One of the biggest changes that the internet revolution has wrought is the transition to an “on demand” society. Want to watch House of Cards on TV? It’s available on demand through Netflix. Want to have sushi delivered to your house? Seamless or Postmates can take care of that for you on demand. Need a ride home from the bar? Uber or Lyft got you.
But when it comes to housing, it’s a little tricky to have a new domicile erected on demand. Foundations need to be laid, pipes need to be installed, construction needs to be constructed. But, as with TV, food, and rides, on demand homes are becoming more and more of a reality—a good looking reality, at that—thanks to prefabricated homes. Prefab homes are ones where large swaths are assembeled somewhere other than the actual lot where the house will eventually live. The pieces are then assembled on site and voile there’s a new house.
Prefab homes aren’t new. At the start of the 20th century, you could order a prefab home kit from the Sears catalog. In many instances, prefab homes are cheaper than standard ones, because the pieces can be mass produced instead of customized for each house. But oftentimes what comes along with that is a whole lot of bland. If you’re going through the process of building your own home, you probably want something you’d be psyched to, you know, live in.
That trend is shifting, however, as more home builders are creating unique prefab designs that stand out as much for their architectural details as they do for their ease of assembly. As these 8 homes show, the result are homes that will completely change your perception of what prefab can be.
MODULONE BY PASSIVDOM
While the sticker price of a prefab home can be enticing, there’s usually a lot of additional expenses that come before you move in, like getting your heat and water hooked up. The $67,138 modulOne, however, comes with all of that stuff built-in so if you want to go completely off the grid, you can. There is a ventilation system that allows you to control oxygen levels with your smartphone, as well as a self-sufficient solar power system and independent water storage, purification, and sewage. Even cooler is the fact that the walls on the 387 square foot home are 3D printed.
They say people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. But with the ÖÖD, you’ll be too busy staring to hurl any projectiles. The home has floor-to-ceiling glazed glass walls on three of its four facades. The glass reflects its surroundings making it especially stunning in natural surroundings. The home, which sells for approximately $36,000, is especially attractive to people who don’t have a lot of patience, since the entire thing can be setup in eight hours.
HOMB BY METHOD HOMES
Many prefab homes tend to be riffs on a basic box, but the Homb consists of triangle-shaped modules that can be configured into a number of unique shapes. The result is something visually arresting and adaptable. It is available in sizes ranging from extra small (900 sq ft.) to extra large (3,100 sq ft.).
When it is built with the attached outdoor space, the Coodo looks a bit like an oversized VR headset. The prefab home is designed to be highly mobile—it can be placed easily on the pack of a semi—though it certainly doesn’t elicit any trailer park vibes, and it is built largely of recyled materials.
At first glance, a house made of cardboard may not inspire a ton of confidence. It sounds like something out of an updated version of Three Little Pigs. But the Fiction Factory is the real deal. It is built by wrapping sustainable fiber paperboard around a house-shaped mold with an environmentally-friendly glue and then adding waterproof foil and wood panelings to protect it from the elements. Because of its distinct fabrication, an entire module weighs just 1,100 pounds.
One of the biggest trends in prefab homes right now is using shipping containers to construct both residential and commercial buildings. Northern California-based Taynr specializes in taking these structures that are prized for their durability and strength and imbuing them with a sense of warmth to create a genuine home-y feel.
Japanese retailer Muji has gained a loyal global following for its minimalist designs on everything from pens to clothes to furniture. Now the brand is expanding from selling things to put in your home to selling the actual homes themselves. Muji recently revealed a line of prefab tiny homes made from cork, aluminum, and wood that retain the aesthetic charm of Muji’s other creations.
The roof is usually one of the most overlooked parts of a house. But on this prefab home in Australia, it’s the star. The living roof is adorned with plants that not only look beautiful, but are functional since they minimize rainwater runoff and solar penetration.