If you’re an IKEA fan looking to downsize with a prefab home, take a look at what design firm and prefab homes builder Ideabox.com has to offer with its euro look and feel. It’s just one year ago that the Oregon company partnered with IKEA designers to outfit a concept house with IKEA systems and products, and displayed it at a spring garden show in Portland.
Known as activ, the 745-square-foot prefab home has IKEA kitchen cabinets, flooring, appliances bathroom vanity and bedroom closet systems. You even get to choose your favorite colors and countertop materials. Activ homes have one bedroom, one bath, and a combined kitchen and dining area.
No Assembly for Prefab Homes
Don’t worry about having to assemble anything because Ideabox does all the work. For about $86,500 plus transportation costs, these prefab homes are built entirely in their factory, then shipped by semi truck to your vacant lot.
You can do all the work involved in making sure the land is properly zoned for prefab homes, pouring the foundation and arranging for installation of utilities. Or Ideabox will work with you during the entire process to make it happen.
Once your home is set and inspected, you’ll be ready to head out to your local IKEA store to fill your new home with all the furniture and other household items that you already love from IKEA. Activ is “green” as well, with energy efficient appliances, water-efficient pipes and LED lighting.
Here’s How it Works
After visiting www.Ideabox.com to get acquainted with prefab homes, contact the company when you are ready to get your own activ. Ideabox designers will walk you through the entire process. Since activ is “one size fits all,” there is no custom work necessary as far as size and floor plan layout. So your first decisions will have to do with choosing interior finishes from their palette of materials, which includes quartz countertops, bamboo flooring, maple cabinets and green items such as a tankless hot water system. You can even browse through IKEA artwork.
After your selections are made, you can start preparing your vacant land for your new home, or let Ideabox help you find a parcel and manage the entire building process, including site work, permitting, and finding a qualified general contractor to build a foundation and set the home on it. They also will arrange shipping and final inspections from local building departments. At this point, you should have a better idea of how much the prefab home will cost. If you need a home loan, you can ask Ideabox about that as well. Put down a deposit of about one-third of the entire cost, and in about about two months you should be moving in!
Cost to Build Prefab Homes
Most modular homes like these cost between $90 and $150 per square foot to build in the factory, according to Modular Today at http://www.modulartoday.com. The activ home is a little more than $115 per square foot. It’s difficult to compare that to a traditional “stick-built” house because of all the variables in today’s real estate market. So if you are not entirely sold on prefab homes as far as overall cost, check with your local or regional building industry association, which will help you find the approximate cost to build a home in your area.
Prefab homes like activ may still be considered a good investment when compared to smaller micro apartments that are cropping up in urban areas where many single people are looking for smaller spaces to be closer to work.
A recent Bloomberg Businessweek report indicates that in places like San Francisco, mini apartment rentals are going for $1,200 to $1,500 a month. Also, some prefabricated steel module housing units in a 55-unit building in Manhattan targeting low- and middle-income workers are on the houses for rent market beginning at $939 a month.
IKEA is a well known brand for its durability, comfort, quality and design. The Swedish do-it-yourself store’s offerings appeal to people across the generations. The retail giant offers everything for the home, from furniture to housewares. For inspiration, ideas and fun, check out the IKEA 2013 catalog:
- NATVIDE: A limited edition textile collection that incorporate patterns representative of different cultures from around the world, and lots of dots, checks, stripes and colors.
- Accessories: “Strong attitudes and unexpected shapes.”
- Accent Pieces: Baskets, bowls, lamps and planters with natural fibers like rattan and paper in earthy tones and colors from reddish-oranges to brown.
- Colors: Last fall and winter brought softer hues of purples, blues and yellows. An updated color palette is on the way.
- See what else is new with the “Life Improvement Store” at http://pinterest.com/IKEAUSA.
So if the idea of living more simply in a smaller space is attractive, prefab homes can fit the bill. And even if you are not familiar with IKEA, you may find their offerings to be equally attractive. It may be a good alternative to buying a house made of traditional sticks and cement.