The Owner-Builder Network

Modular and Pre-Fab

Last Updated on April 4, 2018 by teamobn

Little boxes on a hillside?

Modular and prefabricated homes have certainly had their share of critics in the past – and often for very valid reasons.  However, ‘factory built’ homes, can offer some distinct advantages over traditional building systems.

Less waste:
A simple example is frames and trusses cut on-site versus those built by truss and frame specialists.

Site security:
It’s a sad fact of life that theft from building sites is rampant.  By building off-site in secure areas, the costs associated with theft are avoided.

If you’ve spent any time on a building site, you’ve seen damage.  It can occur through carelessness, because too many trades are trying to work around each other and even through weather events such as rain.

Faster completion:
Modular homes are typically built undercover.  That means that – with the exception of extreme events, they are weather independent.  It’s a rare building site that doesn’t suffer lost days due to inclement weather.

The downside…

If a home is going to be delivered on a truck, it will have to be lightweight.  That precludes factory finishes like brick and stone, but it does not preclude those final touches occurring on-site.

There has also been a tendency in past decades for modular and prefabricated homes to all look very much the same.  Quality has also been an issue and this has lead many to disparage the concept as being inferior.

The future…

Significant advances in material, design and assembly technologies have totally overcome past limitations. We see a very bright future for the industry.  Here are some examples of where the industry is heading…


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