What is Prefab Housing?

The term “Prefab Housing” has come to represent a wide array of housing styles. In recent years there have been a lot of prefab innovations as consumers push for more affordable, environmentally friendly, and elaborate housing options.

Some styles of housing which are encompassed by the “prefab housing” term are…

Mobile Homes – This is the original “prefab housing” which is used to a lesser extent these days. These homes are built as a single unit on a rigid steel frame. The framing allows the house to be constructed off-site in a factory then raised onto a truck trailer and transported to it’s final destination. Once there the house is typically placed either directly on the ground or on concrete blocks.

This style of house is typically on the lower end of the prefab price range since the size of the house is limited by the size of a truck trailer and it can only be a single story.

Modular Housing – Modular homes are houses which consist of multiple sections that are prefabricated off-site at a factory. These parts are then transported to the build site and assembled together


to create a house. Since you’re not restricted to moving the entire house in a single load, modular houses can be much more elaborate then mobile homes. These houses can incorporate virtually anything one might want including multiple stories, turrets, any roof-line or floor plan, and more.

Producing the parts of the home in specialized factories allows you to cut back on the cost of building the house, while the design gives you all of the freedom you want to build your dream home.

Container Homes – This is a bit of a hybrid of material recycling and prefabricated homes. With societies recent swing toward environmentally friendly building materials, many people are finding ways to reuse shipping containers to build their house. Shipping containers are durable, relatively simple to cut, and able to be stacked one on top of the other for multi-story homes.

Panelized Houses – This is the most recently created style of housing which utilizes prefabricated wall panels that are built in a factory then pieced together at the job site. This style of building has been referred to as “the future of construction” since it allows for huge cutbacks in the labour needed, but still gives you all of the freedom associated with a traditional wood framed house.

The panels can be comprised of a variety of materials but for the most part they’re Structurally Insulated Panels (or SIPs). SIPs have two pieces of a sturdy rigid material like particle board or fibreglass, which sandwich an insulating material like foam or fibreglass batting. The insulating qualities of these panels allow it to surpass virtually all traditional methods of insulation which makes for a very earth friendly and cost effective house design.