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The newest pre-fabricated home styles are anything but basic

From incredible tiny homes to stylish expansive cottages, it's time to take another look at this method of home building.
March 25, 2019 11:56 a.m. EST
March 25, 2019 11:56 a.m. EST

You might be familiar with the concept of pre-fabricated homes (or, simply 'prefab' as they're often known), but there's a good chance you haven't look into all of the amazing new options that have hit the market in recent years. No longer are you limited to a select few styles that a company has to offer, you can now have anything from a traditional cottage to a sleek and modern laneway home, and almost everything in between. By utilizing new materials like shipping containers, and smarter and more effective manufacturing methods, you can have a design-focused home in as little as one and a half months. 

Now, if you know nothing about prefab homes, let us get back to basics: A prefabricated home is one where the structure and the majority of the components are constructed and assembled off-site at an indoor facility. Within prefab home types, there are a couple different primary options: modular and panelized wall systems. Modular is when a home is constructed in different complete sections, and then delivered to the site and assembled with cranes. Some modular builders will say the house will arrive 90-95% complete at the site. All of your finishes, appliances, plumbing, electrical, are all there. The modules just need to be put together and utilities connected. Royal Homes is leading the way with designs to suit every taste, like this stunning cottage in Tiny, Ontatio.


With a panelized wall system, the home is constructed in separate panels, then delivered to the site to be put together. The panelized wall system option might have windows and doors included in the panels, but typically requires more work to be completed on site. 

With both options, you are still provided with a great deal of flexibilty with design of both the interior and exterior so you can customize it for your needs. 

Another incredible option is ultilizing shipping containers to make the modular home of your dreams. Both cost effective and flexible in terms of design, you can stack these containers for the most impressive home on even the smallest lot. 

Additionally, there are other structural options for builds that aren't technically full prefab homes, but do cut down your build time and give your more flexibility with design. Bone Structure offers net zero energy homes with their innovative steel construction system that limits the need of load bearing walls inside the come, which gives more flexibility with design. 

WHISTLER-BC-B-BONE-STRUCTURE-jpg.pngThe most common reason people choose prefab homes over a traditional build is the shorter timeline, but there are many other benefits that are worth considering. The price can often be comparible to a traditional build, but with all of the costs presented upfront, you won't be met with any surprises as can often happen on a traditional build site. This means that budgeting for your home is easier. There's also much less waste on this type of build which means it has a smaller environmental impact. All items are made within a facility that properly sorts and disposes of any leftover materials, including those that can be recycled. And perhaps best of all, expecially considering our fickle Canadian climate, these builds can happen in all seasons since the bulk of the work is done inside. No more lost construction days because another snow storm hit!

If you're looking at building an income property, and want to start building that income and equity as quickly as possible, then going the prefab route might be your best bet. Especially if you're looking at a unique spot like a laneway building which is becoming more and more popular in big cities where space is at a premium.


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