PREFAB

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5 Vintage Travel Trailers Transformed
The picture-perfect 4-bedroom house with the white picket fence is not everyone's ideal. If you’ve got a hankering to cut loose and see the country from the comfo...
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7 Creative Guest Houses You Can Actually Afford
Having guests home to visit is often a reason to celebrate. But after a day or two, we might wish for a little more—well—personal space. It turns out that the ans...
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8 Low-Cost Kits for a 21st-Century Log Cabin
Early American homes were rugged and rustic—the ultimate DIY project. Today, modern homesteaders can build a new house with the same frontier appeal by starting f...
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Meet the World's First Luxury Tiny House
Over the past several years, the tiny house movement has only gained momentum, with increasing numbers of homeowners ...
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8 Tiny Homes You Can Buy for the Price of a Luxury Car
If you know someone who's been especially good this year—and you're feeling very generous—you need to check out our roundup of prefab and DIY housing structures t...
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In Texas, A Million-Dollar Home with a Trailer at Its Heart
Flash floods are a reality in Texas, at least near the Nueces River, which runs through the 10,000-acre ranch owned b...
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House Tour: Chicago's C3 Modular House
Jeffrey Sommers's C3 Prefab modular house is a landmark of new urban architecture—and the first of its kind in Chicago. Although the structure was quick to constr...
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Before and After: 9 Totally Amazing Mobile Home Makeovers
Manufactured housing has always been an affordable alternative to site-built homes. Older models especially can be scooped up at a reasonable price, providing pro...
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Mobile Homes: Then and Now
In Elkhart, IN, at the Recreational Vehicle/Manufactured Housing (RV/MH) Hall of Fame, resident historian Al Hesselba...
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The Container House
Drive past any port in America today and you’re bound to see row upon row of empty shipping containers stacked, like ...
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Selecting Modular Home Builders and Manufacturers
Modular homes are constructed in a factory and assembled on site. Since modular homes are factory-built to exacting s...
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Modular Homes Go Greener
Modular homes are built to the same local and state codes as traditional stick-built homes. The way they differ is ho...
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Modular Homes: A Rising Industry
Whether it’s called a modular home, a systems-built home, or a factory-built home, the modular home is a misunderstoo...
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Taking Modular Homes to a Higher Level
If you are looking for a good quality, super-insulated and super-strong house, a  modular home using structural insul...
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Assembly Required: 15 DIY Kit Homes
For those who've always wanted to build their own home, the prospect may now be more realistic than ever, thanks to a new wave of kit homes.
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10 Cool Shipping Container Homes
Innovative shipping container homes show just how good sustainable architecture can look.
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Dream House for IKEA Lovers
A small space can house some very big design ideas—witness the new aktiv line of houses designed by ideabox, a six-ye...
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Bob Vila Radio: Kit Houses
They've come a long way from the catalog kit homes that were delivered by railroad across the nation a century ago, b...
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Bob Vila Radio: Modular Construction
If you're thinking of building new, you can streamline construction and save costs by going modular. Modular construc...
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Mobile Homes Timeline: Manufactured Housing Through the Years
The factory-built home has come a long way from its humble trailer origins to its growing popularity today.
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House Arc: Stylish and Flat-Packed for Shipping
The House Arc, designed by Joseph Bellomo of Bellomo Architects in Palo Alto, California, is a kit home that represen...
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House Tour: Redondo Beach Container House
California architect Peter DeMaria transforms eight shipping containers into an award-winning family residence.
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Shipping Container Homes
[bobsays_inset]Shipping container homes, also called storage container homes, offer a fast, green, and sustainable ap...
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Downsizing with Style
With rising energy costs and the lingering effects of the mortgage crisis, demand for smaller houses has never been g...
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The E.D.G.E.
For many city apartment dwellers, living in a small, confined space is hardly cause for celebration. But this year, t...
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Build Your Home in Advance
When Ned and Anne Hammond began to consider what type of home they wanted to build, they did what most of us might do...
