Prefab Houses: The Pros and Cons
For most people outside North America, the idea of a prefabricated house is foreign and strange. Homes in other regions are usually made of concrete and stone from the ground up on-site. When it comes to prefab houses, however, everything is manufactured at a factory then transported in pieces, to the site, where it is assembled with other parts to create a house. As their popularity picks up pace in other parts of the world, it is important that we examine the benefits and drawbacks of prefab homes.
The following are some of the benefits of having a prefab house over a conventional one.
They are Affordable
Building a home on site is a costly affair. You will need to bring in more experts, more equipment, and buy more materials. This is on top of having to adhere to some expensive construction guidelines that require permits and licenses. Prefabs, on the other hand, come ready for assembly. You will need fewer hands on the job and can get the work done much quicker and cheaper.
They are Efficient
Prefab homes are more than just combining different pieces to create a habitable structure. A good modern prefab house manufacturer designs a prefab house with efficiency as a priority. While the other types of houses require extensive air conditioning and such, prefab homes are designed in a way that allows for good aeration while at the same time being airtight to avoid airflows and leaks that may increase the energy needs in the house. With a prefab house, the cost of heating and cooling your house in winter and summer go down considerably.
It is Environmentally Friendly
As the focus shifts towards the creation of solutions for environmental degradation, prefab installations are doing a better job compared to the other type of house construction. The noise that comes from the constant drilling when building a house from scratch can be a nuisance, not to mention the amount of excavation needed just to set up the foundation of the house. Prefabs, on the other hand, come with most parts already fixed, which means less hammering, fewer excavations leading to less pollution.
They are Durable
The one stand-out benefit of being manufactured in a factory is that prefab houses are precision-engineered, everything is designed to fit into each other perfectly with no room for errors. Another thing that makes them a better choice is the many tests they undergo to verify their sturdiness by being subjected to all conditions that may affect them once they are up on site.
Good as they may be, prefab houses also come with their own disadvantages that include the following.
The Cost of Land
One of the requirements for setting up a prefab home is that you must own the land beneath the house. If you do not own land, then you will have to purchase one that is big enough to accommodate the prefab house you have in mind. You will also need to clear within the relevant authorities before setting up the prefab house; you will also have to hook it with electricity, water, and sewerage systems. The initial cost is prohibitive.
Even with the green light from the authorities, you will still need to make some more adjustments to the land before any construction begins. First, you will have to level the ground to create an even footing for the prefab house. If the site you have chosen is one that is far from other settlements, then you will have to incur the cost of any disruption you may cause to the sewer or water lines as you dig and level the ground.
The Shipping Costs
The transportation process of the prefab parts from the factory to the site takes a lot of work since they are not small parts. You will have to transport entire walls and rooftops from one point to the other, which may cost you a lot since they can only be transported by special vehicles. There is also the risk of the parts getting damaged along the way due to road bumps or accidents.
One advantage of going with prefab houses, as earlier mentioned, is that you get to deal with fewer people since the construction is fast. However, this also opens up the risk of having a contractor who may not be up to the task. They may end up assembling some parts wrongly, and this could provide a weakness to the whole structure, creating a hazard for anyone living in the house.
Low Fire Resistance
To enable easy transportation, most prefab materials are light and are made of wood. In the event of a fire, these materials are known to have a very low resistance to fire. Once the house catches fire, it can spread too quickly due to the ample availability of kindle material throughout the whole structure.
The choice between prefab houses and the other regular types of housing comes down to personal preferences and the financial muscle of those involved. Both types of houses provide the main thing that they are built for, a habitable space. Before settling down on any choice, make sure you are ready to handle anything that comes your way.