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UK Factory Homes Can Be Assembled in as Little as 36 Hours

The recent opening of a Yorkshire factory may usher in a new era of prefab homes: it can produce three-bedroom homes that cost as low as £65,000.

The factory in Knaresborough will produce eight homes fitted with bathrooms and kitchens each day, ready to be loaded on lorries for delivery at sites across the UK. This housebuilding method can cut the 40 weeks it normally takes to build a home to a mere 10 days.

The cost of a two or three-bedroom home would range from £65,000 to £79,000, although this does not include the price of land, assembly, and connecting the home to services.

UK company Ilke Homes, which operates the prefab homes production plant, said that the goal is to produce 5,000 homes a year, which would make it a leading housebuilder in the UK.

Insurance company Legal & General has also built a factory outside Leeds, which is expected to build 3,500 homes a year. The company confirmed that it would build other factories in various locations across the UK.

These new housebuilders shun the word ‘prefab.’ They prefer the term ‘modular construction.’ They promise that the homes will be built to higher standards than those constructed using traditional methods, and that better insulation would result in lower energy bills.

Speaking at the recent opening of the Knaresborough factory, the Housing Secretary said that the enterprise would help the government attain its goal of 300,000 new homes in England every year. In 2017, 220,000 homes were constructed.

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Buyers interested in prefab homes should not expect a simplified, express delivery service. Councils and housing associations were the first to buy them, and may order in bulk. These homes are also not ultra-modern.

An L&G Modular representative said that the homes come with bathroom, kitchen, electrics, and plumbing included, and are ready to move into nearly at once. Due to current customer preference, a brick facade is added on site.

Once built, the modules are loaded onto lorries, transported to the site, and bolted together. The current record for assembling a house on location is 36 houses, but one to two weeks is more realistic.

Out of the 250 workers at the Ilke factory, approximately 85% have come from outside the building industry. This fact reflects the shortage of skills in the industry, a situation that has potentially been made more difficult by Brexit.

The two Yorkshire factors are expected to add 2-3% to the Uk’s housing output, but this is expected to grow. An L&G representative said that the company intended to revamp the current model for building homes. She added that a new industry is being built, with different ways of designing. The supply line is being changed and building is being carried out at an unprecedented pace.

Ilke chief executive Bjorn Conway said that the company is only beginning to discover what’s possible. The company took a licence on the Knaresborough factory only 12 months ago and is committed to delivering homes without relying on construction skills that are hard to find.

Specialists in Construction Insurance


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