MA Modular is a firm that was formed in 2001 and offers Austin prefab homes. We are big fans of their work and have featured several of their builds on the site.
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One of the leading concepts from MA Modular is the casita house.
What is a Casita?
For MA Modular, cost and functionality are two of the areas they focus most on when designing homes. The Casita House is an 850-square-foot home that has numerous unique features, such as:
- High ceilings
- Central breezeway
- Natural light
MA Modular’s Casita was designed for a couple that used the company’s expertise to bring their vision of the perfect home away from home to life. The couple wanted to visit their grandchildren in Austin, and Chris Krager developed what is now known as the Casita 850 home.
The 850 takes inspiration from the Texas dogtrot, a very popular home in the 19th and 20th centuries.
In the center of the home is a connecting breezeway that is perfect for warm climates. Anyone who has spent time in Austin, or most southern states, knows that keeping a home cool is a challenge due to the hot weather.
A central breezeway is the perfect solution to keep the Casita 850 cool and comfortable for occupants.
MA Modular uses a two-piece modular construction to bring the Casita 850 to homeowners. The two-piece construction has a connected center, screened-in porch that helps separate the units.
The unit breakdown is as follows:
- Includes the kitchen, dining and living area.
- Includes two bathrooms, one bedroom, one office and a utility room.
At the entryway, homeowners are greeted with a shaded porch and can look up at the single-story home’s gabled roof.
Inside of the MA Modular Casita
When you step into a Casita house, you’ll notice that the ceilings are high, and the windows are expansive. The windows allow an abundance of natural light to flood the interior. Additionally, there’s a skylight that allows light to shine down and glazed walls in the open living space.
The two modular pieces of the home are designed to be functional and feel like they’re two completely different areas.
MA Modular was able to create a distinction between these spaces by doing the following:
- The first modular cube, which includes the kitchen, has a clad and weathered steel design.
- The second modular cube, the one that includes the bedroom, has a corrugated metal design.
Windows are uniquely positioned in the home to offer ample natural light while also allowing homeowners to maintain their privacy.
When you step into the kitchen, you’ll notice pendant lights hanging down from the ceiling to illuminate the countertops in the L-shaped kitchen. An open floor plan and space for two barstools allow for a cozy place to sit and eat breakfast or entertain guests while cooking.
Entering the Breezeway
The breezeway of the home boasts two glazed sides and two window-filled walls with doors. Dual fans provide cool air into the space, while the exposed beams add a rustic feel to the breezeway.
Technically, the breezeway is considered the third module and is often decorated with tables and chairs.
Doors separate the breezeway and other two modules, offering a sense of division between them.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Casita?
Building a Casita house has a lot of costs involved, but the base cost for just the home is somewhere between $100 and $500 per square foot. You’ll also need to consider the following costs:
However, the base MA Modular cost for this model is $117,740, or roughly $250 per square foot.
The total cost may be much higher depending on the customization, installation, foundation and other costs involved.
Ma does not provide their own financing options for their homes, but financing is available from traditional lenders.
Conventional lenders do finance modular homes, so potential owners of the Casita can work with a lender that will cover the cost of constructing the home.
Depending on the demand and time of year, it can take 6 months to a year for MA Modular to build the home, for the financing, permits and utility work to be completed. Additionally, a contractor will need to “button up” the house once it’s put on the foundation.
Buttoning-up is the process of finishing the interior, sealing the seams and fixing any interior issues that may have occurred during the transportation of the modules.
MA Modular designed the Casita house to be either a guest house, vacation home or a modest primary home. Expansive windows and doors are made even more prominent by the high ceilings.
One of the key design points that are seen in most MA Modular designs is that the designer offers plenty of outdoor space. Casita houses are no exception. Owners enjoy outdoor spaces where they can gather with friends or family, and the partially-covered deck in the rear of the home protects against the sun while also offering a nice place to entertain.