2019 was a big year for prefab due to increased deregulation of ADUs and growing interest in offsite and modular construction. Cities such as San Jose, California, are using prefab ADUs as possible solutions to their housing shortages. These five prefab houses are top-tier, providing innovative alternatives to more expensive housing. But they’re not just space-saving, practical, and easy to build—they’re stylish as all get-out, from clean, Scandinavian designs to aerospace-inspired prefab cabins.
Whether it’s Kanye’s dome prototypes or Ikea’s plan to design residences for people with dementia, prefab housing of all stripes continued to make headlines in 2019. For our year-end roundup of the best prefabs, however, we’re highlighting the most impressive designs that are available to order.
You’ll notice that a few of these picks are intended as accessory dwelling units (ADUs), which have had quite a year, especially in California, where new laws are making it easier for single-family homes to add a backyard unit. As prefab construction is particularly well-suited for the job, we’ll surely be looking out for more sophisticated, ADU-friendly prefabs heading into 2020 and beyond.
In an effort to incentivize more housing stock, the city of San Jose, California, recently pre-approved a backyard dwelling from Bay Area housing startup Abodu so that residents can buy and install one in as little as two weeks. The 500-square-foot house, designed by U.K. studio Koto, costs $199,000 and offers Scandinavian modern style with stark white walls, pale wood floors, and the option to add a curated furniture package.