Prefabricated buildings, or prefab buildings, are similar to traditional buildings with the exception that most of the construction of the building parts is done inside a factory, according to specific designs. After the design and production of the building parts, they are taken to a building site where the building is completed.
According to Modular Today, a consumer review for modular buildings, the cost for construction on a conventional building site can range from £97 to £162 per square foot, while the cost for prefabricated buildings ranges from £58 to £84 per square foot. Because prefabricated buildings are mostly completed inside a factory, under assembly-line conditions, the production can be controlled, unlike conventional buildings where things such as bad weather, regular inspections and delay in shipment of materials needed for construction can lead to costly delays. Prefabricated homes also allow the owner to subsidise the cost of the house through the provision of labour by hiring a contractor and some friends to chip in, so as to bring the price of the whole package down.
Speed and Variety
Prefabricated buildings can be built in less time than it takes to build conventional buildings due to the fact that prefabricated buildings are built on assembly lines, with few interruptions, and then assembled on the construction site. Prefabricated buildings also offer a lot of designs and varieties and can be customised to suit the taste of the owner. Modern prefabricated buildings are also reconfigurable because they are designed to allow the owner to add more rooms and even entire floors as needed.
Prefabricated homes are more environmentally friendly because they are mostly constructed inside a controlled factory setting, where it is much easier to build to precise specifications, with the exact materials, keeping waste to a minimum. Some architects of prefabricated homes now specifically use materials made from recycled products. An example of such a material is insulation derived from discarded denim.
Cons of prefabricated buildings
Even though some prefabricated buildings can be customised, not all of them have this feature. Customising a prefabricated building means that you are choosing something outside of the designs that are available in the assembly-line and this may come with higher costs, depending on the construction company. There is also a limit to the kind of dramatic designs that can be added to the shape or look of prefabricated buildings. Another disadvantage of prefabricated buildings is transportation. Since the parts of a prefabricated building are manufactured in a factory and shipped to the construction site, this means that the farther away the construction site is, the more expensive it will be to ship the building, adding to the total costs.