Prefabrication is a misunderstood term. It is a technique that is used for commercial and residential construction of structures. The architectural work is conducted away from the building site. An offsite controlled environment enables fast production that is sheltered from weather.
History of Prefab Houses and Garages
Prefab houses and garages did not begin with Sears, Roebuck and Company. The term merely became popular during the early 20th century. Other cultures, such as Greek and Japanese, used the prefab technique in ancient times for building columns and pagodas. The evolution quietly continued until mass production became prominent. More and more types of prefab structures are now growing in popularity.
Types of Prefab Structures
Modular or Manufactured – A modular or manufactured house or garage have few differences. A manufactured unit is built with an attached axle for simple transportation on a wheeled trailer. Modular structures do not have axles. They are built in sections and transported by flatbed trailers. Final construction of the house is completed at the job site. Regulations are the largest difference between modular units and manufactured units. Individual states have their own set of rules for modular homes and garages. Manufactured homes and garages are regulated by the federal government.
Pre-Cut – Commonly known as kits, a prefab house or prefab garage can be custom made to meet the specifications of the buyer. For example, extra windows or different door locations can be requested. The specific design can be completed in a factory and shipped to the building location. The homeowner can finish piecing together the walls and roof or have a contractor complete the work.
Panelized – Panelized homes and garages are made in factories and shipped in pieces to the job site. They can be a mixture of pre-cut and modular, offering some customized features. Shipping is simple due to the compact nature of the construction pieces. Once the order has been completed and shipped, there are also different options of change that can be made by the homeowner.
System-Built – System-built structures are the latest example of prefab homes and garages. While these models are built offsite, the regulations of local, state and federal agencies are being met during the in-house construction process. This cuts the time in getting a structure approved and completed. Financing at lending institutions is also easier when all inspections are included in the pre-build. Still in its infancy, system-built homes and garages will be the wave of the future with time, simplicity and customization.
Prefab houses and garages are going to continue as an option to homeowners. The evolving changes are making the cost and ease of construction much simpler than ever before. If you are interested in building a home or adding a garage to existing property, be sure that you have a good understanding of the different terms. Keep up to date on the latest in prefab structures to get the most out of your money.