What Is a Prefab Home and Why Is It Popular?

What Is a Prefab Home and Why Is It Popular?

Prefab homes are gaining popularity. Those looking to save building costs by researching alternatives typically start by asking: what is a prefab home? Understanding how prefab homes work, including their advantages, limitations, and available prefab home options, will help you determine if buying a prefab home is the right decision. This article will answer those specific questions and provide an overview of the considerations for buying prefab unique timber frame homes.

What is a Prefab Timber Home? 

Prefab, which is just a shortened version of the word “prefabricated,” simply means that home was manufactured off-site in separate sections and shipped to the final location for full assembly. There are two primary types of prefab homes: modular and kits. All modular homes are, by definition, prefab. However, all prefab homes are not necessarily modular. Modular homes are usually about 70% built when delivered to the home site and often use a light steel frame construction with cheaper building materials. Quality, high-end prefabricated timber homes can be beautifully crafted and feature stunning designs.

What is a prefab home compared to a mobile home? There are several key differences between mobile homes (often called “trailer homes”) and prefab homes. As opposed to a trailer home, prefab homes are not completely assembled before delivery. Prefab homes also use an entirely different manufacturing process and significantly higher quality materials. High-end prefab builders like Logangate Timber Homes actually use real lumber for an authentic look and feel. While trailer homes are constructed on a chassis for easy transportation, prefab homes are usually built on stronger foundations (including poured cement or block foundations), giving them much more stability and resilience to severe weather. 

What is a High-End Prefab Home?

Non-modular, high-end prefab homes are typically made with higher quality materials and more reliable construction techniques. This greater attention to quality results in more durable, sustainable, customizable, longer-lasting, and attractive homes. You can see examples of unique timber frame homes built by Logangate here:

How do Prefab Homes Work?

Prefab homes are built at the manufacturer’s location and shipped in pre-assembled portions to the final home site. These portions, often called panels, are specially engineered to fit together easily and precisely. Before the building process even begins, the manufacturer should partner closely with you to assess your preferences, needs, budget, and timeline. 

Although some people with the proper tools and knowledge do opt to errect prefab homes themselves, most buyers use a local general contractor or construction company to complete the assembly of their unique timber frame homes. A general contractor or similar resource will also be needed to help with projects like plumbing, electrical, and interior finishing. The typical time required for a complete prefab home build is approximately six months to one year depending on location. 

Because prefab homes are offered in standard kits, the manufacturing process for the entire house can be standardized without sacrificing quality. Customization options also mean that your home will be a  unique timber frame home that will incorporate excellent materials and construction methods, like the renowned post and beam design. The post and beam construction method, used by Logangate Timber Homes, has been relied on for centuries due to its strength, stability, and unique ability to showcase the natural beauty of timber.

Advantages of a High-End Prefab Home

There are significant advantages to choosing a high-end prefab home. Whether or not these advantages apply to you depends mostly on your specific tastes and overall budget. Five of the most widely applicable advantages are listed below:

  • Prefab homes are often chosen because they are faster to construct and require less labor and materials than custom stick-built alternatives.
  • Prefab homes can be less expensive than traditional homes. In comparison to the cost of building a high-end traditional home, which can easily be $400 per sq foot or more, high-end prefab homes can cost as little as $250 per sq foot. Additionally, prefab homes have little to no cost variance during their manufacturing and assembly. Because the material costs are predetermined, and the homes are specifically designed for easy assembly, the total building costs can be precisely estimated and controlled. Lower building costs can allow homeowners to focus on getting a dream property that suits their needs.
  • Depending on the manufacturer, high-end prefab homes are often more sustainable and environmentally friendly than traditionally-built homes. 
  • Many manufacturers offer customizable options for their prefab homes, allowing you to personalize aspects of the home to your liking. 
  • Most prefab home manufacturers provide all the drafting services you will need. You will save thousands of dollars since you will not have to hire an architect. 
  • The strength and durability of high-end prefab homes are often preferred in locations known for severe weather, or for hillside locations that would make traditional building difficult.

Prefab Home Limitations

What is a prefab home limitation? There are some limitations to what a prefab home can offer buyers, especially if budget is not a primary concern when building. Some important limitations to consider include the following:

  • While prefab homes offer a significant range of flexibility and customizable options, traditional homes can truly be built with 100% custom specifications tailored precisely to the homeowner’s preferences. These preferences can include unique architectural layouts, one-of-a-kind carpentry flourishes, or other special features that require the help of experienced designers and contractors. 
  • Traditional and Prefab homes have stronger resale value than modular homes as they are often the first option home buyers seek. 
  • Any quality prefab homes will still require access to all of the same utilities required by traditionally built homes, including gas, electricity, water (city or well), and things like a driveway and walkway, etc. The cost of adding these amenities and utilities will likely be higher in a rural setting.

