There was a time, during the early- to mid-1900s, when you could order a home out of a Sears catalog. The parts would arrive by railroad, and owners and carpenters would put all the pieces together. They ranged in price from around $500 to a few thousand. Today, a modular home might cost tens of thousands … or much, much more.
Huf Haus is a German company that makes its prefabricated houses out of high-end materials that can make a modular mansion cost millions. Construction is still super fast, though. The company made an entire house in Weybridge, England, complete with a conservatory, between January 19 and February 9, according to Architectural Digest España. At a cost of between $450 and $600 per square foot, the 5,000-square-foot home could cost upward of $2 million.
By building everything in the factory ahead of time, the houses end up being very eco-friendly, but the company also strives to enhance this inherent quality with features like photovoltaic panels on the roof, an underground water tank, 4-inch laminated spruce wall panels, and triple-glazed glass windows. Based on the number of sections in the house, there are a set number of designs, but Huf Haus says clients are very involved in making their homes unique, and it takes things like location and climate into consideration. Though it builds around 200 homes each year in Europe, “no Huf House is alike,” according the company, because the components can be arranged in almost limitless ways. Your basement doesn’t have to have a spa, for example.
Huf Haus began doing business in the U.S. in 2009 and has a location in Ohio. Prefab housing isn’t a huge trend here yet, but that could change — especially in climates where the built-in-a-factory approach makes it more appealing than waiting until spring to start construction. Maybe modular mansions will become the new McMansion. At least they’ll look a little different from each other.