Typically, on Inhabitat, we call a prefab home one that is mostly manufactured in a factory setting, but Koones expands the definition to include any home built with prefabricated materials. While she certainly has a valid point, we couldn’t but help question a few of the homes prefab qualification. Regardless though, the book was great fodder for our prefab obsession and a good book for anyone out there looking for good examples. The homes were beautiful, thoughtful and definitely not cookie-cutter by any means. We also had a chance to ask Koones a few questions about her book and her thoughts on prefab construction.
Q. You’ve authored a number of books on architecture and design, how did you get so interested in prefab construction? Any personal experience with it?
When I was remodeling my own house about 13 years ago, I had no knowledge of construction. Being an avid researcher, I took out of the library every book I could find on the subject. Since I wasn’t able to find the information I felt I needed, I decided that when I was finished building my house, I would write a book for other homeowners with all the information I wish I’d had before I began my own construction. I spent another year researching, and then my first book––From Sand Castles to Dream Houses–– was published. My next book was House About It, with chapters on roofing, siding, windows, doors and so on. I also included a chapter on various types of construction, which inspired me to pursue this with my next book––Modular Mansions. During this period I was invited to watch a friend’s modular house being set in my town. I was totally mesmerized as I watched a large section of the house lifted with a crane and set on the foundation. The next day, I was invited back to walk through this absolutely beautiful house. The setting of this house was magical to me and I was really hooked on the concept. I am still amazed every time I have the opportunity to experience a prefab house being erected.
I began to be interested in additional types of prefab construction and later wrote Prefabulous. Many of the homeowners in that book were incorporating sustainable features into their home designs and that made me think seriously about how important it is to conserve energy and build more healthy homes. Prefabulous + Sustainable has been a labor of love; the houses in the book all inspired me and made me so optimistic about the future of construction. In recent years, I’ve grown more and more committed to preserving the environment, preserving our natural resources, limiting our energy use and considering ways of making home environments healthier.