The LA Times today does what we have been unable to do (besides form a coherent non-run-on sentence without superfluous commentary in parentheses), visit the interior of the Ray Kappe designed LivingHomes prefab install in Santa Monica. Christopher Hawthorne takes a look at the hub-bub surrounding prefab and the high-cost factor that has yet to be resolved. Prefab units, built for efficiency, speed, and low-cost are reaching prices that were once the domain of custom built homes. Part of the problem is due to location - Santa Monica's stringent building requirements and the sloping lot can prove difficult for any home builder.
"In the regions where the market is expensive enough to make prefab such an enticing option — Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Seattle, Boston or Washington, D.C., for example — most of the remaining vacant lots are steep or inaccessible, or have already been rejected by speculative builders for some other reason. On a lot like that, a pricey foundation, retaining walls or other site work is often required, cutting into the potential savings that draw customers to modular design in the first place." As the promise of prefab begins to fade, we're left with no choice but to advocate people start living in grass huts. Cheap and totally sustainable, the grass hut harkens back to simpler times when housing was cheap and Angelenos and dinosaurs coexisted in peace.
· Such a Deal? [LA Times]
· Getting Closer, LivingHomes Prefab Almost Done [Curbed LA]
· Prefab Goes Live in Santa Monica [Curbed LA]