Americans build about 40,000 modular homes a year. Imagine if new-home buyers and builders realized all the advantages of building a home in a factory setting. No exposure to the elements. No loss of materials. No work days lost to bad weather. The ability for more precise measurements.

In Prefabulous: The House of Your Dreams Delivered Fresh From the Factory (Taunton Press, $25), Sheri Koones gives readers an up-close-and-personal look at the modular industry. Unlike site-built homes, modular homes often are built stronger, with tighter insulation and more efficient use of materials.

Koones' book examines modular structures from Long Island, N.Y., to San Francisco and building techniques that range from sticks to concrete. If you're considering a new home, this book is a must-buy.

Much of America's architectural heritage is ending up in landfills. Bob Falk and Brad Guy want to change that. They've written Unbuilding: Salvaging the Architectural Treasures of Unwanted Houses (Taunton Press, $30).

The book is a guide to "unbuilding," or deconstruction, the process of dismantling buildings that otherwise would be razed, to save reusable elements such as building materials and fixtures.

Unbuilding covers the many aspects of deconstruction, including site preparation, safety issues, tools, techniques and resale ideas.

- Akron Beacon Journal