What do you need to know about Prefab Homes


With many people going after the trend of affordable housing, we are seeing the rising popularity of prefab homes in the housing industry and real estate market. While the construction of a prefab home is not something new, concepts like modular homes, prefabricated houses, custom container living, or unity homes have evolved over the recent years. However, more people have realized that prefab homes don't have to lack the so-called high-end panache.

With the courtesy of modern manufacturing industries and technologies like 3D printing, prefab homes are now fabulous. They're like getting a luxe update with an energy-efficient building envelope and enhanced durability. With the expansion of postal services and modern logistics, more and more manufacturing companies are moving ahead to launch new prefab products across the globe. Now you can order a home kit easily by mail.      

Alongside, the current scenario of the COVID pandemic and global financial crisis has further made people rush to buy affordable homes. But a lot of people are still confused about whether prefab homes are worth to invest or not.

In today's article, we're going to look at prefab homes in detail, from the introduction and concept to a wide variety of choices and their pros and cons. So, let's delve in:  

What is a prefab home/prefab house?

Superhouse Prefab House Project Photo

So, starting with the introduction and the basic concept, there's a lot of confusion between the various terms like a prefab house, kit homes, modular homes, or mobile homes. Well, the words are used interchangeably, and the overall concept is the same.

The term "Prefab home" or "prefab house" is not a type of home but rather a type of construction methodology. Instead of constructing every house element on the construction site, you fabricate the same off-site and only assemble at the final destination.

Prefab house is built in factories leveraging the benefits of saving on construction time and material cost. While making in a controlled environment, the quality of construction is enhanced with a considerable reduction in material wastage.

Like traditional homes, prefab homes are still designed by an architect, an interior designer, and a builder. These individuals supply their designs to factories or manufacturing plants. The architectural and structural plans are rolled together to form a set for the unit. The units are manufactured in standard sections, so the shipping or assembling can be simplified.

Once fabricated, the units are then supplied to the construction site, where they've been put together to form a house. The quality of workmanship and the overall features do vary from one manufacturer to another. Some factories allow the user to have custom features and amenities inside the prefab house.  

The revolutionary concept of prefab houses is ideal for people moving to newly developed areas for jobs or remote areas with limited access to the same quality of dwelling in their regions. Housing development agencies can use this concept for mass housing development projects to cope with the growing demands of shelter and living.  

Cost of a prefab home

Well, many home buyers are confused when they see the price tag of a prefab home. Well, that's because a prefab home doesn't have to be cheap overall. That's true because luxury does come with a price tag, and you get what you pay for.

But generally, for a typical prefab home, the construction is cheaper than stick-built homes by about 10 to 25 percent on average. The biggest reason for the reasonable cost is the mass-production of products in factories. They buy the supplies in bulk that significantly reduces the material cost. Moreover, you won't have to engage a carpenter, plumber, or electrician individually, which saves time and money.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $400 per square foot for a rough idea, but this cost doesn't include home interior fixtures. Anyhow, before ordering, make sure you know if the prefab package includes appliances, windows, flooring, insulation, wiring for electrics, and doors.

 The overall cost you will pay for the prefab home would also include the cost of land, foundation, soil testing, surveys, permits, and utility hookups. Preparing your site for a prefab house can be easy or challenging depending on the landscape, type of prefab package, and type of foundation. You may have to pay more for the landscaping, driveways, additional garages, and finishing of the overall project.

Pros and Cons

The best thing about prefab homes is the affordability. You can have considerable savings for choosing a prefab home over a stick-built home. You save money because of the fewer laborers working to make a prefab, plus you're going to have lower energy bills down the road. Prefab homes are highly energy-efficient with tight seams and state-of-the-art windows. Moreover, the house is sturdy enough to withstand natural disasters.

Besides affordability and energy efficiency, the fast pace of construction is another plus. These homes are partially constructed, so it takes a matter of a few days to have your home ready to move in. There're no delays for bad weather or illnesses around. So, you can expect to have a new home ready in a week, provided you have managed all the permits and site preparations.

Besides pros, prefab homes do have some pitfalls. The biggest of all is the land cost. After all, to have a prefab home, you're going to buy a piece of land for it. So, if you don't own land, you need to buy it. Plus, you need to make sure you're allowed to have a prefab home over that piece of land. The next con of a prefab home is the utility hookup. If your ground is uneven, you might need to have it leveled and lay the foundation for sewers and electrical connections.    

The bottom Line

Gone are the days when prefab houses were considered ordinary and thud dwellings. You can now find some genuinely fabulous options out there, and the concept has certainly become a viable path to homeownership for most buyers.

Overall, prefab home manufacturers and builders offer consumers a wide variety of choices when choosing a new home. Consumers can enjoy both the luxurious look of a Prefabricated Home as well as the affordability of a custom-built home. While custom-built prefab houses may be preferred for some consumers, it is generally wise to visit a Prefabricated Home showroom to view all the available options, including sizes and finishes.


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