Modular Homes

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    Dec 26, 2008 3:24 AM GMT
    Does anyone have any experience with modular homes? I've been researching them a little bit in the internet and some of them seem pretty cool. These are not to be confused with mobile homes as they sit on a permanent foundation.

    There are so many more plans available these days and I was just wondering if anyone has insight on them?

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    Dec 26, 2008 3:41 AM GMT
    I know several people with modular homes and they are perfectly fine. They are built to the same standards as a regular home but are constructed indoors before being placed on the concrete foundation.

    I sometimes think constructing them indoors is even better since the construction process isn't exposed to the elements.

    Furthermore, my modular friends have all had their homes for 10-30 years.
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    Dec 26, 2008 3:43 AM GMT
    That's cool. I guess there still is a stigma with them though. Although, the designs available are absolutely amazing. The only real downside I've read about is location. Since they are transported to the site and put together, roads must be wide enough, and the type of terrain they are built on is limited.

    Thanks for replying, very good information to know.
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    Dec 26, 2008 4:48 AM GMT
    I live in one, which was put together in 1 day. no difference to any other homes except it's better quality controled
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    Dec 26, 2008 10:18 AM GMT
    i love the work of marmol radziner prefab based in LA-unfortunately, as you point out--it cant typically be urban infill sites, as there isnt enough space to manuever.
    im not sure how this interfaces with the building dept and their need to inspect the systems (elec, plumbing etc) of the house during construction.

    but controlling waste, working in an efficent assembly line and improving the quality in a controlled environment are compelling arguments for prefab.


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    Dec 26, 2008 10:42 AM GMT
    yeah. I don't think I could buy a prefab with traditional architecture. There is a lot of cool modern stuff out there you can buy however. Check out this site. These guys do impressive work. They also do multi-unit prefab stuff for those of you who are into that, including commercial on the bottom, residential on top type stuff. Take a look.

    http://www.hivemodular.com/
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    Dec 26, 2008 10:45 AM GMT
    I have been following Marmol Radziner Prefab for years now. Unfortunately, the idea has been severely impacted by the economy. However, as I am sure you know, the houses they have built are terrific.

    http://www.marmolradzinerprefab.com/


    The other initiative that is very interesting is Living Homes. The best ones have been designed by Ray Kappe who was a draftsman in the studio of Richard Neutra.

    http://www.livinghomes.net
    There is urban praxis for code compliance in modular construction depending on the city. (house moving has been going on for a very long tim).

    In Europe there is Huf Haus which is a long established company comparable to the American Deck House. These house use factory cut timber and on site construction. This semi-modular approach has been around for awhile.

    Dwell Magazine has been on the forefront of pushing this concept and they have collaborate with most of the manufacturers.

    http://www.huf-haus.com

    http://www.deckhouse.com/the_dwell_home/default.cfm

    While we are on this topic check this out:

    http://www.airstream.com/products/2008-fleet/travel-trailers/international-line/ccd-signature-series/index.html

    Terry




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    Dec 26, 2008 1:19 PM GMT
    sundayswim saidi love the work of marmol radziner prefab based in LA-unfortunately, as you point out--it cant typically be urban infill sites, as there isnt enough space to manuever.
    im not sure how this interfaces with the building dept and their need to inspect the systems (elec, plumbing etc) of the house during construction.

    but controlling waste, working in an efficent assembly line and improving the quality in a controlled environment are compelling arguments for prefab.




    Those seem pretty cool, but all those windows make me think maintaining energy levels in the house would be hard (i.e. High AC bill). I'm more of a traditionalist I guess, but those are really beautiful houses.

    How would you furnish them? icon_question.gificon_confused.gif
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    Dec 26, 2008 1:44 PM GMT
    The Marmol Radziner houses are low energy consumption. Also, California mandates a roof to glass area ratio that is a function of the relavent energy gain of a glazed surface. These are energy efficient houses.


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    Dec 26, 2008 2:03 PM GMT
    Modular homes can be just as nice as any other home. I would also check with a local building contractor to get an estimate on a similarly designed house so that you can compare costs. Depending on where you live in the country, you might be surprised. I am in the process of building a small, energy efficient home (currently in the design stage) so I've done a bit of research. Most times, estimates for building are free. This way, you can see how much you'd be saving either way. Good luck!
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    Dec 26, 2008 2:06 PM GMT
    ursamajor saidThe Marmol Radziner houses are low energy consumption. Also, California mandates a roof to glass area ratio that is a function of the relavent energy gain of a glazed surface. These are energy efficient houses.




    Cool.
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    Dec 26, 2008 7:04 PM GMT
    Almost forgot this one, which is very cool. Terry

    http://www.flatpakhouse.com/
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    Dec 27, 2008 12:39 AM GMT
    ursamajor saidAlmost forgot this one, which is very cool. Terry

    http://www.flatpakhouse.com/


    That's fantastic.

    Here's one off Flickr

    2536513969_f6d53b401c.jpg

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/flatpakhouse

    A very good idea, if it caught on, the price would come right down as well.

    I'm guessing the value of a flat-pack home actually goes down over time though.
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    Dec 27, 2008 2:32 AM GMT
    If you're interested in modular, check out Dwell Magazine. They're really big on modern modular and have regular design competitions for their homes. A couple big ones recently can be found here:

    http://www.deckhouse.com/the_dwell_home/

    http://re4a.com/

    I was going to modular for the home I'm designing for my brother's family right now, but they're not cost effective yet. Dwell continually publishes that these houses can be had for $200,000, but they fail to mention that half of the material is donated or drastically reduced in price. So, it's way cheaper to build a stick-built custom designed home in today's market. Hopefully modular will come down in price over the years.