Manufactured Housing Resources George Porter


"The very best recommendation I can give as further training is needed or additional assistance in developing training programs is required, my decision will be easy - Let George do it!"

Robert J. Henry
Home Installation Manager Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc.

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Things That Need To Be Invented Part III

By George Porter

This is obviously the third article about what I think needs to be invented to make our homes better. The first was about an air conditioning system for the gulf coast. The second was about a laser carpenters square and this one is about roofing and information storage for the home.

Putting down shingles takes time and a little skill to make it look right. In the winter you have to put some warm sealer under each one so it won't blow off. Moving the home presents some problems with shingles, not only do they have to be netted down somehow, you have to fix the holes in the roof from the wood strips or what ever they use. There is room for improvement here.

So here's the thing you should invent; shingles that install like vinyl siding does. It would be like putting up shingles in 12 foot strips. Once you got the starter strip right at the bottom edge then the rest is fairly automatic. Please don't get the idea that all you have to do is put siding on the roof because it will not work. When siding is hung vertical there is little to no chance that water is going to run straight up the wall and get under the siding. However, it can on a roof, the wind will push water up under it easily so in it's present form it can't lay this flat. If it would work then we would have nothing to invent would we?

Here are some ideas
1. How about two locking places in the siding about 4 to 6 inches apart? This would give two barriers for the water and be twice as tight.
2. Maybe the strips could be installed running up and down the roof?
3. How about if the roofing came in 4 x 8 foot sheets like plywood? This would sure cut down on the number of pieces you would have to apply
4. Has anyone ever seen a HUD code home with roll roofing? It is material just like shingles but it comes in big rolls and you just seal it to the roof. It is used mostly for very low to flat pitched roofs.

Next invention:

This idea is more of a system that needs to be developed than an actual tool but it would be a real asset to the industry both now and in the future. What if, when a home was being built, there was a computer located at each station in the line that gave the workers in the specifications and plans for how this particular home was to be assembled. There would be no paperwork and by interacting with the computer workers could actually ask questions about things that they might not be clear on in the specs. These directions on the screen could include pictures and diagrams that you could magnify by just clicking on them on the screen. Comments could be entered by the workers on the line that could be instantly read by the engineering dept. with no paging or hunting someone up. The line must move and when a question must be answered and you can't get an answer, sometimes the whole problem must be moved on to the next station and addressed after the home is out the door in the lot. Inventory control would be instantaneous because what ever materials were used on the station would be entered by the workers and would be subtracted automatically from the supply on hand. When the supply got to a certain point the computer would either order it automatically or notify someone before it did.

All this would be great but here is the part that I like the best. Before a home moved on to the next station in the line, a single computer disk, that would accompany every home while it is being built, would be plugged into the computer at each station and all the work and material with part numbers etc. would be downloaded to that disk. This disk would remain with the home until it got to the end of the line then it would be copied. One copy would remain with the plant and the other would be loaded into a computer especially programmed to down load the installation manual and a blocking diagram specific to the home they just built. The process would go into the computers memory and the disk would go into a special pocket in the Data Plate. This disk would remain with the home forever and will always provide every single once of information about that home that exists. Pull it out 20 years from now plug it into any computer and it will give you hundreds of pages of specs and instructions. All this exists now and is being used in many other industries in one form or the other. All you will have to do is put together a system that works for us. Figure out how to do this one and you will be able to buy your own Caribbean Island and a Lear jet to take you there. Good luck and I hope you let me visit you sometimes.