Prefab homes have always been a part of the Dwell DNA. Here you will find prefab homes published in dwell magazine as well as great prefab home ideas. Prefabricated means either panelized, modular, or kit homes. Prefab architecture works for both remote sites and dense urban spaces. Modular homes are popular but can be the most expensive to customize. It is best to change as little as possible when buying prefab. Possible advantages of pre fab include lower cost, higher degree of precision, and less construction waste.

A prefab pool- and guesthouse designed by LABhaus frames views of a Massachusetts property’s original structure, a Dillman model Sears, Roebuck kit house from 1928.
From the street, only the main house and one adjoining addition are visible, belying the spacious extension at the back. The architects call this the “Tardis effect,” named for the time machine on Dr. Who that looks much smaller on the outside than it does within.
The courtyard is just one of many open spaces that will be highly utilized—in the non-winter months anyway. Concrete worked well with developing the language of FlatPak. The second level is a wood panel that can be clad in corrugated metal or cedar—different layers that can be plugged in like covers on your cellphone.
The roughly 5,000-square-foot Lens House renovation, which was finished in 2012 and just won a 2014 RIBA National Award, required six years, major remedial work on the roof and walls, approval from the planning committee, and even a sign-off from a horticulturalist to guarantee the backyard excavation didn't interfere with a walnut tree. "These things aren’t for people who are in a hurry," says architect Alison Brooks. The focus is the ten-sided trapezoidal office addition. "It wraps itself around the house with a completely different set of rules than the Victorian building," she says.
Architecture firm NADAAA planned a striated addition to a brick neo-Georgian house in Boston with the owners’ primary goal in mind: to engage with the outdoors year-round. The walls of the rear kitchen and living space are virtually all glass, allowing sight lines to the existing gardens and new pool house through a series of framed vignettes onto the backyard landscape. The glass box is bookended by uniform “fins” that mark the edge of each picture window, as shown here. Photo by John Horner.
Architect Gregory Phillips connected the original house to a new modern extension that doesn’t interfere with the surrounding houses. “I try to be true to the location,”he explains, “so it doesn’t seem like some spaceship has landed.”
All of Scott Palamar’s selections and customizations brought the total to $150,000 for the 640-square-foot home and surrounding land. “I feel like I struck on such a novel solution because I was able to afford a home tailored to my lifestyle,” he says.
Principals Vo Trong Nghia, Masaaki Iwamoto, Kosuke Nishijima are already working on a third version of the S House, seeking to increase durability and reduce cost.
The master bath contains all functions in the white fiberglass panel that runs the length of the wall. Lazor designed the vanity; the tub is by Duravit.
Helsinki architect Ville Hara and designer Linda Bergroth collaborated on a prefab shed-meets-sleeping cabin, which can be assembled with little else than a screwdriver. Bergroth, inspired by nomadic yurt dwellers, wanted an indoor/outdoor experience for her property in Finland.
The structure is comprised of sheets of glass, a steel armature, and a wood shed that hugs the rear facade
The house is located on a 25-acre site. It sat unsold on the property for two years before the couple discovered it.
Photo by Patrick Barta
The bedroom. The addition of the couple’s art collection “has really given [the color] purpose,” says Julie Gibson.
kitHAUS prides itself on its stylish, modern prefabs that are built on-site by a team of company employees. Their patented aluminum system takes only a few days to construct, and the homes boast superior energy efficiency, owing to insulated floors, walls, and ceilings as well as glazed doors and windows.
This 3,200-square-foot structure was assembled with a prefabricated foundation, concrete panel siding, and efficient built-ins, minimizing construction debris and toxins—such as concrete foundation tar—on the site.
The Mineral Springs house consists of a modern 1,000-square-foot addition to a farmhouse that's clad in Cor-Ten panels.
Vo Trong Nghia Architects utilized passive design strategies and a double roof, constructed from Nipa palm and corrugated cement, to ventilate the home, an important consideration in a humid, tropical environment.
The key to the home's relative affordability is the selection of materials. A prefabricated frame is covered in natural materials, such as Nipa palm, that can be easily replaced and maintained, while seamlessly blending in with the surrounding environment.
The Fish Camp acts as the couple’s forest getaway, just a quarter mile from their main house.