To quench my continuing curiosity with small house options, I’ve done extensive research on small, energy efficient, house plans. Since it’s very possible that my husband and I might end up buying land first, living on it in a tent, then building a home, I’ve had to get a little creative in what kinds of plans we could build quickly and inexpensively. Prefabs seem to be the best option, whether we go with pre-cut materials, or a prefab kit. Not only do they get built quicker than traditional construction, we can add energy efficient add-ons to them.
I found a great website with lots of links to prefab options called Jetson Green. It’s basically a blog about green building. Not only does it post information about green communities popping up, it also has lots of resources like books and links. I searched many of his copious links and found a few prefab sites I’d never come across before that were really helpful in deciding if it’s worth building a prefab house. Three that I think are worth mentioning are below:
- weeHouse by Alchemy Architects: I’ve heard of these guys before, but I think they’ve revised their website and made it easier to view samples. They have lots of examples of actual homes they’ve built. They are quite modern in design, but I like their variety. They also have a sample pricing guide that describes the three main expenses: Land+ weeHouse + Site work. I didn’t know about the site work pricing before seeing their diagram, so this at least gives me a ball park figure.
- Zamore Homes: This site is completely new to me. I don’t necessarily like their house plans, but their pricing over view is pretty detailed. I would think I could use this as a guide to any build-from-scratch model.
- Wieler: I like that they offer a “starter” home that can be expanded upon. They don’t offer concrete pricing, just an overview of how most square footage pricing breaks down. However, if their starter home is reasonable, it might be a great option. Again, I like the modern look of these prefabs. They remind me of the modern homes built by Wright and Eichler of the 1950’s and ’60’s.
Next, I think I’ll look into tiny trailers or sheds that my husband and I might be able to live in temporarily while building a house (or waiting to build a house) on land that we buy. We’ve already called Tuff Shed, they seem like they might have a few models we could set up shop in while we “rough it.” I’m just not sure how the cats would like it!
*Update 2016: I’m currently in the process of building a manufactured home in a community. Follow my journey here.
*Photo credit: Alchemy Architects weeHouse