Prefab Home Building – Speed and Simplicity Second to None But is it Real?

You want a “real” home. You also want to save money and speed the process of construction. Should you select a prefab home? Are you concerned that it might be considered a manufactured or mobile home? Prefabricated homes are quite popular, especially in some areas of the country and world. They can indeed save both time and money. Before you make the decision and take the leap, you should know a couple things about this approach. You may be unclear about what you’re getting.

Just What Do YOU Mean by Prefabricated Homes?

It’s interesting hearing the varied perceptions about prefabricated homes. Some people insist they would never buy and build a prefab home because they want a “real” home! Aren’t they real? Before answering that, let’s clear up some things.

Here are some other terms with brief explanations that are commonly referred to as a prefabricated home:

  • Panelized:

A panelized home typically means that the construction process has been streamlined and wall sections (usually between five to twenty feet long) are delivered to the building site. The panels can be nothing more than the studs or they can include wiring, windows, siding … the works.

  • Modular:

With a modular home, what usually happens is the home is fairly complete before it is delivered to the building site. It’s delivered in large sections (perhaps two, three, or four + sections depending on the size of the home) and set on the locally made foundation immediately. Once set in place, it’s finished in short order.

  • Factory framed:

In essence, this could be the same as panelized. Factory framing is just as it sounds, the framing is done in the factory, not on the building site. Everything else gets built on site just like a normal stick-built home (stick-built referring to the traditional studded walls.) In fact, it truly is a stick-built home.

  • Kit/Packaged:

Kit homes or packaged homes are similar to a modular in that most everything is included in the “package” that is delivered to the homebuilding site. The difference is that the home is not built first in the factory. It doesn’t come in big “modules” and placed on a foundation immediately. It usually is, however, panelized. Usually the panels are “open framed” meaning they include only the studs with window and door openings.

Yes, Prefab Homes are Real Homes

They are not mobile or manufactured homes. They are not on wheels. That’s the main difference. And even more, you usually will have finishing materials that are considerably better than mobile homes. A manufactured home is the quickest, but not the same as the rest. If you’re looking for speed while still getting a real home, look at modulars. Sometimes kit homes can take just as long to build as a true stick/site built home.

Finally, when it comes to official appraisals of prefab homes, they are considered real, stick-built and site-built homes whether they were modular, factory framed, kit, or prefab. They should have the same value as a completely site-built home.