From Margaret Everton on May 28, 2010 in Portland
Since the idea of prefab homes became a reality in the first half of the 20th century, the public has had a love/hate relationship with these factory built, ready to assemble homes. But for couples like the Murrays, who are waiting for just the right moment to build their dream home on an already-purchased plot of land in Portland, Oregon, prefab seemed like the most inexpensive way to keep a roof over their head in the meantime. After looking at hundreds of options, ranging from the not-so-nice $49,995 models to over-the-top fancy $250-per-square-foot models, the couple settled somewhere in the middle with the Ideabox. It lacks the customizable features of high-end models, but the smart design and reasonable price tag certainly made it the best idea for the pair. For $85,000, they received 840 square feet of space with two bedrooms, two baths, living area and kitchen. Large sliding glass doors were also added to open to a deck, although this piece is sold separately. The brains behind the design is Russell, a former residential energy efficiency analyst with the Oregon Department of Energy. With 14 homes similar to this one already sold, he hopes to bring affordable housing options to the masses. After all, countries like Austria and Japan have been singing the praises of pre-fab homes for decades. Now its just a matter of dispelling the American stereotype associated with the trailer. The Murrays, for one, are fully enjoying their new prefab. Perhaps building that dream home can take the backburner for a while.