Most people, when they think of prefab homes, think of those white plastic boxes that have been cut in half and are rolling down the highway on the back of a huge tractor-trailer. Not what many people would consider their dream home.
Modern eco-friendly prefab homes are changing the way people think about a preassembled building. These new luxurious houses are no longer plastic boxes – many of them employ cutting-edge architectural materials and designs.
The ‘trailer park’ image of a ready-assembled house is fast disappearing as new, exciting and innovative designs are being produced to extremely high specifications to be built by skilled craftsmen.
A large proportion of these new-style buildings are designed to be eco-friendly prefab homes, employing sustainable materials and the latest concepts in energy efficiency, not just for added comfort and to save on power bills, but with a mind to cut back on the buildings’ carbon footprint.
There are several reasons why people are turning to these modern prefab homes; not least of all is price. Modern homes built partially or totally off-site, then brought to the homeowners lot for assembly are generally much cheaper than having a home built in the traditional manner on-site. This is because it’s far more economical to build the home at a production unit rather than bring each brick and piece of timber to the location for assembly.
One factor that makes modern prefab homes more cost-effective than traditional on-site built homes is the builder can bulk-order materials on a very large scale therefore significantly reducing costs on items such as timber, solar panels and windows.
However, just because building prices may be cheaper with modern prefab homes doesn’t necessarily follow that these are ‘cheap’ homes. Prices for pre-assembled homes can start in the $30,000 range for a very pleasant small timber construction house, but many prefab homes now cost several times that, in some cases even reaching $6-$700,000.
Apart from reduced costs, many people are now far more environmentally aware and are concerned about the impact their home may have on the world’s environmental problems. More people building new homes now think in advance about how best to build a ‘greener’ house.
Building in a controlled environment, such as a prefab construction facility, it is far more environmentally friendly than on-site building; one reason for this is because eco-friendly prefab homes produce far less waste than traditional house-building techniques.
They also use less environmentally-threatened materials such as basic clean water. A prefab house will employ hardly any water during construction. A block and brick house may use 150,000 gallons in things like cement and mortar. Modern prefab homes also use large amounts of replenishable materials and construction, unlike on-site built houses.