Southern California Company Promotes Prefab Homes As Efficient, Affordable Housing Option

According to a report by Bay Area news station KPIX 5, A Southern California company claims it has a product that can help serve that region’s desperate need for affordable housing: prefab homes that can be built in only about eight hours.

In Palo Alto, the modules for a home being put together were trucked in, strapped in, and hoisted up, one by one.

Prefabricated homes are taking the Bay Area housing market to a new level.

The four-bed, three-bath, 2,500 square foot home arrived at its site on Waverly Avenue in six modules. These sections arrive to the job site 90% finished—counters and appliances have been installed in the kitchen, and in the bathroom, the vanity, fixtures, and tile are already in.

The lighting fixtures are even hanging from the ceilings, ready to go.

Increasingly Popular Prefab Homes Save Time, Money

Plant Prefab builds the modules 400 miles away in the Southern California city of Rialto, where workspace and construction labor is considerably cheaper.

Within the walls of their giant warehouse, workers are not affected by weather. They are able to run on a much tighter schedule, waste less material, and save time by using an in-house code inspector.

Steve Glenn, Plant Prefab’s CEO, explained that while the foundation for the factory-built home was being prepared, the home was being built at the same time.

“These modules — there are six of them that comprise the home — were being built in parallel offsite,” said Glenn. “So we’re able to build in half to a third of the time that it would normally take.”

Each module weighs between 10-15 tons. It took almost an entire day to drive the modules north to Palo Alto.

However, hoisting each one up and gently lowering them into place takes only about 20 to 30 minutes.

Homeowners, Realtor Recommend Factory-Built Homes

Meera Vaidyanathan, homeowner, shared her own perspective on prefab homes. She said the build time for her new home was reduced from a year and half to seven months—helping her save money on a rental home and spare her neighbors months of construction headaches.

“I think it takes away a lot of the unknowns, and unpredictables out of the process,” related Vaidyanathan. “And both my husband and I work full time and I think we needed as much of that chaos reduced in our lives. And this has certainly helped do that for us.”

“We actually highly recommend it, because it’s cheaper actually, and it’s faster,” remarked Helen Chong with Santa Clara County Association of Realtors.

As for easing the housing crisis, Chong said it’s not viable for every neighborhood. Some areas have tall trees or power lines that might impede the assembly of a Plant Prefab home. However, she does expect to see prefab homes for sale being bought up all over the Bay Area.

Chong declared, “I wouldn’t be surprised, honestly. I would not be surprised.”

When homeowner Milind Gokhale was asked if he felt like an early adopter, he replied, “Oh yeah, definitely. I still feel yes, we took a chance. But I would do it again. This is the way to go, I think.”

For more information, check out our previous article on Plant Prefab here.

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