Pro and Cons of Manufactured Homes: Concrete or Wood?

Pro and Cons of Manufactured Homes: Concrete or Wood? One of the advantages of prefabricated houses is the fact of building parts of a house in one place (the factory) and being able to assemble them in another (construction site), which can bring us great benefits.

Pro and Cons of Manufactured Homes

With the technological development that companies engaged in construction, the assortment of prefabricated homes that they can offer is very varied, in terms of design, TYPE OF HOUSE, among other aspects of interest.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Manufactured Homes

Pros and Cons of Manufactured Homes

Prefabricated concrete houses are constructions with a long lifespan, efficient and sustainable. To this, we must add that they are cheaper houses than conventional ones and that is a very attractive extra for those who want to have their own home.

There are two great benefits that we can obtain by building a prefabricated house for ourselves: these are greater savings in time and money.

At the same time, they can also present certain disadvantages, having a manufactured home. 

In the case of prefabricated concrete houses, it will require the use of heavy machinery to lift the precast elements. In prefabricated wooden houses, the action of micro-organisms could become a handicap, although it has a solution.

Next, let’s look at all the pros and cons of buying a manufactured home.

Advantages of Modular Homes

There are really many advantages of prefabricated houses and we will see them in detail. 

When talking about prefabricated houses, we can think of different types of homes, depending on the knowledge we have in this regard and, above all, on the tradition that we have seen in the cities where we have previously lived.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Prefabricated Concrete Houses

For example, we could think of the old (and current) typical wooden houses, which also have their own advantages.

But the great benefits of prefabricated houses are based on the construction using reinforced concrete panels and modules. This is due to the benefits and advantages of building with precast concrete.  

Without further ado, let’s take a look at all the advantages of prefab concrete houses .

  1. Allow greater productivity

Looking at the situation at the scale of large cities, construction through prefabricated housing would allow a more rapid solution to the problems of housing demand for the general population.

After the Second World War, there was a significant increase in the production of prefabricated building systems (especially in Europe) with the aim of replacing the largest number of homes damaged during the war in the shortest possible time. It was one of the first clear examples of the importance of prefabrication.

serial construction of prefabricated houses
  1. Less execution time

Another advantage of prefabricated houses is that the pieces come ready to be assembled or assembled. This considerably reduces work on site, with all the costs that this entails.

Another of the benefits of the execution of prefabricated houses is that the civil works can overlap (if necessary) with the manufacture of the pieces and parts to be assembled as well as their purchase process.

Prefabricated houses allow construction in two or three months , with high durability. Building a prefabricated house can mean savings of up to 70% in execution time , compared to traditional construction.

premade house

  1. They are cheaper

Undoubtedly, prefabricated houses are cheaper than the construction of traditional houses. Some studies suggest that manufactured homes are around 30% cheaper than conventionally built homes.

  1. Lower construction cost

An important part of the prefabricated houses is built in workshops, where technical control and production quality are superior to what can be done on the final site of the work.

Therefore, this leads to resource savings of labor, materials and equipment. On the other hand, mass production saves time and energy carriers.

  1. Decrease in civil works and masonry

In some cases, especially in one-story houses, it may only require a preparation of compacted soil or strip footing foundation or a raft reinforced concrete slab.

In addition, it is known that one of the most cumbersome activities in housing construction (and in construction in a general sense) is masonry work. Building brick houses , compared to concrete modular houses, has been practically a work of craftsmanship.

prefabricated concrete house
  1. Less cost for labor

Undoubtedly, one of the advantages of prefabricated houses is that the greatest number of working hours will be to carry out the assembly and assembly of the prefabricated parts or pieces. There is no need to employ (almost) labor to process the raw material.

  1. Minimal Maintenance of Prefab Concrete Homes

One of the  advantages of prefabricated concrete houses can be appreciated in the long term, and that is that they require little maintenance.

Not only is it that the initial construction method is cheaper and more efficient, but in the long term, it will require minimal maintenance, therefore, the investment of buying a prefabricated concrete house is more economical both in the short term as long term.

