How to Compare Prefab House Models

Comparing prefab models can be a daunting task, given the extensive number of options available today in Europe and the UK. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when faced with so many choices, especially when each model is designed to serve unique, yet different purposes.

Understanding Modular Building and Prefab Models

Before you dive into comparisons, it’s important to understand the difference between modular building and prefab models. Prefab buildings are constructed off-site in a factory environment and can include various types such as modular homes. These homes are known for their efficiency and quality, as they are built using controlled processes and high-quality materials. This method ensures that your living space is maximised, and construction waste is minimised.

Define your priorities to filter your prefab model search

To succeed in your prefab house model comparison, it’s essential to define your priorities. Take some time to analyse your domestic habits and possibilities before diving into any model research or comparison. With a clear understanding of your preferences, you can use the search option provided by Spassio to filter some of the most basic aspects.

  • Indicate your budget: Limiting the offer to what you can afford is essential to be realistic in the model comparison and avoid feeling frustrated in the process. The value displayed when scrolling through the different prefabricated houses isn’t the final price but the starting price. Important costs such as land preparation, on-site house assembling, or building permits have to be added to the base price to get a real understanding of the final price.
  • Define the number of bedrooms: Generally, the size of a prefab model is defined by the number of bedrooms. In the model search language, a bedroom is any room except for the kitchen, living-dining room, or bathroom. Therefore, if you would like your house to include areas such as a home office or a TV room, you must count them as bedrooms.
  • Specify your location: It is essential to make sure that all the models you are comparing can be shipped to your site. Indicate the country where your prefab home will be delivered and assembled. This step is essential since not all manufacturers are equipped to build a house in your location.

Compare the different prefab models of your selection

The search feature provided by Spassio is a great tool to start the prefab model comparison since it helps filter the results based on your main priorities. Still, to simplify the comparison, we should keep filtering the selection manually.

The first comparisons are basically visual, we will decide which models we keep and which ones we drop by looking at the images provided by the manufacturer. As the selection gets smaller, we can start looking into more technical details.

Step Description Tools/Methods
1. Define Priorities Analyze domestic habits and preferences before starting model research. Self-assessment
2. Indicate Budget Set a realistic budget, including extra costs like land preparation and permits. Budget planning tools
3. Define Number of Bedrooms Decide on the number of bedrooms, considering extra rooms like offices or TV rooms. Model search filters
4. Specify Location Ensure models can be delivered to your site. Manufacturer’s delivery options
5. Compare Models Use images and technical details to narrow down choices. Spassio search option, manual filtering
6. Check Layouts Compare floorplans and layouts based on your domestic habits. Floorplan analysis
7. Review Packages Evaluate what’s included in each package, considering turn-key options. Package comparison
8. Customisation Options Consider the level of customisation each model offers. Manufacturer information
9. Technical Details Review materials, insulation, and energy efficiency. Technical specifications
10. Track Record Check reviews and visit completed homes if possible. Online reviews, site visits

1. Select your preferred aesthetic

odyl house aesthetic
Fig 1 ODYL House Loft is a prefab house built by ODYL House

This is quite an easy step since it consists of choosing which houses look beautiful to you and which ones don’t. The simpler way to identify which designs appeal the most is by scrolling through the different model pictures. You’ll see that even if you know nothing about architectural styles you will be able to identify your preferred aesthetic by simply observing your reactions.

Look at the general picture of each model and ask yourself: “Do I see myself living in this house?”. If the answer is yes, keep it. If the answer is no, eliminate it from your list.

 

modern looking prefab model by Eestihouse
Fig. 2. A modern-looking prefab model by Eestihouse

2. Check the different layouts

Look at the floorplan distribution and compare the approaches taken in the different models. Some might be designed as one-story houses, others as multiple stories. Some have a kitchen designed as an independent room, others have an open floor plan where the kitchen and dining area share the same space. Recreate your domestic habits and ask yourself, “Which layout will serve my family best?”

Bulgaria model’s layout has an open kitchen
Bulgaria model’s layout has an open kitchen

Some have a kitchen designed as an independent room, while others have an open floor plan where the kitchen and dining area share the same space. Recreate your domestic habits and ask yourself. “Which layout will serve my family best?”.

