PieceHomes’ modular prefab eP: Studio recently popped up in Venice, CA, and the process of placing it is almost as cool as the studio itself. The single-piece prefabricated upper level was trucked adjacent to the backyard, unloaded, and raised a full story with a forklift. The temporary supports were then replaced with traditional walls to create a two-car garage. Outfitted as a clean, simple day lit space, the studio is a great retreat with almost zero construction waste.

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Extending a home’s living space by building into the backyard is often a simple, affordable option rather than trying to retrofit the existing house. This 1 bedroom, 475 square-foot space sports a small green roof and a solar array. Cork floors and no-VOC paints keep the inside healthy, and an efficient air-to-air heat pump takes care of the interior temperature.

The smart placement plan takes advantage of a relatively cheap forklift to reduce the equipment it usually takes to set a modular building — if any problems arise during installation, a very expensive crane is not sitting idle and running up the bill.

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