We think a lot about houses over here at Module. Specifically ones that are modular or panelized, and constructed in a factory. We obsess over every detail of how a home should be designed, how to make it more comfortable, how we can ensure we use the best finishes, materials, etc. That’s why we always get a little taken off guard when people express that they think that modular off-site construction means a cheaper, low quality build.
So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to explain five reasons why off-site construction is actually better (higher quality, more cost effective, better for the environment, etc.) than one built on-site.
1. Shorter Construction Timeline
Off-site construction means that you don’t have to wait for the foundation to be built before you can start building the actual house, unlike what happens with on-site construction. When building modular homes, the construction of the actual house happens at the same time as the prep work on-site, which saves about 4-6 weeks of work in total.
Because time is money, off-site construction saves you money, too. You’ll save on labor costs, on rent if you were paying it while waiting to move in, and spend less on utilities that are used during construction.
2. Accurate Cost Estimates
When building a brand new house on-site, the biggest variable that will drive up your cost is labor. Bad weather conditions can cause the construction workers to have to sit around and wait for the weather to clear until they can start to work again. The lack of skilled labor can also force contractors to have to wait for workers to become available. All of this waiting affects your cost significantly.
With off-site construction, everything above the foundation is built in a factory, so weather conditions aren’t ever an issue. Even with off-site construction, of course there’s still work on site that has to be done (anything foundation and below). Those processes can still be affected by the weather.
Another plus of having your home built off-site is that workers are hired to work daily shifts, so finding labor isn’t a problem. If any pricing differences happen to come up, the calculations can happen quickly because the factory’s pricing is fixed.
3. Better Overall Quality
The quality of our homes are actually better than stick-built homes because they’re built in a factory. This is because the factory has access to better (non-portable) tools and machinery to use while building the house. On-site, you have to work with what you can bring with you. Many prefab factories also have automated machines that are even more precise than the most steady-handed construction worker. This allows all of the components of the house to fit together perfectly.
Weather conditions also have an impact on quality. Houses that are built on-site are out in the elements – constantly. Those houses have to brave any snow storm, rain storm, and freezing weather that might come its way for months at a time. Wood and insulation that are exposed to moisture have a good chance of coming down with a bad case of mold, which is not what anyone wants in their brand new house.
4. Less Neighborhood Congestion and Carbon Emissions
Construction sites for stick-built houses can cause a lot of disruption in neighborhoods for a significant amount of time. Trucks with tools, materials, and people are constantly traveling to and from the site which can cause a ton of street congestion, not to mention unnecessary carbon emissions from daily commutes and material transportation.
With off-site construction, a significant amount of work that would usually happen on-site actually happens at the factory – like the walls, floors, and roof being built as well as the installation of drywall, flooring, bathrooms, kitchen cabinets. Once the home is delivered, we’re only bugging your neighbors for about a month as opposed to three months in the case of stick-built.
5. Material Waste Reduction
In a study done by our friends at the National Association of Home Builders, it’s estimated that a terrifying 8,000 pounds of material waste is sent to the landfill when building a 2,000 square foot stick-built home. This is from all the cutting and chipping of materials that can happen on-site, and means a lot gets wasted unnecessarily in the meantime.
When homes are built in a factory, a lot of cutting and measuring is software driven. This means that components are cut according to the software input, lowering the chance of mistakes being made and maximizing the use of the materials.
Have we convinced you? Click here to get started on building your Module home!