The Luxury Prefab Home: It’s Not an Oxymoron

The term “prefab” is being redefined, with a Santa Monica house selling for over $6 million, and a two-story edition going up in the posh Hollywood Hills.

Photo courtesy of Zillow That pool is solar heated, as is the rest of the home, which generates its own solar power. Also, sustainable materials were used throughout.

If your idea of a prefab home is a cheaply constructed, blocky, Lego-like structure, think again. Once you take a look at the Santa Monica Ray Kappe, FAIA, LivingHomes architectural that was listed at $6,750,000 and sold in a couple of weeks, your prefab horizons will be drastically expanded. Yes, the Santa Monica home is situated in the coveted "North of Montana" neighborhood and is within walking distance of the beach, but the 4,710-square-foot, four-bedroom, five-bath home is architecturally stunning in and of itself.

Mostly manufactured in Oregon, the home features soaring ceilings and towering walls of glass. There’s a Corten steel fireplace with a marble hearth, a dramatic floating staircase and Control4 home automation. The Arclinea commercial-grade chef’s kitchen features Crocodile Caesarstone countertops and Miele and Wolf appliances. All this and green too? The entire home has eco-friendly decking, solar heating and solar power, and was constructed with sustainable materials throughout.

Photo courtesy of Zillow The great room features towering walls of glass surrounding an open living area. The dining space is defined by a Corten steel fireplace with a marble hearth.

Although this is probably the most lavish prefab home ever produced by LivingHomes, more scaled down, but equally green and luxurious homes are being installed all over L.A. — most in a matter of four to six hours! While shipping and crane costs might be higher than that of your traditionally constructed home, the savings incurred in putting up the bones of a home in four hours, rather than in four weeks or four months, are practically inestimable.

The cost for a residence from LivingHomes runs from about $185 to $325 per square foot, but you need to add the expense of the lot itself, design costs (10-15% of the budget), permit fees, engineering, transport and install or foundation on top of that.

And don't forget green materials used in the construction of these homes.  One of LivingHomes' most recent projects, installed in hills near Lake Hollywood, has LED lights, recycled Caesarstone countertops, super energy-efficient Western Windows, formaldehyde-free cabinets and non-VOC paints and stains. It’s is grey water ready and is expected to be certified LEED Platinum, as most LivingHomes are. It's a two-story comprising 2300 square feet with four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, and is made up of six modules. You can see it going up, as well as photos of the Santa Monica house, in the gallery below. 

In a city where instant gratification is the order of the day, it’s no wonder high-quality prefab homes are becoming more and more popular. And when you don’t have to sacrifice quality or environmental consciousness, what’s not to like?

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