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Prefabricated Homes

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The trends of prefabricated homes have been changing and adjusting from the time that English emigrants dismantled and loaded their homes onto the Mayflower to reassemble in the New World. Over the centuries, prefabricated homes have gone from home kits purchased by catalog to modern modular homes that blend right in with their traditionally build neighbors.

One of the styles largely missed by the prefabricated homes market, however, has been the modernist look. Homebuyers could take advantage of the savings offered by prefabricated homes or pay big bucks for a modernist styled home. “While kit or prefab homes have been available in a range of either "traditional" or "alternative" forms for many years, surprisingly few prefab homes exist that truly embrace modernist ideals.” That has changed.

Modernist architects have begun to see the value in adding the technology of prefabricated homes to the aesthetics of modernist design. In fact, a movement is growing among young architects, fueled by magazine contests, to move modernism into the market for prefabricated homes. The technology being experimented with is that used to make modular homes. Although some pioneers are attempting to adapt a technique to create components to be assembled onsite, more are looking to create finished modules that only to be put together.

Because this modernist style is outside the mainstream of desired home plans, the movers and shakers would like to establish a national market for their wares. A sticking point is that fact that prefabricated homes must adhere to local building codes and zoning laws that change from one small area to another. “A daunting array of local building codes in the US complicates distribution models - a house built in one state might not fly in another.” To make enough profit to establish a true business, this problem has to be addressed. With the visionaries working on this problem, the prefabricated homes market can depend on being shaken up soon.

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