How to Choose a Prefab Manufacturer

The process of choosing the right prefab manufacturer for your project starts by comparing different companies and evaluating which ones can provide the house you are looking for.

Since prefab homes are built following a highly mechanised process, the house is designed with manufacturing in mind. Therefore, when you choose a prefab company, you are choosing a complete team of architects, designers and builders which turns this selection into a critical step in the prefab house-building process.

choose prefab manufacturer
Fig. 1. Inside Modern Modular’s manufacturer factory

Look at the type of house the manufacturer offers

Given the mechanisation of the prefab construction process, manufacturers tend to be quite specialised. Therefore, they generally stick to a specific aesthetic and type of prefab.

The process of choosing a manufacturer begins by understanding what type of house we are looking for and comparing it to what the manufacturer offers:

  • The general aesthetics: Most of the houses offered by each manufacturer are built with the same architectural style. Some manufacturers choose to build their houses with a traditional look, some opt for a rustic style, and others might prefer to design modern-looking houses. A fast scroll through a company’s profile will give you an idea of the manufacturer’s general aesthetic.
  • Prefabs on foundations or wheels: Most manufacturers design their prefabs to be built off-site but assembled on a permanent foundation. As a result, the house is no different from a traditionally built structure and requires building permits. Some manufacturers, however, offer an alternative option that is instead placed on wheels. These prefabs resemble a mobile home rather than a traditional construction and can usually be purchased without a building permit.
  • Pre-designed or bespoke projects: Manufacturers can offer two design options: pre-designed or bespoke. Pre-designed prefabs are displayed in a catalogue-style list, for the client to choose from while bespoke prefabs are designed from scratch by the manufacturer according to the unique specifications of the client. Some manufacturers are equipped to provide both choices, though most of them focus on either one of these.

See what is included in the manufacturer’s package

All manufacturers design and build their houses in a factory-like environment. Though, the elements and services included in their package can vary enormously from one manufacturer to another.

While choosing a manufacturer, it is essential to see the package possibilities offered by each manufacturer in order to know which one works best for us.

  • The house’s package: Prefabs can be delivered either fully furnished just as the Keu model which is ready to be lived in or as an empty functioning house case waiting to be decorated by the owner. Analyse which option works best for you and see which manufacturer offers your preferred choice. Most of the elements included in the house package can be customised. Still, the amount of customisation varies from one company to another as it can range from personalising the finishes to upgrading to higher quality materials or even designing the whole house from scratch.
  • Logistics: Generally, shipping the prefabricated unit to the plot, as well as its assembly on the foundations is managed by the manufacturer. Though it isn’t always the case. Verifying that a team provided by the manufacturer will be on-site assembling the house can make a big difference.
  • Land preparation and on-site works: Commonly, manufacturers don’t provide such services. As a result, additional professionals such as a local contractor to prepare the land and complete the on-site construction works required. However, some manufacturers, such as VMODUL choose to expand their package and take care of every step, from acquiring the building permits to land preparation and finishing on-site work. Generally, works such as landscaping, gardening and pool building are not included by the manufacturers, but we encourage you to get in touch with them since it is the best way to know what they can do for you.
Transportation of a Koleliba prefab house
Fig. 2. Transportation of a Koleliba prefab house from the manufacturer to the plot

Make sure the manufacturer can deliver to you

A manufacturer who can deliver the type of house you are looking for with those specific features that are important to you is definitely a good choice. Still, some additional aspects can turn a good manufacturer’s choice into the best choice.

  • Possibility to visit an already-built prefab model: Some companies such as Šuuna offer this additional customer service to help you get a clear understanding of what the finished space looks like.
  • Exceptional warranty policies and maintenance services: All prefab companies offer some sort of product warranty, though their policies vary enormously. The duration of this period is different for different parts of the house, the structure being always the longest. Look at those manufacturers with better coverage that provide maintenance and reparation services not only during the warranty period but after its expiration as well.
  • Extensive experience in the industry: While extensive years of activity aren’t necessarily proof of excellence, the more projects a company has delivered the lower the probability to encounter unexpected issues during the construction of your new house.
  • Excellent reputation: One of the most helpful ways to get to know if you are choosing a reputable manufacturer is by reading past clients’ reviews. Also, some companies such as Brette Haus and Nomad Container have been rewarded or recognised by different media which could be a sign of reliability.

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