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All Contents © 2020The Kiplinger Washington Editors
By Andrea Browne Taylor, Online Editor
| March 13, 2013
Prefabricated homes have come a long way since the days when modular meant mobile to home buyers. Today, buyers can find a wide selection -- from studio units to single-family homes -- for a variety of prices. The cost per square foot for a typical modular home is $76.80, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The average stick-built home costs $94.34 per square foot.
The prefab houses we profile here are far from average and definitely aren't cheaper quality. They range in size from 2,200 to 4,400 square feet, are constructed using high-end "green" materials and, in some cases, have been custom-built to owners' exact specifications. Take a look.
Note: Estimated market prices throughout this slide show do not include the value of the land.
Market price: $589,030
Square footage: 2,560
This RK1 Model by LivingHomes, a Santa Monica, Cal.–based prefab builder, comes with standard finishes that include cork tiles for the floors, drywall ceilings and recycled-content solid surfaces for the countertops -- and a roof deck at the base price. Buyers can spring for higher-quality features such as glass tile or hardwood or bamboo floors and high-efficiency plumbing packages. This home earns a gold-level LEED ranking for energy-efficient design, thanks to its recyclable building materials and water-saving devices.
Market price: $540,000
Square footage: 2,317
The Breezehouse by Blu Homes, a Waltham, Mass.–based modular builder, is a single-level home with a main living area that's glass-enclosed and comes with a butterfly roof. The base price includes standard materials and finishes for the floors, cabinetry, faucets and appliances, delivery of the home to the build site and setting the home on its foundation. Buyers interested in this particular model can add a one- or two-bedroom suite, a garage and an outdoor deck for an additional cost. And just in case you're wondering . . . no, the pool doesn't come included!
Estimated market price: $450,000
Square footage: 2,200
This barn-style, three-story modular home is custom-built and sits on five acres in Lovettsville, Va. It was constructed in 2011 by the Purcellville, Va.–based home-building and remodeling firm Jakobsen & Bowe and cost about $400,000. The exterior finish consists of a natural stone veneer and painted siding. Inside are ten-foot ceilings on the main level, oak floors, quartz countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms, built-in bookcases, a fireplace and a covered porch.
Estimated market price: $445,000
Square footage: 3,000
When this modular home was built in 2007 by Alchemy Architects, which is based in St. Paul, Minn., the final price totaled around $360,000. That included the construction and transportation of the home to the build site in Minneapolis, as well as additional site work such as landscaping, utility hook-ups and site inspections. The exterior finish consists of cedar and painted siding. This home has a roof deck, a finished basement and a two-car garage.
Estimated market price: $945,000
Square footage: 4,200
Built in 2008, this custom modular home was constructed by Simplex Industries, which is based in Scranton, Penn. There are lots of unique touches in this two-story house located in South Hampton, N.Y., that don't typically come standard with preset prefab home plans. They include bamboo flooring, maple cabinetry, a media room, an office, a pool and roof deck with an outdoor fireplace.
FlatPakHouse.com, KORU LP
Estimated market price: $1.2 million
Square footage: 4,400
This modern-style dwelling was custom-built by FlatPak House, a Minneapolis, Minn.–based prefab builder, in 2006. It's located in Woody Creek, Colo., which is about 15 minutes outside of Aspen. The two-story home has custom cabinetry and bathroom fixtures, a two-car garage, and mountain views. The homeowners paid additional fees for the septic system hook-up, driveway paving, landscaping, and installation of a fenced-in, multipurpose game court.