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Prefabricated Buildings

By Matt Alderton
Business.com / Business Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Prefabricated buildings, or modular buildings, are ideal real estate solutions for small businesses that require affordable, adaptable ...

Prefabricated buildings, or modular buildings, are ideal real estate solutions for small businesses that require affordable, adaptable and accessible office space. While the most inexpensive prefabricated buildings value function over aesthetics, more and more modern-day modular offices combine both function and design. 

Benefits of Prefabricated Buildings

If you need office space but your current budget precludes constructing a new building or leasing existing commercial space, you may benefit from modular office buildings.

Pre-built in sections and assembled on-side, they can be customized at low cost to suit the particular needs of your business.  Built from steel, wood, or other materials as needed, prefabricated buildings are suited for a variety of industries and purposes.

  • Because they are cheaper to build than new construction and require less remodeling or maintenance than existing office buildings, modular offices cost less to mortgage – a boon to any business just starting up.
  • Many businesses –  such as architects, contractors or construction companies – require flexibility and portability in their office space. Modular offices can be relocated to new sites with relative ease, without the need to rack up exorbitant building costs with each move.
  • Businesses with immediate real estate needs can quickly build a modular office and can get back to work in a fraction of the time it takes for new construction to be completed.

Not in the market for prefab buildings? Consider renting a commercial office space.

Types of Prefabricated Buildings

Prefabricated buildings take on many forms. From small to large, they include portable classrooms, research labs, construction trailers, storage facilities and even large, multi-room modular offices. 

  • Companies that manufacture prefabricated buildings offer a variety of materials with which to build both the interiors and exteriors of modular offices.
  • Both wood and steel modular buildings can be aesthetically customized with brick or stucco exteriors, multiple doors and windows, unique roofs and interesting interiors. 
  • Companies who own or lease existing property can look into purchasing modular interiors to fulfill their renovation needs. You can find modular furniture, cubicles and workstations, and even interior offices with which to remodel your existing space. 

Special Considerations

When shopping for wood or steel prefabricated buildings, always ask to speak directly with a sales representative. Companies that manufacture modular buildings should be able to discuss your needs with you in order to develop customized solutions; plus, they'll be able to answer all your questions about the cost, size, location and features of modular offices.

  • Ask potential vendors about warranties and service plans. Despite their temporary nature, prefabricated buildings ought to come with some form of quality guarantee.
  • Most modular buildings feature lower ceilings, typically 8 feet high, and elevated entrances, up to 30 inches off the ground. Make sure your new modular building will comfortably hold your furniture and equipment.
  • When you're working with prefabricated building vendors, ask to see samples and models of modular buildings that they've designed for other clients; look for companies that have designed prefabricated buildings of a similar size, shape, and cost as the modular offices you're considering.
  • Before you complete a purchase, be sure to ask vendors for references; speaking with other business owners who have purchased prefabricated buildings from a given company is essential in evaluating the quality of the product.

Modular buildings typically cost between $35 and $200 per square foot, depending on their size and scope. And while they still require a considerable investment, prefabricated buildings are certainly a cheaper alternative to new construction. 

While modular office buildings aren’t for everyone, they are well-suited to certain businesses: those that need to relocate frequently, require new office space immediately, or don’t have the budget for financing new construction or leasing an existing office space.

If you’re purchasing a prefabricated building, you may also need to look into moving companies or property management

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