Benchmarks in American Housing
Changes in how we live often occur so slowly, we don’t notice them. Others, like smart homes seem to occur so quickly, that it is hard to keep up with them. Here is a look back at some of the more significant changes in how we have lived through the years.
Front lawns really weren’t much of a “thing” until after World War II. Before the war, it was common for the front of houses to have tall grass, flower or even vegetable gardens. It wasn’t until the 1940s that we began grooming our lawns. Today, (with the exception of the Southwest) homes without lawns are the rarity.
It may be hard to imagine, but prior to 1902, modern air conditioning did not exist. Homes and buildings were cooled by strategically opening windows and electric fans. Today, 1.2 billion air conditioning units are in use, accounting for 20% of the entire electricity use in the world. Modern air conditioning was invented by Willis H. Carrier, whose company still bears his name today.
Electricity was first used mainly to provide light. In fact, many early electric companies, including Edison’s own was called an “illuminating” company. While Edison began supplying electric to homes in the 1800s, it would be another 50 years before electric use became widespread, replacing candles and gas lamps for illumination.
Early windows were small, provided little weather or sound insulation benefits and often “jammed” or otherwise became difficult to open. Today, homeowners can enjoy large windows that keep cold and hot air out, minimize outside noise and even provide greater security. Today’s windows are far superior to those made just 30 or 40 years ago.
Prior to the early 1900s, roof shingles were made of heavy slate, or fire susceptible wood. Asphalt shingles with grains of slate added changed how housing was roofed. Asphalt shingles were safer than wood, lighter than slate, and provided affordable durability. They are considered the standard in roofing to this day.
One aspect of homes that hasn’t changed is the need for homeowners’ insurance. Homeowners’ insurance provides protection for what will likely be your largest investment. Bad things happen. Homeowners insurance can provide a shield of protection. Contact us for your free insurance review and price quote.