Author Topic: Prefab vs custom made house  (Read 442 times)

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Offline drummerdimitri

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Prefab vs custom made house
« on: January 27, 2020, 01:53:53 pm »
I am interested in building a house on land I already own, however I am not sure if I should opt for the traditional cement block house or get a company that is specialized building prefabricated houses instead.

It is my understanding that prefab houses are much faster to build and cost slightly less per SQM to build but you are somehow limited in terms of design as they use precast steel reinforced concrete instead of cement blocks and use "modules of 6 by 4 meters that can be opened to build a room size of 8 x 6 meters.

My land is at 1000 m of altitude and covers around 1200 SQM of space. It snows for a few weeks during the winter when the temperature can go slightly below freezing just FYI.

This is the company I am considering dealing with: https://megaprefab.com/

If anyone would like to share the pros and cons of each to help me decide on which route to go, I would highly appreciate it!
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Prefab vs custom made house
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2020, 12:16:07 am »
I can't speak of the pros/cons of construction however one thing I found was that banks/lenders are generally hesitant in lending against kit homes (at least in Australia). If you are paying cash, obviously this won't impact you but if you are looking to borrow money to construct or even re-mortgage some time in the future, you may find it difficult getting finance.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Prefab vs custom made house
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2020, 12:47:22 am »
I can't see how prefab concrete is less compared to cement blocks. I'd say the opposite. Reinforced concrete is a lot stronger. And reinforced concrete is also smoother so finishing the walls is easier & quicker too. Over here using prefab concrete is very common.

Don't confuse wooden prefab homes; those are something completely different.
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Offline james_s

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Re: Prefab vs custom made house
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2020, 01:01:10 am »
This is one of those things that depend tremendously on where you are located. Here for example "prefab house" would be interpreted as a mobile home, these are in effect trailers either single or double wide that are trucked in then generally the axles are removed and final assembly and finishing work are done. Modern ones are much nicer than old ones but they still do not hold their value well compared to a traditional "stick built" house. I have no idea how this translates to other parts of the world. We don't get concrete or cinder block houses in this region because we have earthquakes but I believe they are built in some parts of the US.
 

Online langwadt

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Re: Prefab vs custom made house
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2020, 01:22:57 am »
This is one of those things that depend tremendously on where you are located. Here for example "prefab house" would be interpreted as a mobile home, these are in effect trailers either single or double wide that are trucked in then generally the axles are removed and final assembly and finishing work are done. Modern ones are much nicer than old ones but they still do not hold their value well compared to a traditional "stick built" house. I have no idea how this translates to other parts of the world. We don't get concrete or cinder block houses in this region because we have earthquakes but I believe they are built in some parts of the US.

something like this: https://youtu.be/inyjfMkq_VA looks far from a mobile home
 

Offline drummerdimitri

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Re: Prefab vs custom made house
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2020, 06:31:03 am »
I can't speak of the pros/cons of construction however one thing I found was that banks/lenders are generally hesitant in lending against kit homes (at least in Australia). If you are paying cash, obviously this won't impact you but if you are looking to borrow money to construct or even re-mortgage some time in the future, you may find it difficult getting finance.

I can see how that could be an issue however it wont be mine as I will be paying the amount in full via a bankers cheque.
 

Offline drummerdimitri

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Re: Prefab vs custom made house
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2020, 06:31:48 am »
I can't see how prefab concrete is less compared to cement blocks. I'd say the opposite. Reinforced concrete is a lot stronger. And reinforced concrete is also smoother so finishing the walls is easier & quicker too. Over here using prefab concrete is very common.

Don't confuse wooden prefab homes; those are something completely different.

Exactly, you get perfectly flat walls and better water ingress prevention!
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Prefab vs custom made house
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2020, 06:47:49 am »
The answer to your question is likely to be very local and vendor specific.

Local because building codes, insurance requirements and the like tend to be very local.  In many cases better construction methods can't be used because local codes are out of date or controlled by a particular industry.

Vendor specific because prefab can be very limited and also visually unappealing and non-functional (in the sense that it doesn't match desired living patterns).  It can also be very good with a wide range of attractive choices and excellent functional designs.  Depends on the designer and vendor and your needs and tastes.

One thing to watch out for.  Prefab usually requires transportation of large components to your build site.  Be sure that local roads and available services can deal with your chosen approach.  Of course if you have the money you can contract a helicopter to come from anywhere in the world and drop stuff in, but that is just a pointer that you need to include the transport costs in your comparison.   Traditional building methods are far more flexible in this regard and tend to be cheaper to transport. 
 

Offline ajb

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Re: Prefab vs custom made house
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2020, 11:56:13 pm »
All-masonry houses in general are unusual where I live, but I've seen several commercial/industrial buildings assembled from prefab concrete sections.  I can't imagine there's a downside other than maybe the difficulty of transporting large pieces and the extra equipment required to handle them on-site.  A couple of the buildings I've seen are built from pieces big enough to require special permit transportation, so I guess the construction savings are substantial enough to make them attractive even with the cost of special transport and a good size crane to assemble them factored in. 

This is one of those things that depend tremendously on where you are located. Here for example "prefab house" would be interpreted as a mobile home, these are in effect trailers either single or double wide that are trucked in then generally the axles are removed and final assembly and finishing work are done.

There are a few categories that I don't think are well distinguished in common parlance (and probably some regional differences too), but I think mobile homes tend to be referred to as 'manufactured' homes rather than 'prefab'.  There are also factory-built houses, (built in large sections similar in size to a mobile home, but are set on a permanent foundation, and can be stacked for multiple floors) and prefabricated-in-sections houses (where wall sections and sometimes other parts are built in a factory and assembled on-site).  Both of these are basically indistinguishable from a stick-built house once completed, and retain similar value over time, but are much faster to erect.
 


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