In our long experience as architects and modular manufacturers, we find that many clients agree to ask the same questions. The 3 most common questions about prefab homes and modular homes and the difference between both terms.
To explain it precisely, we have to consider the hasty technological development that industrialization has contributed to the construction of prefabricated houses throughout life, which has led to many doubts around industrialized construction. We hope that through this reading we will be able to dispel many doubts and clarify the difference between prefabricated houses and modular houses.
The last few years have marked a true paradigm shift in housing and not only trends have played a role in this great change. After a global confinement in a pandemic context of great importance in add to global need of changing human habits in the fight against climate change, prefabricated houses and modular houses are facing a clear and rapid evolution through architecture modular and industrialized construction.
1. Which is the difference between prefab houses and modular houses?
Perhaps this is one of the first questions that our clients ask us during our first conversations with them, and there is actually a big difference between prefabricated houses and modular houses. Although the construction of prefabricated houses has its origin before 1900 and since then it has evolved considerably, a prefabricated house is literally manufactured within an entire enclosure. The initial model that gave rise to the prefabricated houses of the 50’s was the one that migrated to Europe during this time and is the one that responds to the needs that arose among the North American population during the great financial depression that the US lived through until 1945.
This prefabricated house model became homes to be able to be transported to different cities. Today prefabricated houses have undergone an important evolution in the materials and processes with which they are manufactured, improving finishes and durability; We even continue to see old cargo containers converted into prefab homes, although they have nothing to do with a modular home.
Modular houses also had their origin in Europe during the postwar period in Germany and responded to the consequences of its scarcity, however, they did so under the hand of renowned architects from the Bauhaus School who contributed with an unmistakable modernist vision that would mark the future of modular architecture until nowadays.
Modular houses are also built within a factory, however, the construction process is carried out in a different way and is through structural modules manufactured under the specifications and tastes of each client, from the project to the last details and finishes, and once finished, they are transported to their final location where they are assembled on a solid foundation offering stability and resistance on any type of terrain.
Thanks to highly advanced technological processes such as BIM (Building Information Modeling), With which the modular houses are conceived, the result is completely personalized and highly efficient homes at the energy level and have unsurpassed qualities that offer the most profitable comfort that can be found in a home.
However, prefabricated houses have not stopped being manufactured, until now there are many clients who choose a prefabricated house, either because they seek to give it a temporary use as a home, as a storage space or as a seasonal enclosure as cabins, bungalows or shelters for provision of temporary services on the beach or in the mountains.
2. Prefabricated homes and modular homes, They really last?
Although the construction of modular homes is carried out within a factory, the construction processes and systems under which they are built are highly supervised and respond to the same building regulations as houses built in a conventional way. However, the controls in modular construction systems are much more demanding and exhaustive, that‘s why prefabricated houses often offer greater resistance and durability than even conventional houses. The panels that make up the modules of the houses are manufactured with fireproof and highly resistant materials such as steel or cement compounds.
The geotechnical and topographic studies that are carried out in the plots where the modular houses are located, allow to create solid and highly safe foundations and structures.
3. How much money would I save if I choose a modular home?
By choosing a modular house, you will not only save money in the short term when you buy your house, but your savings will grow exponentially during the use of the house, this is due to the specialized materials and construction processes of the houses. Cortabitarte modular homes meet the Passivhaus certification that will allow you to save up to 40% on electricity and gas bills.
Another key saving concept in addition to money is time, modular homes can be ready to move into 3 months after signing the contract, of course, depending on the design, the plot, the needs of each client or others circumstances, this time could be extended, however, both the delivery time and the final budget are defined from the beginning. Thanks to factory construction, modular homes are built under defined times and ensure the absence of unforeseen events; This situation leads us to the third type of saving, which is one of worries and uncertainties. Here we detail how prefabricated houses and modular houses are the solution to financial instability.
At Cortabitarte we have been designing and manufacturing prefabricated houses for more than 50 years, and throughout that experience, we have lived and evolved together with the needs of our clients, our society and the demands of a changing world to currently offer modular architecture even responding to the most demanding lifestyles.
If you want to know 5 other reasons to choose a modular house, we recommend you this reading: