Remember when prefab housing was supposed to be the cost-reducing savior in a housing market where prices had ballooned way out of control? Sure you do. It wasn’t that long ago.
Well, you’d think that with prices falling as fast as a brick that prefab housing would be a non-factor, but just the opposite appears to be true. In fact, prefab may play an even bigger role in the housing industry from here on, architects and builders say.
“I think that it will be without question,” says Middleburg, Va.-based Russell Versaci (www.russellversaci.com), who believes consumers and builder/developers will drive this trend. “The consumer is looking for a straightforward alternative to a tract home, and the only efficient way for them to get it will be through modular building process.”
Versaci, who designs the Simple Cottages and Simple Farmhouse prefab housing lines for Haven Custom Homes (www.havenhomes.com) in Linthicum, Md., and also works with Connor Homes in Middlebury, Vt. (www.connorbuilding.com), believes consumers will be able to get such a house inexpensively through the modular process.
“This is what I’m driving for,” the architect continues. “Our small houses, for example, should be able to be completed in place for about $250,000 to $300,000. What we’re doing is trying to compete directly with the tract builder.”
The prefab/modular industry has been around for decades and has managed to do well for itself, but in recent years, the category has generated buzz with (some might say much-needed) edgy designs from hot-shot architects such as Michelle Kaufmann (www.mkd-arc.com), Marmol Radziner (www.marmolradzinerprefab.com), Resolution: 4 Architecture (re4a.com.), Geoffrey Warner (www.weehouse.com), and many others.
And now more architects and builders are jumping into the fray with a new set of prefab homes and prototypes to solve issues, turn heads, and, more importantly, fill a need. Take a look for yourself at what the future could look like.