The Techbuilt Package: Part 1

Initially, buying a Techbuilt meant that you purchased a house package from Techbuilt Inc. consisting of the wall, roof and floor panels that formed the shell of the house. Other components were acquired locally by the builder according to the specifications from Techbuilt. This approach served the desire to keep the cost of the house package and its shipment to a minimum. However, it also introduced the likelihood that locally sourced materials and hardware would vary in type and quality and could, therefore, reflect poorly on the company. In response to these concerns, as well as consumer demand, the Techbuilt package was expanded several times throughout 1954 and 1955.

The first set of houses offered were simply named with letters, A-F. (See The Techbuilt Idea for model details.) As of July 1954, the panel package prices were:

A House $2,150
B House $2,500
C house $2,825
D House $2,525
E House $2,900
Ex (Excursion) House $2,900
F House $3,350

At this time, there were three add-ons available to the base package, a Gaboon ceiling (E-F houses only) for $400, a door for $35 and stairs for $125.

Techbuilt Package exploded

Efforts to expand the package offering experienced a setback due to ongoing strikes at many of the plywood mills on the west coast. In response to this, Techbuilt sent the following memo with package price updates to their sales staff on September 1, 1954.

“As you are probably aware, there has been a strike at the West Coast plywood mills for the past several weeks causing material prices to soar. We had hoped that the strike would end before our inventory of materials purchased at pre-strike prices ran out. Unfortunately the strike has persisted, our materials supply has run out, and we have been forced to purchase our plywood in small lots wherever we could find it at premium prices. Effective as of orders placed September 15, 1954, is the following schedule for panels:

A House $2,250
B House $2,610
C house $2,950
D House $2,635
E House $3,025
Ex (Excursion) House $3,075
F House $3,500”

The plywood strikes started to come to an end not long after this memo was issued and the company was able to get back to work expanding their offerings. The changes that came in 1955 will be discussed in Part 2.



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