Prefabulous: 9 Amazingly Modern Factory Built HomesBy Mike Payne
Factory-built homes have a “trailer park” stigma no more. These amazing modern homes are built in a factory then shipped to site. Not only is the process more efficient and less expensive, it is the green way to build a quality, sustainable home. Process aside, these homes are beautiful, and much cheaper than any comparable site-built home on the market. Here are 9 of the USA’s greatest modern prefab homes…
For those who are new to the world of prefab architecture, the process is basic. An architect develops a plan for a home, but instead of contracting the development to a builder, they build the home in sections in a climate-controlled warehouse. These sections are then shipped to the final worksite where they are joined and finalized into a finished home. This process is more cost-effective as it takes advantage of bulk material purchasing and construction, it avoids weather-induced delays, it maintains a regular staff familiar to the blueprints and allows for a greater level of control over quality. Now that you’re up to speed, here are 9 reasons why your next home might just be a prefab.
The Ray Kappe RK1 LivingHome
Shown in the two images above is Ray Kappe’s RK1 LivingHome. LivingHomes was one of the first manufacturers to popularize the concept of a high-end modern prefab. One of their first contracts was for Wired Magazine, which was dubbed the Wired Living Home. While the RK1 spares no expense in its modern design, its price will surprise you. A custom, site-built home like this would likely start in the low seven figures, but the RK1 starts at just $852,500. Ray Kappe and his partner Keiran Timberlake at LivingHomes have several other must-see models starting as low as $219,300. The RK1, however, is this writer’s personal favorite…
The Taalman Koch itHouse
Just outside Joshua Tree National Park, California, rests this brilliant modern prefab, the Taalman Koch itHouse. The itHouse is completely energy-independent, using technologies like passive heating and cooling, radiant floor heating and photovoltaic solar paneling on its roof for electricity. Its interior features a fully-open floorplan with modern furnishings, designed to merge with the serene desert environment thanks to floor-to-cieling windows. The itHouse starts at $165,000 for the basic component kit package before options are added.
The Michelle Kaufman Glidehouse
Michelle Kaufman of Michelle Kaufman Designs is one of the biggest, most respected names in the modern prefab business. Her Glidehouse prefab is one of the industry’s most popular, and one of the most accessible to consumers. While the construction of the basic Glidehouse module starts under $200k, MKD provides clear details of the prices for site development, shipping and options, all of which can push the final sale price over $450,000. We had a chance to sit down with Michelle Kaufman for an interview about her Glidehouse and other projects, you can check that out over at GearCrave.
The Marmol Radziner Hidden Valley Home
Another clear favorite, Marmol Radziner’s Hidden Valley Home is brilliant not only for its design, but for its perfect integration into nature. While the Radziner home might be a bit out of place in the far north, it is a desert beauty just like the itHouse shown above. The Hidden Valley version of Radziner’s prefab is divided into two living sections, one living space and one bedroom, wrapped in an L around a swimming pool and facing a vast desert environment. Radziner prefabs start at $179,000, but we have a feeling this one cost its owner closer to the high six figures.
The Alchemy WeeHouse
For a full-size modern home, WeeHouse does a brilliant job of keeping costs low. The Alchemy WeeHouse starts at just $65,000 for the studio version, which is a tight-but-serviceable 341 square feet (which would be a mansion in Manhattan). On the high-end, the model above is a 4-piece WeeHouse that starts at $319,000 with 2090 square feet of living space. Midwesterners will be happy to know that WeeHouse is based in Minneapolis, MN., making a WeeHouse fit for cooler climates and not out of reach for shipping…
The Jeriko House Prefab
While we’ve only seen renderings of the Jeriko House, it certainly deserves an inclusion here. Louisiana-based Jeriko has developed a brilliant 3 bedroom prefab with high-ceilings, plenty of windows, breathing space and green amenities. Jeriko’s website provides a floorplan modeler software that allows prospective buyers to customize and price out the Jeriko House of their dreams.
The Kithuas 3 Prefab Dwelling
To some, a prefab home is either out of reach financially, or you might be happy with the home you already have. That said, there are a few developers who provide alternative dwellings that can supplement your existing home. Want a man-room in your back yard? An office independent from your home? An extra space to entertain or even a guest house? This is the thinking of the people at Kithaus who have developed the Kithaus 3. The Kithaus 3 comes in a range of sizes and models, but are intended to supplement your home– not replace it.
The Rocio Romero LVM Prefab
Built for home or office, forest or city rooftop, Rocio Romero’s LVM prefab is one hell of a soft metal beauty. Its industrial exterior won’t be for everyone, but its interior 625 square feet feels much larger than it actually is. Like the Kithaus, the LVM’s price is much more accessible than most– it starts at $23,650. It can rest on its own as a smaller one-bedroom home, or as a second building on your lot like the Kithuas. For the size it offers, the LVM is a standout on this list for the price.
For those who don’t necessarily want to buy a prefab home, but spend a few nights in one anyway, the Eco Shed of Bowen Island, British Columbia is available for nightly stays. Does a natural B.C. getaway weekend sound good to you? The Eco Shed is available for $175/night. While it may not offer the room service and wet bar of a normal hotel, this is a great island eco-experience for the casual prefab architecture fan.
Thanks for reading, StyleCravers, Diggers, Stumblers and otherwise. If you enjoy the article, please share it with your friends and vote it up in your favorite social media tool. If you think we missed a prefab home that you love, leave us a comment below. There are plenty more to discuss, and we’ll keep on covering ‘em in the future!