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Prefab homes

by Adam McBride last modified Sep 24, 2005 08:20 PM
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Prefab homes

Posted by Adam McBride at September 19. 2005

Does anyone have a list/info of modern prefab builders. Are there only The Glidehouse and Dwell offerings? Does anyone know if there are other companys out there that are more afordable? I like the designs that are offered by the above, but they are far from affordable.

Thanks

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by Creede Fitch at September 19. 2005

If you haven't already checked out http://www.fabprefab.com get on over there. They have a list of all the modern prefab homes available. Most of them are not in the US, but the list is groing a lot recently, so you never know. Also, check out the Sara Sage blog on this website, she recently built a custom prefab, that was quite affordable.

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by Adam McBride at September 19. 2005

Thanks for the info....I have aslo been to your site as wll, very cool. Thanks

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by kevin brew at September 19. 2005

why does this process seem so complicated? Is building a glide house type of home realistic? Anybody know of something similar to the glide house in southern california? Does anyone have realistic accurate numbers for a finished project? Why would you buy a piece of property not knowing how much a glide house would cost? What if you buy the property then you find out the glide house is to much and you can't afford it? Why is this process so mysterious? Is it so the cost can stay high?

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by Adam McBride at September 19. 2005

[quote:mothra format=text/plain]why does this process seem so complicated? Is building a glide house type of home realistic? Anybody know of something similar to the glide house in southern california? Does anyone have realistic accurate numbers for a finished project? Why would you buy a piece of property not knowing how much a glide house would cost? What if you buy the property then you find out the glide house is to much and you can't afford it? Why is this process so mysterious? Is it so the cost can stay high?[/quote]

I couldn't agree more!! It seems to be very confusing. When I visit some of the websites for info I get frustrated. I can't seem to find the types of materials that are used or choices of materials or anything like that. Something that would help me get an idea of where I could possibly save some money!! I am willing not to use high end products on everything. I can update things such as flooring counter tops etc...as I have money for them. As long as there is a good general design, I can add on as time goes by. The only place that gave me a better understanding of the process was the flat-pak house website, except there prices are far too expensive.

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by Marshall Mayer at September 19. 2005
mothra,

I received your initial Glidehouse inquiry yesterday evening, and will reply shortly. the advance answer is that we can now build your Glidehouse in a factory in southern California. The first Glidehouse from that factory is being built now.

To address the questions in your post, you should know that we try to keep the process of building your Glidehouse as transparent as possible. All information about the Glidehouse is inventoried at the Glidehouse Directory. Note in particular the MKD Process and the MKD Budget Builder, both of which pertain directly to building a Glidehouse.

There is nothing particularly mysterious about either the process, the product or the budget, as we are quite well aware that any builder that can provide a simple and predictable process will be much more successful than one that can't. But you should also keep in mind that building a modern house is not like buying a new car off a lot. It's a few years until anyone gets to that point (unless, of course, you are willing to settle for a mobile home).

Marshall

BTW, love the user name.

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by Marshall Mayer at September 19. 2005
spaz,

Some websites are better than others when it comes to product information. This one is very good for the products that I directly represent (others that have established a home here are also good, in particular Greg La Vardera).

You should also know that any inquiry submitted via a form about an MKD product (the Glidehouse or the Breezehouse) is usually answered within one business day, depending on the traffic generated by press hits. If you had submitted an inquiry, you likely would have had answers to your specific questions already.

Marshall

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by kevin brew at September 19. 2005

My questioning the process is only becuase this is a huge investment. You are correct in that this is not like buying a car. The difference between and xl and an xle more than likely will not be $50,000 to $100,000 difference. The ideas behind the glide or breeze house are amazing and exciting. That is what fuels my knowledge for the product.

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by Marshall Mayer at September 19. 2005
And that's why we take great pains to make the product/process/budget as transparent as possible, because it is such a huge investment. We don't feel it is in anyone's interest to proceed in a relationship based on unrealistic expectations.

Marshall

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by kevin brew at September 19. 2005

Thanks for the response to the email and my never ending critial vibe. I am currently looking for property and would be very interested in pursuing a business relationship.

BTW, most people don't get the user name, nice call

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by kevin brew at September 19. 2005

Sorry, more questions. What would be the closest location to san diego to view either the glide or the breeze? I contacted dwell to see if they were going to have one at their santa monica conference but they are not. Could I view one at the Sothern california factory?

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by Gregory La Vardera at September 19. 2005

I can answer for the customer service on my house plans but on the prefab houses I am involved with I do not handle the inquiries directly. I can tell you that they get hundreds of inquiries, many are not close to being ready to purchase, and so the time ends up spent on people with POs or inquiries that intend to move very quickly. I can see the difficulty in starting up these ventures. There is little cashflow at the outset, no money to spend on a staff. The initial rate of sales is very low and until there is flow of sales its really just one house at a time and not much profit. The ability to offer a known price is stymied at many points. Material costs change every day. Material commitments can only be had 30days out which means a quote to an inquiry must be acted on within that period or the cost will likely increase. The only way to avoid that is to artificially pad the quote which is not desirable either. Every house has a different foundation condition and this again contributes to a variable in the overall price. The cost of sitework and utility connections is also a factor in the overall budget and vary widely. The only way to offer a known price is build the house and sell it with the site like a conventional developer. We are selling some houses to developers but no doubt they will turn around and sell 150$/sf for 250$/sf. But I hope eventually you can go out an buy a modern house without all this rigamorale. Its going to take a lot more time. The whole idea of trying to open up the market is still very new. No more than 3 years or so for all the people frequenting these message boards.

