Questions? We have Answers!


How are Proto Homes Built?

Proto Homes are built in a controlled, factory environment using a Prefab ‘Componentized’ Building System. Weather delays, missing or stolen building materials and subcontractor no-shows are all eliminated, saving both time and money. More and more builders are employing building systems into their structures because of their ease and speedy construction.

What Is a Building System?

Building systems do for housing what the assembly line did for automobile production: They streamline the process, improve quality control and minimize waste, all while reducing costs and making homes more affordable. We cut and prebuild individual components within a factory-controlled environment and use highly engineered construction methods. Systems-built houses are of the highest quality, not just meeting but often exceeding code requirements.

What Is the Difference Between a Modular and a Component-Built Home?

While both employ factory-built construction techniques, the primary difference between a modular and a componentized home is that modular homes are shipped to a home site nearly complete, whereas componentized homes require more onsite assembly.

In modular construction, most individual “modules” are shipped to the site as fully finished rooms, complete with walls, flooring, ceilings, doors, windows, closets, stairs, etc. assembled. The number of modules required depends on the square footage of the home.

Component-built homes come together on site a little differently: Proto Homes pre-assembles the walls, stairs, and other components, but leaves the union of those components, as well as the interior finishing elements, to the local builder.

Our panelized building system is shipped to the site via ground transport where the local builder assembles the home’s components, finishes the interior, and applies the finishing touches such as decks, patios, and other site elements.

Is the Proto Building System ‘Green’?

Our building systems are inherently more environmentally friendly than other forms of construction for a number of reasons. The factory-controlled environment enables us to use resources more e, resulting in less waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Also, by shipping pre-assembled components to the home site, the amount of construction staging area required is significantly smaller, resulting in less site disturbance and greater protection of the surrounding habitat.

Does Using Building Systems Affect the Quality of a Home?

Yes, for the better! Prefab houses are extremely strong. Because they have to withstand the rigors of transporting the home from the factory to the onsite location, they are built with materials above and beyond what’s mandated for site construction. This added strength translates into a solid, energy-efficient structure once assembled.

Who Will Finance a Systems-Built Home?

(We have recommendations) Just about anyone. Since these homes are built to the same codes as stick-built homes, most banks and lending institutions treat both types of construction the same. In fact, some financiers have established departments specifically for systems-built homes. Similarly, there is no difference in insuring a systems-built house from any other property.

Are the loans for these homes funded through Proto Homes, or do you have a specific lender that you work with?

We do not do financing ourselves, but we have contacts at US Bank as well as private lenders who are familiar with us. However, you can find your own financing also.

Do you handle the permitting, or is that something that the purchaser will need to handle?

Yes, we coordinate the basic permitting process. Our prices include the cost of submitting for the standard Plan Check. However, if there are other clearances such as Architectural review committees, coastal commission, planning review etc, we would have to charge hourly for our work on these clearances. For cities that require hardcopies of permit sets, you will be responsible for the cost of printing.

What are the smallest/largest homes you can build?

Smallest Floorplan
2200 sq. ft.
2 bedroom, 2.5 bath

Medium Floorplan
2500 sq. ft.
3 bedroom 2.5 bath

Large Floorplan
3500 sq. ft.
4-5 bedroom, 3.5 bath

Are you able to build a Proto Home on a hillside?

Yes, we can. We find that most hillsides require a custom solution, and we cannot use one of our standard models, so our standard prices would not apply. In these cases, we charge a design exploration fee of $5000 after which we will be able to give you a solid contract price.

If I was interested in having a pool built, would that be something you could do, or would I need to find a separate company for that?

We do not do any site work such as a pool, but can refer you to contractors who can handle that.

Are there any additional costs that I should consider besides the cost of the land, and the cost of the Proto Home? E.g. is the cost of permits included in the price per square foot advertised on your website?

Please see the list of site-driven costs. Permit fees are not included. Each city can give you an estimate of these fees.

Site Cost for a flat lot run between $80,000 – $100,000 depending on your lot.

Permitting cost run between $20,000 – $30,000, depending on the city.

*Please Note* These are rough estimated prices and are not exact. A firm cost cannot be determined for Site-Cost or Permitting since it varies by city, property and house. Proto Homes building cost cannot be determined until a final floor plan and features have been selected.

Do you build homes outside of LA County?

We can build as far North as San Francisco, as far South as San Diego, and as far East as Palm Springs. There will be an associated cost related to the distance that will be assessed before you sign a contract.

When are you coming to my state?

At this time, our products are built only in California, but we expect to enter other markets throughout the US in the next year or so. If you’d like to stay informed regarding our newest products, innovations and growing nationwide presence, please “like” us on Facebook.

Can you build Apartments?

Yes, we can build any structure up to 3 stories, with an optional small roof access structure. Though we can not stack cores. For apartment projects, we ask that you hire an architect to do the zoning research and develop the basic building massing and parking configuration.