Prefab homes are nothing new. Sears, one of the oldest retailers in the country, even had an entire catalog dedicated to them at the turn of the 20th century. The concept has survived well into the modern era, and the creativity it inspires seems practically endless.

Pages from a turn-of-the-century prefab home catalog by Sears.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos

Whether you’re looking for an opulent dream home, a dwelling controlled by high-tech computer interfaces, a house so eco-friendly its carbon footprint is baby-sized, or an abode small enough to fit in your parents’ backyard, there’s guaranteed to be a prefab style that meets your needs — and most orders are built and delivered in around six months.

Here are a few of our favorite prefab designs to get you excited and give you ideas for one of your very own:

Take “Shelter” And Move Right In

Vipp's "Shelter" prefab home situated in a woodland area.

Vipp is a company known for creating groundbreaking designs in everything from $300 waste bins to everyday salt and pepper shakers. On top of all that, they also offer prefab homes up to 760 square feet in size at base prices between $125,000 to $150,000. Their most popular model, called “Shelter,” takes up 592 square feet and is virtually turnkey: all you need to add is food.

The two-story home is being billed as an “escape to nature,” incorporating lots of glass to help its inhabitants feel at one with Mother Earth. It not only includes a loft bed along with designated dining, living, kitchen, and bathroom areas, but it also comes fully furnished, which means furniture, lighting fixtures, household linens, ceramics, shelves, tableware, and even soap dispensers are included. As the chief designer of Vipp states on the site’s product page, “Shelter” is a “prefabricated object designed down to the last detail, where the only choice left to the customer is where to put it.”

Prefab Goes Posh

Exterior of Starck with Riko's new Prefabricated Accessible Technology Home (PATH).

Design pioneer Philippe Starck teamed up with Slovenian construction company Riko to create the Prefabricated Accessible Technology Home (PATH) collection, the first model of which consists of a two-tiered structure with a mostly glass façade, a wind turbine on the roof, an under-deck swimming pool, and a ton of other cool features like iPad-controlled window blinds.

The collection is comprised of 34 unique floor plans to please just about anyone shopping for an upscale prefab. These options vary in size from 1,500 to 3,800 square feet. At a cost of $300 to $540 per square foot, a midsize PATH will set you back around $1 million, making this one of the priciest prefabs on the market.

Passive Homes For Every Budget

Exterior of a Solsken Collection prefab home.

Europe has embraced the passive housing trend for years now, but the United States is slowly catching up, thanks in no small part to Ecocor’s Solsken Collection, which was created in the only certified passive house prefab factory in the entire country.

House frames being constructed in Ecocor's Prefab home factory.

All 11 of the floorplans in this collection adhere to the scrupulous principles for energy efficiency established by the Passive House Institute, each one boasting an air-tight design, solar optimization, and high-performance windows. The houses range in size from 323 to 2,685 square feet and cost between $116,914 and $621,508. Buyers can choose among small cabin, midsize home, and large four-bedroom designs.