Good question! How many words can you use for the same thing?! They’re all trying to describe the same thing – a home...
There are a number of different words used to describe a modular home. Such as prefabricated home, prefab home, factory built home, moveable dwelling or transportable home.
None of these terms are wrong and all are referring to the same thing. So what is a modular home?
A modular home is a home that has been built in a factory in such a way that it can be split into separate modules that are small enough to transport to your site on the back of a truck. All the internal finishes and fittings are built in the factory. The only work that is required on site is to connect the modules together finish the external works and connect to the services such as power and water.
So you can see how all those descriptions of a modular home fit. Prefab home comes from the way it is prefabricated in the factory and then delivered to site. Some confuse the description transportable home or moveable dwelling with the idea of something like a trailer on wheels that can be picked up at anytime and transported to a new location. This is a misconception as once a transportable home or moveable dwelling has been installed on site with footings, piers, sewer, water and electrical connections in permanently fixed to the land. Yes, should you want to move it or sell it off it is possible but would require all those works to be disconnected.
We like the term modular home as it describes how a home is split up into modules for transport and then comes back together again like Lego bricks. Depending on the size of the home it will be split up into two, three or even four modules. Each module will be up to a maximum size of 5.3m by 17m and consist of its own floor chassis, structurally braced walls and roof. Once the modules are put together on site it is almost undetectable where the module joins are located.
The clear advantages of a modular home, prefab home, moveable dwelling or transportable home is that the building time is greatly reduced (about half of building on site) and quality control is higher as you would expect from something built in the controlled environment of a factory.
One thing to be very clear about is a modular home, prefab home, moveable dwelling or transportable home is NOT a kit home. A kit home does not come with any factory built modules. It is just a truck load of all the materials you need to build a home. You still have to have a builder built a kit home on your site just like a normal house. A provider of kit homes is simply helping to you to choose a plan and then doing a list of all the materials you need to build that design. They don’t do any of the building work for you. So a kit home is going be delivered to your site in literally 1000’s of building items compared to a modular home, prefab home, moveable dwelling or transportable home is going to be delivered in two, three or four modules that are 99% completed within the factory before delivery.
When you really stop and think about it, building a home on site is pretty crazy. If you were buying a new car which would you choose? Would you want whole bunch of parts delivered to your garage and then you get a mechanic to come and build your car from the ground up? That’s crazy?!? Or would you prefer your new car to be built in the controlled environment of a factory and brought to your site once it is complete? Stupid question you might be saying. Well, we think it is just as stupid to build on site!
OK, we agree, modular homes don’t suit every application but we will happily review your building ideas to see if or how it could be built as a modular home, prefab home, moveable dwelling or transportable home.