Entries tagged as 'cost'
The New Republic recently discussed the plight of prefabricated housing in the United States.
Consistent with their political leaning, they call for government to step in:
The article is quite long, but worth reading.
Title: Stick Stuck
Author: Sarah Williams Goldhagen
Publication: The New Republic
Length: 3,887 words
Date: February 18, 2009
A recent email from Alchemy Architects says:
Old pricing was in the $150/SF range, so it's quite a drop. Actual pricing depends on your part of the country.
Higher capacity solar kits are available for larger homes. For details: FusionModular.com.
Homeowner Thomas Small explains part of his reason for choosing steel:
Firm principal Whitney Sander describes the process:
Some numbers from recent Sander Architects projects:
These sounds like impressive savings, though finishes and other construction unrelated to the steel skeleton play a large part in determining final construction costs. Read the complete article for more about Sander Architects and steel framing.
author: Michelle Hofmann
publication: The Los Angeles Times
length: 1,000 words
publication date: June 8, 2008
The Denver Post reports on a modular homeowner near Denver:
Jill Warner is having a new home built in Salida that's as green as possible without "going overboard," she said.
Warner found Northstar Homes, based in Loveland, Colorado. According to Hollis Hunt of Northstar:
Their site features some helpful resources, including a list of modular home myths.
Read the full article for other tips on how to build prefab and meet your budget. The article also updates readers on the MKD development in Denver that we've reported on previously.
subtitle: Factory-built homes create less waste than traditional homes, helping to shrink carbon footprints
author: Christian Toto
publication: The Denver Post
length: 704 words
publication date: May 25, 2008
Toll roads aren't just annoying to commuters; they can raise the cost of doing business:
A Pennsylvania law to toll Interstate 80...will have a devastating effect on Pennsylvania's modular housing industry, states The Modular Building Systems Association....
According to Don Shiner, President of DeLuxe Building Systems in Berwick, PA:
"The cost of our homes will increase not only because of the tolls imposed when we transport the finished home to the job site, but also on raw materials being delivered to our factories, employees traveling on company business, the return of empty undercarriages to the factories for reuse in transporting the next home, time delays in transporting our homes that will result from I-80 being a toll road and other, additional factors."
Publication: PR Web
Length: 900 words
Date: November 29, 2007
Last year, Builder Magazine released a list of the top 31 modular builders (pdf) in the United States.
I've put the data in the top chart above. As can be seen, a few large companies build the majority of modular homes. In case you don't recognize the shape of the curve: it's a classic "powerlaw" distribution known as Zipf's Law and discussed in the business bestseller The Long Tail. All sorts of data show the same shape, including book sales, blog traffic, and word usage in any language.
The second chart shows revenue per home for each company. There is lots of variation in this chart. It might be interesting to research this variation at some point. One likely factor: companies that sell direct vs. wholesale. Any other thoughts?
Fleetwood Enterprises builds a number of products, including recreational vehicles, so their revenues reflect revenue sources other than the modular homes shipped, accounting for the large discrepancies in the data.
Below, you can see a table that shows all of the data charted above for each company.
A couple weeks back, I reported on the JoT House. I've received a few more details about the JoT line of products from Jim Vinson.
The reported "as low as $100/sf" price was for a spartan artists loft. Their PDF states "the average cost is $180 per square foot" excluding design fees, site prep, and materials shipping.
model: JoT House
size: 1,344 sf
bedrooms: 1 - 3
price: starts at $210,000 + $35,000 design fee (~$180/sf)
model: JoT L
size: 1,370 sf
bedrooms: 1 - 3
price: starts at $260,000 + $35,000 design fee (~$215/sf)
style: single room, detached structure
size: 128 sf
price: $45,000 - $75,000 plus $2,000 design fee ($350/sf - $600/sf)
notes: no plumbing, "trailer delivery option reclassifies the structure as a temporary building or vehicle, eliminating many permit issues"
One of the great features of A Prefab Project is the detailed budget homeowner Chris keeps updating. As the project nears completion, it offers an accurate estimation of how much a prefab project from Res4 might cost you. Granted, your site work and other specifics might differ, but it's a good bunch of numbers to study.
I've pulled together the spreadsheet above showing the initial estimation of how much each piece of work would cost. I've then inputted numbers for the actual costs, based on what Chris has reported. They are doing an impressive job of sticking to their budget!
My only question: why does a prefab house have a 15% design fee? I emailed Resolution 4 on Aug. 7th and Aug. 11, but haven't heard back.
In today's issue of the Newark (Ohio) Advocate, a mortgage broker discusses the financing of mobile homes vs. manufactured homes vs. modular homes.
Title: What's the difference between mobile, manufactured, and modular homes?
Author: Brett Richards
Publication: Newark Advocate
Length: 430 words
Issue: July 21, 2007
"The simple and sophisticated design allows it to exist easily in an urban setting, while the quiet strength and sturdy attitude are comfortable in a more rugged environment."
name: MetroCabin by MetroShed
where: Orlando, FL
cost: $29,500 to $34,950
construction type: pre-assembled conventional stud-framed panels
standard materials: wood doors and windows
options: window screens, wall finishes, door and trim color, exterior color, porch, electrical
Update: fixed the picture (thanks to a commenter for pointing out the mistake)
"'I just love Prouve,' said tanned hotelier Andre Balazs who bought the house and said he hasn't decided what he will do with it. Of one thing was he certain: 'It belongs back in the tropics.'"
The article added details on the house's history:
"About eight years ago, Touchaleaume traveled to the Republic of the Congo and bought three prototype tropical houses that Prouve had shipped to the French colony. They were in dismal condition, rusting, inhabited by squatters and riddled with bullet holes from civil wars.
