FabCab are based in the Pacific Northwest, in Seattle, Washington – apparently eco-friendly prefabricated home design is a thing we do well here! FabCab specialize in creating sustainable, healthy, efficient living spaces that work for a range of ages and abilities. They are big on accessibility, which sets them apart from some other prefab companies. If you’re looking to build a laneway house or other smaller urban living space, FabCab might well be the company for you.
What makes them green?
The FabCab approach uses efficient design to create an open concept layout maximizing floor space and reducing material consumption. Their timber frame designs use less wood than stud framing, and they also use digital cutting techniques for precision, high quality assembly, reduced delays and less waste. The FabCab team considers site orientation and uses green materials including components with a high degree of recycled content as well as sustainably harvested Douglas fir.
With their flexible approach, FabCab can rough-in plumbing lines for an optional solar water heater to be used with the standard radiant floor heating system. They also use low VOC paints and finishes through to ensure healthy indoor air quality, and they even apply an anti-microbial glaze on tiles and fixtures to reduce the potential for bacteria growth in the bathroom. Water efficient plumbing features are also standard and there’s an option to include cisterns that catch and store rainwater from the roof, and/or to include a green roof and solar (photovoltaic, hot water, or both).
The only potential downside to FabCab is that they’re not a full-service solution for building a prefabricated home, which means you’ll have to be a bit more hands-on and on the ball in managing your home build project.
What else is great about FabCab?
FabCab are based in Seattle, Washington, but are happy to ship your prefabricated home anywhere in North America. They have expanded in recent years, meaning that they may work with local suppliers in your region. This helps keep costs down and further reduces greenhouse gas emissions by minimizing the need to transport materials long distances across country.
What kind of eco-friendly prefab homes do they build?
FabCab designs integrate Douglas fir timber frames and structural insulated panels (SIPs) to create eco-friendly homes, cabins, and accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
Prefabricated homes are created using Universal Design principles and come in four standard sizes, starting at 500 sq. ft., across two home series: TimberCab and ModCab. TimberCab homes are timber framed using Douglas fir wood and structural insulated panels (SIPs). The windows also fir frames and the design features exterior aluminum cladding. ModCab is created with SIPs without a timber frame and has a choice of a shed or gable roof. This design features double French Doors.
Packages can be as basic as just the timber frame and shell (walls, windows, and doors) and as comprehensive as complete interior packages. FabCab also do custom work and are a fabulous option if you’re looking for a guest suite, home office, artist or writer’s studio, caregiver’s residence, rental unit, or a beautiful cabin on a vacation property.
Designs can include things such as a built-in entry bench, living room desk, cabinets, shelving, hardware, countertops, plumbing fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen (stainless steel sink and pull-down spray faucet as standard), as well as a dishwasher, refrigerator, slide-in range, cooktop, vent hood, built-in microwave, and even a washer and dryer. ModCab designs offer bamboo flooring for the living area, and wool carpet is included in the bedroom. For the bathroom and entryway floor, recycled porcelain tile is included as standard. The TimberCab model included bamboo hardwood and recycled carpet tiles in the living room and recycled ceramic tile in bathroom floors, shower walls and shower floor.
Home package pricing does not include shipping or any sales taxes that you might need to pay where you live. Construction estimates do, however, include the FabCab Home package, labor and assembly, foundation (concrete slab on grade), roughing-in for electrical and plumbing (you’ll need to hire these trades or do the hook-ups yourself), HVAC, and lighting. Labor rates are based on prices in the Pacific Northwest, with the assumption of flat, easily accessible land.
For a 550 sq. ft. one-bedroom, one-bathroom FabCab TimberCab, then, you’re looking at paying around $350 per sq. ft., or $192,500. For a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home measuring 600-1000 sq. ft., your costs will $210,000-$350,000. TimberCab is also available in a 1,337 sq. ft., three-bedroom, two-bathroom design costing around $325 per sq. ft., or around $434,525.
ModCab designs cost around $300 per sq. ft. and include an 800 sq. ft., one-bedroom, one-bathroom design that is ideal for a backyard cottage or getaway cabin. There is also the option of a 1,366 sq. ft., two-bedroom, two-bathroom home at $300 per sq. ft.
Who are FabCab and why should you trust them?
With FabCab, the flexibility of the design means you can change your home’s layout to meet any needs as they arise. Standard features include wide doors and threshold-free showers. This means you can avoid the cost and stress of moving or renovating if your living needs change. While there are plenty of other companies designing tiny homes and microhomes, the focus of these companies is often on minimalist design, which can severely limit the suitability of a space for anyone with mobility problems, children, and even dogs, as well as for older adults wanting to age in place.