Prefabricated homes and structures have struck a chord with environmentally conscious Angelenos. These modern, stylish structures run the gamut from small modular kits to premanufactured two-bedroom, two-bath homes. The industry is also known for employing sustainable building materials, energy-saving construction methods and eco-friendly appliances and solar features. With several local designers putting their personal spin on the industry, prefabs are becoming less of a trend and more a way of life.
Whether it’s a freestanding home office, guesthouse, second home or primary dwelling, there’s something for nearly everyone in the prefab world. Home retailer Design Within Reach (310-899-6000; dwr.com) offers its locally made Kithaus model (starting at $32,450). Made from recyclable aluminum and FSC-certified wood with dual-glazed windows and doors, Kithaus is available in two sizes—9 feet by 13 feet and 11 feet by 17 feet—with an optional kitchen and bath. A more sleek, midcentury-modern option is the one- or twostory Skyline Series (starting in the $500,000s) by LA-based firm Marmol Radziner (310-826-6222; marmol-radziner.com). The home has so many green elements (solar panels, natural cooling features, insulating glass, energy-efficient appliances), you’ll wonder if it’s actually factory built.
Los Angeles-based firm KAA Design Group (310-821-1400; kaadesigngroup.com) offers its fully integrated HOM Escape in Style dwellings (ranging from $235,000 to $585,000), which arrive 90 percent complete to the job site— only the deck foundation needs to be installed. Everything else looks and feels like a regular home. The flooring is made of renewable sealed cork, the roof is coated with zinc—which keeps heat from filtering out—and each home comes prewired for solar energy. It typically takes only eight to 10 weeks to receive a HOM dwelling, and since they are made in the Inland Empire, they can be easily trucked to a nearby vacation plot in the mountains, beach or desert.
On a smaller scale, local interior designer Jeffrey Alan Marks fell in love with Delaware-based Cabana Village Garden Buildings’ (800-959-3808; cabanavillage.com) prefab sheds (starting at around $2,800) and installed one in his terraced garden in Santa Monica Canyon. Because the company allows for customizing its models, Marks was able to drop the windows to maximize natural light and add barn doors that open to reveal an ocean view. “I find myself doing more work at home,” says Marks, “and I love having a space away from the house surrounded by a sea of bamboo where I can escape to think and create.”