junio 19, 2024

Sustainable and accessible housing

Manufactured homes are becoming a real alternative to traditional brick and mortar housing.

Given the high price it has reached in recent years, and the low economic availability of many families to aspire to traditional homes.

A manufactured home is much cheaper than a traditional one, and in these types of matters, money is often the key to making a decision.

So why are these types of constructions not so widespread? In this article we will try to provide an answer to this dilemma.

Manufactured homes emerged in the United States in the middle of the last century.

With the intention of creating hybrids between mobile caravans and traditional houses, so that families who had to move from one place to another in short periods of time could live in a house proper, and not in a small trailer, with the facilities to move the home wherever they want.

Those mobile homes evolved into what we know today as prefabricated houses, much more consistent and durable. That in most cases they have already lost the ability to be moved to simply become alternative homes anchored in certain plots.

Manufactured homes spread throughout the United States and Canada in the last half of the 20th century.

And they also became very popular in France, England, Israel and especially in northern Europe where the climate does not allow to build more than 5 months a year. This type of housing can be just as functional and durable as a traditional house, provided that its materials and their construction have been of quality.

Even so, the savings in more expensive and heavier materials, and in labor, make a manufactured home much cheaper than a traditional home. There have been cases of manufactured homes that have cost slightly less than a traditional home, being twice as large as the latter.

Let’s now see the many advantages of deciding on a prefabricated house:

The first, which we have already talked about, is the price. The price of these prefabricated homes can vary greatly, depending on the materials, finishes and dimensions that we choose for the house.

A small house for two people can be around $ 300,000-400,000 pesos, the same price as a normal car, to give you an idea. As we increase the size of the house and the quality of the materials, obviously the price will also go up.

It is impossible to find a traditional home for that price and with those characteristics. Normally, the price is usually between 30 and 50% lower than that of traditional houses.

The location of the house

The fact is that to locate our prefabricated home we will only need to have a plot of land, the size of the house we want to build. And normally facilitate the holding of the house with a layer of cement on the ground, so that it remains completely attached to the ground. In this way, we start with the advantage that the house will cost the same no matter where we place it, and its price will not depend on its location.

The materials used in the exterior of these houses are usually wood or PVC, but they are always protected by sheets or special paints that ensure their maintenance against the corrosion of the facades in private homes.

This type of material is much more resistant to extreme climates, both cold and heat, rain and even snowfall.

At the same time, these materials are thermal and acoustic insulators, so that in the long run, the cost of heating or air conditioning, for example, will be reduced. Since the temperature in the house is usually quite pleasant at any time of the year.

The speed with which a prefabricated house is built (maximum 6 months from planning to delivery of the keys) is another of the great advantages of these homes. As they are made up of modules that are embedded and assembled, the preparation time of these modules is much less, since they are manufactured at the same time. And once finished, they only have to be assembled in the place chosen to locate the house. Nothing to do with the years that the construction of any traditional house can take.

The use of wood, PVC, plasterboard and other materials compared to cement, concrete, etc. .. of a traditional house also contributes to a greater respect for the environment, so we could talk about ecological houses.

In this sense, most of the prefabricated houses are also usually located in natural environments, in mountain villages, surrounded by mountains or forests and on beaches, so their adaptation to the environment is unbeatable.
In this type of project there is no excess or lack of materials. When planning the construction of a prefabricated house, the companies that take care of it detail the final price of the house in a budget.
In most cases, this price does not vary one iota from the real one, since when it is built industrially, the costs are much easier to calculate.
So, are all advantages in this type of housing? Obviously not. If they have not yet become a large-scale alternative to traditional housing, it is because many are still suspicious of these houses.
Disadvantages of prefab houses:
There is to buy or have already bought the plot where to locate it.
For this reason, these types of houses are usually built where the land is cheaper, on the outskirts of cities, in towns or in natural environments such as forests, beaches or mountains. A good example of this are the classic cabins in the woods that are so abundant in North America.
Before we have talked about the low price of these homes, but we must also analyze very well the type of house we want, its design and its dimensions. Normally there are already planned prefabricated houses with a specific design, which tend to be cheaper because they are more “simple”. If the buyer does not like these designs, a house can always be made to his liking, of course this will be much more expensive than if he already uses the predesigned ones.
By this we mean that prefabricated houses can also be expensive if we order them large and with a very special design to our liking. Even so, they will be cheaper than a traditional house of the same style.
The materials used must be of the highest quality, both in walls and partitions as well as in the finishes, pipes and cables for the electricity, water and gas supply. If not, it could cause unwanted problems in the house. This type of material costs more than the normal ones, of course, although many companies already use them in all their prefabricated houses.
Houses made of wood or PVC can suffer much more damage in areas with extreme weather events, such as floods, snowfalls or hurricanes. Obviously, in a large tornado of great force, the prefabricated house will be at a disadvantage compared to a large brick and cement house, since they are much lighter. Even so, companies in this sector are working to produce increasingly durable, resistant and reliable houses, even in the face of these types of extreme phenomena.
Without a doubt, prefabricated houses are a great alternative for those looking for functionality and a good price.

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