Pre-Fab Grow Up, Gets Fabulous


Mention “manufactured homes” and “pre-fab” and you conjure up images of doublewides and cheap housing. That’s still often the case, but in the right hands, prefabrication is creating luxury homes with the highest construction and design standards, whether they be vacation homes in remote places or suburban infill projects. Leading the way in the Bay Area, Sagemodern is a design/build/development firm that does some of the best work in this field. And the preferred term is now “modular”.

Sagemodern projects have been especially successful in the Lake Tahoe area, with a number of homes at Martis Camp in Truckee where (at top, above and below) the Dunsmuir home is one of their most elegant solutions for a luxe, year-round vacation home. Incorporating poured rough-form concrete and steel, the modular components were delivered and fitted at the site, compressing the build time into weeks rather than months.

Creating a design based on the clients needs and their chosen location, Sagemodern navigates the various federal, state and local codes to deliver an almost-finished home to the site in modules, where their teams “stitch” the house together and apply the finished details. With only the foundation constructed onsite, there’s minimal landscape disruption. Construction waste is recycled at the factory; the project is less prone to the vagaries of locally available workers, and of course, inclement weather.

Sagemodern works with Method Homes, a pioneer in sustainable modular housing, and the firm’s partners have worked with Michelle Kaufman, the doyenne of modular housing, and Blu Homes, thus bringing decades of collective experience to their projects. Below, a module under construction at Method Homes’ factory.

Below, glimpses of a simpler Sagemodern home at Squaw Valley.

Not just about the weekend, Sagemodern has a number of projects underway for homes on the Peninsula. Below, a cross-section rendering of a project in Los Altos with a Mid-Century influenced profile.

More: Have a look at Sagemodern’s website for images and a detailed overview of how a project proceeds from site visit to move-in. Method Homes’ site is worth a look for additional details.