Both modular homes and prefabricated houses (they aren’t the same), offer a much faster constructive solution than traditional houses, which reduces costs and environmental impact. In addition, prefabrication offers great flexibility in terms of design and layout.
This allows homeowners to create spaces that are perfectly tailored to their needs.
Current Situation of Modular Homes
Despite these advantages, prefab homes are still not as widespread as they could be.
This is due in part to concerns about quality and durability. However, as the prefab market grows, it is only a matter of time before these concerns are overcome.
It is known that prefabricated houses are becoming more popular with each passing year.
According to studies carried out, the world demand for prefabricated houses should increase 2.5% per year in a sustained way, reaching around 3 million units in 2020.
This is even more pronounced in developing countries, especially Asia, Africa and Latin America, where housing requirements are generally higher. Therefore, it is not difficult to imagine a greater penetration of the prefabricated housing market, increasing its demand in the future.
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What is a Manufactured House?
Prefabricated houses are houses that are built (usually in a factory) by creating parts or pieces with certain standard measurements, to then be transported by parts, to the final place, where the house will be assembled and built in its entirety.
The term parts or pieces refers to the parts that will make up the building or a section of it. They can be made of different materials, such as concrete (concrete), metal (in its different alloys), wood and even plastic, depending on the use it will have in the building.
A manufactured home can be one, two, and more stories. This type of housing is usually safe and resistant, as much as a conventionally built house.
In the case of prefabricated metal houses , these are made from metal profiles that are joined together to form the one-piece structure. In the case of prefabricated concrete houses, the components are larger, sometimes even becoming a single prefabricated element, which makes up the house as a whole.
It can be affirmed that the construction of a prefabricated house entails savings in labor resources, materials and equipment, rapid manufacturing, installation and durability, and in turn, high quality constructions in a shorter period of time.
What differentiates one type of prefabricated house from another is precisely the main material used, especially for its structure, walls, and roof. Even, prefabricated houses can be built, where different fundamental materials are used.
For example, for the (precast) foundation it would be reinforced concrete, the material for the walls would be cold rolled metal (such as fluted aluminum), and the main material for the roof would be wood or plastic.
The material or the different materials that are chosen depend on the function that it is going to perform in the construction of the house, since each material has its own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, which make it more feasible to use in each case.
In large electronic stores, we can see how many suppliers of prefabricated houses of one type or another, from different countries and with different materials, whether from Europe, Asia or the American Continent.
What is a Modular House?
A modular house is a type of prefabricated house, which is prefabricated by standardized modules. In this case, standardized modules are called parts that in themselves make up spaces, for example 2x2x2 meters or 3x3x1m, to give an example.
So what is a modular home? A modular (prefabricated) house is one that is built by modules that have been standardized, with the aim of achieving greater speed, efficiency and economy in construction.
Said modules are prefabricated in a technological plant (say, factory), and then transported to the location site, where they will be hoisted and definitively placed as part of a dwelling or a group of dwellings.
Modular homes are based on the use of more resistant materials, such as reinforced concrete or hot rolled steel.
Using the term modular construction , this construction technique is used to build large buildings, can be executed more quickly, and usually involves the use of cranes to lift the modular elements. Therefore, from the construction of modular houses, a longer useful life for the building can be expected.
Types of Manufactured Homes
There are different types of prefabricated houses , since they can be classified according to their materials, construction method and size.
Types of Prefabricated Houses according to the Material
Prefabricated Concrete Houses . They are built based on reinforced concrete (reinforced concrete elements or modules) that has excellent qualities of durability and thermal performance.
Steel . _ A material widely used in this type of houses, especially to form the structure of the building. This material allows you to build prefabricated homes in a very short time, and they are strong and durable.
Prefabricated Wooden Houses . The wood is in wide use in locations throughout the United States and Canada.
The wood is light, easy to work with, and has good thermal properties. Wood is ideal for building surrounded by nature, although it may require more labor hours than the previous types of prefabs.
PVC Prefabricated House . Those that use PVC offer excellent thermal and acoustic insulation. They tend to be made faster and tend to be smaller houses than the previous ones.
Types of Prefabricated Houses according to their Construction
- Modular House. The modular house is built by modules, which tend to be three-dimensional and larger.
- Panelized. Houses with prefabricated panels are more widespread in this type of construction. The panels are generally made of PVC, plaster or concrete.
- Container Houses. Shipping containers are used to make up the house. This type of construction has spread considerably.
- Construction by pieces and assembly . In this type, wooden or metal pieces or profiles are generally used, which are manufactured and cut in the factory, and later assembled to form component parts, such as columns, walls, beams, among others.
What Differences Are There Between a Prefabricated House and a Modular House?
What is the difference between a prefab and a modular home?
The prefabricated house is a ready-made house that is built and transported complete to its place of installation. Instead, the modular home is built in parts and assembled after being transported.
A modular house, is made up of modules or pieces of the same dimensions, and generally has structural enclosures, which are assembled with each other according to the project, to form the spaces of a house.
A modular house requires greater technical control during the pre-fabrication phase in the technological plant and, in general, its parts are larger or larger, they form part of the structure and once assembled (or assembled) they make up spaces in the building. .
On the other hand, the concept of a prefabricated house is much broader, since it can include not only structural elements, but also pieces or parts of the completion of the house.
A house can be totally prefabricated, while a modular house (built by modules) refers rather to the conformation of sections and spaces of the building.
Examples of Manufactured Homes and Modular Homes
For example, it can be a house that is built with pieces (small and medium) of wood, multiple pieces and parts, mainly wood, in different sizes.
At the same time, with these pieces of wood, houses with various dimensions can be achieved, which would allow greater flexibility when planning and creating spaces of different sizes.
However, a modular house could be a house that is built from modular elements, such as the well-known shipping containers (20 feet or 40 feet, etc.).
Therefore, it will require the use of a crane for lifting, greater precision in the production and assembly of the modules, which once placed in their final position, will be forming spaces inside the house.
In short, prefabricated homes overlap and encompass modular homes.
What are the Benefits of Prefabricated Homes
There are two great benefits that we can obtain by building a prefabricated house for ourselves: these are greater savings in time and money.
The fact of building parts of a house in one place (the factory) and being able to assemble them in another (construction site) can bring us great benefits.
With the technological development that companies engaged in construction have, the assortment of prefabricated homes that they can offer is very varied, in terms of design, type of home, among other aspects of interest.
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