Construction of Modular Homes Vs. Traditional Builds

Aleczander Gamboa

construction of modular homes

For those working in the construction industry, deadlines, budgets, weather conditions and potential risks come with the job.

You may have noticed modular homes are becoming an increasingly popular trend in our industry. Not only have they shown to be more efficient in the long run, but they are also cost-effective and flexible should disruptions occur.

In this blog article, let’s explore the differences between modular homes and traditional construction, the benefits of modular homes and whether or not it’s right for you.

What is a Modular Home?

Modular homes are houses built off-site. You might have heard its other names like factory-built, system-built or prefabricated. In essence, modular homes are built in sections first, then transported to the site where the builders assemble them according to the plan.

In other words, rather than build from scratch, construction workers build a house with sections already pre-built in a factory beforehand. And because the sections are pre-built, modular homes can be quicker to create in the long run.

But that’s not to say that all modular construction looks alike nor is it completely different to traditional builds. The construction of modular homes still uses the same materials, but often is considered a ‘greener’ and sustainable alternative. This is because there is less waste created at the job site — every section is fitted and has a purpose, so there is no excess waste or additional materials that aren’t being used. Think of it as more of a lean way to operate and build.

What benefits does the construction of modular homes have for builders?

Modular homes come with many benefits, most notably:

  1. Quicker turnaround time – The process of modular homes enables them to be built faster than traditional construction projects. Most of the hard yards – that is, the construction of sections – are already completed prior to the main build. When it arrives on-site, construction workers just need to work together to put the structures together to create the final product. Typically, it takes 12-16 weeks from choosing the design of your modular home to moving in.
  2. Improved quality control – The controlled environment makes it easier for head contractors and supervisors to oversee the quality of work. And because the sections are already completed, construction managers can truly focus on attention to detail to deliver a quality product. Often, modular homes are also fitted with steel chassis for increased durability. As a result, it’s easier for these structures to be transported from factory to site, even during environmental stresses like strong wind or rain.
  3. Environmentally friendly – There’s definitely been a big shift towards sustainable practices and the impact certain materials have on the environment. Modular homes help address this by having excellent ventilation, insulation and shading built into the design stage. From there, things like solar power and greywater systems are also added. Furthermore, because the structures are built beforehand, there are less wastage and excess materials created on the job site, saving builders time and money.

Does the construction of modular homes have any drawbacks?

While modular homes are incredibly beneficial both for the client and the environment, there are some aspects to consider when deciding between the construction of modular homes versus doing a traditional build.

  1. Difficulties if it’s a luxury build – If the project is a high-end luxury one, some features and designs associated with modern homes may not be suitable for the materials and styles needed to complete a luxury build. In this case, a traditional build is the best way forward.
  2. Land restrictions – Prior to constructing a modular home, head contractors should be aware of the land regulations. For example, some areas may only allow brick homes or homes made with a certain material. In this case, a traditional build may be easier as it’s a little more customisable and flexible to land regulations if there happens to be any.

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Matrak was founded in 2017 and provides innovative mobile-first end-to-end supply chain tracking software solutions to the construction industry. We believe in the significant benefits to Site Managers, contractors, developers and construction supply chains generated from data-driven insights through the materials tracking process.

Industry-wide challenges are best solved through collaboration, and Matrak’s material tracking app strives to bring the construction industry together around its most fundamental component – materials.

Our app is available on all iOS, Android and Windows devices and has helped more than 157 projects in over 5 countries to enable the power of supply chain transparency.

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