5 Key Differences Between Prefabricated Houses and Custom Homes

Building a new house is exciting, but you have to find the ideal home for your family. Learn more by reading our complete guide to custom and prefab homes!

Owning a home is already very exciting, but getting to build your ideal house is incredibly satisfying. That being said, would-be homeowners have an array of choices to make when planning to erect custom-built houses. One of the first and most important choices you’ll need to make is the type of home you would like to build: a traditional custom home or a prefabricated house.

What Are Prefabricated Homes?

A prefabricated home can be defined as any house that is completely or partially built indoors, in a factory-like setting. The finished parts are then transported to the construction site and either pieced together or laid down by professionals. Note that prefab homes are not mobile houses and can’t be attached to any vehicle for easy transportation.

Prefabricated housing is an umbrella term that covers several subtypes. Most prefabricated houses fall under two major categories: panel and modular building. Unlike manufactured homes that tend to age very quickly, prefabricated homes are durable and require as much maintenance as any other home.

However, that doesn’t mean that prefab homes are DIY projects. Remember that building codes vary by state and sometimes even by city. You have to make sure your house complies with all of these requirements to avoid any nasty surprises. There are slight similarities between traditionally-built custom homes, also known as brick and mortar houses, but they are very different in nature.

custom homes

Source: Wikimedia

Differences Between Prefab and Custom Houses

When compared superficially, custom homes and prefabricated houses are almost identical. However, there are many aspects you need to be aware of before deciding between the two.

Construction Time

The most significant difference between brick and mortar houses and prefab homes is the way they are built. Traditional houses are constructed on the place where the house will be located, which means they take anywhere from 6 to 12 months to build.[1]

The biggest challenge when building a brick and mortar house is inclement weather as it may damage heavy machinery[2] and cause other delays. Prefab homes, on the other hand, are built mostly indoors, depending on the type you choose. This means they are less likely to suffer delays due to weather, which translates into lower costs for you.

Kits vs. Tailored Features

One of the major downfalls to prefab homes is the fact that they require specialized parts for the entirety of the construction. This often means you have to choose features from a preset kit. Adversely, brick and mortar houses use materials you can often find at any hardware store.

This means you can take on several DIY jobs around your house, where repairs on a prefab home must be done by a professional. Not only this, but any improvements or repairs should preferably be done through the company that built your house in the first place as they will be the only ones that can offer spare parts.

custom homes

Source: Pixabay

Building Cost

There are several factors that affect the cost of a house, including building time, materials, and other expenses that may come up during the process.

While most people associate traditional custom homes with higher costs than prefab houses, it all depends on the building itself. Prefab homes have a faster turn around, but you also have to consider costs such as on-site assembly, which requires heavy machinery rental.

Electrical, Plumbing, and Ducts

Another key difference between prefab and custom homes is in the basic features such as electrical, plumbing, and ducts. Although these three are often included in the pricing for custom homes, prefabricated houses vary from contractor to contractor. Some may include it in the initial pricing, but most prefab house companies tend to give a quote that doesn’t include these basic elements.

Resale Value

Although there are different reasons for this, the resale value of a custom home tends to hold its value better when compared to prefab houses. While high-quality prefab houses tend to keep their value, those in the cheaper price range may actually lose value over time. The same can’t be said for custom-built houses, which tend to increase in value even when built from affordable materials.

Get the Best Custom Home Design Today

If you are looking to create the perfect home for your family to grow and create memories they will cherish for the rest of their lives, custom home designs are the best option for you. Finding a reliable contractor in Colorado Springs may be challenging, so get in touch with Craftsman Custom today and get your dream home designed. You can contact us by giving us a call or filling out our online contact form today!

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