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Modular Home vs Prefab Home: Pros and Cons

Modular Home vs Prefab Home: Pros and Cons

Prefabricated homes are a term used to describe several homes that have been built off-site. So when it comes to looking at a modular home vs prefab home, you’re actually looking at various versions of prefabricated homes. Understanding the difference between a modular home and some of the other prefab designs is beneficial as it will help you determine which style and construction method is right. So, if you’re considering a new home, eyeballing a prefab design, or are merely curious about what a modular home can offer that other prefab or on-site construction homes can, here is everything you need to know about modular homes vs prefab homes.

Different Kinds of Prefab Homes

A prefab home can be separated into three general categories (and each of these categories can have sub-categories as well). The first is a modular home, the second is a manufactured home, and the third is a panel-built home.

The term “prefab” isn’t a specific building style, but instead, it references any kind of construction that was built off-site and then moved to its final location. As the name suggests, it is prefabricated. And while each of these styles is considered a prefab home, the construction method and design can be incredibly different. That is why, when you are told a home was a prefab home, you will need to look further into the exact kind of prefab it was.

What Is A Modular Home

A modular home is a prefabricated home that is, as the name suggests, built-in modules. In other words, individual rooms and sections can be installed in individual modules or sections. Now, there are different kinds of modular homes (as suggested earlier, there are sub-categories to every category in the world of home building).

One of the most popular trends in home building is the shipping container home. This is where shipping containers are used as a means of construction. The home is installed shipping containers by shipping container until the finished result is accomplished. There are some pretty incredible designs out there when it comes to shipping container homes, although it does take some specialty work as much of the home is dealing with aluminum and steel containers.

Other modular homes are built with more traditional methods (wood and composite siding instead of metal), and individual sections of the home are made. These “modules” are then assembled on site.

The Other Two Kinds Of Prefab Homes

The other two kinds of prefab homes are panel-built homes and manufactured homes. With a manufactured home, nearly the entire home is built in a factory and then shipped to the final destination in several pieces. These are then assembled at the final location for the complete home. A panel-built home requires more on-site labor. This is because the house panels were built off-site, but most of the installation and assembly take place on-site. Panel construction is most common in the world of commercial real estate. 

If you’ve ever seen an office building go up, you may have marveled at how quickly one floor goes up, and then a second floor seems to grow out of nowhere, and then a third. This is done using a panel built design. The panels are built off-site, and then a single floor will be installed at once. Because the panels were already assembled, the floor can go up rather quickly once the materials arrive.

The Benefits Of A Modular Prefab Home

So what are the benefits of a modular prefab home over other home build options? First, you can customize your home. This is one of the easiest homes to personalize and to have built to your specific needs. Because the home is built in modules, you can remove one, replace a modular with another, swap one design, or do just about whatever you want. In general, when you’re considering a prefab home, you will have more design options here. It even lets you work with a manufacturer and have your home look different from the other prefab homes out there without anyone knowing the same company built your home.

With a prefab home, your house will be built off-site, which means construction is shorter. It doesn’t take as long to build a home inside a factory as there are no weather shutdowns. The house can also be built around the clock when necessary, whereas a traditional home build will only allow a set amount of time during the day, and if there are heavy rains, it might prevent the house from being built for days on end.

Cons of a Modular Prefab Home

Some cons of a modular prefab home are that you will need to find a plot of land that allows you to bring them home. Some neighborhoods will not let you have this kind of construction (especially if there is a homeowners association involved). Depending on where you want to live, you may be forced to live further out to purchase land that allows this kind of installation (although this may be beneficial to you).

The other con is with a modular home you won’t have 100% ability to design everything. You still have limits to working within the modular system. This means you will need to work with some of the design elements of the company. If you’re looking to build a home entirely from scratch, this is an option, although it will cost a significant more amount of money, so keep that in mind.

Building Your Dream Modular Home

If you’re interested in building a modular home, but you’re not sure where to start, you have come to the right place. Our team here at Home Crafters of Western Carolina is here to work with you and to help you realize your dream home, whatever the look or the style. So give us a call and let us help you achieve your home design today.