Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Three Little Pigs

During our time in the States, we've had the privilege of hosting one of our friends from Croatia.  It's her first time in the U.S. so I was fascinated to find out what she would notice about the Land that "was made for you and me".  Would it be how big everything is?  Would she notice the cars, the billboards, the differences in the milk?  Well, yes, yes, yes and yes. 

But her very first observation was of how Americans build their houses.  "They're so thin!"  She exclaimed after knocking on the wall at a Friendly's restaurant.  The comment reminded me of the Three Little Pigs.  Isn't it interesting that one of the most popular stories we tell our children exhorts us to build with brick?  Yet, I would guess that most houses in America are made of wood.

Croatians - and I would guess most Europeans - have heeded the advice offered by the conclusion of the story.  The vast majority of houses in Croatia are made of brick and concrete and therefore have fewer fires to worry about.  On the other hand, houses take years, sometimes decades to complete because of the cost of brick versus wood. 

A case can be made for both.  What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Bricks are actually cheaper than wood in Croatia. Wood is generally expensive in Europe. And also, finding a skilled person to build a wooden framed house is not easy.

However there are companies that offer this (I'm NOT spamming!)


However people are not used to hire a company to build their house...

Daniel N.

Anonymous said...

Just two cents from an American living in Dalmatia. Wood is a more abundant natural resource in the US. Rocks are more prevalent in Croatia. Therefore, the US uses wood to make cheap and secure houses quickly. They normally have a long life and can last at least the duration of one's lifetime. That's really all you need. I mean, what good is a solid house after you're dead? Also, no wood house would ever withstand a "bura". Wood houses don't make sense in Croatia. In the US, the dangers are floods, hurricanes and tornadoes which are fairly unpredictable and random in their havoc. I know of homes built of straw and hay that have stood in the US for nearly 100 years. There have been tornadoes around them but they've never been hit. They wouldn't last one season in Croatia. In Croatia, we are guaranteed of having several "buras" during the year and their path of destruction isn't random. No home is safe from bura. Therefore, in Croatia it makes more sense to build from stone.