Nov 24, 2020

Modular Homes Are A No-Brainer

Sergio Penguamo

ousing has always been at the core of established humanity, without adequate housing populations cannot thrive. Historically speaking housing has come in many shapes and forms from the earliest cavemen finding shelter in hollowed-out rock formations to the Viking’s longhouses and the Native American teepee.

In 2020 however, we find ourselves at a time where the environmental impact of the earth’s population has produced some irreversible changes to our planet causing the world at large to second guess the way we are living, and what changes are necessary to make to ensure a future for ourselves and the generations to come. 

Modular Homes Offers a Better Way

While numerous aspects of our lives and society undergo these changes the housing industry is seeing more and more innovation. Everything from revolutionary building materials to construction methods are being analyzed to minimize their environmental impact while making houses stronger, more weather-resistant, easier to construct, and more energy-efficient. 

Modular homes began getting some serious attention shortly after the housing crisis of 2008 where the cost of owning a home or simply saving enough for a down payment towards a house became simply unattainable for a large number of people. Naturally, people affected by this event began exploring housing alternatives that would allow them to live in an affordable way. By intelligently choosing high-quality building materials that are environmentally friendly and available in modular components, a person could build almost any layout they desire at any location in the world. 

Modular homes, or prefab homes as some call them, are nothing new. Back in the 1920’s Sears offered modular homes that you could order and build yourself.

By Sears Modern Homes(Life time: 1921) - Original publication: 1921 Sears Modern Homes CatalogImmediate source: Original publication, PD-US-expired,

In 2020, however, modular homes have come a long way in their quality of materials and potential for design. The latter half of the last decade saw some significant moves towards the use of clean energy as solar power has become more prevalent in the housing industry all over the world. 

The advent of tiny homes has also gained popularity since 2008 as they offer the necessities of living without the restrictions or cost of a traditional home. While considered too tiny for some, many people have created innovative designs that suit their needs quite nicely with no need for any other alternatives.

Benefits of Modular Homes

The list of benefits that are associated with modular homes can be vast. While there are surely more than there are mentioned in this article we can at least explore some of them here.

Construction Time

The time it takes to construct an average size traditional timber frame home can be 3-5 months depending on location. Of course, there are numerous factors that can affect this calculation. Weather, material shortages, staffing shortages, and now COVID-19 can all have a major impact on this timeline. 

Depending on the complexity of the project a modular house can be built in only a few months and have its components placed and connected within a matter of days or even hours with only a few people and pieces of equipment.

An added bonus is that unlike traditional home construction you can order your modules with an already finished interior. 

Quality of Construction

Since most modular homes are built inside giant climate-controlled construction bays a high level of quality can be maintained across the board for not only the building materials themselves but also for the building process. By building in this type of environment special construction tools and techniques can be utilized that simply aren’t available in the field. 

Imagine if cars, instead of being built in a controlled environment by an assembly line, were instead built in the same way traditional houses are. We would no doubt see a massive deviation in quality. Since housing markets control prices we would also see similar prices across the board for houses of varying quality levels, which simply doesn’t make sense.

While not all modular homes are created equal we can certainly monitor their construction with more scrutiny in comparison to traditional housing. That’s not to say traditional construction is not without quality controls because they are. In comparison to modular homes, however, more efficient products can be achieved with a smaller environmental impact. 

This method of construction for modular homes also makes the houses cheaper as a company is able to manage the entire building process. In addition, many modular home manufacturers offer more numerous and longer warranties than their competitors and guarantee delivery dates.

Renovation and Repair

One interesting aspect of a modular home is how it can change over time. In the traditional housing market, people will buy or build a larger house when the need arises instead of making an addition to their existing residence. While it’s not unheard of for additions to be made, they are often so costly it makes more economic sense to move to a different house entirely.

With some modular homes achieving a larger residence or a new layout can be done with relative ease. Wikklehouse has exemplified this concept brilliantly in their flagship design by using recycled materials to create interchangeable segments that can be added or subtracted from the overall design. 

Value Gain

The value of a modular home is appraised and gains value in the same way a traditional house does, and in fact, can have an even further edge on the competition by having superior building materials. By saving money in the beginning many homeowners can see larger profits from selling their modular homes in a market flooded with traditional houses. 

Customized Living

It’s unfortunate that the existing housing market seems to offer a one-size-fits-all approach to the houses they sell. While some builders are seeing the light and offering further customization to what could be considered “cookie-cutter’ houses, it pales in comparison to the level of customization available with many modular homes. Nearly every aspect of a modular home can be customized to not only your personal sense of style but also to your abilities and changes that may occur in the future. 

When it comes to customization, for many, it’s not even an economically feasible option. Modular homes offer a level of customization is practically limitless. 

The Housing of the Future

Like anything, change takes time. Will we see nothing but modular homes being built come 2030? Not likely. However, what we might see are homes being torn down to be replaced with modular homes instead of traditionally constructed ones. We could also see previously uninhabited places spring up with new townships and villages that share common interests.

If Mars is to be colonized in humanity’s future there will certainly be certainly a need for modular home construction like we’ve never seen before. It would be no surprise to see housing on Mars be modular or prefab construction exclusively.

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