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Factory-built homes back in vogue

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Remember the tight, cute "kit" cottage you saw at the annual Home Show (one of five clustered in the featured vacation-home area) that would fit just perfectly on the wooded lot you've always wanted in the mountains? It seems that builders and manufacturers always are urging consumers to dream -- whether it be a stately primary residence or a precut timber home composed of hand-milled Montana logs trucked directly to your site. More and more dream homes have gone inside -- at least for all or part of the construction phase -- as curious consumers research and locate the new creative designs, energy-efficient features, often lower costs and environmentally controlled production of prefabricated residences. And, the finished product absolutely demolishes the preconceived notion of a "kit." Modular, manufactured, structural insulated panels and other types of "prefab" housing are reaching a growing segment of new-home buyers yet they are very different in the way they are bu...