Interview with East Coast Modern Cofounder Stephen Chaisson

East Coast Modern cofounder Stephen Chaisson discusses prefab and modular building, common misconceptions in the prefab world, and the future of prefab.


East Coast Modern

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What makes East Coast Modern different?

"For the last ten years we have been focussed on trying to make modern architecture more accessible for our clients.  We believe in great design and we partner with expert partners to bring our projects to life.

We have a unique approach to designing and building homes that blends the customization of traditional site builds with all the benefits of prefab.  We think of prefab as a way to make custom designs better vs limiting what a client can create.  All of our homes are architecturally designed and built by skilled tradespeople in a factory environment; we call the process “manucrafting”."

MODHaus II overlooking the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Photo credit Acorn Photography.

How do you think about the future of prefab?

"Continued innovation in design and building approaches combined with consumer demand for smaller but smarter living spaces will fuel considerable growth for prefab in the future."

What are some common misunderstandings about prefab, and how should people think about them instead?

"We think the biggest misunderstanding in prefab is the ability to customize.  Historically many prefab manufacturers operated in a fashion that forced customers to choose exclusively from existing designs and materials.  This was largely driven by the limitations of the manufacturer’s process and a focus on building efficiency vs having a true customer focus.  We believe that focussing on the client vs the process is the way of the future.

Everything starts with the land.  Many customers approach us before they have secured the land and they have the home already designed in their mind.  So much of the home design is driven from the details of the site; maximizing views, orienting the home based on the elements, etc.  Many clients also underestimate what it takes to truly prepare a site for any home construction regardless of the building method; land clearing, building driveways, water and power access, foundation considerations are all need to be carefully considered as part of the process.

Going prefab with the right partner and the right approach should minimize maintenance.  Homes built in a factory environment help create the optimal conditions for building materials and the building process.  This should contribute to a better built home and less long term maintenance."

A perfect orientation capturing views on the coast of Cape Breton Island. Photo credit Skyline Studio

What should customers expect from East Coast Modern?

"We build homes with a modern aesthetic that is inspired by Canada’s East Coast.  We currently deliver to the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.  Our projects typically take 12 months from start to completion.  All of our homes are custom so no two are exactly same and therefore pricing varies from project to project.

East Coast Modern is a prefab home manufacturer. They ship from their shop in Nova Scotia across the Canadian Maritime provinces. Get in touch with their team at

One of our favourite bright and warm custom kitchens. Photo credit Tom Terrell Photography.

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