance of large vertically-integrated construction companies that began in the 1950s and continues today — what the film-within-the-film calls “the dynamic catalyst.” Note how the narrator ties the explosion of suburban developments to the “pioneers” on the “prairie.”

The impact on the American landscape was enormous. From fewer than 200,000 new homes in 1945, housing starts grew to one million a year during the boom that started in 1948.  (By contrast, housing starts in 2009 were fewer than 600,000 and are just now breaking one million a year.)

And, of course — gypsum was there!

HT: USG on Facebook

Building the American Dream ca. 1956 – YouTube.

Written by Elizabeth McCullough

June 2, 2014 at 5:00 am

Starts and Permits over One Million

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Interesting data on housing starts and why a surge in construction does not necessary mean a strong recovery.

Eye on Housing

Housing starts exceeded one million for first time since last year and housing permits were over one million for a third consecutive month. The increases were almost entirely in multifamily rental construction.
Multifamily construction soared 40% to 423,000 starts, the highest since January 2006 and permits also rose 20% to 478,000, the highest in almost six years. Multifamily starts were particularly strong in the Midwest where they more than doubled from an unusually low 42,000 to 100,000.

Single-family starts increased 5,000 (on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis) to 649,000 from an upwardly revised March that was 635,000. Single-family permits rose 2,000 but also from an upwardly revised March that was 592,000. Single-family starts were unchanged in the Northeast and down 2.6% in the South while rising 5.5% in the Midwest and 5.8% in the West.

The rise in multifamily is indicative of the continued demand for rental apartments by young, newly-formed…

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Written by Elizabeth McCullough

May 19, 2014 at 10:07 am

The ups and downs of gypsum

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This is a chart I put together using data on new residential construction from the US Census website and data on gypsum consumption from the US Geological Survey. There’s nothing scientific or statistically sophisticated about this chart, but I think it does give you an idea of how closely the fortunes of the gypsum industry follow the housing market (pdf). You can see the most recent housing boom-and-bust cycle, beginning in 1991 and peaking in 2005, alongside the growth and peak of gypsum consumption. After 14 years of growth, both lines bottom out four years later in 2009.



Written by Elizabeth McCullough

April 17, 2014 at 8:00 am

Cost of Constructing a Single-family Home in 2013 | Eye on Housing

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NAHB [National Association of Home Builders] recently published the latest construction cost survey.  The survey shows that the average home was built on 14,359 square feet of land, had 2,607 square feet of finished area, and sold for $399,532.

The Eye on Housing post links back to the cost survey with detailed breakdowns. Total construction costs for the average home were $246,453. The cost of drywall was $9,376, or 3.8% of the sales price, down from 4.4% in 2011’s survey.

via Cost of Constructing a Single-family Home in 2013 | Eye on Housing.

Written by Elizabeth McCullough

January 3, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Producer Prices in March – Gypsum Continues to Rise « Eye on Housing

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Written by Elizabeth McCullough

April 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm

‘Not good timing’: Drywall prices rising – Finance and Commerce

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Federal data released Thursday show that prices are climbing for a variety of construction materials including drywall products, which are heavily used in homebuilding.Last fall, suppliers of gypsum products said they intended to raise prices 35 percent on Jan. 1, and some local builders say they have seen drywall prices increase between 20 percent and 30 percent in 2012. Manufacturers said the poor economy necessitated price increases in gypsum. But local builders say the price hikes are problematic for a residential construction industry still struggling to regain its footing.

via ‘Not good timing’: Drywall prices rising – Finance & Commerce.

Written by Elizabeth McCullough

February 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Posted in gypsum products

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