The Techbuilt Package: Part 2

In response to demand from builders and new owners, Techbuilt continued to expand the house package in 1955. The Techbuilt News from January 15, 1955 outlines the first additions to the package. These included Pittsburgh Plate glass for the expanses of glazing on the gable ends of the house and horizontal sliding windows. Prefabricated stairs also were added as were some of the specialized hardware required for construction such as the roof ties that connected the roof panels together and the caps for the support posts. A polyethylene vapor barrier was added as was kitchen cabinetry by Geneva. By March, the package included the items, shown below, along with some optional add-ons.

TB Package Contents March 1955

The company sent out a memo on May 20, 1955 to inform their network of Techbuilders of new inclusions to the Techbuilt package for order placed after June 1st. The first addition was a selection of Techbuilt Spacemaking Cabinetry. The memo alerts builders to a story set to appear in LIFE magazine mid-summer that will feature photographs of the furniture. Builders are encouraged to have the furniture on display in all model houses in order to take advantage of the coming publicity.

The second addition was a specially designed Westcott-Alexander horizontal boiler and Rittling baseboard radiators. Available for either a gas or oil burner, the unit eliminated the need for the heater pit under the stair landing. There were two sizes of boiler, 120,000 BTU unit for all but the “F” house and a 131,000 for the “F” house.

The house package continued to evolve with notable changes including the switch to laminated beams from the earlier single board beams. The roof modules changed from using 2×4 framing to 2×6 in order to ease building code challenges as the houses shipped to more states. It isn’t clear yet what changes occurred after the late 1950s, but hopefully more research will reveal more about this time.

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