The Benefits and Downsides Of Prefabricated Housing

With various building options in the construction industry today, it can be challenging to decide which route to take when building your own home. One type of construction which has been growing in popularity over the past few years is prefabricated housing. Often called “prefab” homes or “modular” homes, these residences are created in factories. Once completed, the kit is then transported to the site where it is then assembled.

The Benefits Of Prefabricated Housing

With the prefab housing kit being made in a factory there will be some benefits that can be reaped. Of course, there is detail and efficiency that comes from a refined process, but there is more.


One of the main reasons many individuals are opting for prefabricated homes is that they are more affordable than the traditionally Stick-built homes. The prefab homes like barndominiums are built in a factory setting; thus, there is less waste. The prefab manufacturer can also utilize the economies of scale, as compared to an individual homeowner, to keep the cost manageable.

Energy Efficiency

Prefabricated homes are often more energy-efficient than traditional homes. The factories where prefab homes are built have better quality control, which results in tighter seals and fewer drafts. This is all due to the attention to quality assurance at the factory level. Therefore joint precision is higher. In addition, many prefab homes can be designed to take advantage of natural lighting, further reducing the need for artificial lighting. Along with this can be included insulation to ensure that there is a consistent temperature and saving on energy costs. The prefab house can also be manufactured to withstand the snow loads as well.


A home built on site will often be more expensive than a prefabricated home. The prefab home kit is made in a factory setting, therefore man-power use is efficiently applied. Other impacts such as weather and materials on a regularly constructed building are non-existent for a prefab kit being manufactured. The prefabricated homes construction process is significantly more efficient, and this adds to the affordability.

The Downside Of Prefabricated Housing

As with anything, there are pros and there are cons. Each circumstance is unique and you must be able to weigh the benefits against the downside as you make your decision.

Assembly And Transportation Factors

You must consider where you want to build and construct your home. Remember the prefab home is manufactured in a plant somewhere and the cost of transporting a prefabricated home to your building site can be expensive. It is key then that you also include this in your budgeting and maybe even chat with your mortgage broker. Perhaps they can include in your mortgage, the cost of transporting the kit from the manufacturing plant to the building location.

In addition, the house will need to be assembled on-site. This can be an added factor in the cost. If you are not comfortable building the home yourself, you will need to hire someone to do it. 

The Land Underneath

One of the key things is that you will need to own the land on which the prefab house is to be built. In many areas there is scarcity and therefore the stress and the amount of time taken to find your ideal lot can have an impact. Coupled with this is the need to factor in the cost of purchase of the property if it is not owned by you. It can get overwhelming at times for many.

Consider The Utilities

In some instances you the homeowner could be tasked with taking care of some of the site work. This means things like arranging the connections to the sewer lines, water and also electricity amongst others. This bit of the job can cause you some time and coordination efforts to get the utilities setup. Remember in traditional construction, the utilities can probably be done over the months of construction and not be an issue. However in a prefab situation, the services will need to be coordinated after the structure is in place. This can cause a significant investment in time and money as well.


Generally, if there is an issue, there is likely to be a solution. It might make sense to include your building contractor at the get-go. This could then mean that the issues of building and construction may be less strenuous on you as an individual.