No. 12: Because prefab is fab

No. 12: Because prefab is fab

This guy makes really cool all-season backyard office pods for the WFH set—himself included

Lockdown pushed families into home-expansion panic mode, with parents forced to turn every forgotten corner into usable space: unfinished basements became makeshift offices, kids’ bedrooms became ad hoc dance studios and bathrooms became the only place to find a quiet escape for conference calls.

To the rescue came prefabricated construction, a practical, affordable and quick way for cramped residents to squeeze every last inch out of their square footage. When the pandemic hit, Trevor Gilbert had just launched his own prefab construction company, Modeco, focusing on modular bathrooms for apartment developments. But once he and his wife were both stuck inside their Etobicoke home struggling to work and care for their toddler, he decided to pivot, using his existing machinery to manufacture all-season backyard office pods instead. His own jazzed-up version features a climbing wall for his son and a pullout bed for potential guests or quarantiners. Families can score their own basic, fully finished 10-by-10 studio for less than $10,000—freeing up much-needed space inside the main house.

For houses with an adjoining laneway, R-Hauz Solutions designed a prefab garage with a bedroom suite above, all of it costing less than building from scratch (they start at $225,000), and the entire process from design to assembly can be completed in five months. It’s a speedy solution for maxed-out households looking to keep extended family close—but not too close.

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