Re: attached vs detached
From: James Kacki (
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 10:07:53 -0700 (PDT)
Here's another thought /question re the discussion of affordability & attached /detached options. I've been following a couple of the links to websites for cohousing in Switzerland and England. Both look & feel great, but a question arises. Part of the central philosophy of cohousing is the idea of combining the advantages of living independantly with the advantages of living communally. With individual houses grouped together with communal green space and a common house, its easy to see how this idea is put into practice. But I wonder about the experience of people living in apartment type (or other forms of single building or attached housing). Does being so close cause interpersonal or societal conflicts that might not arise in detached housing. (I understand the green (environmental) and energy advantages of single building construction, but this question is about the interpersonal implications). Anyone in that type of co-housing care to comment?

Brian Bartholomew wrote:
Marganne <marganne [at]> writes:

there's an idea that attached dwellings that stick to design
guidelines is more economical than detached homes. It's probably
true if a traditional home or condo is the goal.

In my polity, attached similar dwellings are NOT more economical than
detached homes.  Once houses get close enough that they are labeled a
"subdivision", there's a lot of extra stuff the city commission
obligates you to build, and a huge variety of economizing approaches
the city commission bans you from using, such as self-building.

My personal estimate of the numbers in my own local situation is that
in the absence of zoning, I could have built a house situation for a
$60K buy-in.  But in the real world with all the zoning, permitting,
and guilds, the price increases to $225K.  That's almost four times
more resources used.  The biggest improvement you can make in
affordability is to relocate out of the grasp of polities that will
quadruple your costs.

The costs of a weathertight box to live in that contains a shower,
stove, sink, and bed are negligible.  For instance, I hear FEMA
trailers are being auctioned for $700.  If you were to cluster 20 of
them on 20 acres, that gives you somewhere to live while the bunch of
you built something nicer -- but good luck finding a polity that
allows you to live this affordably.

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