Updated: Apr 13, 2021
Prefabricated houses represent an efficient alternative to conventional masonry constructions. The concept has been around for a while, though it's not as widely utilized as brick and concrete yet. However, it does play an important role on the international real estate developing market. On a local scale, the concept of prefabricated houses has gained significant momentum in the recent years. We can see an increased availability in solutions, technological innovations, materials, designs and prices that make these houses very attractive to those looking to build a home a lot faster than the traditional way.
When talking about different kinds of homes, there may be some confusion in regards to the terms used to discuss what kind of house is being built. Prefab, Modular, Panel Built, and Manufactured are sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably, but they all mean different things. The modular and panel built houses fall under the prefab category.
Panel building is accomplished by laying down the floor and then lowering each section of wall in to place one at a time.
This type of construction can be useful in building houses that don’t work neatly as modules and it can be just as structurally sound as other types of prefabricated building. Commercial prefabricated building is often done this way as it allows for wide open spaces and high ceilings. It is also much less expensive to transport a building in panels than in modules if it is large enough. Not only do the walls come ready to be attached to the foundation, but sometimes manufacturers will already have placed anything that can be bolted down. Toilets, sinks, dishwashers, and anything else that can be properly secured during travel can be pre-attached to the floor and cabinets and light fixtures can be pre-attached to walls. This means less work for the builder and saved time and money for you.
Modular homes are created in sections, and then transported to the home site for construction and installation. With modular building, the house is constructed in separate box-like modules which are then secured together to form a whole. Since the modules have to be transported on the backs of flat-bed trucks over highways, they generally have to be no longer than the truck and no wider than 16’. This traditionally meant that every room in the house had to be less than 16’ wide, but with new technology, old barriers in modular building are breaking down and houses are becoming infinitely customizable.
Modular building usually doesn’t allow for additional structures like garages or porches to be built in the factory, but by combining panel building and modern modular building techniques, modular home factories are able deliver your home up to 90% complete.