What is the Difference Between a Modular Home and a Prefabricated/Prefab Home?

Rising housing costs and increasing demand for ecologically-friendly homes has sparked a great deal of interest in the idea of modular or prefabricated homes. But what is the difference between a modular home and a prefabricated or prefab home? Often, these terms are confused with manufactured homes, which is an entirely different housing category.

Below, we explain the difference between a modular home and a prefabricated home, and how these terms relate to manufactured homes.

The Difference Between a Modular Home and a Prefabricated/Prefab Home

There is much overlap between modular and prefabricated homes, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. However, there is a distinction between them.

The term prefabricated home refers to any home that is built off-site, often in a manufacturing facility, instead of being constructed on the building site.

In a traditional building process, the builders lay a concrete foundation on site and then built the house directly on top of it. This is often colloquially referred to as a stick-built home. A prefabricated home, on the other hand, is built somewhere else and placed onto the foundation after it is mostly finished.

The term modular home refers to a prefabricated home that is built in separate pieces (called modules), rather than in one whole piece, then put together on the foundation. In other words, modular homes are a type of prefabricated home, but not all prefabricated homes are modular.

Modular and Prefabricated Homes vs. Manufactured Homes

The term manufactured home is another word for the more commonly-used mobile home or trailer home. It’s no surprise that this causes confusion, since prefabricated and modular homes are also manufactured! However, modular and prefabricated homes are a different category from mobile homes.

A mobile or manufactured home is, as the name implies, designed to be moved from place to place. This is not necessarily true of modular or prefab homes. In fact, most prefabricated homes in Canada and the United States are built as permanent structures and look indistinguishable from stick-built homes. The only real difference between a prefabricated house and a traditional one is the building process!

Prefabricated Home Builders in Ontario

There is been growing interest in modular prefabricated homes as an eco-friendly and affordable housing solution. Since the house is built in a facility, the structure is assembled in an extremely precise and efficient manner, free from interruptions by the weather. The process is easier on the environment surrounding the building site, and since the construction process is so expedient, it results in a lower carbon footprint than the traditional building process.

For more information on modular homes, click here.

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