2012 Breezehouse by Sunset

Last summer we posted the Breezehouse tour by Sunset on the blog and some of you had a chance to see the modern pre-feb home first hand. We finally got to see it.

I firmly believe that
we are at the beginning of a new trend in housing — prefab.  Yes,
prefab homes have been around for quite a number of years but something
has been holding them back from more “mainstream” acceptance. 

and I had a chance to tour this “Breezehouse” from Blu Homes in Napa
recently.  Building your own home from online modules is a fun process,
and watching installation over 2 days must be equally exciting, but I
think there are many more benefits to a prefab home so here are some of
the things I learned.

Enter from the front door.

Typical lead time from
start to occupation runs about 9 months and 6-8 weeks of that time is
just spent on the permitting process.  Most people already have the plot
of land selected before they start the prefab design process but that
is not a requirement.  You can get your home started and while they are
building you can go out to find the land.

Enter from the garage side door.

A 5% “deposit of
intention” is due right at the start to get a project manager assigned
and engage the process.  Another 5% is due when the final “contract for
drawings” is issued and 35% is due as “authorization to build”.  The
financing end of modular/prefab homes has always been a challenge since
it’s hard to get a standard loan for something that is not attached to
land.  However, there may be construction loans now that recognize and
support this building technique.

First floor has an office, a wine room, and a bathroom.

You should budget about
$50k – $80k for site costs, utilities and plumbing hookups, foundation,
etc. but I can say that I was very excited to see that Blu homes come
standard with radiant heat!  The Breezhouse model we saw runs about
$585k for 2300sf, which seems very reasonable for the quality of home
you get!

Second floor has a kitchen, dining room, living room, Master bedroom with bathroom, 2 guest bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, laundry room.

Guest bedrooms and bathrooms

Master bedroom and bathroom

laundry room


The pot.

Given the controls you
have on design, material, labor costs, and schedule, I can see that this
style of pre-built homes will become more popular vs. build in place as
more people spread the word of their experience.  Are you ready to give
it a try?!

Here are the Best 7 Prefab homes that Dwell loves, and 5 Prefab Companies Impacting Green Housing.

One thought on “2012 Breezehouse by Sunset

  1. Recent MV Eichler Buyer

    I’ve been following these prefab designs for many years out of sheer love for them. Back before these designs were purchased by Blu Homes, the Glidehouse and Breezehouse were from Michelle Kaufman Designs. These MKD prefabs received huge attention, and were featured all over (Dwell, Sunset, etc., etc.) as beautiful and green design.
    After looking for land for years, my prefab / MKD dream ended. In the end I purchased an Eichler and am remodeling it. Although I’m very happy with the direction I’ve taken it was a second choice born of necessity.
    I strongly suggest anyone secure land before doing anything with the prefab direction (i.e., avoid the ‘deposit of intention’ route assuming you’ll find land later in the process). Better yet, work with Blu Homes when looking for land so they can advise you about the siting issues you will encounter with a given parcel. The issues can be very substantial.
    On the good side, Blu Homes folks I’ve talked to have been extremely knowledgeable (and super nice). They are realistic about siting a house in the Silicon Valley.


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