When Hollywood homeowners sought to build a guesthouse on challenging terrain below their main residence, a conventional build was out of the question. "It just wouldn’t have been viable because of the costs," says Jemuel Joseph, cofounder of Cover, a company that specializes in backyard prefabs. Instead of paying out of pocket to overcome those site challenges, the homeowners opted for Cover’s turnkey solution.
The prefab company, which has served the greater Los Angeles area since 2018, accounts for every aspect of the homebuilding process. Here, they handled surveying, zoning, permitting, engineering, and drafting 3D models and renderings for a custom design that ties into the existing landscape. The resulting svelte, 414-square-foot office/guesthouse is both a creative space for the owners and an accommodation for visiting family.
Just paces down concrete steps from the main residence, the guesthouse holds an office, a bedroom with a Murphy bed, custom-milled storage spaces in wood finishes, and a kitchen complete with high-end appliances. Through floor-to-ceiling sliders, a deck extends to provide outdoor space for lounging and taking in views that stretch from downtown L.A. to the Griffith Observatory.
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While Cover’s projects carry an aesthetic continuity—white or wood facades and interiors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and wood finishes carry from home to home—the layout and functionality are unique to each. "We don’t have any models to choose from," says Joseph. "All properties are different, so you have to offer versatility."
Their panelized building system comprises an all-steel structure that can be configured and arranged for nearly any site. The parts are manufactured elsewhere before being put together on location, which enables speedy build times—given the difficult terrain, the guesthouse was assembled fairly quickly in about a month’s time.
"Normally when you think of prefab, you think design limitations," says Thomas Heyer, Cover’s lead designer. "At Cover, it's the opposite—we deliver a thoughtfully designed space that’s completely tailored to the client and site."
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