Concrete is a weather-resistant material, so the concrete panels used to make your future home already have a higher quality as they are prefabricated, and suffer less deterioration compared to traditional building materials.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Prefabricated CONCRETE Houses
  1. Quality materials in precast concrete houses

Initially, prefabricated concrete houses suppose to be built with higher quality materials, since the prefabricated concrete modules and panels in technological plants guarantee a high level of resistance (compression, traction and flexocompression), as well as less porous and weather resistant

  1. Allow the reuse of other elements

Prefabricated (and modular) houses can be old maritime or railway containers adapted, remodeled with openings for windows, doors and artificial ventilation, thermal and acoustic insulation, and corresponding reinforcements, for residential use.

  1. Ideal for construction in isolated areas

Since they do not involve a significant source of labor or storage. Costs for transportation expenses and indirect expenses (purchase expenses, storage, electricity, water, etc.) are significantly reduced.

For example, in the event of having to build a new urbanization of prefabricated concrete houses, it may have advantages, since the workforce in that place may be deficient for the construction of houses by the traditional method.

A construction, with precast concrete panels, could significantly speed up the execution of the work.

hoisting of a precast concrete panel
Pro and cons of manufactured homes: lifting prefab elements…

It should also be said that building prefabricated concrete houses in isolated areas can have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the possibilities and conditions.

It could be a disadvantage, if we have to build concrete modular houses in places that are difficult to access, where there are no cranes available or their access is difficult, for example, in mountainous or difficult-to-reach regions.

  1. Reduce damage to the environment

Being built its parts in technological plants, allows a better management of energy carriers. On the other hand, there is significantly less work on site, thus achieving a reduction in waste products from construction, and the levels of material loss.

Also, it is possible to reduce noise in residential areas and protected areas. Likewise, they can be disassembled with relative ease, favoring the cleaning of the site.

Pro and Cons of Manufactured Homes
  1. More energetically efficient

Energy efficiency is linked to reducing the impact on the environment. By consuming less energy, it is very beneficial in cold climates . Prefabricated or modular houses reduce the possibility of thermal bridges, since they are manufactured with higher quality materials and with greater technical control.

This reduces the existence of pores in their terminations , (compared to houses built in a conventional way), allowing greater stability of the interior temperature, with lower levels of air and energy leaks.

  1. Allows variety of design

When you analyze pro and cons of manufactured homes, think of this: there are many companies dedicated to the production and supply of prefabricated and modular houses, in different latitudes.

At the same time, many of them offer unique products of their kind, with variety and quality in their aesthetic and functional design. 

It is worth noting that the client himself can request the manufacture of a certain housing design, be it modular or prefabricated, with one or two floors, adjusted to his particular wishes and needs.

modern prefab houses
  1. Custom designs

As mentioned, the client himself can agree with the supplier or producer of prefabricated houses, a specific design (with a certain price), which suits his wishes and needs, choosing, among others, the materials and finishing colors. .

In this sense, most companies present a standardized manufacturing system, which can be modified, to a certain extent, in terms of finishes, shapes and materials, depending on the desire raised by the client, although this would lead to an increase in housing prices

  1. Possibilities of growing

Both in prefabricated houses and in modular housing, progressive growth is possible , when your needs require it.

For example, to increase the number of bedrooms or set up a home office. Being made up of different standardized modules, these can be added in certain circumstances, as if they belonged naturally to the existing set. That is to say, that growth must be planned.

This must be taken into account, when analysig all the pro and cons of manufactured homes.
  1. Offer guarantee

Another advantage of prefabricated houses is that most of the suppliers offer a guarantee of durability of their productions. These values ​​can vary from one to another, but they almost always exceed 60 years or more of useful life. Concrete is an artificial stone , very resistant to changes in temperature and humidity.

Pro and Cons of Manufactured Homes with Wood

Many of the advantages of a prefabricated wooden house coincide with the benefits of prefabricated concrete houses, and the reason is that they maintain the advantages of prefabrication.

Industrially Prefabricated Timber

It is interesting to know the types of industrial wood, when we think about buying a prefabricated wooden house, since it can get us quite close to the type of house in which we are going to live. Knowledge is power…

There are 3 main types of prefabricated wood, that is, wood products that have been subjected to industrial processing, even mixed with other materials, to obtain industrially prefabricated wood.

