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Demystifying Myths and Challenges in Modular Construction

Modular building construction has been around over the decades, but it is only now it’s gaining more attention. Hence, there are plenty of off-site construction misconceptions, and today, we’re going to debunk them.

10. Modular is a new type of construction.

Modular construction has been used across industries for decades now. In fact, it has a long, proven track record. House parts were being delivered since the 20th century in different parts of the world.

For instance, in the UK, between 1910 and 1930, thousands of portable, iron, and steel houses were delivered. Hundreds of this structure were shipped and built in the country and shipped all over the world.

In 1937, Manning Portabel Cottage was erected in Australia. During the 1940s and 1950s, prefabricated homes found their way to Japan, which is clear in the Kiyoshi Ikebe construction systems.

9. Modular buildings have the same layout and all look the same.

Wrong. Just like traditional construction, modular buildings can be versatile. Creative architects and engineers are turning to modular in building sophisticated, complex and visually stunning residential homes in addition to infrastructure such as commercial offices, contemporary-styled hospitals, schools, and public structures.

Not all projects are the same. Modules don’t have to follow one design or use the same type of materials. Through creative approaches, modules can be built in different sizes and shapes to achieve the desired outcome. Of course, there’s a need to consider the size for transporting the units on public road. Most transporting issues, however, can be dealt with.

8. Modular homes are difficult to finance.

Not correct. Finance brokers and even high street banks are now providing finance for modular homes, as the methods of construction have proven their quality and durability, and comes with the required warranties needed by lenders. In many cases, modular homes are even more cost effective, providing an additional advantage to the finance situation.

7. Modular homes are trailer homes.

No, modular homes are nothing like recreational vehicles and or trailer homes. They are classified under the umbrella of prefab or off-site construction, but not as manufactured mobile homes built on steel beams with axles and wheels. Modular homes also follows the standard building regulations as any other building.

6. Modular buildings easily depreciate.

There is a lot of conflicting information about modular construction, including whether the homes will easily depreciate or appreciate.  

Modular homes are not temporary homes and do not depreciate in value. Recent studies on London confirm that modular build houses retain the same value as traditional built houses.

The popularity of modular homes is in fact increasing due to modern design, eco-friendly and sustainable building methods and materials, and high quality and better insulation that leads to lower running costs.

5. Modular homes are “factory-line” homes and not safe like bricks and mortar houses.

One of the biggest misconceptions in modular construction is that the houses are cheap and rubbish. Common assumptions are that modular homes cannot withstand the changing weather or the demands imposed by transporting it from one place to another. The fact remains that modular construction methods reduce building costs without sacrificing quality. In fact, modular homes sometimes exceed building regs requirements by 20%.

4. Modular houses are built with a weak foundation.

Modular construction follows the same national and local standards and building regulations. Modules are manufactured at a factory environment with highly trained managers and engineers closely monitoring the quality of construction.

Before a modular house is lifted into place, the necessary ground works and preparations are done before the proper foundation is completed. All works are controlled and inspected by local planning authorities before the modules arrive at the site.

There is a wide range of options in providing a high quality foundation. There are even methods which are superior when dealing with challenging ground conditions such as clay and flood risk, and in some cases they are even more cost effective and require less materials.

3. Modular homes are not eco friendly.

In most cases modular buildings use higher quality materials than traditional structures, providing both better durability and insulation. This reduces heating costs, utilities and leaves a reduced carbon footprint compared to traditional methods. Because the manufacturing is done inside a factory, it dramatically reduces waste, which contributes to a sustainable and eco friendly method.

2. Modular homes are challenging to repair, flip, and rent.

Another misconception with modular housing is that it takes more resources to maintain. This is not correct because the modular house has durable parts that have the same life-span as bricks and mortar houses. And they are more environmentally friendly.

Most people will not be able to spot the difference between a traditionally built house and a modular one, purely based on the visual impression. Modular houses provide popular and desirable designs that attract both buyers and tenants.

As is the case in every major refurb, you should consult a structural engineer if you are planning to make significant changes to the structure or floor plan.

1. Modular homes are temporary.

Off-site construction methods simply means that at large proportion of the work is done in a factory controlled environment, and does not indicate whether the construction is made for permanent or temporary use. In addition to traditional residential use, modular construction fills the demand for societal needs including emergency extensions, correctional facilities extension, and shelter during unexpected events such as natural disasters.

Modules can be built as a single-storey or multi-storey buildings with varying quality and design. Its use expands from homes, offices, schools, medical and governmental facilities. Hotels and apartment buildings are now more often being built by using modular construction methods, with 20+ storey buildings with 1000+ rooms.

Final thoughts

Don’t get fooled by these misconceptions. Modular construction uses the latest technologies. They are affordable and durable. We strongly believe that modular construction will be a major contribution to solving the UK housing crisis.

If you would like to learn how you can benefit from modular construction, either as an investor or a home buyer, have a chat with one of our advisors. Please email info@vitaeinvestments.co.uk, Call or Text +44 (0) 7365-515-684 or Book a free consultation here.