One of the truly handy things about building a single module prefab home is it can be expanded and contracted length-wise until you have the right balance of space versus expense. When we first decided to work with Kent Homes, we were thinking 16 feet wide (that’s the maximum width that can travel on Nova Scotia roads) x 56 feet long.
It wasn’t long before we realized that an extra 4 feet in length would enable us to fit in everything where we wanted it to be. For example, it can be the difference between being able to fit a dish-drying rack beside the sink or not. Basically, for us, that 4 feet expanded our kitchen counter space, gave us a closet in the studio for art supplies and easel storage and enough room for a tall cabinet to store towels in our powder room.
After the team at Kent Homes drew up our plans to exact scale, I could see that there was not enough room in the living area for even the smallest sofa and no where to put books and such. By adding an additional 3 feet in length to the home, we can now fit in shelving and a 72″ long sofa.
Tip: measure all your furniture and appliances, the volume of all your books and the stuff that fills your kitchen cabinets – basically, measure everything you plan to take to your new home and be sure that you have a place for everything. Check and double check.
Can you imagine, learning that your refrigerator is 1 inch too wide and the movers have to leave it in the middle of the floor? In a regular house this would be a highly inconvenient and expensive proposition. In a small house, how would you move around the kitchen while you figured out how to sell it quickly?
So, as it stands, our designed home is 16 feet wide x 63 feet long. It’s perfect! Everything fits! Although there’s no wasted space, it doesn’t feel restrictive. But…. what has that extra 3 feet done to our budget? We’ll find that out on Monday (we hope!) If we’re over budget, we’ll have to look for mores ways to trim.
Tip: be certain your house will fit on your lot. This extra 3 feet has pushed our house to the limita of our set backs on our lot. For those wondering what a set back is, it’s the distance that your building must be away from the four sides of your property. For us, our home (decks and steps included) must be 35 feet away from the front property line, 25 feet from the back and 16 feet one side and 4 feet on the opposite side.
Our lot is 120 feet long on the south side and 124.45 feet long on the north side. That extra 4.45 feet along the north may save the day. The window side of our house needs to face south for solar heat gain, comfort and appearance. Everyone involved on our project must measure, measure and measure again.
By the way, it looks like our house will have to be lifted by crane from the truck. Cool!