Have you bought a modern prefab home?
September 17, 2005 8:24 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone purchased a modern prefab home, like the kind listed on the fabprefab fablist? How did it go? How much extra (on top of the base cost of the home) did you end up paying (for a general contractor to lay the foundation and so on)?
posted by medpt to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Thanks for asking this. I did not know that the modern pre-fab home had reached this style point and with so many vendors.
Quite the modern Waldenesque solution to the normal cabin in the county or box in the woods.
posted by buzzman at 9:02 AM on September 17, 2005

No idea, but damn those are way better than the doublewide my parents bought in the 90s.
posted by angry modem at 10:04 AM on September 17, 2005

I'm really interested in this question as well. The space I tend to watch is called Live Modern. There are links to a number of people who are blogging about their experiences with just this. The over arching theme seems to be that these projects are often under-estimated in terms of ease, cost and time - but so is every construction project, really.
posted by Wolfie at 10:16 AM on September 17, 2005

Dwell magazine has written pretty extensively on this topic, and many of the issues surrounding it (cost, environmental impact, design issues, etc.) are topics the editor seems particularly passionate about. They recently commissioned and built a prefab house in conjunction with a couple chosen by the magazine and did a series of pretty fascinating articles.

Previewing the link; it looks like they've partnered with a prefab builder.
posted by jalexei at 11:04 AM on September 17, 2005

damn those are way better than the doublewide my parents bought in the 90s

That's because there's a difference between "mobile home" and "pre-fab home." With a pre-fab (or modular) home, individual chunks are made at a factory (i.e. a wall with all the wiring already installed and the drywall applied) and then put together on-site. A mobile home is almost completely assembled at the factory (for a double-wide, of course, each half is assembled separately, and then the two halves are joined on-site).

Most modern homes are built using at least some pre-fabricated parts. For example, it is very common for roofing trusses to be made in a factory and delivered now, rather than being built on-site from lumber.
posted by kindall at 4:29 PM on September 17, 2005

Lots of interest and no first or second hand experiences.
It took me several months of mefi before I began to read ask metafilter and metatalk. FPP anybody?

The Dwell link has some factory pics, which appear to show a factory full of craftsmen as compared to drones/3rd world labour/or illegals (go Texas construction industry, go!). CAD design, apparently analogue cutting, nice window frames; seems to be quality... Makes the home seem to be as if it were a large piece of fine furniture; maybe it is.

...craftspeople with an average of sixteen years experience.(http://www.thedwellhomesbyempyrean.com/Preview3/Empyrean/4_empyrean_details_05.html)
posted by buzzman at 4:39 PM on September 17, 2005

There is supposed to be some show on this topic this Sunday (tomorrw/today) at 2 PM EST in the afternoon on the DYI channel. Got an email from one of the prefab design companies.
posted by flyby22 at 9:06 PM on September 17, 2005

My guide shows that it's "Assembly Required: Architects Go Prefab." 30 minutes. More info here.
posted by kimota at 9:30 AM on September 18, 2005

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