First, let’s see which are the industrial woods most used in the construction of prefabricated wooden houses.


Chips are mixed with glue , pressed and heated to quickly dry the glue. Subsequently, the surfaces are polished so that they are not rough and they are cut into boards.

Fiber Boards

Wood fiber boards are obtained in a similar way to chipboard, but they have the difference that sawdust dust is used, as shavings.


There are different types of plywood, also known as plywood, plywood, plywood or plywood. In essence, it is a board made with thin sheets of reinforced wood and is used when great rigidity or high quality is required.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Prefabricated WOODEN Houses

Mixed plywoods (  they use wood from different trees), are  general woods  for multiple uses, including building panels for prefabricated wooden houses.

Advantages of Manufactured Homes with Wood

Next let’s see the advantages of prefabricated wooden houses . They are listed giving a brief explanation, specifically tailored to the construction of prefabricated wooden houses.

  1. Improve construction productivity

Similar to what we have already seen, houses are built using prefabricated panels, so when it is transported to the final site, an important part of the work is already done. This must be taken into account, when analysig all the pro and cons of manufactured homes.

  1. Reduce execution time

Linked to the above, manual work decreases, and work with teams increases. In this case, the operators can quickly assemble walls, using drills and screws, to place the prefabricated wooden panels, with more than 4 square meters of surface area, reducing execution times.

prefab wooden house
  1. They are cheaper

Undoubtedly, they are cheaper than RED BRICK HOUSES , since a part of the construction process (wooden panels) is carried out in industrial workshops, with automated sequences, reducing time and costs.

On the other hand, there is a wide variety of offers for prefabricated wooden houses, with different prices, so you can find the best option that suits your pocket.

  1. Allow the reuse of other elements

As already explained, some types of industrial wood use waste products as raw material , which also increase the final resistance of prefabricated wood panels.

prefab wooden house
  1. Less cost for labor

Prefabricated wooden houses require less labor. With two or three workers it is possible to build a prefabricated wooden house in a very short time.

  1. Construction in isolated areas

It can be a great advantage for construction in isolated areas, where labor is not abundant.

  1. Reduce the impact on the environment

In many cases it avoids having to cut down trees. For example, chipboard and fiberboard are made from wood waste.

  1. They are cozy houses

Wooden houses are very cozy, especially when analyzing the benefits it offers for interior design and comfort.

Prefabricated wooden house to assemble yourself
  1. More energetically efficient

Wood (industrial) is a material that conducts little heat, so you will need less energy to keep interior spaces at a stable temperature, whether in regions with hot or cold climates.

  1. Ecological houses

Prefabricated wooden houses in many cases are made with recycled raw material, from wooden elements that were left in disuse or deteriorated. This also decreases production costs, and results in cheaper and more ecological houses.

It can also be said that a new industrial wooden house can later be recycled to create new prefabricated wooden elements.

  1. Custom designs

Boards and pieces of (almost) any dimension can be obtained.

  1. Durability

They are attacked less than natural wood by parasites. In addition, during the industrial manufacturing process, in some cases chemical additives are added, with the aim of increasing resistance to living organisms.

  1. Fire resistance

By regulations in some countries, wooden houses are required to have a certain degree of fire resistance. Fire retardant chemicals are added to it , which increase durability against fire, delaying its deterioration. This should be checked with the manufactured log home producers.

  1. They can be mobile homes

Some types of manufactured wood homes can be mobile. This can be convenient when you want a second home for vacations or trips.

Pro and Cons of Manufactured Homes : Cheap Prefab Wooden Homes

The cheap prefabricated wooden houses are rather designed for shorter stay times, such as vacations or weekends. These are small wooden houses, which can even be mobile. There are also several options to buy cheap wooden houses in small formats.

small prefab wooden house

Depending on the use that the small wooden house is going to have, we can think about how much money we are willing to spend. If your budget is limited, this type of cheap wooden houses can be a good option, since they have  more affordable prices .

You must carefully evaluate the supplying company, the type of construction, the durability guarantees it offers, the space available, among other details.

Disadvantages of Manufactured Homes

Like everything, nothing is absolute, and there are also some downsides to living in manufactured homes. Let’s see which ones…

Disadvantages of Prefabricated Concrete Houses

  1. Special requirements for its execution

Prefabricated concrete houses require special requirements for their execution .

