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LA startup offers custom small prefabs adapted to area code

In 2017, California lawmakers forced cities to relax their regulations on backyard units; Alexis Rivas and Jemuel Joseph were ready with their prefab ADU (accessory dwelling unit) startup and an online tool that allows LA residents to check out just what code would allow them to build in their yards.

Confident that the housing industry has yet to be revolutionized by tech, Rivas and Joseph have taken their combined experience in prefab and computational design to start Cover. The company produces CNC-cut panels that click together like LEGOs to become tiny, and small, cottages.

The company is also trying to democratize design using algorithmic software to create $250 plans (ranging from a one-room studio to a 2-bedroom home).