House Tour: James and Rui's Prefab Paradise

House Tour: James and Rui's Prefab Paradise

Sarah Coffey
Jan 24, 2008

Name: James and Rui
Location: Eliot, Maine
Type: Modern Prefab Home
Size: 2,000 square feet of finished living space
Years lived in: One-and-a-half

When James and Rui were ready to build on their lakefront land, they contacted architect Rocio Romero. The Missouri-based designer is well known for her minimalist prefab homes, which arrive flat-packed and can go up in a few months' time. James and Rui worked with Rocio to develop a standard LV Home (Rocio's trademark design) with a custom interior that would make the most of their incredible natural surroundings. The highlight of this home is definitely the views.

Thanks to James, Rui, and Donna at Rocio Romero for sending us the pictures and giving us a peek inside their home from start to finish. Enjoy the slideshow (and click below for more information on how this home was built).

Although the minimalist design of a prefab house is not for everyone, it works for James and Rui. Their main priority was to showcase the landscape around their home, and the spare aesthetic makes the views the focal point in this house.

There are also some advantages to prefab building. It's greener in some ways than traditional construction: the materials come flat-packed to minimize shipping costs and emissions, many prefab homes are designed to accommodate green heating and cooling systems, and the deep walls in James and Rui's home increase energy efficiency by almost 50 percent compared to traditional homes.

James and Rui's Survey:

our Style: Clean and simple.

the Inspiration: The water front site and the use of natural light.

favorite Element: The amount of natural light.

biggest Challenge: The site and access to it.

what Friends Say: I love it or not my style but the connection to the outside and the amount of natural light is great!

proudest DIY: The tile floor.

biggest Indulgence: Full height doors and frames.

best Advice: Do it!

our Dream Source: Rocio Romero

Resources: IKEA, IKEA, IKEA

When James and Rui ordered their home, it took about a month for the prefab parts to be made in Perryville, Missouri. They were shipped to Maine on a flatbed truck and assembled bit by bit. James and Rui hired a contractor to build the home, take care of electric and sewage hookups, and install windows. They saved a little money by tiling the floors themselves. (We think they did a great job.)

Although a lot of prefab homes aren't mass-produced on a scale that allows for low prices, the LV Home comes in on par with or slightly below the cost of constructing a normal stick-built home. In comparison to custom modern designs, the price is relatively affordable, averaging about $120-$195/square foot including shipping, foundation, and finishing costs.

Thanks to James and Rui for sharing their home with us!

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