It turns out that affordable dreams do come true – they’re called prefab cabins and prefab cottages. These simple living, modern prefab homes come with all the necessities and conveniences that make for a cozy house. They are small, efficient and affordable and are built to fit on any sized land for the purpose of lasting a lifetime.
What It Is
Prefabricated homes are cabins and cottages constructed in a factory. They are built with strong frames, are completely weather-proof and are tailored to the customer’s needs. They are fully equipped with insulation, plumbing and wiring, so these humble abodes are completely ready for residence all year long. With a kitchen, bathroom, living space and bedroom, they’re totally suitable for modest living or retirement.
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Small prefab homes average around 18 feet wide by 26 feet long, making them have some of the tiniest environmental footprints. Interior space averages about 300 square feet, with an extra 100 square feet below in a crawlspace or basement. Of course, they can be built bigger. Prefab cabins can be up to 835 square feet or more, and the prices can range from under $10,000 to $72,000 or higher.
How It’s Done
Customers are the designers, and they work with a team to build their home. They usually customize standard models until their ideal design has been seen through. Designing the cabin is usually the longest part of the process. Once the actual building begins, it may only take a matter of days before it is delivered to the permanent home site. Each one of these old-style homes rarely come out similar, and they always come out sturdy, reliable and perfectly suited to the customer’s liking.
Modern prefab homes are built to each state’s individual building standards and certification requirements. The building is even insulated, plumbed and wired! This means instead of a sub-par weekend retreat or hunting shack, it is a completely suitable place for calling home.
The customer is only responsible for the local end of building, such as securing a building permit from the local municipality and laying the foundation. The foundation can be piers, a concrete slab, crawl space or a full size basement, depending on what local building codes require. The owner is also responsible for connecting the house’s utilities and building a septic.
Some tips to remember for designing a prefab cottage are:
- Take advantage of vertical space. Using an upper loft as a sleeping space, for example, can free up an entire room for other purposes. Incorporate plenty of built-in cabinets, shelves and storage areas all the way up the walls.
- Keep the cabin shape square or rectangle. This can keep the building cost significantly down since the more corners there are, the more support will be needed to build it.
- Add more windows. This not only provides more natural lighting, it can significantly reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the cabin in the winter.
Designing a small prefab home and teaming up with a specialized crew to build it is the easiest way of obtaining those old country living dreams. Once it is built, the cabin can be shipped to practically any place in North America, no matter how far or how remote. Some companies even ship overseas.