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Prefabricated building is a type of building that consists of several factory-built components or units that are assembled on-site to complete the unit.
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Prefab buildings are built using components that are assembled on the construction site after being manufactured. According the Modular Building Association, almost 80 percent of the prefab building process takes place in a factory because the manufacturer designs both the components and the finished structure ahead of time. This system can offer a consumer benefits in terms of expense, speed of construction, maintenance costs, and appearance. There are also drawbacks to be considered in these same categories, as well as a lack of customization opportunities. This guide discusses the advantages and difficulties associated with prefab buildings and also outlines pricing.
Lower Cost of Construction
One of the major reasons for the popularity of prefab buildings and homes is their lower cost of construction compared to the traditional buildings. In a tough economic environment, most businesses and households are looking to cut down their costs. Prefab construction is substantially cheaper because of the economies of scale involved. The prefab blocks are built away from the site, using highly automated processes. This results in superior quality output at a lower cost per unit.
The Modular Building Association has reported that almost 80 to 90 percent of the construction of a prefab home is done in the factory. This cuts down the need for multiple construction subcontractors or a large workforce that would increase the overhead costs significantly. Buyers can expect to purchase prefab homes and buildings at 30 to 40 percent lower costs compared to the traditionally constructed buildings.
Speedier Construction Process
The construction time involved in building a prefab home is considerably lesser in comparison to the construction of traditional homes and buildings. Modular construction involves automated processes, which reduce the construction time of the building blocks. The process of setting up these blocks to build a home is also highly efficient. Therefore, the home or building owner can expect to receive the possession of the constructed unit relatively faster.
Lesser Maintenance Costs
Prefab buildings are created with advanced scientific processes, and every single block is checked and tested for quality and performance. This ensures that the final construction is solid and without any quality issues. Secondly, the reduced involvement of manual labor cuts down the chances of human errors or flaws in construction. Therefore, prefab homes incur relatively lesser maintenance costs in the long run, and are more resilient to the challenges of the external environment.
Many home and building owners are impressed by the innovative look and style that prefab construction usually provides. Prefab buildings are designed by some of the most reputed and creative architects and designers. The contemporary look of modular homes and buildings is one of the reasons for their growing popularity among the buyers.
Pitfalls of Prefab Buildings
Prefab buildings are a viable option for most industries. Healthcare, hospitality, storage, security, and office-based businesses are some of the industries that may find prefab buildings suitable. However, there are some pitfalls associated with these types of buildings that you must consider before you decide that a prefab is the right choice for your company.
Since prefab buildings are manufactured off-site, you may find that you have fewer customization options than you would have if you worked with a traditional builder. In some cases, such as if you only want one or two customizations that aren’t available through the prefab company, you may be able to hire a contractor to fix the issues. This, however, will cost additional money.
Building Laws and Codes
Building codes and laws vary from one state to another. Because of this, you will either have to find a prefab building company that is familiar with the specifics in your location or you can learn the codes and laws yourself and ensure that these conditions are met.
Prefab buildings often seem cold and unwelcoming, which don’t bode well for most businesses. This is especially true for steel prefabs. You have to take the cost of warming up the building into consideration when you are planning your budget. In some cases, having a site-built building may be just as cost effective when you consider the added expense of making the prefab welcoming.
If you need to move into a new building quickly, a prefab may not be the right choice for your company. You may need to consider a building that is already built. Lead times for modular buildings can be as short as three weeks to longer than six months, depending on the building and manufacturer you choose. Overall construction in the United States is down by 12.4 percent, according to the Modular Building Institute. This means that you may not have to wait very long for your prefab building to be manufactured in the factory; however, there is still a chance that you will experience significant lead time.
Speed of Occupancy
The Modular Building Institute notes that the occupancy of prefab buildings occurs 50 percent faster than with regular structures. This is due to the majority of the work being completed by the manufacturer before it reaches its intended location.
Land and Construction
According to Businessweek, the average cost of a prefab unit is around $175 to $250 per square foot. Since prefab buildings are made in a factory and indoors, away from the elements, the client can focus on sales and marketing.
Due to the decreased labor costs, lower overheads and faster construction time, the only other substantial costs a business will bear are the price of the land at the building's new location and the cost of the final construction.
Prefab buildings have the advantage of being less expensive than their standard counterparts. They can also be erected swiftly due to the automated processes used in their construction. The factory-based process of their manufacture helps to ensure uniform quality and lower maintenance costs. However, customization is limited, and the modern look associated with prefabs can seem unwelcoming. The consumer should be careful to select a prefab building manufacturer who can adhere to building laws and codes, which can vary from state to state. You should also inquire about the lead time, as it can range from three weeks to over six months. Careful consideration of these factors can help simplify the decision to acquire a prefab building.
Prefab, or modular buildings, are excellent solutions for businesses who need space solutions, whether permanently or temporarily. There are plenty of different options when it comes to prefab buildings, including modular classrooms, daycare facilities, church facilities, construction offices, industrial facilities, sports buildings, commercial or retail offices, home building sales offices, government facilities, and medical buildings. The options are nearly endless, from small 25 square foot kiosks to huge 30,000 or more square foot complexes.
When looking for a modular building for your company, you have plenty of options available to you when it comes to styles, prices, floor plans, and design. There are even custom designed options available by a number of different manufacturers, which can be an excellent option for you if you need something that is not already available or need to modify an available plan. Many modular buildings are also able to be expanded on or relocated, making them a great option for businesses with varying work sites or who expect to expand in the future. To learn more about modular buildings and to find out what types of prefab buildings might work for your company, the various options available, and which ones meet your budget guidelines, check out the many helpful links on Business.com.
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