Building your dream home can quickly turn into an expensive exercise. For many, the idea of being able to design your own home from scratch far surpasses being forced to compromise when buying an existing property. But the dream can quickly shatter once building costs, lengthy delays, and shabby workmanship get taken into account.
One existing solution that’s been making waves over the past few years, is modular homes. Also known as prefabricated or “prefab”, these homes are designed and customised off-site, before being assembled at the chosen site. The modular home ticks many boxes: on average, it’s 10-20% less expensive to than traditional homes; uses less energy and water in the building process; and can be delivered in a much faster time.
Many modular homes are built from environmentally conscious products, such as glass or wood. This is not only more environmentally friendly during the build stage, but also leads to significant electricity savings for the homeowners down the line. With the ever-present threat of electricity and water shortages, this offers some comfort.
Most local modular home builders offer a wide range of models. From humble studios to extravagant multi-storey abodes, there’s pretty much something for everyone.
Prices fluctuate, depending on materials used, finishes, and the size of the home, but prices start at an estimated R8 000/sqm. In most cases, the final price will include all fittings and fixtures, decking, foundations, and even appliances.
Customising a modular home is also a breeze, with the option of purchasing pods to add to an existing structure. Municipal approvals are taken care of by the manufacturer, and is oftentimes included in the overall price.
When to consider a modular home
Are you on a tight timeframe? Since these homes are built in a factory and assembled on site, the building process isn’t subject to unpredictable weather. This means that homes can be delivered within a few weeks.
Are you looking for a simple design? While not always the case, modular homes’ designs do tend to be less complicated than traditional builds. There is, of course, the option of customising existing designs to add your own flavour.
Are you trying to build a more environmentally friendly home? Since modular homes are built to strict specifications, there’s less of a chance that materials will go to waste. The fact that the homes are delivered ready-to-assemble also means that you won’t need an extensive clean-up of the building site. Finally, these homes are typically built with good insulation, and of responsible materials. This reduces the need for heating and cooling.