He sold one to American collector and former commodities trader Robert Rubin, who restored and donated his house to the Centre Pompidou in Paris. 'This price validates the other one,' said Rubin after the sale, speaking of the house he donated."
Jean Prouve's Maison Tropicale doesn't go on the auction block until next week. The vintage prefab stirred up a little more press this week. Luxist covered the home and linked an article in the Queens Tribune.
"If you want to live out your childhood fantasy of moving into your treehouse (and preferably seceding from the family), but a couple of planks slapped together with some rusty nails isn't going to cut it, you'll want to give the able carpenters of TreeHouse Workshop a ring."
"The homes' most innovative feature is the 'EcoHat,' a roofing system that allows hot air to rise and consequently be reused to provide passive solar water heating, thereby mitigating the energy consumption of the house. Clever floorplans optimize natural lighting schemes, while prefab modules and flat-pack components reduce waste and energy..."
"...We're thrilled to see prefab systems being applied to more public and educational contexts!) While the construction isn't quite finished, we think this is a great opportunity to show the process and progress of an exceptional prefab project- and one of the best (and first) prefab schools we've seen integrate so many green technologies...Treehugger covers a prefab concept in the UK by architect Richard Rogers. The post includes over a dozen photos, and quotes a recent Financial Times article (subscription required) with a hat tip to Urbanity.
We find this project particularly interesting as it is an addition to an existing structure, which provides not only site-specific but aesthetic and programmatic context."
The San Jose Mercury News ran an article about prefab and price:
"Manufactured homes are no longer the boxy firetraps owned by the poor and elderly. Instead they are increasingly becoming the smartly-designed homes of the young, wealthy and educated.Materialicious (a blog all about building materials) points out that the Structural Insulated Panel Association offers useful information, "including a Green Building section".
About 1.4 million people in California live in manufactured homes, and the typical profile of an owner has become younger, more educated and more affluent...
...standard site-built homes cost about $250 a square foot whereas manufactured housing can be as low as $120 a square foot, a big savings for people used to paying top dollar in the Bay Area."
On Wednesday the New York Times published an article about the classic prefab Maison Tropicale up for auction:
"Tomorrow, the Maison Tropicale, a small aluminum-paneled house built in 1951 by Jean Prouvé, a French designer and the current court favorite of well-heeled contemporary art and design collectors internationally, is being opened to the public for preview in Long Island City. Christie's, the auction house, will offer it for sale on June 5. The presale estimate is $4 million to $6 million."
"One of the most remarkable experiments in prefabrication was Jean Prouve's Tropical House, designed and built in France and airlifted in 1951 to be assembled in Brazzaville, now the middle of a war zone....Treehugger...learned from him that the process [of] assembly and dissassembly is hard on the house and its fittings, so this may be one of the very few chances to see this masterpiece. Prouve is under-appreciated, his work in building and furniture design is brilliant."
Tropolism tried to visit the house and reported back:
"The house...is located in Long Island City, on a plot just south of the Queensboro Bridge. Update: After running over there today, I can report that the dates the house is open are May 17-June 5, 2007. No hours were posted. It was locked at 11am today."Inhabitat covered the house today on Prefab Friday:
"The Maison is plug-and-play: there was never any plumbing, and it is wired for electricity. It ships in six containers. Christie's is compiling a short list of potential bidders with substantial properties in Mustique, Antigua, the Hamptons — name your playground — who might like a 59-foot-by-32-foot-by-16-foot-tall folly/outdoor sculpture/guesthouse/vintage metal toy to park on the lawn, with a designer label attached."
The Christie's auction lot shared some more details on the home:
The home's early use of factory-built parts jives with Jean Prouve's character, as discussed in this International Herald Tribune article from last year:
"Prouvé described himself proudly as a 'factory man,' while his friend, Le Corbusier, dubbed him an 'architect-engineer.'...'He considered the availability and economy of materials, he developed tooling for production, and he aimed to optimize efficiency, but this has been forgotten....The young Prouvé longed to become an engineer, but, as his family could not afford the training, at 15 he was apprenticed to a master blacksmith.
He studied under two of France's most gifted blacksmiths, Emile Robert and Szabo, both of whom produced 'art metalwork': wrought-iron grilles and doors in ornate floral shapes....Prouvé followed his father's design principles: 'Learn about the past; never plagiarize; always use the most up-to- date methods.'"
I just found a Yahoo! Group dedicated to sharing the thoughts and experiences of LV Series homeowners. LV Series homeowner Gregg started the group in July of 2005:
"Hello. My name is Gregg. I am building an LV Home in Sperryville, VA, about 60 miles west of DC in the foothills of the Shenandoah Mountains.Some of the very first posts had substantive content:
The reason I am starting this group is because I have had a lot of questions during this process to which I could not find answers on the web -- the most notable example being the actual cost....I felt it would be a good idea to have a forum for people interested in the home to be able to ask around."
"When I ask[ed] for bid submissions, I insisted on having the contractors do 2 columns: Perryville [Missouri, where the Romero factory is located] and Sperryville [Virginia]. That way, I could see where they deviated heavily from Rocio's estimates. Here are the deviations:There have been countless discussions on construction costs, and others about sourcing windows or other products for LV Series homes.
Foundation: +3300 Framing and roof: +5000 Heat, Plumbing, Elec: +1500 Interior Finish: +400
...It fell very close to Rocio's estimate, and I am in one of the most expensive areas of the country."
One user, having just finished his LV Home posted a full recap of construction costs, photos and thoughts on the project:
"Note that we did not encounter any big problems during construction. I will say that we were not pleased at all with the costs and do blame our contractor for a lot of the cost madness. But when we solicited bids more than one builder said, "kit or no kits, the cost per square foot will be the same." And that bore out to be true."
If you want to build an LV home, this is definitely a must-visit site.