Why Modular Homes?

Working with a builder or design company that specifically deals in prefab or modular homes can give you some distinct benefits.

modular home in Australia by Modscape

Modular home in Point Leo, Australia

Image and Design by Modscape

There are now architects and builders who deal specifically with container conversions who design modular homes using containers as their ‘base modules’.

If you have been involved in renovating a house, or even building a house from scratch, then you’ll know that a building schedule does not always go to plan and this can have major implications if your project runs over time and over budget.

There can be various reasons for building delays including

  • Weather
  • Delays in receiving components/fixtures
  • Delays in one trade which will then domino to affect other trades being able to work effectively

So Why Choose Modular Building?

So what exactly is modular building and why choose it over traditional building processes?

Modular building refers to a building being constructed of ‘modules’. These modules can come in various sizes and are built off-site, to be fit together in a quick process (see more below) once they are ready to be transported to the site.

The term ‘modular’ can be a little confusing as a brick is a modular unit, as is a bale of straw for a strawbale home.

modular house in Australia - external view

Modular house external view, Point Leo, Australia

Image and Design by Modscape

Modular building in this context is more about the prefabrication aspect which is where the main benefits of modular building lie.

  • Fixed cost – without on site delays, you can be given a fixed price for your project

  • Quality – the quality of the workmanship is known as all performed under strict conditions.

  • Sustainability – lower amounts of waste and high control over the quality of the build often make prefab homes have high energy ratings

  • Flexible design – the modular nature of the buildings means that extra modules, often a whole new story can be added

  • Time – efficiencies in the building process, as well as quick construction on site (usually less than a week) give a specific timeframe for the project which is often guaranteed

Modular building is often used for sites with difficult access, where more conventional building processes would be expensive or impossible but it is gaining in popularity for the above reasons.

Potential Issues of Prefab / Modular Housing

So far prefabricated building sounds too good to be true right?

There are a couple considerations, which may or may not be issues for you..

  • The modules need to be trucked to your site – there is an expense involved in this, and it may increase depending on any access issues to your site. A crane may be required, to lift your modules onto site.

  • Modules are a specific size (this will vary from builder to builder) but it may influence your design. With cargo container homes, a container is close to 8 feet wide (about 2.35m) which gives a small width to work within.
  • Although more architects and builders are using prefabricated components in their buildings, modular houses still can be more difficult to obtain finance for than conventional homes. Check with your lending institution before paying a deposit.

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