With Independence Day just around the corner, I thought I’d cover the great American prefab home as an homage to our country’s birthday.
Wait, wha?!? This girl’s done gone cuh-razee.
Is it not drool-worthy? So it’s not an original pre-war-renaissance-Victorian-Edwardian-Italianate-Neoclassical-Revival-villa-bungalow, but it’s pretty impressive in the sense that it’s a LEED certified pop-up home that’s ready to pop up while adhering to green standards.
Dating as far back as 1902, prefab homes have a deep history in our country, and they’ve evolved into stylish, green-living icons today. Sears started selling prefab homes in their popular catalogs from 1908-1940.
The general idea is to allow homeowners the convenience of buying a prefabricated (or already assembled) house, have it shipped to the building sites in containers, and erected in a faster and easier manner than a regularly built house.
During my most favorite time in the world ever, a crop of prefab homes sprouted up all over the country. Due to the post-war baby boom, there was a need for affordable, mass-produced housing in the mid century. Marshall Erdman was a builder and peer of Frank Lloyd Wright. Together, they saw an opportunity to combine good design with affordability. Here’s Prefab #2 of the Marshall Erdman Prefab Houses designed by Wright and built by Marshall Erdman & Associates.
Fast forward to today and you’ll find modern versions that boast chic designs and green standards of architecture. Ikea sells its own prefab BoKlok home. Not only can the Swedish giant furnish your house, it can also build it entirely. I have enough difficulty putting together an Ikea shelf; I’d pay to see this house assembled with the store-provided Allen wrench.
Blu Homes, a provider of prefab homes in North America with its own manufacturing facility in Vallejo, California, created the popular Breezehouse. Sunset Magazine featured this home last year as the Idea House in Healdsburg, California.
And what an idea it is.
You won’t find any popcorn ceilings here.
In fact, all of the materials used are sustainable, energy-efficient and eco-friendly (i.e. you won’t be breathing led-filled paint). Homes are designed to maximize energy efficiency by incorporating systems that regulate interior climate to reduce monthly energy costs.
And look! Granite countertops be gone.
So how exactly does it work? Just like a car, a prefab house is assembled at a factory and shipped to the building site. And just like a car, the homeowner can add custom touches to their home. A workforce is sent to the site to put it all together.
Unlike their historical counterparts, prefab homes have seen a significant increase in price. Depending on where you live (aloha, shipping charges!), the cost of land in your area, and the floor plan of your choice, the price tag could be as low as $200,000 and as high as $900,000.
But with the rising costs of housing in metropolitan areas all over the country, they’re a pretty fabulous option to live the American Dream.
Wishing you a happy and safe 4th of July!
Most photos provided by Blu Homes. Interested in seeing the Breezehouse in person? If you’re in the Bay Area, Blu Homes is offering a tour of a Breezehouse in Sonoma during July. Dates and registration can be found here.