Clayton Homes Revamps the i-house

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Back in May 2008, modular and manufactured home builder Clayton Homes launched its first modern-styled prefab house concept, the i-house. It was an attractive and innovative addition to the company's product offering and sparked quite a bit of interest among Clayton's customers—particularly those who love modern design and strive for greener lifestyles. Offering several possible configurations, a range of green features, and flexible, comfortable, attractive living solutions for an extremely reasonable pricetag, the i-house was an exciting entry into the affordable housing market.

With all these things going for it, the i-house's square footage and configurations—while suitable for empty-nesters, singles, and child-free couples—have limited practical appeal for the average family and those not driven by a "less-is-more" philosophy. In fact, many of the requests fieled by the i-house's designers and product managers via a dedicated blog and several customer surveys have been about the ability to add more square footage, typically by connecting two i-house main modules side-by-side or by connecting flex units to the main unit.

Answering customer feedback, Clayton recently released the first drawings and floor plans for the concept's next generation, i-house 2.0.

i-house 2.0 maintains many of the attractive and innovative features of the original, but takes into account the needs of a family, specifically more bedrooms under the same roof, greater separation between public and private spaces, and a dedicated main entry. Initial floor plans show a footprint that has been doubled in width, as well as potential locations for flex units. Updates to the design also include larger doors, wider hallways, warmer finish and material options, and covered outdoor living spaces. The original i-house's entry is through the patio doors at one end of the main unit directly into the main living spaces, while i-house 2.0's primary entrance is more conventionally located and opens onto a foyer.

Personally, I can't decide which i-house version I like more, but I can say that I would still live in an i-house tomorrow if I could.—Stephani L. Miller



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