Elizabeth Daniels 3/11 Builder Proto Homes' mission is to make modern houses that don't cost a lot, are totally rearrangeable, and that last a long time. Their first "smart house," the Sunlight Residence in Baldwin Hills, about a block from the forthcoming Expo Line, shows off their big innovation: the Hyperspace + Core (patent pending!), a structural nucleus that holds all the utilities and the reconfigurable spaces created around it. The house is 2,650 square feet and has three bathrooms (which all abut the core) and one to three bedrooms, depending on the setup. The whole thing--lights, temperature, fireplace, doors, projection screen, security cameras--runs on Control 4 software that can be operated on an iPad, iPhone, or computer. We're told the software guys are working on getting the house on Twitter, so it'll be able to message its owners when, for instance, someone comes in the house, or so the owners can send it commands. Proto has listed the house at $850,000.
Proto's goal is to sell their houses within 10% of neighborhood comps. UPDATE: They've given us a list that puts Baldwin Hills comps at $306.40. On the Sunlight house, they spent about $325,000 buying the property (with previous house), about $150 per square foot on building, $10-15,000 on permits, and about $10,000 on site work and landscaping.
They kept construction cheap by combining prefabricated assembly with on-site building, and sourced inexpensive stock parts that can be ordered in a variety of sizes and finishes. Proto tried to find parts that were both cheap and upgradable, so that a new owner could switch out the regular curtains for electronic window shades, or put in different-colored cladding on the exterior. Building was also done fast--the house was framed in a week and completely built in three to four months.
Proto plans to offer their houses three ways: Proto to Go are the houses Proto Homes builds itself. Proto on Demand is for individual buyers and includes 800-4,000 square foot houses built foundation to fixtures on the client's land. Those range from lofts to three story houses and will cost about $200 per square foot. Proto for Investment are packages sold to developers, with higher volume helping to keep prices lower; the aim is $150 per square foot. Proto Homes is right now working on a deal with a real estate firm to handle marketing and distribution.
· Proto Homes [Official Site]