What is the difference between modular and prefabricated homes?

In the realm of modern construction, two terms that are often used interchangeably are "modular homes" and "prefabricated homes." While both of these housing options offer numerous advantages over traditional site-built homes, they are not one and the same. In this article, we will explore the key differences between modular and prefabricated homes to help potential homeowners make an informed decision.

Construction Process:
The most significant difference between modular and prefabricated homes lies in their construction processes. Prefabricated homes, also known as "prefabs," are constructed off-site in a factory or manufacturing facility. The entire home or its major components, such as walls, roofs, and floors, are built in a controlled environment and then transported to the building site for final assembly.

On the other hand, modular homes are a type of prefabricated home. They are constructed in modules or sections within a factory setting. Unlike traditional prefabs, modular homes are designed to be assembled on-site by joining these pre-built modules together. The modules are transported to the location and then placed on a foundation, after which they are interconnected to form a complete home.
Design Flexibility:
Prefabricated homes generally offer fewer design options compared to modular homes. Since prefabs are built as complete units or large sections, they may have limited customization possibilities. Homebuyers often have to choose from pre-existing floor plans and designs offered by the manufacturer.

Modular homes, on the other hand, provide greater design flexibility. While they are also constructed in modules, these modules can be combined in various configurations, allowing for more extensive customization. Homeowners can work with modular home manufacturers to create a unique floor plan and choose from a wide range of finishes, fixtures, and features.

Transportation and Installation:
The transportation and installation processes differ between prefabricated and modular homes. Prefabricated homes are transported in one or a few large sections, depending on their size, which can limit access to certain locations or require special permits for transportation.

Modular homes, being shipped in multiple modules, offer greater flexibility in transportation. These modules can be easily transported on standard trucks, making them more suitable for sites with restricted access or challenging terrains.
Back to blog