LivingHomes by Plant Prefab

LivingHomes by Plant Prefab


LivingHomes is on a mission to create sustainable, eco-friendly and modern prefabricated homes. Thus far, they’ve done a good job of accomplishing this mission.

Their first home became the nation’s first LEED Platinum-certified home.

LivingHomes extended their operations in 2016 with the formation of Plant Prefab. Plant Prefab was spun out of LivingHomes, and LivingHomes is now the company’s in-house design studio.

Plant Prefab handles all of the manufacturing for LivingHomes, and it’s the first of its kind to be dedicated to sustainability in construction, processes, materials and operations.

LivingHomes’ designs can be customized for individuals, developers or builders.

LivingHomes Architects

LivingHomes designs homes created by accomplished architects. If you are familiar with the modern prefab design these names should be familiar.

Their design partners include:

  • Toby Long
  • KieranTimberlake Associates
  • Douglas W. Burdge
  • Yves Béhar
  • Brooks + Scarpa

The very first LivingHome was designed by the late architect Ray Kappe, and it was installed in just eight hours. That home became the first home to ever receive an LEED for Home Platinum rating.

Now, 24 LivingHomes have been or will be certified LEED Platinum, with one LEED Gold.

Kappe began working with LivingHomes in 2003 to design modular homes.

His home, the Benton House, was featured in the Showtime series Californication. Another one of his homes made an appearance in the Sea Hunt episode entitled “Hit and Run.”

Plant Prefab’s Toby Long, who graduated from Rhode Island School of Design, is also a part of the team.

Long, along with his team at Cleverhomes, designs and coordinates modular construction projects for institutional, residential and mixed use.

LivingHomes Build Process

LivingHomes is dedicated to creating sustainable prefabricated homes on the West Coast and in select places. Their build process is similar whether you choose a custom home or a standard model.

Throughout the entire process, you will work with three main groups:

  • LivingHomes and their partners
  • General contractor
  • Plant Prefab, which will build your modules

The build process is an eight-step process. While LivingHomes does their best to make the entire build as efficient and predictable as possible, there may be a few unexpected hiccups along the way that may extend the duration of the project.

Here’s how the process works:

1. Feasibility

The first step is to determine whether it’s feasible for a LivingHome to be installed on your property.

The primary concern is accessibility for delivering and installing the modules. Online mapping tools can help LivingHomes determine, initially, whether it may be possible to place a home on your lot.

LivingHomes will evaluate your lot and perform what’s called an Access Study, which assesses road configurations, trees, power lines, slops, low bridges and overhangs and elevation changes that will affect the transport and installation of the home. If needed, LivingHomes can identify a staging area nearby to park the modules when they’re ready to be delivered.

2.  Select or Customize the Model

LivingHomes will work with you to create a custom home or select a standard model that fits your needs.

In addition to the floor plan, you will also select the finishes, fixtures and other materials that you want to use.

3. Engineering and Permitting (Custom Homes Only)

For custom homes, LivingHomes will handle the engineering and permitting process for the site work and modules. Inspections will be completed at the factory, and your contractor will take care of these inspections.

4. Financing

One of the most important steps in the process is the financing stage. LivingHomes can connect you to a preferred lender if you’re looking for a construction loan.

There’s also the option of choosing a construction-to-permanent loan. The lender will disperse payments directly to LivingHomes to bring your dream home to life.

Most borrowers can expect to receive 80-100% of the construction cost in a loan.

5. Fabrication

Once the financing is in order, the fabrication of your home can start. You’re free to visit the PlantPrefab factory to see your home being built.

LivingHomes and Plant Prefab will manage all of the activities associated with the fabrication and work with your general contractor to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.

6. Site Work and Foundation

While the home is being fabricated, work will be done on your site and the foundation will be laid.

LivingHomes will manage the process of securing bids and assisting in the selection of the contractor who will take care of the foundation.

7. Delivery and Installation

One of the most exciting steps in the process! Delivery and installation will take just one day. Your contractor will take care of any road closures, transportation permits and parking issues that need to be taken care of.

On installation day, the crane will be set up first, and then the trucks will arrive with your modules. Your home will be delivered and set in just one day.

8. Fitout and Move-In

After the home is delivered, there are just a few more steps before you can move in. Your water, electric, sewer and photovoltaics will need to be installed. Your appliances need to be hooked up, and your contractor needs to put the finishing touches on the interior spaces.

Once all of this is taken care of, you will be handed the keys to your new home for move-in.

LivingHomes Projects

LivingHomes has produced LEED Platinum-certified homes and one LEED Gold-certified home. Some of their most famous projects include:

Custom LivingHome – Ray Kappe

A home designed by Ray Kappe which features an abundance of natural light and an LEED Gold-level environmental program. The home offers stunning views of the hillside site that overlooks the Santa Monica Canyon.

The home features:

  • 5,400 square feet of space
  • 5 bedrooms
  • 5.5 bathrooms

C6 in San Diego, CA

The C6 is a LivingHomes creation in San Diego, CA. The home features an abundance of natural light and wood materials to create an earthy, rustic look.

The home features:

  • 1,232 square feet of space
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms

Custom Multifamily in Los Altos, CA – Ray Kappe

Ray Kappe’s three-unit, custom multifamily project was the first in Silicon Valley to be awarded LEED Platinum. The project includes an affordable housing unit.

Each project features:

  • 1,685 square feet of space
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 3 bathrooms

How Much Does a LivingHome Cost?

The cost of a LivingHome varies and will depend on:

  • Your site (some sites cost more to prep than others)
  • The model you choose
  • Whether you want a custom solution

To get a better idea of how much you’ll spend, here’s a rundown of the cost of prefab standard models:

  • C6: $179K+ (3 BR, 3 BA)
  • C6.2: $159K+ (2 BR, 2 BA)
  • CK5: $200K+ (3 BR, 2.5 BA)
  • CK7: $320K+ (3-4 BR, 2.5 BA)
  • RK1: $589K+ (4-5 BA, 2.5-3.5 BA)

These are just starting prices, and the square footage of the floor plans can vary. As you can see LivingHomes offers a wide range of homes, from affordable to luxury.

The price of a LivingHome includes the following:

  • Structural shell
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Exterior finishes
  • Interior finishes
  • Windows/doors
  • Water heater
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Finish flooring
  • Plumbing rough-in
  • Electrical rough-in
  • Light fixtures
  • Washer/dryer
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating system

The cost of installation and the site prep work will also affect the cost of the project. The more difficult the site, the higher the cost will be. But LivingHomes will work with you to find an affordable solution that meets your budget.