iHouse’s Customizable Prefab Homes Have Huge Glass Sliders That Connect Them to Their Setting

While they have yet to hit the U.S. market, a few predesigned plans could provide a starting point to create your own idyllic indoor/outdoor retreat.

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Welcome to Prefab Profiles, an ongoing series of interviews with people transforming how we build houses. From prefab tiny houses and modular cabin kits to entire homes ready to ship, their projects represent some of the best ideas in the industry. Do you know a prefab brand that should be on our radar? Get in touch!

Andres Garcia and Marcelo Mederos were tired of inefficient, traditional home construction processes. Located in Montevideo, Uruguay, the c0founders created iHouse Estudio in 2013 with the ambition to bypass the logistical and economic challenges typical of traditional construction techniques. At the same time, they wanted to avoid cookie-cutter designs that had no regard for their environment or their owner. So the founders came up with a detailed design process and a steel-frame construction style to deliver both pre-designed and customizable homes.

Here, Garcia and Mederos share how iHouse Estudio works to deliver  "better buildings in less time," whether its a tiny cabin near the beach or remote home in the middle of the countryside.

Marcelo Mederos and Andres Garcia studied architecture at the University of the Republic in Montevideo, Uruguay, before founding their prefab company, iHouse.

Photo: Aldo Lanzi

What’s the most exciting project you’ve realized to date?

Our most exciting project to date is the Mazzini House. Nacho, the owner, came to us with one condition: make something out of the ordinary. The home stands out as a pavilion with two of the largest facades completely covered with glass, so it feels like you’re immersed in the forest. Nacho’s favorite thing about his home is that it was completed without the typical headaches of a traditional process. From one day to another the house was fully installed and functioning in the middle of the forest, without disturbing it.

What qualities make your prefabs stand apart from the rest?

With over 60 iHouses delivered in the past 10 years, our personalization of each house makes the best result for our clients. Each of our homes are specially designed for each costumer, taking care of all their needs and making a home specifically suited for its environment. This makes every project unique, which is distinct from other prefab companies that only allow you to choose between a few predesigned projects and finishes.

The company offers both fully custom homes as well as a catalog of pre-designed options.

Photo: Aldo Lanzi

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What does your base model cost, and what does that pricing include?

We don’t really have a base model. We have a portfolio that clients can take inspiration from, or they can start from scratch. Pricing varies fromproject to project because each one is unique.

Where are the prefabs currently available?

We’re currently developing different ways to ship our iHouses worldwide. For now, we only deliver within Uruguay, but we’re looking forward to having all the planning and logistics sorted in the nearby future so that iHouse can be available anywhere in the world.

Mederos and Garcia emphasize that by building homes with a centralized production facility, they’re able to minimize energy consumption.

Photo: Aldo Lanzi

Is your design currently pre-permitted in any U.S. municipalities?

Our designs aren’t pre-permitted in the U.S., however, we are currently working with a client located in the there to have these approved.

Are there plans to expand to different parts of the world?

We are working every day to deliver our iHouses farther than anyone else. We hope to see our buildings in different parts of the world in the near future.

iHouse says it incorporates sustainable design strategies into each home’s design, considering orientation, window placement, and insulation.

Photo: Aldo Lanzi

How long can a client expect the process to take after they put down a deposit?

Our projects are designed in detail. This process lasts from one to two months depending on the size and a client’s needs. When the design is complete, we start the construction, which can take between three to four months beginning with production at our factory to the on-site delivery of the final home.

What aspects of an install do you manage?

We try to manage all aspects of the installation so that clients can simply enjoy the process of building their dream home while we take care of the rest.

Each iHouse comes with the same utility infrastructure as a traditionally built home.

Photo: Aldo Lanzi

What aspects of the design can a client customize?

A client can customize anything they want, from the finishes to the configuration of the floor plans. We try our best to make each house unique for each client. In a world where the word "prefab" is often synonymous with "standardized," we make each iHouse the best for you.

The company currently only sells homes within Uruguay, but plans to expand in the near future.

Photo: Aldo Lanzi

More from iHouse:

This Black Prefab Cabin in Uruguay "Melts" Into the Woods

A Prefab Cabin Camouflaged in a South American Forest Glows From Within


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