Stories Author Sheri Koones Promotes Lindal and the Benefits of a Modern Prefab Home
A Lindal Elements home on British Columbia’s sunshine coast graces the cover of Sheri Koones’ new book, Prefabulous Small Houses, published by Taunton Press (September 2016). Koones chose the modern prefab home because of its attractive contemporary style, energy-efficient features, and modest size — just over 2,000 square feet.
Q&A on the Modern Prefab Home with Sheri Koones
LCH: Why prefab?
Koones: Prefab construction is the future of home construction for all the obvious reasons. It saves time, money and is more predictable. You already know in advance what you’re going to get; there are no surprises, no delays because of weather and extremes in temperature.. Prefab houses are built more efficiently and with less waste. Today, about 5% of new homes are prefabricated. There’s a growing interest in prefab, although a bias still exists, thinking of prefab as doublewides. Many people also still think of prefabs as just modular construction, although there are many ways to construct prefab houses, such as Lindal’s method. I’ve been writing about prefab construction for a long time. My books have evolved over the years to focus more and more on energy efficiency and smaller homes. Smaller is greener; with less waste, and recycling of much of the material site builders throw in dumpsters. With prefab, you’re saving materials as well as energy. In general it’s a much better idea to be building prefab houses.
LCH: How has prefab evolved over the years?
The sophistication of the houses has grown from the time I wrote my first book in 2002. The original prefabs were very simple and boxy, the newer prefabs are much more interesting and efficient. As the prefab industry has become more sophisticated over time, so has the customer that is opting for a prefab home.
LCH: To what demographic does prefab appeal?
It’s a broad range, from young people and first time home buyers to empty nesters who want to downsize.
Building small houses is a very hot topic and many people are intrigued by the whole concept. Prefab also tends to be particularly popular in the Pacific Northwest, where people are very energy conscious and interested in sustainable building and living.
LCH: What are the green benefits of prefab?
Prefab houses are more environmentally friendly than houses built entirely on site. In traditional construction there’s a lot more waste, and all of the debris will go to a landfill and the homeowners will pay for all of those materials. In a factory, much of those materials will be recycled.
Building green is an advantage on a personal level – adding resale value, saving money on energy, and making the house more comfortable.
LCH: What kinds of prefab homes are featured in your book?
The book profiles 32 houses and all different types of prefab: Modulars, SIPs — structural insulated panels that are fused together with rigid foam in between — panelized, unique construction, a new type of prefab concrete walls. I select the houses very carefully and only include those that are really efficient and attractive.
Lindal homes are featured in several of Koones’ previous books: