Q&A.; Getting Started with Prefab

Q. I’ve been checking out the site for a few months and have come across some great items on prefab housing. I’m a first-time home buyer in LA and my girlfriend and I are thinking very seriously about buying a tear-down or vacant lot to do this in LA. While I’ve seen a bunch of sites and have googled some stuff, I can’t seem to find a whole lot of information on firms that are doing prefab housing or any how-tos. If you have any suggestions on sites to visit regularly, firms that you have read about, etc., I would really appreciate it. Keep up the great work and thanks in advance for any help. Best,Brad BarrishA. Thanks for the question, Brad. Our built-in green alert siren went off at the thought of a wasteful tear-down, but if materials are recycled or repurposed, it actually could turn out more environmentally sound than building on a vacant lot, which could destroy animal habitats and disrupt plant life.

You’ve already taken a stroll through our own prefab and architecture posts, so you have some idea of what’s out there. Living in California, you’re in luck: firms like Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Glidehouse and Breezehouse) and the Office of Mobile Design have set up shop to offer some pretty slick prefab options.

If you’re looking for truly extensive listings of residential prefab, check out one of our favorite sources, fabprefab. They’ve got houses you can buy now on the fablist, as well as a fabzone listing prototypes and projects in development. On top of that, they give a whole lot of info to help get you started. Royal Homes Modern, a blog run by an Ontario-based prefab home builder (Q house and others), also offers updates on happenings in the prefab world.

Good luck with the project, and let us know how it goes! [by KK]

Make sure to drop us a line if you’ve gone the green prefab route—we’d love some firsthand stories!