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Building a Modular Home
Bob meets with Pat Fricchione from Simplex Industries to discuss the process of constructing a modular home and the reasons why prefab is an attractive building m...
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Site Work Preparing for Precast Foundation
Bob teams up with Michael Shiels, the project's general contractor, to discuss the foundation prep work that is underway.
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Pre-cast Concrete Foundation Installation
Bob meets with Jim Costello from Superior Walls of America to discuss the difference between a pre-cast and a traditional poured-concrete foundation.
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Modular Home Construction Basics
Bob tours the Simplex Industries modular home plant and learns how the different pre-fab parts are made.
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Tour of the Simplex Modular Home Factory
Bob tours the Simplex Industries manufacturing facility where workers are precutting the plywood as they construct the interior and exterior walls.
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High-Speed Drywall Finishing
Bob witnesses high-speed drywall finishing taking place in the Simplex modular home building plant.
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Building a Custom Modular Staircase
Bob meets with Thomas "Doc" Dougherty, the stair builder at Simplex Industries, to confer about the custom staircase Doc is building for the modular home.
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Prefinished Wood Floors in the Modular Home
Bob continues his tour of the Simplex Industries factory and observes the installation of prefinished Bellawood floors in the project home.
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Tying Together a Modular Home
As workers join together the different sections of the modular home, Bob walks through the basement and first floor, discussing the marriage wall and how the piec...
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Installation of the Modular Home's Second Floor
Installation of the second floor sections begins as Bob points out the complexity of the pre-fabricated pieces.
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Preparing the Site for Modular Home Delivery
Bob reviews the site preparation process with the on-site contractor, Michael Sheils.
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Modular Home Delivery Day Overview
The first day of assembling the modular home ends on a high note-- the addition of a roof.
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Cultured Stone and Façade
Bob talks with Mark Murphy (Owens-Corning) about a new man-made stone product for the exterior of the modular home.
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Touring the Master Bedroom in the Modular Home
Bob and contractor Michael Sheils discuss the use of gusset plates to tie in the walls. They then tour through the master bedroom and bathroom.
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Reviewing the Modular Home's Exterior
Bob surveys the modular home project in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, paying special attention to the products used on the exterior of the house.
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Do-It-Yourself Modular Home Construction System
Bob tours a home that was designed to affordable, flexible, and easy to build with a do-it-yourself, low-cost construction system.
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Constructing the Stem-Wall Foundation
Bob meets with Askia Aquil of the St. Petersburg Neighborhood Housing Services to talk about the upcoming project, taking place in a revitalizing area. Next, Bob ...
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Converting Steel Shipping Containers to Housing
Bob meets with David Cross of Tampa Armature Works (TAW), a company that converts shipping containers into intermodal steel building units (ISBUs).
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Finishing the Steel Building Container
Once stripped down, an ISBU's exterior is finished with heavy-gauge steel, then faced in sheet-metal wrap and covered with SuperTherm insulating ceramic coating. ...
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Installing Impact-Resistant Windows
Window installation is underway. Bob talks with Stephen Hugh of Clearwater Window to learn more about the installation process, and Dave Olmstead of PGT Industrie...
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Adding a Steel Partition and Creating a Stucco Surface
Bob talks to Derek Mercer and Delwin Carter of Tampa Armature Works about how to treat the steel exterior to make it look more like a conventional house. Bob then...
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Layout for a Container-Built Home
Bob joins Steve Armstrong, the project architect and engineer, to discuss the project. The challenge of building a home like this is marrying new methods of const...
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Design Options for Container-Built Homes
Bob talks with David Cross from Tampa Armature Works. Cross reviews the versatility of designing houses with shipping containers. Both traditional and contemporar...
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Touring the Interior of the Container-Built Home
General contractor Buba Barrow joins Bob for a tour of the finish work and interior layout, starting on the tiled front porch, moving through the open-plan family...
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The Future of Building with Steel Shipping Containers
Bob talks with David Cross (formerly of Tampa Armature Works) about the future of home construction with steel shipping containers.