Prefabricated homes or “prefab” homes are constructed in a factory before being
transported and put together on the dwelling site. Prefabrication
involves modular construction to manufacture these parts and ship
them to the site of assemblage.
are Prefabricated Homes?
Prefab homes are also referred to as
modular homes or panelized homes.
Prefabrication is more convenient than standard housing in many
ways. Assembling pre-manufactured parts cuts down on the extra costs
and construction time. Builders are less likely to encounter weather
issues and the production of the parts increases the efficiency of
construction and customizes the final product. Prefabs save time,
money, labour and ensures a high-quality result. Prefab houses also
vary in design and may be customized to the homeowner’s needs.
history of Prefabs
first known prefabricated building was said to be a castle being
moved as a type of ‘kit’ as early as 1160. The 16th century
brought about the invention of prefabricated homes in India and
prefab homes became popular in the US in the early 1900s also due to
abundance of timber. House kits became sought after in the United
States and companies like Sears, Roebuck and Co. and The Aladdin
Company made it possible for the middle-class to build homes. Prefab
homes provided housing for veterans returning from World War II thus
increasing sales and usage until the US government issued the HUD
code for standard housing regulation in 1976.
to construct a Prefab
certain prefab homes is as easy as placing the completed sections
together once they are transported to the site of construction.
Assemblage is usually conducted by professionals and the home remains
static after it is assembled on the site. Make sure that you
understand your customized dwelling and the quality of the specific
structure before you invest in it. Many prefabs are designed to
handle natural disasters and technological advances have made it
possible for prefabricated homes to survive in various terrains and
climates. It is still important to understand the environment of your
site to ensure that you will have the correct type of foundation for
your dwelling. Prefab foundation parts vary from stilts to floating
slabs and steel grade beams. Some prefabs may require ‘pinning’
the foundation to the ground and other modular homes residing in
areas with high seismic activity will need stabilizing pilings.
Disaster-proof prefabs differ greatly depending on the needs of the
homeowner and the environment, therefore it is important to
understand the specific parts needed for your site. The construction
of the parts may take a few weeks but your prefabricated house could
be assembled in as little as three days.
Legal Issues with Prefabricated Homes
are some concerns when it comes to prefab sites. Firstly, the
homeowner must own the land where the house will be assembled and the
site must be in a zone that allows manufactured housing. The
neighbourhood may also have specific requirements and your prefab
might not fit into this aesthetic. It is of utmost importance to
check the regulations and requirements of your desired site before
buying land and designing your home. There are some stigmas around
prefabs due to trailer parks and other issues with taxation. Suss out
the area before investing in it – the best prefabs reside on a
Pros & Cons of Prefabs
houses are less restricting than regular housing, allowing the
homeowner to customize their home with different features offered by
the manufacturer. Not only do you save money on materials and labour
but construction time is cut down from months to weeks. Inspections
are conducted at the factories, ensuring quality parts for assemblage
and if your prefab is designed to be disaster-proof then the lifespan
of your home is increased significantly. There are some issues with
prefabricated homes. For example, the more you modify your home, the
more expensive it becomes. Some key systems may not be included in
the initial quote and you may end up paying for extra plumbing and
electrical work. Certain prefabrication offers may be limited to
areas that are easily accessible and your desired site may not be
optimal for assemblage – depending on the manufacturer. It is safe
to say that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages when it
comes to prefabricated houses. Finding a legal and accessible site
and spending more time on planning your home is certainly worth how
much you will be saving as well as gaining a resilient and
personalised modular home.
to maintain a Prefab
home requires as
much maintenance as a standard house. One needs to level the house
every year, check the gutter system to protect the roof and
foundation from water damage, check for any peeling and cracking and
caulk around the vents, doors and windows of the house. The roof must
be coated annually and checked for broken shingles. Vinyl must be
cleaned with bleach or other detergents to combat mildew and the
frame must be analyzed for any damage that could lead to corrosion.
These areas can be treated with zinc chromate. Vents and filters must
be cleaned regularly and vinyl wallcoverings can be cleaned with
regular detergent. Maintaining a prefab won’t cost more than the
maintenance of a regular home and the cost of the house itself
averages at $200 per square foot. Prices will vary depending on the
type of prefab home you want but you could easily pay between
$100 000 and $200 000 for large eco-friendly modular home.
steps are needed to build a prefab?
building plan for prefabrication involves a lot of discussion with
the manufacturer and significant preparation of the site. Builders must be paid beforehand which may require a special construction
loan. Pre-cut kits can be pieced together by the homeowner whereas
modular homes and panelized homes need professional construction
assistance. After selecting the right type of manufactured home, the
next step is to ensure that you qualify for a mortgage loan for
modular housing. Once that is complete, it’s time to find the
correct site and purchase your land. You will need to find a
prefabrication manufacturer as well as a general contractor who will
assist you with the site for your home. Once your building permits
are secured you can start planning and scheduling accordingly. After
the site’s interior fixtures are installed, the last step is to
have your prefab delivered and assembled.
homeowners are leaning towards prefabs as a greener housing option.
Whether your prefab house is a kit, a panelized prefab or a little
hobbit home, you will need to be adequately prepared and plan your
modular home for efficient prefabrication.