Prefabricated buildings differ from those built in a traditional manner, from the ground up. In this article, when we refer to prefabricated buildings, we’re not just referring to prefab homes — though these are the most popular types of prefab buildings — prefab office, retail, and apartment buildings are all becoming more popular.
Instead of these prefabricated buildings being constructed on-site, they are assembled using already-constructed components that have been transported to the site. Such buildings are made from components, transportable sections and/or modules. Buildings assembled from modules are referred to as modular buildings, while those from transportable sections are called manufactured buildings.
Prefabricated buildings must be built to code. HUD building codes govern the assembly of manufactured and mobile homes, while modular homes must adhere to the International Building Code.
Prefabricated buildings can be assembled to an individual, organization or business’ specifications. It is possible to have customized, prefabricated buildings designed and assembled.
When a pre-fabricated home is being built, the builder will first gather up all of the sections and then send them to wherever the building will be constructed. After it reaches its destination, it will be assembled by a team.
Modular versus Mobile Homes
Though many people believe modular and manufactured homes to be interchangeable or one-in-the-same, they are in fact, quite different. The variances that do exist are pretty significant.
The process of purchasing a modular home is similar to purchasing a traditional or site-built house, for instance, prospective home owners can seek out financing for the home if the wish. Loans for these types of homes may be similar to traditional homes. However, that depends on the lender and the quality of the modular home.
Obtaining a loan for a mobile home can conversely be quite expensive. Mobile or manufactured homes are difficult to obtain an affordable loan for. Lenders do provide them. However, they are specialized loans. The interest rates are typically very expensive and it is difficult, if not impossible to get a 30 year loan. Most lenders don’t offer such long term loans because of how quickly mobile homes depreciate.
What Exactly are Pre-fabricated Buildings?
Pre-fabricated buildings are predominantly off-site built structures. Parts of the building are assembled elsewhere and then transported to their site where they will be erected. Homes built in this manner are faster to construct than site-built homes are. By some estimation they take 50% less time, which might be beneficial to someone in a time crunch.
Prefabricated built tend to be cheaper than site-built homes, this is often at least in part because of decreased labor costs. As mentioned above, it takes far less time to build a prefabricated building then it does to build a site-built one.
Many of today’s pre-fabricated buildings aren’t like the ones of old. They have improved a great deal. Today, many are customizable, can be built as multiple story homes and buildings. They can also be constructed on top of a foundation and/or basement. The industry is working hard to dispel the negative perceptions of pre-fab homes by making them bigger, better and more interesting architecturally.