Saturday, November 9, 2019

Greenfab Gives Modular Housing a Bad Name

Dream-house nightmares haunt Seattle homebuyers as builder struggles

Greenfab Factory

Homebuyers in Seattle have come to expect a process that is costly, protracted, and nerve-wracking. But nothing prepared Andrew Weller and Kristin Nierenberg for the new-house nightmare they’re still living through.

In June, the young couple demolished their Madison Valley bungalow and moved into a rental to make way for a modular house from Greenfab Homes, a Seattle firm known for elegant, environmentally friendly prefabricated dwellings.

For $453,000, Greenfab would build Weller and Nierenberg a home in sections, or “mods,” in its factory in Burlington and then assemble it on the now-vacant Madison Valley lot. Prefabrication, which can dramatically reduce overall construction time, has been getting a lot of attention lately in cities like Seattle that want to add housing supply as quickly as possible. Weller says Greenfab promised to have the couple and their two young children in their new home by Christmas.

Swen Grau and Dirk de Pree, Greenfab’s general manager and chief financial officer, respectively, declined by phone and email to discuss customers’ complaints or the future of the company, which has a sales office in Phinney Ridge. Although the company’s website site is still up and its 800 number remains in service, the factory in Burlington was locked at midmorning one day this week and appeared empty except for what looked like a single mod.

CLICK HERE to read the entire Seattle Times article

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