For most of the past few decades, a small group of pole builders has dominated the building industry in the UK.
Now, the industry is entering uncharted territory, with pole-framed homes coming on to the market in a huge wave of supply.
And the poles themselves are becoming increasingly important.
In a new documentary, the BBC has gathered some of the most innovative builders of the modern era, and asked them to tell us how they built their houses in the years ahead.
The documentary is titled Pole Builder: The Definitive Story of Building the World’s Most Affordable House, and is being broadcast on BBC Radio 4 from Friday (21 May).
Pole building is a fast-growing sector in the US, with builders building more than 2,000 homes a year in the state of Connecticut.
The number of pole buildings has risen from more than 10,000 in 1998 to nearly 17,000 last year.
But the new builders’ approach to building is not without its critics.
Critics point to the fact that they do not have the same standards as other builders and that the materials used can often be difficult to work with.
For example, the construction of poles is very labor intensive and requires a lot of time and expertise.
“It takes months to build a pole, but it’s very simple to build it,” said Tim McElroy, a pole builder from Wales.
“I don’t know anyone that doesn’t know how to build pole.”
The new builders argue that pole-building is a new and interesting technology that has changed the way houses are built.
“The poles that we build today were built in a world that was very industrial,” said John Bowers, who runs a company called Pole Construction, which makes poles in the USA and builds poles in Germany.
“Today the poles that you’re looking at are more like buildings.
The construction is a lot more simple, and the materials are more suitable.”
Mr McElroys family is a good example of the new pole-builders.
The family from the Isle of Wight, who moved to London when he was five years old, has a very large home in London’s East End.
His family bought a house on St James’s Hill in the early 1990s and had to move to a new home after a few years because it was too big.
Mr McElloys family has also moved to a bigger house, which is now being built on the same site.
But he insists that the house has not changed much.
“My son and I, we just like our house,” he said.
“We have a lot in common with our neighbours.
When I came back to London I bought a horse, but the horse didn’t really get used to being tied to a pole. “
When I was growing up, I used to go out and play and I had my own horse.
His house is now a “big, big house” but the family still works in the garage. “
So I have bought a pole and I am working on it.”
His house is now a “big, big house” but the family still works in the garage.
“People like the simplicity,” he added.
The British construction industry has experienced some changes over the years, with more poles being constructed.
In 2011, construction firm TK Maxx announced it would be building the world’s largest pole in North America, with a capacity of 1,400 metres.
The new company has already begun construction on its second pole, which will be built on a site near Leeds, in the Yorkshire Dales.
Mr Bowers said that the poles were now used more than ever, with demand for new poles increasing by a factor of five every year.
“Poles are becoming more and more important in our building industry, so we need to be prepared for that,” he explained.
The latest pole-builders to come onto the market include Robert T. Jones, the former chair of the UK Construction Industry Association.
Mr Jones was once a pole maker himself, but he moved into construction in 2003, having already completed construction work on his first house.
He has also built a series of smaller homes for himself and his wife.
“There is a growing demand for smaller houses and that has been very good for us,” he told the BBC.
“But the poles are becoming a bigger part of our lives and we need them.”
One of the pole builders, Mr Jones has also recently started building a house in Australia, which he plans to sell.
“If we had not had the pole, we wouldn’t be able to do this kind of house,” Mr Jones said.
The pole builders’ views about the pole are not entirely different to those of the other pole builders in the film.
Mr Evans of PPE Builders said the new building industry needed to build more houses.
“A lot of these new pole buildings have been built over the last 10 to 15 years,” he argued.
“These houses are being