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Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid: Your Path to Building an Energy-Independent Home Hardcover – October 1, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid: Your Path to Building an Energy-Independent Home
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  • Prefabulous and Sustainable: Building and Customizing an Affordable, Energy-Efficient Home
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  • Prefabulous World: Energy-Efficient and Sustainable Homes Around the Globe
Total price: $65.50
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sheri Koones is an award-winning author whose previous books include From Sand Castles to Dream Houses, House About It, Modular Mansions, Prefabulous, and Abrams’ Prefabulous + Sustainable. She lives in Connecticut.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419703250
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419703256
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By ehf on October 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm very interested in some-day building a prefab modern home so I bought this book to see some more examples and to try to get an overview of the current state of the industry. There are a lot of nice example houses in this book and there are some nice technical asides that get into detail about certain technologies and government programs that are good to know about.

On the downside, nothing in this book is too in-depth, and there is an annoying tendency in the modern prefab industry to talk about their houses as being somehow affordable for most people, but I've never once seen that as a reality. As much as I'd love to believe that building one of these houses could be cost-effective, the only thing I can really find are examples of wealthy people patting themselves on the back and overpaying for energy efficiency and "non-toxic" building materials. I'd like to see more sources in this industry really get down to the nitty-gritty of the cost-efficiencies involved and rely less on what I see as empty eco-marketing .
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read most of Sheri Koones books and they all are easy reads and informative. This book is typical of her work. If I were to build a modular house, her expertise would be Priceless. This book has many examples, lots of pictures and is very informative. The book is somewhat repetative, with many of the house examples, having the exact same certifications, energy ratings, or end results. There was nothing revealed in this book that I felt I had to have in my next house. The person who invented the first clear glass window had a revolutionary idea that was a game changer in the housing industry. The idea of modular housing ( factory built housing ) is a game changer. This book didn't reveal any game changing ideas (to me at least). I also thought some real world examples of owners making cost benifit energy decisions would be informative. For example, what is the ROI on buying X's solar panels, or installing R38 fiberglass insulation Vs a higher grade of open cell or closed cell insulation in ... Chicago, or in Florida? Is it better to buy more insulation or to buy more solar panels? Overall it is a good book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No matter where you live, this book showcases styles and designs relevant to your region and THE LATEST green building techniques available. This is quite simply a glimpse into the future of ALL homes, and it will be in our lifetime. Nice thing is, you get real world examples of green technology explained in layman's terms, and some wonderful interior and exterior design ideas to boot. The book is a great addition to the "Prefabulous" line of books, and continues to show that green building is doable, beautiful, and a heck of a lot easier with prefab construction.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Prefabricated homes have become very trendy and, not surprisingly, widely misunderstood. What Ms. Koones does with this book (and several of her previous ones)is track the ongoing evolution of prefab home building. Not all manufacturers are the same and not every homeowner wants the same thing. So the first accomplishment of this book is the VARIETY. This is important because manufactured homes (prefabs) suffer from all sorts of stereotypes. In this collection you will see traditional homes, contemporary homes, experimental homes but in all cases energy efficient homes. Which brings us to the second accomplishment of the book; cutting edge GREEN architecture. Koones beautifully presents the growing number of green and sustainable custom homes utilizing factory strategies for better energy performance. This approach is not even debatable - Energy Star, USGBC and several other renowned national certifying organizations have unequivocally stated that prefabrication is a fundamentally green way to build. And this book provides supporting details and sources for each project. And finally, the third accomplishment of this book is the VISUAL reward one gets when holding it in their hands. Not only are the houses beautiful and well photographed, but the book itself is nicely designed and flawlessly produced. It's a touch more expensive than some housing books on the market but it remains an incredible value nevertheless because there is so much well researched information in it. When you're finished being inspired, you can turn to the appendices and find out who to call for the next step. Anyone who even dreams about a new home or a little get-away needs to have this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm trying to improve my own off-grid lifestyle, as documented in 'Off the Grid: Coastal British Columbia Stories,' Sheri Koones has written an excellent book for those seeking their first taste of off-the-grid living. The book's photos are superb, and the author's discussions of ecological issues (including our carbon footprint) was enough to wake me up. My tiny cabin on a Canadian lake needs some revisions! I've recently read many of the best guides for people just starting out in off-the-grid environments, and this is near the top of my list.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
basically just a series of 3 page vignettes of houses made on the prefab motif, most with serious commitment to energy conservation.
By scanning the book, you can get a lot of good ideas for a house that uses minimal fossil fuels, and see what works for you; as the included houses run the gamut from fancy inner city penthouse to rustic hunting lodge.
This is a very useful exercise to cement in your mind what you want vs what you are willing to pay for, as a general per sq ft cost is included in most vignettes.

No real "how to" here, not that kind of book.
Only downside is that the book is basically a big advertisement for the authors' favorite builders, architects, etc. Some bias in reporting present, but if you watch CNN you are used to that already.
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