Saturday, May 2, 2009

Clayton announces i-house pricing and floor plans

Today, May 2, 2009, is a big day for the i-house. They begin their national roll-out. Clayton has the various floor plans and configurations/pricing for the i-house at their website above.

1. Go to Clayton's website (link above), and sign up for a login, if you don't have one. Then click on the "My i-house" tab to get to the configuration page. If you aren't interested in the details of pricing on various options, there are other ways to explore the house without logging in.

2. After clicking on the "My i-house" tab at the top, you are prompted for a zip code. It checks for availability in your area, and is also used to calculate shipping charges to your area. If you are in the U.S., and it isn't available in your area, you will get a message to call, to see when it will be available. They are doing a gradual roll-out, so it is quite possible that it will be a few months before you can get one, if you live in Maine or upstate NY and elsewhere.

However, if you just want to see the floor plans and prices, just enter a zip code where it is available. Shipping here to Santa Fe is only $500. If you are just curious about the plans and pricing, and don't want to call them yet, and it isn't available in your zipcode, hit the back button, and try using Clayton's zip code, 37803.

3. Select the base unit. It comes in a one bedroom model, or a two bedroom model. The base price for the least expensive one bedroom model (723 sq. ft) -- no flex room -- is $74,900.

The separate flex room costs about $27,000 extra, although more if you buy a porch (deck), depending on the size of the porch.

4. Next, you select the layout options in the upper right corner of your screen. (Press arrow key below the three displayed for more.) There are many to choose from depending on what kind of flex room you want -- if any -- and also how it is oriented, and the size of porch between. For example, there is a two bedroom flex room, so with the one bedroom base unit, you could have a three bedroom house. With the two bedroom base unit, a four bedroom house.

5. Finally, you are prompted to select the optional features.

You can start by looking at the standard features, with the list of options on the right. The standard featured floor is laminate. Bamboo is a $2100 upgrade on the one bedroom base unit. 2kw of solar roof panels is priced at $13,400. The roof deck for the flex room, is $6000 extra.

I suspected that the bamboo flooring was going to be an upgrade, but it surprised me that the tankless water heater is an $890 upgrade. I'm just giving you an idea of some of the pricing, most of which I think is reasonable. For example, I looked at an 800 sq. ft house once where an upgrade to laminate flooring was $1700. And that was a few years ago. The i-house has laminate standard, and the bamboo seems well-priced as an upgrade.

Consider that you could buy the smallest base model, one bedroom, loaded with all the extras including solar panels, for under $100,000, whereas a similar size house from some makers of energy efficient manufactured models, such as Michelle Kaufmann, could cost $230,000.

So, with none of the upgrade extras, you can go from a 723 sq. ft. one bath, one bedroom base model, from about $75,000, to a 1643 sq. ft. 2 bath, 4 bedroom configuration, with every available option, including two sets of solar panels, for about $185,000.

Lastly, there is no specific option in the configuration, if you are considering a flex room only, as an addition to your existing home, or a guest house. However, you can call Clayton, as they have said it is possible. Also, they've said it would cost more than the price of the flex room when bought with a base unit.

Don't quote me on any of these prices and options. Just check them out for yourself and discuss it with the Clayton sales people.

Keep in mind, my blog is the place you can make ANY comment you wish. I'm especially interested in what people like and don't like about the i-house, their REAL feelings and honest opinions. I'm interested in all aspects of the i-house: social, aesthetic, function, green, architectural, and commercial.

Although I expect to tour and photograph it soon, when a model of the i-house comes to Albuquerque later this month, I still invite people to leave detailed comments here, of their impressions on touring it. You can leave comments here in total anonymity, without having to sign up or anything.

Thank you,


  1. So, anyone, what do you think of the pricing on the i-house and all the various modules? To me, seems fair. I thought they might charge a lot for the solar panels, but they didn't.

    Don't miss the Virtual Tour of the new 2-bedroom core module. It has window views to outdoor scenery -- the other one was shot in a building -- and they've changed the door frames from gray to white which looks better.

    To get to the virtual tour, click on an exterior view showing in the right of the main window, and then the words "Virtual Tour" in the lower right corner of the image.

    To get the tour in FULL WINDOW view, click twice on the moving image.

    It will open to a full window but stop. To start it up again, RIGHT click anywhere on the image and select SHOW TOOLBAR.

    Then move the cursor down to bottom of window and a navigation panel appears and click on the center button to start the tour.

    To exit full window tour, press the ESC key.

  2. $13,400 per 2 kw
    panel cost is $4.5 - 5 / W
    seems reasonable

    they show flat installation, which isn't optimal

    this is a different market segment - upscale, offgrid
    would like to see more options for solar hot water

  3. this is an interesting production model

    for even more expensive experimental models for the NREL see the Solar Decathlon.

  4. Does Clayton have plans for bigger models down the line? Will any of the i-house features (e.g., the solar panels) be available in standard Clayton homes now?
    What is the energy saving potential in the i-house, versus a similar sized traditional doublewide?

  5. The url is returning a debugging error. FYI

    OK HW

  6. @Da Weave

    Thank you for reporting that. Working fine this morning...probably just Clayton was doing work on the website.

    However, if anyone finds a dead link in my blog, or a factual error in one of my recent posts, thank for reporting it.

  7. I just tried the ihouse website & got "Service unavailable." Either they're working on it, or they're getting slammed with hits from Yahoo (which is where I heard about this)

  8. Price in the $100 - $115 /sqft range is very good. I haven't been able to access their website but if that includes a finished kitchen it's a bargain. Solar panels on the cheap side run $6.50/watt installed which includes the inverters. In case anyone is wondering, being offgrid (unless you are in the wilderness) isn't the smart move. You can sell your power at a premium over what you pay to utility to buy it. This will change over time but if it does then you move to net metering and get the best of both worlds.

