I love browsing through my replicated Sears catalogue that contains plans and order forms for house kits that Sears sold at one time. The idea worked at the time. People bought the materials in kit form and built their own houses. These houses are all over the country. There is even an organization, The Sears House Project, that helps to locate and preserve Sears Houses.
The pre-fabricated house idea seems to be a good one, but it has never really caught on. Allison Arieff, co-author of Prefab, stated in a recent Chicago Tribune interview that, “Modern prefab can begin to make a dent in the tragic vernacular homogeneity that plagues this country.” (I think I know what that means.)
For more information about “affordable modernist factory-built residential architecture” check out fabprefab.com, a Web site by architect Michael Sylvester. Check out the section showing houses made from shipping containers.