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The Future is Prefabricated: The Pros and Cons of Prefab Houses

Factory-made homes are increasing in popularity.

The UK government recently confirmed its intention to make such homes easier to finance so that the supply of available housing would go up accordingly. Like any other form of housing, prefab homes have their benefits and drawbacks (mostly benefits), all of which are explored below.

Pros and benefits of prefab houses

  • Foremost among prefab homes benefits is their affordability. Of the 1.5 million 20 to 39-year olds in London, only 12.5% of them can afford their own homes. The average flat in the capital is £350,000 while homes typically go for £480,000. Modular homes are a more affordable intermediate housing option.
  • Unlike their postwar counterparts, modular homes are more sophisticated and sustainable that traditionally-built properties. Urban Splash chairman Tom Bloxham, whose company specialises in modular buildings, said that their quality is higher and the production line process bypasses weather and personnel-related delays. Pocket Living chief executive Marc Vlessing said that one of the biggest prefab homes benefits is that building times can be shortened by at least one-third.
  • Modular buildings are also compatible with smaller, central sites in larger UK cities. Mr. Vlessing pointed out that Pocket Living is working on two apartment blocks in Lambeth, a huge project that would be almost guaranteed to upset local residents if traditional build methods were used. With the modular approach the work can be completed comparatively quickly with little noise or disruption.

 

Structural Defects Insurance

  • The prefab market is flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of budgets and preferences. One sector offers luxurious bespoke homes produced by companies like Hanse and Huf, Stommel, and Weber. The other, which is led by companies like Urban Splash and Pocket Living, produces innovative yet affordable homes.
  • Regardless of whether the home is upscale or mainstream, prefabrication is an environmentally sustainable process. There is less waste thanks to increased upfront planning, rework is minimal, and the finished product contains less material than a traditionally built home.
  • Supporters of prefab housing have pointed out that prefabrication could benefit society by providing cost-effective emergency accommodation, especially for homeless people in urban areas. If a large scale disaster like a fire occurs, it would be a simple matter to develop shelters, send them to the site, and assemble them quickly.

Cons of prefab houses

  • Although the government’s promise of improved financing for prefab developers is promising, at present banks do not appear to be comfortable yet with smaller clients using non-traditional construction methods. Banks also need to be more receptive to providing mortgages for those purchasing prefab homes.
  • Land availability is also a challenge. Many prefab homes are built on the site of knocked-down properties or in the gardens of existing homes. More serviced plots are needed.

The building industry is experiencing a huge demand for new building techniques that will support the development of quicker and more cost-effective construction. Prefab housing reduces manufacturing costs, making it easier to offer homes that people can more readily afford.

Specialists in Construction Insurance

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