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What About Prefabricated Homes?

Innovative Insulation Techniques That Lower Home Energy Bills And Increase Property Value

Prefabricated components are used throughout the construction of course. Now, some companies are marketing entire prefab homes.

Prefab homes have been around for over 100 years but have never really caught on. They haven’t always been economical, and if the prefab isn’t specifically designed for your site, there’s a good chance it won’t exactly fit, not just spatially, but in other ways too.

For instance, when we design a custom home, we take into consideration the views from the home, and just as important, we intentionally block views we don’t want to see, like the ugly house next door, Ideally, you shouldn’t be aware of your neighbors at all, and you certainly don’t want your windows lined up with theirs!

When we build next to a vacant lot, we need to check the zoning on that lot to anticipate where a building could possibly be built in the future and consider our windows accordingly.

We currently use large prefab components on buildings where it’s made sense though. We’ve recently completed custom home on the side of a hill overlooking a forest with the steel structure made of large prefab boxes bolted together (see the photo). Each box is essentially a room of the house (some large, some smaller). The decks are the tops of the boxes. The boxes are supported on a few strong steel columns. The exterior will be covered with rusty steel sheets. When the landscaping is mature the building will appear to float, with no visible means of support.

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Bill Fisher

Bill has practiced environmentally sensitive modern architecture for over 40 years throughout the west. Bill's firm, William Fisher Architecture, has studios in Santa Cruz and designs residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional projects of all types and sizes.

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