The Home of the Future: Modular Homes

Alex Cox
3 min readOct 9, 2016


Modular Homes

Technology changes rapidly. With new and better tech coming out every other month we constantly upgrade to make sure we are getting the most of our gadgets.

But when it comes to the house it’s been the same for half a century. Dry wall. Wood. And some paint. Not much different from the homes of 50’s. But the times are a’changing. We have more and more things delivered from dish soap, to milk, to dinner that night. Fewer and fewer people drive. And the costs of living have doubled.

But throughout all these big changes. Homes have remained the same.

If we want to convert the garage to a movie theater since we sold the second car we need to find a contractor and jump through a bunch of hoops and then under construction for a month or two during the conversion process. What if our house was modular. Kind of like your computer. When you get tired of the old mouse you get a new one and plug it in. When you start learning to edit your photographs you get a new graphics card. The computer accepts the new modules and adapts to how you want to use it.

The house should do the same.

Want to convert your kids rooms to airbnb listings with private bathrooms when they move out to college? Just call up the modular house company and order the two new rooms with attached baths. A week or so later the truck will arrive and pop out the old and put in the new. Bam just like that. New renovations done in less than a day.

But beyond getting all new rooms which is normally marked by some large life event, keeping technology up to date. When drones start delivering our packages they will need a place to land and release the package. Right now the only options are outside where they will be exposed to the elements. A delivery man will put the packages under the door or under some other sort of cover.

Drones will need a safe place to put your goods. The best way to do this would be a drone delivery pad on top of your roof. Well you get the house now and when that technology is ready in the next 3–5 years you just swap out part of your roof modules and bam drone drop pad installed.

Want to make your kitchen available to receive food deliveries directly? Just swap out the kitchen module so you can receive your food directly to your pantry and refrigerator.

The key to this type of system is having the skeleton in place when the house is built. This modular skeleton allows for endless configuration options and creates the core of the home. In addition to the skeleton the electrical, plumbing, and air systems are vital to get right so they can snap right into place.

Air ducts are messy and take up a lot of room in the walls, so the modules do not use them. Instead they use high pressure air hoses to convert the air conditioning and lower pressure air on the same hoses to circulate the air. The floors heat up to warm the rooms. The piping also slots in place when the new modules is pushed in.

The world is changing and so should your house.



Alex Cox

Product Manager and designer writing about ideas. Living and working in SF. See more of my projects at