Leonard's Letters


* Government energy specialists predict that it will cost $931 to warm the typical home that is heated with natural gas between this month and March. That is up 28% from a year earlier in nominal terms. If it gets colder than federal weather forecasters expect, heating bills could be 51% more than last year for homes with gas-fueled furnaces and boilers, which is nearly half of U.S. households. A 19% year-over-year jump is anticipated if it is a warm winter. (WSJ)
* There are two main types of conventional prefab options on the market that builders of high-end houses employ: modular and panelized.
In the modular system, building-block-like units are constructed in a factory, shipped to the site, placed in position with a crane and finished by a general contractor and a construction crew.
In the conventional structural insulated panelized system, panels that sandwich an insulating foam core are manufactured in a factory, packed flat and shipped to the site and assembled. Now there are “hybrids” that meld modular and panelized elements with traditional on-site construction, and depending on the prefab manufacturer, a proprietary brand-named system that incorporates various features of both. (WSJ)
* It appears the biggest obstacle to more affordable housing - which mostly entails increasing supply - are politicians. In their relentless pursuit of their 'dream scenario' - an admirable aspiration - nothing happens. (NY TIMES)

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