It is also necessary to comply with the requirements established in the Technical Building Code, like all real estate. 

  1. Reject the stereotype

Perhaps it is a matter of tradition or culture. In certain places, there can be a rejection of the construction of prefabricated or modular houses, even within the professional milieu in the field of design and construction.

We have been building and living in masonry and reinforced concrete houses for many years, strong and durable constructions, with low maintenance and high durability , and for some it may be a bit shocking to start living, for example, in shipping containers. There are examples of this.

Pro and Cons of Manufactured Homes
  1. Maintenance cost

The maintenance cost of PREFABRICATED HOUSES tends to be negligible. However, adequate attention must be paid to it, since reinforced concrete and water are not usually “good friends”.

Prefabricated concrete houses require good sealing of cold joints to prevent the entry of moisture, which may cause oxidation of reinforcing steel .

This becomes more important in regions with high relative humidity. In the case of two-story houses, the waterproofing of bathrooms and other wet areas must be carried out correctly, in order to avoid recurring leaks.

  1. Shoddy companies

Better to say poor quality companies, since they are in charge of guaranteeing the quality and durability of their products. There will always be producers or suppliers that do not offer adequate quality in their products.

For this reason, it is highly recommended to do a good market study, analyzing which are the companies that offer the best product in terms of modular or prefabricated homes.

Likewise, with those in charge of carrying out the assembly (although the ideal is that the supplier himself is the one who carries out the final assembly), guaranteeing the useful life that the product expresses.

  1. Useful life

There is nothing more durable than concrete and steel. This cannot be hidden. Thus, those products and construction systems that require the lowest level of maintenance must be sought, with the aim of guaranteeing a long useful life (without considerable maintenance).

Follow this link, where I tell you HOW LONG DOES A PREFABRICATED HOUSE LAST?

Disadvantages of Prefabricated Wooden Houses

  1. Procedures and legislation

Prefabricated homes have been increasing each time, but the urban building codes still do not take this into account, and they must be complied with, as if it were a conventional property.

In some cities (especially cities with heritage buildings), where the application of urban laws can be more rigorous, this can constitute an obstacle and reduce the interest of those users who want to have a house that is as personal as possible.

In this sense, it is necessary to put more creativity, to achieve the objectives, and adapt to the required canons.

On the other hand, the characteristics of the construction system to choose must be looked at in detail, especially in regions where the climate can be more aggressive, in terms of wind speed, occurrence of tornadoes, snowfall, high humidity and noticeable (and recurring) changes in temperature.

construction of a prefabricated wooden house
  1. Maintenance cost

The cost of maintenance is linked to the durability of the home. The quality of the prefabricated wooden panels will greatly influence, if they have additives to counteract the action of micro-organisms, among others. It is very interesting to ask sellers for quality seals and guarantees.

finished prefab wooden house
Prefabricated wooden passive house, built in Aix-en-Provence, France .
  1. Lifespan of prefab wooden houses

The durability of a prefabricated wooden house will always be less than the useful life of a concrete house.

However, prefabricated wooden houses can have a longer useful life than wooden houses built by the traditional method , although here, the valuations tend to be more relative, depending on the types of natural and artificial wood used.

Likewise, there must be a correspondence between the construction system and the occurrence of meteorological events. To give an example, in several cities in the United States, it is preferred to build prefabricated wooden houses, for a very particular reason: the occurrence of strong tornadoes year after year.

Strong tornadoes usually destroy where they pass, regardless of whether the house is built with a framework system of aluminum profiles or with pieces of wood. Therefore, they prefer to use wooden frames, since they are less expensive.

Since tornadoes usually appear without warning (almost out of nowhere) they can surprise people inside the house, barely giving them time to get inside small masonry shelters, which are built in basements under the house itself, to take shelter, while the tornado takes everything that is put in front of it.

Once the event has passed, the house is rebuilt again , with wood, which is cheaper than aluminum, and is available in nearby areas.

The subject really gives for more analysis, since it is very interesting. Later we will be providing other related criteria about pro and cons of manufactured homes…

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