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Mail Order Homes


The first decade of the twentieth century saw not only the beginning use of concrete in prefabrication but also the development of the precut house, often referred to as the "mail order house." Although preceded as early as 1861 by small-scale production of various types of camp buildings and cottages, prefabrication took a commercial leap forward with these popular models. Steps such as the grading, cutting and marking of lumber and the assembly of windows and doors were carried out on an efficient production line. Manufacturers' standardized building components and large-scale estimating, purchasing and collection of materials to form a house package established the fixed price characteristic of prefabricated homes.