Prefab houses seem to be taking parts of the world by storm — well, maybe not by storm, but they sure are getting a lot of buzz. Besides the benefits associated with the building style, there is also the question of how they are designed. Lucky for prefab home buyers, there is now quite a wealth of professionally designed and built prefab architecture out there. Here we’ll look at 10 prefab home designs, so you can get an idea of the range and maybe it will help you decide on your own plan.
Even better: These prefab homes are built by companies we’ve already indexed in our Prefab Home Designers and Builders Directory. You can go there and search out the name of the company, and also find builders near your area.
Beautiful cabin house
Designed and built by Balance Associates Architects
Charming home in a box Designed and built by MODE Homes
Lovely modular house Designed and built by Habitech Systems
Unique modular dwelling Designed and built by Fairweather Homes
Fabulous eco-house Designed and built by ArchiBlox
Stunning country-style dwelling
Designed and built by Prebuilt
Appealing sustainable suite
Designed and built by Ecoliv
Gorgeous abode Designed and built by Ecoshelta
Relaxing boxed-beach house Designed and built by Cox Architecture
Magnificent family abode
Designed and built by Tektum
The future is becoming more pre-fabricated and flexible. Order today and tomorrow one house or perhaps an entire neighborhood. It can even be temporary housing, which can be set up quickly and taken down again. What about for inner city dwelling?
At present, the image of temporary buildings is changing rapidly. They are not only more beautiful, but also energy efficient and easier to disassemble and move.
This is particularly attractive for urban development because what does this mean for public space? Especially when you’re talking about sewage and electricity. While this is an investment for the long term, it is not so easily taken away as the prefab house.
There are several considerations with temporary accommodation in vacant lots or perhaps in existing office buildings, the plug-in housing:
1 Ensure public space that can move along, or public space is as flexible as the houses once it gets there.
2 Ensure there are public spaces that are so good people want to live there or near those locations.
3 Buildings are so self-sufficient or residents themselves arrange the connections.
These are opportunities for planners to develop new concepts to realized on vacant lots? For more about prefab homes, visit our directory.
It is quite possible that you saw this mini prefab house earlier, because it has appeared on many blogs, but for all those who have never seen the house: here is the wonderful tiny home!
What is a prefabricated house exactly? In a nutshell: a “prefab house” refers a building system where the house is partly or wholly manufactured or assembled in a factory.
This compact prefab house is at home in virtually any environment as long as it is accessible by a big truck with a crane. “The Wee House is based on a modern aesthetic, efficient use of space, and intelligent use of prefabricated construction technology,” say the architects of this design,Alchemy Architects.
“Wee House” consists of a solid wood and steel frame, and has great big windows to let in lots of light in this modern, compact design. Within, this prefab house can be equipped with all modern comforts, luxurious bamboo floors, spacious closets, a cozy fireplace, a full bathroom and kitchen, and even a kitchen sink!
The prefab housing units also have solar panels that provide (4 hours of) electricity, something the tents do not have, despite the 6 PM dusk of the areas where they’re most commonly used. It also provides energy for utilities during the day.
And see the roof of these prefab houses? They have a “shade net” which may look simple but actually makes a big difference. This reflects the sun’s heat during the hot days and reflects the prefab home’s heat at night to keep it warm at that time. Tents and tarps don’t do these things.
Even if you aren’t immediately impressed by the Plain Jane appearance of these modular prefabs, IKEA says, you will be impressed by living in one, especially when compared with other emergency housing options.
And they are durable, able to withstand extreme cold, fine sand, heat and rain. They’re also modifyable. The people who live in them can arrange them so the windows can be where they want, doors can be where they want, etc.
So with their prototype version, IKEA set up dozens in several needy countries, and then received feedback after 16 months on how the tents fared, so they could learn how to make them better.
“For example, there are no floors since wet mud floors have a cooling effect as the water evaporates,” according to IKEA. “The location of windows and doors is flexible. Families with babies wanted windows nearer the bottom of a wall panel for air circulation.”
From there, they fine-tuned what is now called the “Better Shelter.” The UNHCR ordered 10,000 of these for their needs, an order which IKEA has now filled. Most went to Iraq, others became medical stations for MSF in Nepal.
How long does it take to assemble one of these simple prefab homes? Just over 3 horus, using 4 people, once you know how to do it well enough. Tools required? No additional tools besides the simple IKEA tools included in the boxes.
Price? $1100 – or just under 1000 Euros. Compare that with the tents which cost $500 (and were replaced after around 6 months. As IKEA says, “Multiply this over decades and thousands of families, and the savings are huge.”
IKEA’s prefab homes are continuing to be developed to provide variable solutions to the needs of various locations and situations, the company has stated.
