Prefabricated (prefab) houses

Prefabricated houses




The actual meaning of prefabrication or prefab can be related to several sub-forms of building, most notably they fall into the category of flat pack or kit homes, modular buildings, or manufactured houses.

Prefab homes are constructed off-site in sections, so that they can be transported to their final location (quite often in different countries), before being assembled on the awaiting foundations.

What are prefabricated houses?

Today, the term prefabricated house can be related to any kind of building that is constructed in a workshop and then assembled at a different location. They tend to be of a postmodernism or futurist design, although traditional looking prefab houses are available.




In the UK, prefab houses came into popularity during World War II, when there was a need for quick, mass produced accommodation in the aftermath of the devastation caused by relentless bombing. By the late 40’s around 160,000 prefabricated houses were been built in the UK, with the heavily bombed Liverpool having the single largest accumulation of preb buildings in one estate (there were more than 1000 homes).

Things have progressed however, and today the simple box-like structures are being replaced by very modern designs. Also, the use of “green” materials is on the rise, and since they buildings are prepared off-site and can be fit together relatively easily and quickly, addition features, finishes, and even rooms can be add to standard layouts.

Flat pack and Kit homes

Click here to see more on Flat Pack Homes and Kit Houses.

Modular buildings

Modular BuildingModular homes are formed of larger sections (modules), that tend to be 6-sided boxes that can fit together to form a larger building. These kind of prefab buildings are particularly versatile since the modules can be placed side-by-side, end-to-end, or stacked on top of each other (up to 6 stories high). While the appearance of modular buildings can be very simplistic, they can be finished to a good level of design, and take on the appearance of the typical home.

Manufactured and mobile homes

Manufactured houses are also sometimes referred to as mobile homes, although the do differ. Both of these types of buildings are completely assembled in a factory and shipped to their final location fully built (this is unlike flat pack and modular homes which are in sections). Manufactured homes can be placed in caravan parks as well as on normal land, while mobile homes can only be housed on caravan parks. Mobile homes also have permanently attached wheels, which sets them apart from other types of prefab buildings.






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