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by Marshall Mayer at September 19. 2005
The SoCal factory is not accepting visits for MKD designs yet, except for owners whose home is actually on the line. This is fairly standard for most factories that build for other designers. If they build their own designs (pretty traditional), then of course they will show you around. The only factory that MKD is at that point yet is Britco in BC, who will debut their Lifestyle Homes next spring (MKD homes are among other designs).

The best option for viewing an MKD home this fall is the Glidehouse at the Vancouver Home and Interior Design Show, October 13-16 in Vancouver BC. It's a bit of a trek from CA, but Vancouver is an amazing city.

Marshall

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by richierod at September 19. 2005

Marshall -
This is news to me that you have a factory here in CA. That's great! We hope to be deciding on a system (house) soon, and are happy to hear that we do not have to pay trucking fees from Canada any more for MKD...

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by Marshall Mayer at September 19. 2005
richierod,

It's good news to us as well. We're confident that the SoCal factory will be able to keep up with demand, and provide the high level of quality at the price point that are part of the MKD home solution.

Marshall

BTW, our online portraits are almost bookends.

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by richierod at September 19. 2005

Marshall -
Literally bookends, if you loook at yours in college and mine in K and 1st!

-R.

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by Adam McBride at September 20. 2005

Thanks for the response. The problem I have is with websites/companies that do not inform you. For instance I want to know what types of materials/options are available i.e., flooring surfaces, are there choices etc… When I go house shopping in my area, this info is laid out in front of me. While I do not care for the housing developments around me, I know exactly what choices I have after visiting them. The way I see it, modular housing is sort of like a virtual development. The houses are all built at the same place, they are just shipped when they are done. I think the prefab housing companies need to do a better job at letting people know what sort of options are available to them, so people can have a better understanding. Perhaps these companies should take a look at these types of housing developments and see why they are so successful. I am not saying you should adopt their entire philosophies but at least some of them. Before I buy something/anything, especially a house, I want to be informed before I contact anybody. For instance I do not want to send an e-mail inquiry about the Glide/Breeze house concerning flooring, cabinet, fixtures, when theses things should be available on the website IMHO.

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by jakob clark at September 20. 2005

I know this would take some doing:

Perhaps you could 'build' your home online in steps. You would have a list of options and a price estimate (low and high estimate) for each individual option. At the end of the process you would have a rendering of interior and exterior, a floor plan, and the estimates would tally up (one total for the low and one total for the high).

This is basically a very complicated version of what Modernica uses for their online purchases of eames case goods and chairs.

People tend to believe what they can see and interact with.

www.modernica.net

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by Adam McBride at September 21. 2005

[quote:whitespike format=text/plain]I know this would take some doing:

Perhaps you could 'build' your home online in steps. You would have a list of options and a price estimate (low and high estimate) for each individual option. At the end of the process you would have a rendering of interior and exterior, a floor plan, and the estimates would tally up (one total for the low and one total for the high).

This is basically a very complicated version of what Modernica uses for their online purchases of eames case goods and chairs.

People tend to believe what they can see and interact with.

www.modernica.net[/quote]

That is exactly what I am talking about. Thanks! That is a great idea.

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by kevin brew at September 22. 2005

Do people spend $275,000 plus dollars on a house that they have never actually seen? What about the people who are not risk takers? Are they not expected to participate in a modular modern home? I am flying up tp British Columbia to be able to see an actual glide house. Where are the houses that already have been built? I know the owners wouldn't want people lining up but what about some photos to get the great message out about these homes? Are there only a couple modern modular homebuilders in the U.S.? What other companies are there?

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by jakob clark at September 22. 2005

visit www.fabprefab.com

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by Gregory La Vardera at September 22. 2005

All of these prefab products are very young - there are just a handful of installed houses.

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by k kuo at September 24. 2005

Greg,

Do you have any of the 6040 or 6030 houses erected near NYC?? I'd like to take a look. been hunting around, and looking to contract one in the near future.

my concerns--

~ lot size at about 35' x 100'
~ pricing, of course, and yours came within budget.
aesthetics and quality of the product and being able to contract a trustworthy general contractor to put everything together for me.
~ someone who can guide me, hand-holding, perferably, thru this process: construction, permits and other paperwork required to be compliant with the building codes, etc.

there are more than a handful of architects, and one of the top choices would be Res.: 4. They've got quite a comprehensive lineup of configs., one that could perhaps fit the lot i may be working with. I am sure they are not cheap.

Thanks.

Re: Prefab homes

Posted by Gregory La Vardera at September 24. 2005

kk - Maryland this fall is the closest I can get you. The package includes documents required to acquire a permit. And the manufacturer will do the install if you want to be sure it goes together well. On the other hand I'm sure Res4 provides top notch service as each house is like custom.

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