When to Consider Buying a Prefab Home

With custom home building often entailing a long and costly process, many buyers are wondering: should I buy a prefab home?

Most prefab home buyers share some traits in common, including the strong preference to avoid long, stressful building timelines, a strict budget, a focus on sustainable living, and the desire to live on a larger or more rural property that is less developed. Concerns about exceeding your budget are especially relevant now as the cost of building a custom home is the highest it has been in recent years. 

Another key consideration for if now is the time to consider buying a prefab home is if you have purchased a piece of property and want to either replace the current dwelling unit or start from scratch. Prefab homes can be an easy way to accomplish either of those goals for your next move. 

If you’re considering a timber home for your family, you are about to embark on a home investment that is unique, breathtaking, and beautiful. One unique timber home style to consider is the pedestal home. The pedestal home is an incredibly unique and beautiful type of timber home. The main structure of your home actually cantilevers ten feet from all four of its sides. Just as the name suggests, a cantilevered home uses beams that are only anchored on one end. This allows for structures to hang over without having to have external bracing. The foundation is very small and that doesn’t cause very much of a site disturbance which helps to preserve the grounds in the area. With the grounds in their pristine and natural conditions, the beauty of this particular timber home is hard to beat. Because the pedestal home is literally on a pedestal above environmentally sensitive sites such as flood plains, marshes, and steep slopes, the sky is the limit on where you are actually capable of building. You will also love the fact that you will save tens of thousands of dollars with the smaller, pedestal foundation.  This opens up so many possibilities that it’s no wonder this unique home is a viable solution for those that know about it.

What is a Chalet Home?

A chalet home style, also commonly referred to as a Swiss Chalet house, is a style of home architecture common in the Alpine region of Europe. A chalet home style is typically made of timber and includes a gently sloping roof and overhanging eaves. The overhanging eaves are great for providing protection from the elements and rough weather as well as providing a beautiful architectural style. Swiss Chalet homes were introduced to the United States in the mid-1800s by architect Andrew Jackson Downing. Because of their mid-European roots, these homes are fantastic choices for mountainside residences or fit for any other uneven landmass. The design is frequently used for vacation homes but is fantastic for year-round living as well.

Benefits of Chalet Homes 

What is a chalet home benefit? There are numerous benefits to owning a chalet house. The house’s fairly simplistic construction with basic materials and an uncomplicated design means chalet houses can be built more affordably than homes of a similar size. The floor plans are very flexible, with plenty of opportunities for customization with the overhanging eaves, windows, and exposed architecture. Common unique features that can be added to a chalet home are carved rafters and ornamental shingles. Chalet home style comes in numerous sizes as well, depending on your needs. Our traditional chalet home floor plans start at 600 square feet but can go up to 4000 square feet with the addition of a single wing or two wings to construct a Grand Chalet home. Chalet homes typically have a lot of windows that allow for copious amounts of natural light and a beautiful view of your surroundings. Due to the A-frame design, the ceilings in chalet homes are very high, with a lot of open space for an open and cozy home. Chalet home style offers a very sleek and elegant aesthetic while maintaining the warmth and coziness of a Logangate Timber Home.

Premium Quality, Luxury Prefabricated Homes by Logangate

So, what is a prefab home by Logangate? Our homes are customizable, high quality, affordably built, and resilient houses that are designed with comfort and style in mind. At Logangate Timber Homes, we don’t compromise on our buildings and value client satisfaction above all else. At Logangate, we don’t just build average cookie-cutter houses; we are dedicated to building homes with heart and care. Start building your dream home today and contact Logangate now!

Logangate Timber Homes

Logangate Timber Homes is custom home builder in Asheville, North Carolina, specializing in building beautiful Modern Post & Beam Homes, Pedestal Timber Homes, Chalet Timber Homes, and Timber Frame Cabins. We have over 50 years of experience building panelized Timber Frame Homes that can be found all over the nation and are particularly popular in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. We are dedicated to designing beautifully crafted affordable Timber Frame Homes.

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Phone Number: 828-707-4383
Asheville, NC