Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pennywise Prefab Houses

A year and a half ago, we were having a hard time convincing our clients of the advantages of factory fabrication. If you mentioned the word "modular," it was as if you had suggested vinyl siding; both conveyed images of what our clients didn't want in their new homes.

Builders had a different negative reaction. To many, modular was perceived as a threat to profitability, a production method that would shortcut site building and reduce their incomes.

Then the bottom fell out of the homebuilding industry, and the McMansion was declared officially dead. Prefab began to appear in the news and even had its own show at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Little by little, minds began to change.

To unemployed builders looking for new ways of working, modular started to look better and better. Homeowners began reading and hearing about factory fabrication and wondered if it might be a good option for them. Nowadays even our high-end custom clients are asking whether modular building might work for all or part of a new home.

For years Russell has been promoting factory building as a way to make new homes better, and he is very happy that the tide has turned. At Russell Versaci Architecture we have combined our Simple Farmhouse Portfolio and Simple Cottage Sampler into one Pennywise Collection, and all the designs are now available as modular houses from our partner, Haven Homes. The farmhouses range from 1600-3200 sf and the cottages from 650-800 sf. The New Homestead Almanac, a new group of designs ranging from 1000-2200 sf, is currently on the drawing board.

Above, left: The Chandler Farmhouse; below, right: The New Republic Cottage