Prefab and Modular Housing Industry News
Prefab Economy Notes
Prefab homes have been around for decades and have revolutionized functional, affordable housing.
For its time, it has been incredibly cost efficient compared to the on-site building processes of today, which can exhaust more than 30% of building materials.
Prefab housing construction saves time because these homes are largely constructed off-site, the deconstruction of previous buildings and laying of the foundation can happen at the same time as much of the construction. This efficiency means that homes can be built in as few as three months. It would be rare to find a contractor able to put up a stick-built home in that time.
Some claim that prefab homes are cheaper than conventional homes and some don't. In any event, prefab homes have shorter construction times, reduced labor costs, less waste and potential savings from volume discounts that can pass on savings to the home buyer. They are also cheaper to build in remote areas and in areas with high labor costs.
The variable price of labor has a lot to do with fluctuating home building costs. In a boom economy, labor costs go up, which means that prefab's benefit of cheaper labor results in greater savings than in a poor economy, when contractors are willing to work for less.
It is important to note, however, the more complex the design and specs, the more money your home will cost you. Other factors to consider such as electricity, plumbing, duct-work are often not factored into the initial pricing, so your final cost may be 20% more than what the builder is quoting you. You may need to install a septic system, install natural gas or a basement, these too will add to your bottom line.
Rather than overload our landfills, however, contemporary architectural firms and design companies are rethinking what prefab means for today's waste-conscious and energy-savvy homebuyers. Many are combining traditional modular concepts with a customized approach, allowing clients to select a basic design and alter it according to their tastes.