Logi 300’s layout offers a closed kitchen
Logi 300’s layout offers a closed kitchen

3. Consider what is included in the prefab house package

While comparing different models, look at the initial package defined for each modular house which in most cases includes the house structure, finishes and fixtures. Still, these features vary from model to model and some prefabs are delivered to you turn-key.

If you need to move in right away, a fully furnished prefab model which is already equipped with all the necessary appliances might be a good fit for you. Take some time to think about which option works best for you and select those models that cater for your needs. Notice that some manufacturers Such as Woodville or Tiny Home Romania allow the modification of the initial package.

4. Analyse the customisation options offered by each model

When comparing prefabricated homes, we are generally comparing pre-designed houses. All these models are already designed but they can often be personalised. The amount of personalization allowed by each model depends on the manufacturer: some allow only minor modifications such as choosing the finishing materials or colours.

Others offer more freedom and big modifications such as adding a room are possible. If the possibility to personalise the design is something you might be interested in, choose a model designed by a manufacturer equipped to offer extensive modifications or even bespoke designs.

5. Look into the model’s technical details

The Family Tiny model is placed on wheels
The Family Tiny model is placed on wheels

Looking into elements such as the materials used can offer us further information about the house design but also the quality or energy performance of the model. Materials such as those used to insulate the walls of the house can help reduce energy consumption bills since good insulation contributes to improved energy efficiency.

When comparing, consider if the prefab model uses sustainable materials and incorporates energy-efficient design. These factors not only improve your living experience but also contribute to lower long-term maintenance costs and a reduced environmental footprint. Prefab homes designed as passive houses are particularly notable for their high energy efficiency.

The basic information of every model can be found in its description box but for a more in-depth understanding of its construction, it can be helpful to request further detailed technical information as offered by UpHut OÜ.

The Hereford prefab model is assembled on permanent foundations
The Hereford prefab model is assembled on permanent foundations

Check the track record of the models in your final selection

At this stage, your list of prefab models should be enormously reduced. You have already eliminated from your comparison list all those models that aren’t designed or built in a way that satisfies your priorities.

This last step of the model comparison will help you eliminate those products with a negative track record that have shown problems before.

Main things to analyse in this last comparison:

  • Check the reviews from past clients: Knowing how is the experience of purchasing, building and living in this model can be incredibly helpful. If you know someone who went through this process you can ask them. Though, nowadays you will definitely find multiple reviews online.
  • Visit a finished house: This isn’t always possible but some manufacturers such as Šuuna or LYFIO offer the possibility of visiting an already-finished house. This is the best way to examine the constructed model since you can see it by yourself.
  • See if you can obtain financing: With the information provided about the model, you can make a fast request to your bank to know if they offer financing for this type of construction. Still, to be safe, you can choose a model designed by a manufacturer such as LYFIO which collaborates with popular banks to help you obtain financing.

By focusing on these aspects, you ensure that you choose a high-quality home that meets your needs and preferences. Prefab homes with customizable designs offer flexibility, while those using high-quality materials ensure durability and longevity. Considering these factors will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your priorities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best prefab house model?

The best prefab house model is different for every person since it is designed and built to satisfy your unique priorities.

What’s the difference between prefab models and modular home models?

Modular home models are a type of prefab model. Prefab models are all those in which the construction process takes place off-site in a factory environment. Still, they can be manufactured using a wide range of construction methods such as modular construction.

What should I look for in the technical details of a prefab home?

When reviewing the technical details of a prefab home, pay attention to the materials used, insulation quality, energy efficiency ratings, and any certifications such as those for sustainability or energy performance. These factors contribute to the durability, comfort, and long-term cost savings of the home.

How customisable are prefab homes?

Many prefab homes offer a range of customization options. Depending on the manufacturer, you can often choose from various finishes, layouts, and even structural modifications. Some manufacturers allow extensive modifications, while others might limit customizations to finishes and colours.

Are prefab homes more affordable than traditional homes?

Prefab homes can be more affordable than traditional homes due to the efficiency of the building process and reduced construction time. However, costs can vary based on customisation, materials, and additional expenses like land preparation and permits. It’s essential to consider these factors when comparing prices.

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