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Darren Palmer's New Love - Prefabricated Homes

Darren Palmer's New Love - Prefabricated Homes

By Sarah Lefebvre on Jul 07 2016
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I've recently become interested in quality pre fabricated homes and it seems there's been a major change in people's perceptions and results in the last few years. Here I explore the benefits of prefab homes such as costs, design, timeframe, environmental impact and predictability of the end product

The Benefits of Prefab Homes

I've recently become interested in quality pre fabricated homes and it seems there's been a major change in people's perceptions and results in the last few years. A quick search for "prefab homes Australia" returns you pages of results and the reasons for their growing popularity are numerous.

Time

I'm seriously thinking of developing the granny flat on my property into a small 2 bedroom house but I also live in a very urban area with many close neighbours so I'm considerate of building noise and inconvenience.  To my mind I can't think of a better solution than having the 12 week build time happen in a warehouse far away from my suburb.  All of the noise and disruption is contained only to the install period, sometimes days sometimes only a few weeks to connect everything up to the site and delivered to a schedule so you can let your neighbours know what is happening and when, what they can expect and when it will end. As far as retaining a good relationship with your neighbours I can't think of anything better. Most people will manage a crane being in their street for a day if they are saving 8-12 months of sawing and banging and comings and goings.

According to one supplier, modscape, they were able to deliver an extension in a few days for their clients from arriving on site to occupation. Imagine the satisfaction of having your home opened up one day, the extension delivered the next and having only a few connections required before you can bring in your new furniture. The idea blows my mind.

Cost

There are some economies of scale that come into play if you are repeating modules like you see in apartments. Pre fabricated home costs though are likened to site build in that they depend on the level of specification and inclusion to dictate their value for money. Lower end homes can be as little as $96,000 with the upper end coming in at one or two million dollars. 

Predictability

By keeping the building contained within a warehouse there's no need to factor in delays due to weather which means the builder's schedule can stay water tight. You receive a schedule of when your house is to be started and completed which means no knock-on cost blowouts due to holding expenses like rent as well as limiting your exposure to unknown costs associated to the site or the build.

Design

You are as able to specify fixtures, fittings and equipment on a prefab as you are with a site build which means there is no compromise in internal finish. Exterior design is constrained by a boxy external shape with flat rooflines but modules can be added together and stacked in innovative and interesting ways to achieve architecturally pleasing forms and with a few additions of things like eaves, car ports, glass and cladding the exterior appearance of one fabricated home can vary greatly from the next.

Environmentally considerate.

By using mass produced or recycled materials a modular or prefab home's per house energy usage can be reduced. There is little or greatly reduced site and environment contamination from building runoff and some manufacturers have sharpened their environmental pencils so well they've been able to achieve 8 star energy ratings on their homes which means a home that is kinder on energy use and therefor the owner's bank accounts as well as the environment.

With all of the benefits when I finally find the time to plan my development I will be comparing several modular or prefab home builders to help me transform my little granny flat into a proper house saving me time, disruption, stress and hopefully some money along the way.

Images via http://modscape.com.au

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