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  • Writer's picturePete Ward


A prefabricated, (or Prefab), product is one that is built indoors in a factory-like setting. The finished products are covered and transported to their new locations, where they are assembled by a builder. A prefab home is not a mobile home; it is simply a home that is built off-site, as opposed to on-site. These homes are often called factory-built, system-built or modular  homes.

Prefab and manufactured homes are not the same. Manufactured homes are not placed on permanent foundations. Manufactured homes, sometimes referred to as (but are not always) mobile homes, can be moved from one location to another. There are specific laws and regulations regarding these relocations.

The theory behind the method is that time and cost is saved if similar construction tasks can be grouped, and assembly line techniques can be employed in prefabrication at a location where skilled labour is available, while congestion at the assembly site, which wastes time, can be reduced. The method finds application particularly where the structure is composed of repeating units or forms, or where multiple copies of the same basic structure are being constructed. Prefabrication avoids the need to transport so many skilled workers to the construction site, and other restricting conditions such as a lack of power, lack of water, exposure to harsh weather or a hazardous environment are avoided.

Prefab home facts:

​Prefab homes appraise the same as their on-site built counterparts do; they do not depreciate in value.

Prefab homes can be customized.

Most prefab home companies have in-house engineering departments.

Prefab home designs vary in style and size.

Prefab construction can be used for commercial applications, including office buildings.

Prefab homes are permanent structures — “real property.”

Prefab homes can be built on crawl spaces and basements.

Prefab homes are considered a form of green building.

Prefab homes are faster to build than 100 percent site-built homes.

Home loans for prefab homes are the same as site-built homes.

Insurance premiums for Prefab homes are the same as site-built homes.

Taxes on Prefab homes are the same as site-built homes.

Prefab homes can be built to withstand 175-mph winds.

Prefab homes can be built for accessible living and designed for future conveniences.

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