Radiant in Residential

5 ways prefabricated homes are changing the game

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 08:02

If you have been considering purchasing a modular home, now is the time.Although prefabricated houses garnered a reputation as cheaply produced shacks when they hit the market decades ago, the general consensus seems to be  shifting.As you dream up plans for your future home, it may be worthwhile to research the details and benefits of modern modular homes. Check out some of the highlights of these structures.What are prefabricated houses?

Unlike traditional homes that are built on-site, modular homes are constructed in factories and then transported to the foundation. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the houses are delivered with the walls, floors, ceilings, wiring, plumbing and certain interior details in place. Once they have been driven to the site of the new home, a crane lowers the structure onto the foundation. Modular homes are increasingly popular with seniors and empty-nesters. While they can be delivered virtually anywhere, these houses are most often found in rural areas, according to the Financial Post.It's likely many people still associate the concept of prefabricated homes with small huts constructed with low-quality materials. However, it has come to light that modular homes can be cheaper, more energy efficient, and built more securely and in a timely fashion than traditional structures. The Financial Post reported that the housing market saw an 8 percent increase in the prevalence of prefabricated homes from 2000 to 2014.According to Kiplinger, the base price of a modular home probably includes the cost of construction, transportation and placement on the foundation. Once the house is in place, several more installations must occur, including electricity, plumbing, landscaping, driveway paving and radiant heat. The house is also subject to the same local inspection and zoning laws as traditional houses. HomeAdvisor International confirmed that a third-party inspector will usually look at the house before it leaves the factory.How are they better options than traditionally-built homes?

  1. Perfectly constructed: According to HomeAdvisor, prefabricated houses are so tightly built because the walls are held square and plumb throughout construction using custom-manufactured jigs. The interior and exterior walls are also bolted together and straps are used to brace the walls to the floor. The Financial Post added that the house isn't exposed to the elements while it's being built, an issue that arises in colder climates. The quality will always be consistent because the parts are mass-produced and put together with a formulaic process.
  2. Money and time saver: When you build a house from the ground up, there are several problems that may come to light in regard to time and finances. Delays may happen due to poor weather or a shortage of workers on a particular day. Once a modular house is delivered, however, it shouldn't take more than three days to set up on the foundation, according to Kiplinger. Additionally, manufacturers probably buy materials in bulk from established suppliers, which can bring the cost down, as stated by HomeAdvisor. 
  3. Ecofriendly: Because prefabricated houses are so well-built, they are effectively weather-sealed in comparison to traditional homes. HomeAdvisor reported that there aren't any gaps in airflow because builders use insulation on outlet boxes and can put caulk wherever necessary in the factory, more so than with houses constructed on-site. This way, you can save money on radiant heat costs. The source also determined that less waste is created when the houses are built in a shop rather than directly on a foundation. Everything is cut perfectly and any scraps that result from the process are recycled.
  4. Warranty: According to Bankrate, modular homes often come with a warranty that you won't find with a traditional house. The source suggested asking manufacturers questions regarding what is covered, how long coverage lasts and the detail surrounding extended warranties. 
  5. Customizable: Gone are the days where modular homes come in a one-size-fits-all package. According to HomeAdvisor, people interested in buying a prefabricated home have endless options to consider with layout, size and design. The NAHB confirmed that computer-assisted design programs can help prospective buyers create their own home and envision what it will look like.
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