Author Topic: Mustachian prefab homes? Modular homes?  (Read 3414 times)

Fuzz

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Mustachian prefab homes? Modular homes?
« on: August 11, 2014, 07:24:46 PM »
Hey Mustachians -

Has anyone researched modular or prefab housing? It seems perfect for mustachians--lower cost, smaller footprint, more lip service to ecological design, easier to DIY. However, in my research, I am seeing a lot of stuff that is ~$250-$300/sqft. I shouldn't be looking in those design magazines, I guess.

Homes that are really well insulated and make good use of solar gain are a plus for me. I live in the Rockies.

I'd love to see what other people have come up with.

These guys look a little unproven but seem pretty good: http://www.frontierfortress.com/.

Thanks!

J Boogie

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Re: Mustachian prefab homes? Modular homes?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2014, 09:07:57 PM »
I was really sold on this idea for a while, looking at the prices of Rocio Romero's LV... but then I read a few articles where people detailed their experiences actually buying and building it and like you said, 250-300/sqft and more.

It's similar to the shipper container trend that has accompanied the tiny house movement - its actually more expensive than the alternative, but seems like it could be a more economical option.  (I'm referring to shipping container homes that need to be insulated and don't need super beefy locks, in that case they might be advantageous)

Not that I like stick construction very much.  It's just the cheapest and easiest (after the balloon inflated concrete dome houses of the yesteryear - google monolithic airforms) for most climates.  Living up here in the frozen tundra of Minneapolis I want to build, not buy, and I want to use SIPs.  They're not cheap either, but at least you aren't paying for designer design - not to knock what cool architects like Romero are doing, but most people looking at their affordability-minded designs would probably be better off downloading some free blueprints at freegreen.com and having a trusted local architect revise them for the build site, then getting a trusted local GC to execute. 

That's what I'm planning on doing anyways.  I don't like the idea of buying an existing house - older construction is full of the half ass fixes done by people over the years and newer homes are mostly stick built cookie cutter designs built by a builder who never factored any site considerations into the design and could have very well cut corners to keep their margins profitable.

So, to sum it up, what I've come up with is freegreen.com - their plans seem to have different tiers of insulation so you can easily customize it to your climate.  I'm not in architecture at all, I build furniture for fun and working the packaging industry so take what I say with a grain of salt.  Best of luck.

megamomo

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Re: Mustachian prefab homes? Modular homes?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2014, 07:49:29 AM »
My father-in-law runs a business putting up modular homes, so I have some familiarity with it.  I am often surprised at the wide variety of options that exist.  This is certainly not the manufactured double-wides that some people think of.

I have seen the cost of a handful of these homes and it is far less than what you have quoted.  I know that several were less than $100K, but that is just the house itself.  You would need to add cost of land, foundation work, and garage on top of that.  I'm still thinking these ended up being in the $100/sqft range though.

Almost everything is customizable in these kinds of homes too including the obvious things like flooring, countertops, cabinets, etc.

If interested, the floorplan options can be found here:
http://www.allamericanhomes.com/floorplans/

Roots&Wings

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Re: Mustachian prefab homes? Modular homes?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2014, 09:09:40 AM »
My father-in-law runs a business putting up modular homes, so I have some familiarity with it.  I am often surprised at the wide variety of options that exist.  This is certainly not the manufactured double-wides that some people think of.

I have seen the cost of a handful of these homes and it is far less than what you have quoted.  I know that several were less than $100K, but that is just the house itself.  You would need to add cost of land, foundation work, and garage on top of that.  I'm still thinking these ended up being in the $100/sqft range though.

Almost everything is customizable in these kinds of homes too including the obvious things like flooring, countertops, cabinets, etc.

If interested, the floorplan options can be found here:
http://www.allamericanhomes.com/floorplans/

This is very helpful!  What part of the country does your father-in-law do this?   Finding a good local builder seems key.

bako_frugal

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Re: Mustachian prefab homes? Modular homes?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2014, 09:40:23 AM »
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_eye/2014/05/19/rural_studio_builds_brand_new_20_000_houses_in_alabama.html

I enjoyed this article on the 20k house project in Alabama. 
10k in materials and 10k in labor; though they are not pre-fab.

bo_knows

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Re: Mustachian prefab homes? Modular homes?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2014, 10:03:52 AM »
Pre-fab, or just building my own "green" home in general, has always been a dream of mine.  Unfortunately, I always get discouraged when I look at my local market for land.  In an area that I'd want to live, my price range for a completed home is $450-500k, whereas the cheapest plot of land I can find is $375k.  Unless I can build a house for $100k flat, I'll never be able to do it.

I've had the same experience as you, OP.  $200-300/sqft in places I've looked.