Can Homes Be Cheap, Green AND Attractive?

If you’ve spent any time on the freeways and highways of this country, you’ve probably seen a prefabricated home lumbering down the road with an “Oversized Load” sign. They’re instantly recognizable once they’re installed: ugly, squat, boring, and utterly uninspired.

But all that is starting to change as high-end architects and designers embrace the prefab home, and people realize their green potential. When you manufacture homes on the site of a central location, you can cut down vastly on their environmental impacts, and not only that, you can build them more cheaply, too. Companies with a green commitment can work on the most energy-efficient homes possible and pass on substantial savings to their customers, allowing people without much money to spend on a home to still build the green homes of their dreams.

Especially in rural areas, the cost of working with contractors on site-built homes can be high, particularly when people want to use environmentally-friendly materials. Labor tends to be expensive, and so do the materials needed, especially when shipping costs are factored in. Consequently, companies working on efficient, beautiful manufactured homes have a considerable leg up in the industry.

Zip Kit Homes, based in Utah, is upending the idea of what a traditional prefabricated home should look like. These homes are graceful and elegant, made with quality materials that are still cost-effective to process in volume at the factory site. They’re also designed with environmental efficiency in mind, including not just energy-efficient appliances but also layouts and materials that have a minimal environmental footprint.

Part of the design also includes extreme durability. For residents of earthquake-prone regions, this can be a concern. Any new construction has to be carefully considered and evaluated to determine whether it can withstand potential earthquakes as well as other weather events like storms. Zip Kit Homes has taken durability standards to heart to create extremely robust homes that will stand the test of time.

The modular design also allows for considerable configurability. This can be a significant concern with prefab housing, which tends to look the same except for colors and small surface changes. When modular designs are used, homeowners have much more control over the layout and presentation of the home, and an opportunity to make it their own. While it’s not a fully custom home, it still has much more flexibility, including the ability to add modules later.

As the consumer market for chic, environmentally-conscious prefab homes grows, so do the number of manufacturers working to meet their needs, including regionally-specific concerns, such as stout Chicago roofing for cold winters. That’s a win-win for consumers, who definitely have the upper hand when it comes to their buying options. Prices are likely to fall in response to the competition, while research into materials, construction materials, and design features can only improve!

Katie Marks writes for Networx.com. This post originally appeared here.

57 comments

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

yDebbie Miller
Debbie Miller2 years ago

ok! Thanks for the information. Lately I have been all out excited about the wonderful tiny homes on the market! The Zip Kit pre fabs mentioned in your article appeal to me as well and may even be affordable, too, much like the tiny homes.

heather g.
heather g.2 years ago

I like the inside of the Zip prefab homes - but prefer proper tiling in the bathroom. Also don't like tiny windows set high in the walls. Bearing in mind that the weather is extremely wet in BC, it is more protective to build with longer roof-overhangs. But then, despite the snow, they don't even realize that they should not build flat roofs. (Cheap and nasty).

One 'green' development here has homes so close to each other that one can hear the conversations in the alongside homes ~ one can almost reach out to touch one's neighbours. Box-like construction closely huddled together is plain unattractive, even if it is green-ish...

It's the idea of a green home that is truly appealing. The mention of 'extreme durability' is music to my ears. I've spoken to a few engineers who have made marvellous environmental upgrades to their homes and are duly proud of the enormous savings they've made over the long term.

Natasha Salgado
Natasha salgado2 years ago

Thank you

PrimaSICK B.
PrimaAWAY B.2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.
I wish I had my own little space that I owned.

Angie B.
Angelene B.2 years ago

nice

KAREN G.
Karen G.2 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Lola S.
Lola S.2 years ago

thanks for sharing

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra2 years ago

Thank you Chaya, for Sharing this!

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola2 years ago

thanks for sharing