OpenStreetMap

Would there be any use for a builder=* tag?

Posted by NE2 on 2 May 2013 in English (English)

New housing developments usually have one or more companies contracted to build homes (e.g. Lennar, David Weekley). Would this be a useful addition to the landuse/neighbourhood polygon?

Comment from Stereo on 2 May 2013 at 22:32

Wouldn't it be hard to verify after a couple of years?

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Comment from ingalls on 3 May 2013 at 02:32

Personally I'd be against this as in most cases verification in most places would be difficult and there is really no way to check this on the ground. On the other hand I support adding phone numbers but that isn't usually verifiable on the ground. I guess personally I don't see the usefulness in this but if there is a reason to I don't see a huge issue.

Cheers, ingalls

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Comment from NE2 on 3 May 2013 at 03:08

My thought is that home buyers (both new and used) might be interested in buying a home from a certain builder. I don't know how common this is, though.

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Comment from zmonkey on 3 May 2013 at 04:56

Vancouver has a couple of reputable builders.

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Comment from SK53 on 3 May 2013 at 07:11

In the UK the phenomenon of a housing estate being known locally after the company which built/developed the land is pretty common. The area of Silverdale in Nottingham was (and may still be) known as the Wimpey Estate (a national firm of house builders); and the Hofton Estate (a local firm of builders) is to the west of Wollaton Road.

The development off Cranbrook Drive in Maidenhead is still called the Sterling Homes estate some 30 years after it was built.

The up-market house developer Berkeley Homes always puts a distinctive marker of properties which it develops including the year of completion.

Recent controversy about 1880s housing in Liverpool (the Welsh Streets) reminds me that there are many examples of 19th century builders leaving their mark in street names, such as these streets which spell out the names of the builders, Owen and Williams.

In other words there is plenty of evidence here that such information tends to stick around in the public memory.

Another reason, particularly for national builders, is that individual building firms often have a particular house-style of building. Wimpey houses of the 1970s are very recognisable, but I'm sure to this is true of other builders. I know architectural historians can often date old buildings with surprising accuracy because certain features reflect specific time-bound trends. I am sure that there are plenty of clues as to the builder in a similar way.

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