  9. Link to still not working. Anywhere else to get info? The clayton homes site doesn't have any info on it even when I put in the 37803 zip code as suggested by someone.


    I got a denial of service at the official site too. But, it was up shortly after. I think they got hit with a flurry of activity this morning, and probably have a few issues to straighten out with their site and server.

    I know they got hit, because my little blog here was getting hundreds of hits per hour. I went from 400 views of my profile, since last October, to 1100 views. That is, I got 700 views in four hours.

    To the poster who had the problem with finding the i-house on the regular Clayton website. Isn't that something? I couldn't find it either. It was there at one time, but they took it off.

    Frankly, while the website for the i-house, is a little confusing, I'm glad it is there, because you can get a lot of information out of it fairly easily. The main Clayton Homes website stinks!

    You'll find a lot of home manufacturers, and even architects have terrible websites. I mean, I've used the internet since the beginning almost, studied computer programming, and I still have problems with some of these sites.

  11. @John C. Hathaway
    Does Clayton have plans for bigger models down the line? Will any of the i-house features (e.g., the solar panels) be available in standard Clayton homes now?
    What is the energy saving potential in the i-house, versus a similar sized traditional doublewide?
    Good questions. As them at the official Clayton i-house website.

    They surely have plans for more green options in their existing line, and other green homes in the future.

    For now, I'm glad they've chosen to introduce this i-house in the 700 to 1600 sq. ft. configuration. Four bedrooms and two baths, or this size, might not be enough for some people. In the past decade, wealthy people, 2 people living in a McMansion, with maybe one or two other homes, have not taken a lead in the green movement. Homes have just gotten bigger and bigger.

    Going small(er) is going to be part of the process, especially as we head toward the huge bulge in baby-boomer retirees.

  12. The "My iHouse" section appears to be broken - it asks for a login but offers no registration.

    Oh well, first-time web designers frequently leave out something important.

  13. On the ihouse site, when trying to use the the "My iHouse" tab, perhaps before that, in the upper right hand corner, click on "new user" to register. I can see it, even when I click on the "My ihouse" tab first, but perhaps you should start by registering first.

    Also, if something seems wacky and you are running scripts or pop-blockers, try turning those off. I know that when I first did it, I couldn't enter a zip code, because of a script I was running. If you don't know what scripts are, don't worry. Not many people use them.

  14. Regarding the Solar, do anyone know if it has a battery or something? If the power grid fails, will the solar be able to provide energy for a partial day for like powering the refrigerator? I don't want the power generated to provide into the power grid unless my battery is full. If they can implement it this way, I see a new marketing feature.


    Hi Ed, you'll find the explanation of three configurations at link above.

    In a grid-tie system, when it is sunny and you are using less electricity than the solar panel(s) provides, your electric meter will run backward, subtracting money off your bill. People can end up with monthly or yearly bills of zero.

    So, if you are not at home, not using hundreds of watts of electricity, you are selling that power back to the power company, for others to use.

    If you generate more back into the grid, going beyond zero (I'm not sure if it is for the month, or for the year), the electric company doesn't pay you for extra. That probably wouldn't be an issue with the i-house, unless you are a very low user of electricity like myself. Theoretically, you can go to zero, but not beyond, bill-wise.

    If I could get an average of 800 watts/day from a 2000 watt (2kw) panel, I think I could get a zero usage bill easily. I do things like use a laptop computer, instead of a desktop, because they take little energy, although I do hook it up to a larger monitor here at home.

    My refrigerator, I got from Sears, was the highest energy rating they make. Wasn't expensive. Is very quiet. I like it a lot.

    A fridge takes between 200 and 700 watts when working. So yes, a solar panel could power that easily on a sunny day.

    Unless you live in an area where power is unreliable -- Iraq for example -- there is no need for a battery backup, and batteries do cost.

    So, most systems are grid-tie (no batteries), or off-grid, where you need a bank of batteries. Just do some searches and you'll find a lot of info on how solar systems work.

    I-house is using the company Ready Solar. You can do a search for them and their solar-in-a-box system to see what solar is about. Nearly everyone is new to this.

    One of my favorite blogs is by Greenpa. (Just search for his name and his blog is the first on the list.) He has raised a family, living the off-grid life for decades. Very bright guy and interesting stories about all the green things he does.

    I don't have solar now, although I would like it, that's for sure. I should probably do some research about what kind of performance a person could expect, from a solar set up like will be on the i-house. It would of course, vary a lot depending if you are in a super sunny area.

    Germany and Switzerland lead the world in per capita solar energy use, and neither country is particularly sunny.

  16. Thanks Greenotter for the details. I think i'm interested the grid-tie with battery the most in the article, for backup capabilities especially with california fires, rolling blackout power outages (not enough supply for demand), and sometimes high winds, or even an earthquake causing grid outage.

  17. The four factories where the i-house will be built:

    Hermiston, OR, Sacramento, CA, Albuquerque, NM, and Knoxville, TN

    The closer you are to one of the four, the less delivery will be. Locations of i-house models will be posted on the official Clayton i-house website.

  18. Check out these interactive floor plans:

  19. The above floor plans link have nothing to do with the i-house.

    I'd like to thank people in advance for any comment they want to make, as long as it in some way related to the i-house or manufactured homes. For example, the Realtor in California, who mentioned she had a lot, that would allow an i-house, that's okay. At least it is somewhat relevant, and you don't have to follow a link to find out what the person is selling.


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