Prefabricated homes are on the rise. Thanks to the recession and an increased interest in green building techniques, easy-to-assemble structures of all shapes and sizes appeal not only to those looking to save a buck, but also to those who prioritize the use of eco-friendly materials and creative design.
But this is not the first time the out-of-the-box house, first offered in the early 20th century by companies like Sears, has enjoyed a boost in popularity. Back in 1970, when an increasing number of Americans were looking to build vacation homes, prefab structures offered an affordable way to take the American dream to the next level. LIFE’s John Dominis traveled around the country photographing the range of styles cropping up in forests and lake shores, from a bird-watching hideaway in North Carolina to a geodesic dome in the desert of Arizona.
Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.