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Prefab meets the 19th century in Method Homes' Cottage Series


January 25, 2013

Method Homes' Cottage prefabricated house

Method Homes' Cottage prefabricated house

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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.

Source: Method Homes, via Inhabitat

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life. All articles by James Holloway

Looks great, but I can get a builder to build something like that for much less. Too bad.


How is this emerging technology? The costs to build these are more expensive than new stick built homes in most parts of the United States. Where are the economies of scale here? Do those prices include site prep, assembly, cabinetry, fixtures, the complete package? These prefabs appear to be much more expensive and not even locally built. This is rubbish.

Laura Ward

I agree with Ed, they cost too much. That said, the build quality and the craftsmanship look superb.

Derek Howe

Im echoing what others have said, cost is to high. Not only against on-site built houses but also other prefab houses iv looked at tend to be abit lower then traditional built houses because of the saved cost of building it in-house.

Somehow they took the savings from in-house and then added a premium on top of that. If they can sell them all the power to them, but i think they are excluding their houses from the main reason why people get pre-fab homes, because they are cheaper. I know there is other reasons like build time but i think price is usualy the main consideration.


Wow! That is expensive. Considering the fact you have to buy land in addition to that price makes it way out of range of most people. I would think that in an assembly line production environment they could get the price much lower. That's a shame as I would love to buy a nice affordable prefab home. Maybe their target market is rich people who want to be small houses?


Not to mention I can have that built for 215000 and that includes property in my state, who the hell comes up with these stupid ass concepts, give me real world pricing and sustainability, how about something thats actually doable now, not 20 years from now when its obsolete.

Garrett Ross

doesn't get built any faster than stick built homes ether.


We build our home, with the $10,000 in land cost, plus appliances for a 1000 sqf home with another 1000 sqf all with only a $65k loan 10 years ago. The cost of these prefabs seems WAY too high.

Rann Xeroxx

How ironic! If you see nice joinry in a house built from 1880 to 1920, outside of a big city, odds are that it came from a kit. Lumberyards are still happy show you house plans and then supply the bill of materials for almost anything.

Bob Stuart

The main advantage to pre-fab is that it can be broken down, shipped to the site, and set up quickly. If the construction window is small due to local weather or site access, it makes sense. Other than that I see no advantage over a stick-built home.

Bruce H. Anderson

I have to agree with the majority here. They've priced themselves out of the market when vs. stick-built. All I can say is, Good Luck.


$150 per square foot AND 4 or 5 months to complete? Off the waall. These prices are high AND any prefab should be capable of being set up in a matter of days not months.


The technology is not very new unless I'm missing something after watching this stuff for 40 years. Why can't these pretentious builders get even half way down to the price of more mass market modulars and pre-fabs who can deliver the same space for half the price?

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