The L.A. Prefab Company That’s Aiming to Make Good Design Available to Everyone

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo / Published by Dwell
Specializing in customized modular units for residential backyard use, the Los Angeles-based startup Cover is out to transform the market with their high-quality prefabs.

Founded in 2014 by Alexis Rivas and Jemuel Joseph, Cover was born out of a frustration with the current residential building climate. Based on a belief that great design should be available to everyone, Cover strives to design for manufacturability, looking to Apple and Tesla for inspiration—as opposed to the traditional architectural model. 

The L.A. Prefab Company That’s Aiming to Make Good Design Available to Everyone - Photo 1 of 6 - The West Los Angeles Pool and Guesthouse is 410 square feet and features a full kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. It also doubles as a pool house and guesthouse. The compact design features floor-to-ceiling windows that bring the outside in.

The West Los Angeles Pool and Guesthouse is 410 square feet and features a full kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. It also doubles as a pool house and guesthouse. The compact design features floor-to-ceiling windows that bring the outside in.

By aiming to take the hassle out of building a customized backyard space, Cover has streamlined the building process. Through the use of their own proprietary software, the company has developed a precise building system that delivers both personalized design and functionality. Algorithms are used to generate floor plans based on the client's specifications and site data, and each step of the building process has been optimized, from design to manufacturing and installation.

The L.A. Prefab Company That’s Aiming to Make Good Design Available to Everyone - Photo 2 of 6 - The Backyard Lounge and Office is 330 square feet and features windows on all sides. 

The Backyard Lounge and Office is 330 square feet and features windows on all sides. 

Lead Designer Thomas Heyer explains, "Prefabricated architecture brings with it a lot of questions from a manufacturing and assembly point of view. How does a wall meet a ceiling? How does our integrated storage connect to the walls? How do two ceiling panels meet? We do not try to hide any seams—instead, we use them as a design element. We have designed a recessed track that joins two ceiling panels. In this track, we have integrated lighting, smart sensors, and speakers. Not only does this detail look great, but it also serves multiple functions. That is how we approach all our details." 

The L.A. Prefab Company That’s Aiming to Make Good Design Available to Everyone - Photo 3 of 6 - The Los Angeles In-Law Suite was created for clients who were looking for a beautiful and functional space for their in-laws to live in. It was designed with all the amenities needed for independent living including a full kitchen, living space, bathroom, bedroom, office, and laundry space.

The Los Angeles In-Law Suite was created for clients who were looking for a beautiful and functional space for their in-laws to live in. It was designed with all the amenities needed for independent living including a full kitchen, living space, bathroom, bedroom, office, and laundry space.

A complete design and quote takes only three business days. Cover arranges the permits for building a detached "accessory structure," which is processed much faster than if you were seeking permits for a traditional renovation, addition, or new build. Once approval has been received from the local zoning department, Cover can manufacture and install a structure within 12 weeks, and because the structures are prefabricated and built in a factory, assembly only takes two days. 

The L.A. Prefab Company That’s Aiming to Make Good Design Available to Everyone - Photo 4 of 6 - Cover can tailor structures to your specific needs and preferences.

Cover can tailor structures to your specific needs and preferences.

"Our main philosophy is that great design should be available to everyone," says Heyer. Cover is taking pre-orders worldwide and currently delivering in Los Angeles. 

The L.A. Prefab Company That’s Aiming to Make Good Design Available to Everyone - Photo 5 of 6 - The prefab structures are perfect for home offices, pool houses, guest rooms, granny flats, play zones for kids, and painting studios. 

The prefab structures are perfect for home offices, pool houses, guest rooms, granny flats, play zones for kids, and painting studios. 


The L.A. Prefab Company That’s Aiming to Make Good Design Available to Everyone - Photo 6 of 6 - According to Cover, most of their structures cost between $250 and $350 per square foot, all inclusive. Keep in mind that this estimate varies depending on the design and the property where it will be located. They can provide a complete design and price within three business days for $250.

According to Cover, most of their structures cost between $250 and $350 per square foot, all inclusive. Keep in mind that this estimate varies depending on the design and the property where it will be located. They can provide a complete design and price within three business days for $250.

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