Prefab meets the 19th century in Method Homes' Cottage Series
January 25, 2013
Whisper the words "prefabricated home" to yourself, and the image you'll conjure (if you're of like mind to me) is a distinctly modern arrangement of single-story cuboids made of cutting edge lightweight materials (or if not then of reclaimed or sustainably-grown natural matter instead), probably with scant decoration or adornment. Method Homes' Cottage Series comes as a welcome twist on the prefabricated house, adopting as it does a more traditional late 19th century American style.
In keeping with the "American Heritage" theme are the series' decks and porches, balconies and sleeping lofts. They even come with wood-burning stoves. But such features belie the Cottage Series' more cutting edge DNA. Method Homes claimsall of its offerings ship between 80 and 95 percent complete allowing homes to be finished within two to five months of placing an order. Optional energy-saving upgrades include solar panels and improved insulation.
The Cottage Series is available in six different configurations ranging from 1,436 sq ft (133 sq m) with two bedrooms for US$215,400 up to 2,265 sq ft with four bedrooms for $339,750 (210 sq m). Garages and "accessory dwelling units" of various sizes and configurations can be ordered separately, the latter being an outbuilding that can be set up as an office or a, or anything else for that matter.
The range of cottages was designed by Studio 29, following the success of its traditionally-styled one-off prefabricated Doe Bay bungalow built at Method Homes' factory. The project included solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, radiant heating and bamboo flooring. Method Homes tells us that the "Plan 1" Cottage is closes to the original Doe Bay design.
To what extent the execution lives up to the intent is perhaps subjective, but it's encouraging that the prefab movement is showing signs of catering to diverse tastes. Of course, Method Homes isn't shy of a bit of modernism, either.