Prefabricated houses have been around since the early 1900s when Sears and other companies introduced them as mail-order kits. The unfortunate truth was there was a time when modular prefab homes were not built to the same code or quality as a traditionally built home, and there were complaints about difficulties heating, electrical and plumbing problems, and an overall feeling of “cheap.”
The truth is that is a problem with mobile homes, not prefab homes. Prefab homes are usually approximately 60-90% complete at the time of delivery, and need two to three more weeks for finishing touches, and are built to the same standards of quality as a traditional home.
Greener, leaner, and more fun
Prefab homes are constructed with renewable resources such as bamboo. You can also select low-VOC paint and energy efficient appliances. Some offer water collectors and solar adapters for future solar panel installations.
“Prefab homes are much more efficient and environmentally friendly. There is so much less waste in the manufacturing process. Any excess materials can be recycled into other homes or sent back to the manufacturer instead of ending up in a dumpster,” says Sheri Koones, author of four books on prefab housing including Prefabulous and Almost Off the Grid: Your Path to Building an Energy-Efficient Home. “Because the materials aren’t exposed to the elements, prefab houses avoid problems with mold, rot and bacteria… .”
Also, it’s easier on the construction workers as they are working indoors year round and not being exposed to the elements. This also increases quality control, and reduces time spent on creating the home.
Cheaper but still stylish
Prefab homes don’t have the same costs involved with a traditional home. For example, you don’t have time delays or cost overruns, and because the prefab manufacturer has selected certain models, you don’t have to pay architect fees. Additionally, there will be no warping of the wood because of inclement weather (or an unseasonable rain storm). Less wood is wasted saving you money overall.
Some people are afraid that the boxy styling won’t fit in. The Wall Street Journal has a great slideshow for a “Wee House” that was installed in Minneapolis. The owners feel like they’re living in a treehouse.
Some prefab manufactures can create 2, 3, and 4 story homes, and they can look just like a custom built home.
Financing and insurance available with rates comparable to a traditional home as well.
Would you be willing to try one?