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Your Guide to Building a Modular House


A crane lifting a modular window into place
A crane lifting a modular window into place

You just came off Instagram or Pinterest and your mind is glazed over with so many prefab modular homes. Suddenly, everyone has one. In the middle of a forest, high on a hill, in a desert oasis... And they look fabulous — plus, according to their owners, the equivalent of runway models, they are incredibly easy to build and “so affordable.” But are prefab modular homes the right fit for you? Let’s dig in and take a look at them.


What are Prefab modular homes?


First, let’s take a pause and do a sidebar. There are multiple differences between modular homes, prefab homes, and the ever-trending container homes. It all boils down to zoning laws, and materials used. In this article, we’re not going to discuss these differences but will point out that a container home isn’t the same as a prefab modular home — and that not all modular homes are prefab at that.


Let’s define what a prefab modular home is:


Prefab is a catch-all term. It refers to prefabricated homes which are manufactured off-site, in advance, and using template models or high-tech tools, and then transported to the property in sections and assembled incredibly fast. In most cases, these prefab structures are made in sections or modules, hence the ever-brand-worthy term: prefab modular homes.





Should you go prefab modular?



Crane lifting prefab house panel into place
Market has moved on from prefabricated panels like these

Jump to:

Custom designs

Fast build


Unlike when the whole prefab trend started a couple of years ago, today’s models are incredibly customizable and unique. Before, you had to settle for what the construction firm had on stock. Now, the only limit is your imagination — and perhaps your budget. Prefab modular homes come in all tastes, sizes, and configurations. Are you a SpongeBob fan? Pretty sure a contractor is willing to build you his pineapple pad if the price is right. To what extent are prefab modular homes customizable? Well, some new models are built with 3d printed technology. That’s right, a 3d printer, the size of a warehouse, can build your prefab home directly from a digital blueprint with little to no human interaction.


Thanks to tech, today, the sky's the limit.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of prefab modular homes.


Custom designs


Today, companies that deal and trade in prefab modular homes look less like a traditional construction site and more like an Apple store. Full of architects and long-haired designers, and hipsters — everyone with a Macbook and the latest iPhone on hand. Thanks to apps and software, not to mention adaptable materials, and other radical tech, modular homes can be incredibly personal and customizable. They are no longer template models and can adapt to your needs and unique sensibilities.


If your budget allows it, your modular home can be a statement about yourself. You can configure your home however you want.


Fast build


Depending on the company you hire, your home can be built and transported to the site in less than 16 weeks. Some of our projects have been completed even faster. This is incredibly advantageous. Why? For multiple reasons. Two of the main ones are:


  • You won’t have to spend so much on man-hours. That’s one of the biggest issues and costs when it comes to building a home. Not materials, but what workers charge you for being on-site.

  • You can move into your home in less than 4 months.

  • You can save significantly on lease or mortgage costs while the construction is happening.


Prime tech



Fully 3d printed house module, fully weather proofed like a car
Fully 3d printed house module, fully weather proofed like a car

Today, thanks to tech options, you can really do wonders when it comes to your prefab home. You can add all types of energy-saving solutions, and due to how these homes are built you can also update these solutions.


Prefab homes are incredibly adaptable to what is called the “smart home infrastructure.” This is great since their flexibility allows you to incorporate new tech as it is launched. Remember what is in today, what looks like the next tech wonder, doesn’t necessarily stay as such in a year. The last thing you want is to find yourself the proud owner of a media player that is encrusted into your walls and is three to four generations old.


All-inclusive option


Depending on the service you acquire, you might not even need to lift a finger when it comes to construction. Some prefab modular home firms offer the “all-inclusive option.” They’ll take care of everything. From rigging and installing your home, leveling the ground, all the way to getting zoning permits and the okays from the municipality.


Some firms will even go so far as to outfit you home, move you in, and even stock you up with the essentials. They’ll wait for you, keys in hand, and give you a grand tour of your new prefab home — chocolate bar on the pillow waiting for you.


Pricing varies


Depending on your needs, your demands, and your budget, you can actually tweak the price per square footage. That’s one of the great things about prefab modular homes. What the builders hand out on the day of the contract is what you will pay. Since it’s all done in-house, indoors, there is almost no risk of a problem presenting itself and making your costs rise.


Scale-up


Finally, if properly constructed and planned, prefab modular homes are great because they allow you to easily scale up your home — add another module or room. If you have the land, all you need is to contact the same company that built your prefab modular home and asks them if they can add a module or two. Maybe a guest room, or one for a new family member.

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