Welcome to Prefab Profiles, an ongoing series of interviews with people transforming how we build houses. From prefab tiny houses and modular cabin kits to entire homes ready to ship, their projects represent some of the best ideas in the industry. Do you know a prefab brand that should be on our radar? Get in touch!
Manta North was founded by timber-industry professionals in Riga, Latvia, in 2018. With backgrounds in building, they decided to start making prefab homes made from of cross-laminated timber, which allows them to create efficient, durable homes with minimal material to maximize living spaces. We asked Linda Klētniece, a managing partner at Manta, to tell us what’s new with the company, which now has its sights set on the U.S. market.
What’s the most exciting project you’ve realized to date?
Nestled between a volcano and the ocean in West Iceland, this project is one of our favorites at Manta North. It perfectly embodies our ethos: creating homes that not only can brave challenging weather conditions, much like those in Iceland, but also fit seamlessly with the surrounding nature. The clients, a creative couple, prioritized minimalism and a deep connection with nature for their holiday home. They envisioned a space that complemented their outdoor-centric lifestyle, and Manta North’s prefab model perfectly matched this aspiration. This design choice not only provided them with a tranquil escape but also ensured minimal environmental impact in the pristine setting.
One of the standout features they appreciated was the off-site construction. The house was efficiently installed overnight, and by the very next morning, they were welcoming neighbors for a coffee into their new home.
What does your base model cost and what does that pricing include?
All our models are delivered fully functional for immediate living, featuring a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom, and lighting and natural finishes. A fully finished 430-square-foot house starts at $249,000 in the U.S. In European countries, we present three size options: 25 square meters, 48, and 73, with prices ranging from €76,500 to €195,000. Each of our homes can be transported to the location as a single, finished piece, prepared for immediate connection.
What qualities make your prefab stand apart from the rest?
Our homes showcase the perfect blend of practicality and elegance in Scandinavian design. Constructed from cross-laminated timber, our projects prioritize not just structural integrity, but also a harmonious living environment that enhance the well-being of residents.
● Functional and innovative: Contemporary housing with smart and eco-conscious design solutions for a simpler life.
● High performance materials: High performance materials ensure durability and longevity meeting the highest energy efficiency standards.
● Sustainability: We prioritize eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient systems for minimal environmental impact.
● Efficiency: Advanced manufacturing techniques reduce construction time without compromising quality.
Where do you ship/where is the prefab currently available?
Our European headquarters are situated in Stockholm, and houses for Europe and Iceland are manufactured in Riga, Latvia. Regarding the United States, our current production capacity covers the Western part of the country, delivering from Utah. Exceptions for larger projects on the East coast may also apply.
Is your design currently pre-permitted in any U.S. municipalities?
While we do not currently have pre-permitted designs in U.S. municipalities, we assist with the approval process and provide detailed architecture packages for our clients to obtain permits in their desired location. It’s important to note that our homes undergo a thorough process of quality assurance. Our plans and models are stamped and certified when leaving the factory. This ensures that each design meets the required standards and regulations.
Are there plans to expand to different parts of the country/world?
With a strong foothold already established in Europe and Iceland, our focus is now on the U.S. market. With each home we deliver, our goal is to enhance its performance and suitability for the specific region it will be situated in.
How long can a client expect the process to take after they put down a deposit?
For the U.S. market, upon placing a deposit, clients can expect a production timeline of 20 to 24 weeks. However, we’re actively working to expedite this process, aiming to reduce it to 12 to 16 weeks. Our goal is to achieve this accelerated timeline by 2024.
What aspects of an install do you manage?
We primarily collaborate with architects across various states, assisting in providing the necessary paperwork for submission. While we don’t directly oversee on-site activities such as excavation and related tasks, our paramount focus is on ensuring seamless communication and coordination. This dedication is aimed at facilitating a flawless installation process, allowing us to work hand-in-hand with your chosen local contractor to bring your vision to life.
What aspects of the design can a client customize?
At Manta North, we put you in control of your living space. Our interactive online configurator on our website allows you to shape a living space that is uniquely tailored to your preferences, both in its interior and exterior aspects. Choose your flooring, lighting fixtures, and kitchen color to tailor your interior to your unique style and needs. Pick from various facade designs and colors. Decide between the timeless slope roof or the modern flat roof (Ray Design), aligning with your aesthetic and environmental preferences.
See more from Manta North:
This Timber Prefab From Manta North Is What Dreams Are Made Of
With Natural Materials and an Unfussy Attitude, a Latvian Prefab Embraces the Countryside
A Prefab Retreat in Iceland Is Positioned for Jaw-Dropping Views