Now, although IKEA’s prefab houses are currently just used in emergency situations and are purchased in large orders by the likes of the UN, we all are probably familiar with the number of products that start out this way, being developed and sold to the military and other organizations with special requirements they have to meet, and are later developed into commercial markets for domestic use. Given the wide range of products IKEA makes, and the large investment of resources the company has made in this venture, one might guess that these prefab structures will make it to local markets in the future and be sold individually in stores. Why not? They come in sets of a few manageable boxes you could put in the back of a pickup truck, and require no special knowledge to set up. The $1000 (or just over) simple basic prefab home with solar power might not be that far away! Click the following photo of assembly to enlarge (large image and displays best on large computer screens).
What will the houses of the future be like, and will there be more prefab homes everywhere, being moved from place to place? This is one prospective future eco-home, called the SEED (Solar-powered Expandable Eco Dwelling). The purpose of this prefab home that expands is to combine the benefits of a small house (especially transport ease) with the comfort of a larger building. In a short time, this prefab house once planted (it is a “SEED”) can expand into a dwelling several times the size it was when it arrived.
There are solar panels for up to 8KW, allowing the prefab home owner to select battery storage sizes. There is also that 360 degree glazing, so whoever is in this future prefab home can see all around them all the time. The plan also includes a bathroom with shower and toilet and facilities to trap rainwater to increase the sustainability of living there.
Solar power is making headway, not only in small prefab designs like this one, but in cars and other vehicles, business office buildings, solar farms, and a lot of others. Recently, the U.S. government published a Solar Progress Report (published by the White House), in which they pointed to a number of solar energy improvements: a steep decline in technology costs (60% reduction in 3 years for solar panels), increased deployment of the technolgoy on public lands and buildings, growing creation of jobs in the industry (up 50% in 3 years):
Steep Decline in Solar Technology Costs: Since the beginning of 2011, the average price of solar panels has dropped more than 60% and the price of a solar photovoltaic electric system has dropped by about 50%. Solar is now more affordable and more accessible for more American families and companies. In fact today, PV solar modules cost about 1 percent of what they did 35 years ago, and six of ten major U.S. homebuilders now offer PV as a standard available feature in new construction.
Deployment of Solar on Public Lands and Buildings: Five years ago, there were no commercial-scale solar energy projects on Department of Interior lands. Today, the Interior Department is on track to permit 20 GW of renewable energy projects on public lands by 2020; the Defense Department has set a goal to deploy three gigawatts of renewable energy – including solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal – on Army, Navy, and Air Force installations by 2025; and, as part of the Climate Action Plan, the Federal Government overall committed to sourcing 20% of the energy consumed in Federal buildings from renewable sources by 2020.
Creation of Solar Jobs: According to industry analysis, solar now employs nearly 143,000 workers in the United States, a growth of more than 50% since 2010. Jobs in the solar industry increased by more than 20% last year alone.
Taken together, a this little prefab conception can be seen in context: there is a growing movement towards making a lot of our energy solar powered, while many people are building smaller, more economical and environmental houses — tiny houses, modular construction methods, prefabrication, green materials, environmentally friendly water usage. The overall trend may lead to the conclusion that in the future these expandable solar-powered prefabs might play a larger role, rather than just being a novelty which they are for most of us today.
– Wheelchair access
– Up to 8kW of solar panels
– Your choice of battery storage sizes
– Options for shower, toilet and plenty of storage
– Option to trap water for sustainable living
– 360-degree viewing windows
– Reduced fuel consumption
– Expands in a few seconds
– Available without any interior allowing you to design your own
This prefab house sits on a river bank, and as you can see from the photos it’s actually an arrangement of several separate shed-style prefab buildings, connected by a wood deck. The wood deck also overhangs the riverside, and has a fire area and chairs. Not only that, there’s cooking amenities outside just behind the outside area.
Then on the one side is the bedroom, which is one prefab shed unit. You can probably already imaging that this style of building allows for a lot of possibilities with expanding and re-arranging the dwelling. For example, if you have more children or if you want to have guests come stay, or maybe even organize a BNB style small business, you can do that by adding a shed or two.
The bathrooms are also in the sheds, and future additional sheds can be equipped with their own if sharing is not your style when it comes to that side of things.
I’ve read that this prefab house (or complex of sheds) is a “fisherman’s shed.” This would make sense, given the location. If there are fish in that river it would be relatively convenient to pull a few out every once in a while and fry them up on that patio.
These are some of the prefab sheds by a company we’ve been looking at a bit lately called Modern Shed. It seems they focus not only on small buildings, but also with putting a finish on them so they look like professional homes. By matching the colors of the siding and window frames and other fixtures, these prefab houses and other buildings can be made to match larger houses in cases where they are being used as guest houses or other detached style dwellings appended to a house.
