Bay Area–based architect Michelle Kaufmann is a prefab pioneer. She started in the industry in 2003, a year and a half after Dwell’s inaugural prefab issue, just when consumer interest in sustainable, high-design, factory-built homes was finally burgeoning. She’s since built 54 prefab homes and has learned—sometimes the hard way—the challenges and risks inherent in the industry. Especially in an age of savvy marketing and slick Photoshop renderings, it is critical for clients to gather the hard facts when interviewing their potential architect or company. Here, Kaufmann presents the essential questions every consumer should ask when considering prefab.