Homebuilding

Talk of retrofitting structures for earthquake safety is common in western states. In California, where earthquake drills in schools are mandatory and earthquakes fairly common, it's been a key point of survival for many decades. In Oregon and Washington, which see fewer of the tremblers, but are on alert for the mega-quake expected when the Cascadia Subduction Zone ruptures, the protection is somewhat newer.

Recently the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it will use $685 million in funding from Congress to fund several State Veterans Home construction projects through the VA State Veterans Home Construction Grant Program. The new funding can be used where needed for repairs, renovation or new construction and is part of an Omnibus Bill that represents the largest allocation to the more than 50-year-old State Veterans Home Construction Grant Program; funding for the program has averaged $94 million over the last five years.

The National Association of Home Builders looked at data from Jan. 2017 to Nov. 2017, and found that single-family house permits totaled 761,229, a 10.2 percent rise over the same period in 2016. Did your state make the Top 10 list? Take a look at the infographic below to find out:

Ground will soon break on the world's very first 3D-printed house in the woods by the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tenn. The WATG Urban design, which showcases a series of curved angles and windows, won the Freeform Home Design Challenge in 2016, inhabitat reported.

Imagine trying to build a castle—without modern-day construction equipment. It sounds impossible, but a group of enthusiasts is attempting to do just that in Burgundy, France. Michel Guyot and Maryline Martin starting building Guedelon Castle in 1997, or 1228, if you're counting in historical years, using exclusively 13th-century construction techniques and materials, Metro reported.

Maine's Technical Building and Standards Board attended a public hearing Sept. 18, in an effort to put guidelines in place for tiny home construction. Tiny homes have become popular in the past few years for those who are looking for a more affordable, environmentally friendly and simpler lifestyle, WABI 5 reported.

It's one of the great mysteries of the U.S. real-estate recovery: home prices nationally are just a touch below pre-crisis levels, and at all-time highs in many populous markets, as buyers scramble to grab what they can during a 30-year low for housing inventory.