While many of their buildings are sheds in the true sense of what sheds are known for, some of these sheds look so much like tiny homes! Also, some of the company’s larger prefab buildings are meant to be tiny homes, with everything that includes.
“Modern-Shed provides solutions for limited living and storage space problems. You might be considering a home addition, converting current space such as a garage, bedroom, attic, basement, bonus room or even enclosing a carport in order to give you the extra space you need. Modern-Shed provides the ultimate solution, as it provides not only more room, but private space only steps from your main home,” according to the company. “If you need more room for a home office, an exercise room, craft space, art or music studio, man cave, diva den, photography studio, hobby room, writers den, meditation room, a play room or just a place to hang out and relax in your garden, Modern-Shed is for you.
“Modern-Shed was the innovator creator of the highest quality structure of its kind. Pre-fabricated panels can be carried into or around tight spaces for fast assembly. Instead of converting your garage or transforming your carport or turning your spare bedroom or basement into your new, needed space, consider a new style of shed – from the originator of the Modern-Shed concept. Imagine a quiet space for yourself or a space to send the kids to play.”
Prefab home entusiasts, you might already thinking small. Downsizing is something a lot of people do in order to simplify their life and reduce the amount of bulk and maintenance they have to do with their home and possessions. So this might be something you could consider. These prefab sheds are around $10,600, which makes them somewhat affordable, and they can provide shelter and a bit of style to a new prefab tiny home owner.
Prefab homes come in a wide range of sizes and purposes: guest houses, studio buildings, work spaces — these are typically smaller and without all the amenities usually found in a larger house. But some people like this sort of life, because of the price and simplicity. They can add amenities in various ways. They don’t all have to be from the home appliances store. Some can be from the outdoors store or from garage sales. For example, a kitchen can be four large appliances from the home and garden store, or it can be an icebox and a propane cook stove. There is a range of options to explore, particularly if on a budget and if you’re working with a small space.
“The 10×12 Modern Studio Shed is the perfect solution for having an office or studio space outside the home,” according to the company.
One of the things about these prefab buildings is that, while small and often used as sheds, guest houses, studio spaces, work spaces, they have a nice finished appearance from the outside.
“The kit comes in a series of parts ready to assemble, with all the materials included to finish the structure inside and out. Designed with contemporary finishes, and built with materials that will last.”
For more info on Modern Shed, find them in our directory.
Prefab homes, modular construction, we talk about these a lot. But there is still an argument for building a home — whether a tiny home or not — in the traditional post and beam stick framing method. And both prefabs and traditionally-build homes can be affordable.
In this case, we’re looking at one of the designs by Shelter Kit, a company that designs houses like these in order to keep costs low. In these houses, which can be built in sizes from 415 square feet (tiny house) to 1,565 square feet, they estimate a starting price of $17,185. It’s called the lofthouse kit. This company does quite a few houses like this one, with a traditional cabin style aesthetic and a simple construction build.
They generally price at between $30 and $38 per square foot of living space, although this depends on the size and options of the prefab home or barn.
For more info on Shelter Kit prefab houses, find them in our directory. By the way, if you’d like interior shots, so would we. However, the company has so far only published exteriors of its range or prefabs. We’ll update this with interior shots when some become available.
Barns are becoming increasingly popular. They are no longer just used for housing farm animals. It is not uncommon to see renovated barns used as event venues or gallery space. What is it about barns that has everyone raving? The rustic charm of a country barn is undeniable. To many it may feel a lot […]
A prefab house already being sold for little more than $1000? Yes, it’s possible, as Swedish ready-to-assemble company IKEA has now proven, after years of research and design, as well as extensive field testing, even if these prefabs aren’t ones you’ll find at your local IKEA store. There are already tens of thousands of people living in […]
Sustainability is a concept that we are seeing regularly in new architecture. It is not a gimmick or ploy to get buyers to spend more money. It is a project to create healthy living environments for years to come. Arcgency is one of the companies that is striving for sustainability. This Danish company looks to […]
Many people choose shipping containers as an option for their next home because of the inexpensive construction costs and eco-friendly materials. Not one looks the same, but the interior design does tend to be more minimalistic in nature. They are commonly seen with white walls, bright pops of color, and little done to the outside […]
A small semi-modular prefab house for 1 or 2 people in the dunes for people on a limited budget, and it’s architecturally interesting: a compact house with an open floor plan. Facades and roofs The prefab house has standard corner pieces and wind springs, thereby making house details simple and affordable. Zinc, wood shingles, slate or ceramic would […]