Buy Cheap, Buy Twice


In a world of mass production and “Ikea” finishes, craftsmanship is often sacrificed in lieu of easier or cheaper design solutions. Polyblend materials now replace the original sturdy wooden doors. Fabricated stone now “hangs” on facades rather than being incorporated into the structure of the building. The travesty of this “mass production” ideology results in residences often not only manufactured poorly but also unable to endure past a few decades. Hand in hand, fickle fashion and the disintegration of materials mean that modern residences don’t stand the test of time— ironic in our current era of revitalized environmental consciousness.

My response to offset the current building trends is to employ whenever possible skilled craftsmen employing their tried and tested craft rather than simply immediately relying on prefabricated materials. While the efficiency and precision of machine-made materials may seem the optimal choice, it is, in fact, the craftsmen-built residences of centuries past that endure longer than the current prefabricated homes already wasting away. As my son-in-law often says: “buy cheap, buy twice. Buy right, buy once.”

Despite these facts, I completely understand that necessity and cost often mean that alternative options must be used or at least considered. Homes today cannot escape incorporating modern materials. However, whenever possible

efforts must be made to employ crafts and materials (and indeed styles) which not only are beautiful but also have proven sustainability. In the coming months, I intend for this blog to highlight certain crafts in order to highlight the important role craftsmen and craftswomen play in creating beauty, producing sustainable structures, and preserving artistic traditions. 


Natalie Hamilton-Eddy