A Q&A on prefabricated homes

‘Prefabulous Small Houses’ author Sheri Koones explains the evolution, and the appeal, of prefab construction.

SHERI KOONES is the author of six “Prefabulous” books, including “Prefabulous Small Houses” (Taunton Press, 2016; $21.95), which features 32 gorgeously livable, inspiringly sustainable prefabricated homes — including six from the Seattle area (plus a foreword by Robert Redford!). Here Koones answers a few questions about the appeal, and the reality, of prefabricated homes:

Q: You’ve been a pioneering advocate for prefabricated homes; what kind of evolution have you seen over the years in the industry, and in homeowners’ views toward prefab?

A: The technology of building prefab has become so much more sophisticated over the years. In the early days of prefab, the designs were limited. Today, the sky is the limit on what can be built prefabricated. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma regarding prefab construction among those unfamiliar with the process. But little by little, more people are finding out about prefab and saying it’s the only way they would build. It’s hard not to be impressed by all of the gorgeous prefab houses around today. Each time I do another book on the subject, I’m blown away by the beauty and efficiency of the houses I find.

Q: There are more Seattle-area homes in “Prefabulous Small Houses” than from any other area; why do you think “prefab” and “small” are so appealing here?

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A: Happily, I believe that people in the Seattle area are really sophisticated regarding the best methods of construction and are among the most environmentally conscious people in the country. The architects, builders and manufacturers working with prefab are also top-notch.

Q: Nick and Julie Eitel’s eHAB Cabin on Lake Washington is a stunning example of modular construction that doesn’t look modular at all. What are some…

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