Prefabricated houses: everything you need to know before buying one

Manufactured homes have been steadily gaining ground for a long time. Let’s review its main features, pros and cons.

Last update: 14 March, 2022

Prefabricated houses are a housing option that is gaining more and more followers. Before, it was believed that this type of housing left no room for original designs and was branded as not very resistant. However, currently they are taken as a very convenient option for housing space due to their costs.

As its name implies, a prefabricated house it is built in a factory and then assembled in the place indicated. All its parts are moved and assembled according to the chosen design.

They need to be placed on foundations, so it is necessary to go through a construction site. Let’s review below what types of prefabricated houses exist and what their advantages and disadvantages are.

What types of prefabricated houses exist and what materials are used?

There is a varied and very interesting offer of prefabricated houses that can be accessed. As for the prices of the different models, according to a report presented by The Economist, a house of these characteristics with a room, a bathroom, a kitchen and a dining room starts at 12,499 euros. According to the different companies that manufacture and assemble the house, the cost can range between 28 and 50 thousand euros.

These are some types of prefabricated houses that are available in the market:

  • Premade house: each of its parts is manufactured in a workshop and then assembled on the indicated land.
  • Modular house: In the factory, the modules that make up the house are built and then they are transported with a special crane to the place. Each module is a space in the house, such as the kitchen, the bathroom or the bedroom.

These houses can be built of different materials, from which the following classification arises.


Prefabricated houses made of wood are the most common because they are light and easy to work with in the production workshops. Logs and panels are used to complete its manufacture.

It is a biodegradable and sustainable material whose treatment is cheaper than that of others, such as steel. The main disadvantage is that special treatments must be carried out against humidity and to prevent the proliferation of insects.

Wood needs annual maintenance to prevent deterioration of the material.


This is one of the most convenient and safe materials to assemble prefabricated houses, due to its great resistance, especially in areas of important seismic activity. Once the pieces are ready, they are transported in special trucks to the field and assembled.

It requires very little maintenance, but leaves a significant carbon footprint. Therefore, it is not very friendly to the environment.


Houses made of this material are built quickly and it takes specialized personnel to place screws and weld the joints. Its structure is very resistant. In places with high temperatures extra care is required.

cargo containers

Prefabricated houses that start from shipping containers are setting a strong trend in the world of architecture and design. They are used as a dwelling unit and original and functional designs can be created if several are assembled.

It would be a type of modular prefabricated house.

Some sides are usually removed to expand the spaces or add openings. Similarly, they are covered with plaster, wood and other materials to cover walls. Its main disadvantage is that it is necessary to do a good job of thermal insulation so that they have energy efficiency.


PVC is a hard, resistant and light plastic. At the same time, it allows the parts to be assembled in a very simple way. It offers excellent thermal insulation.

7 advantages of prefabricated houses

There are many benefits for those who choose this type of housing:

  • More economical: they are more affordable in money than houses that require traditional construction.
  • They build faster: this is one of the main advantages and one of the most common reasons why many people use these houses. On average, 6 months are calculated from its design to its assembly and completion.
  • They support all types of locations: they can be assembled in remote areas.
  • They offer a good quality of materials: In Spain, concrete and steel are preferred due to their resistance, two materials that offer safety and durability over time.
  • They can be expanded without inconvenience: This point is crucial when choosing a prefabricated house. Especially in the case of modular homes, since it is possible to add modules in case more rooms or a study are needed, for example.
  • They constitute a clean construction method and are friendly to the environment: not as much debris is generated as in traditional works. In addition, they are more sustainable because fewer natural resources are used for their manufacture. The systems used usually favor energy savings by considering solar panels in the structure, for example.
Solar panels can be thought of within the design of the prefabricated house from the outset.

Disadvantages of manufactured homes

As we already know, there is no perfect house. Therefore, this type of housing also has some disadvantages:

  • Some require special maintenance: in the case of wood.
  • The price can be high: always depending on the characteristics of the house and the details that are chosen. It is also necessary to account for the costs of preparing the land.
  • They may not be resistant to certain climatic phenomena: these houses are built on foundations, however, they can suffer irreparable damage in the event of tornadoes or hurricanes, for example.
  • It is difficult to get financing: For many banks, prefabricated houses are considered personal property, so credit lines are not easy to obtain.

Prefabricated houses are an option that is increasingly chosen

As we have been able to analyse, It seems that there are more benefits than disadvantages. to buy a prefabricated house. All the variables that come into play before purchasing a home (of any type) change according to the personal circumstances of each one.

Our first advice is that you always analyze each of the alternatives in detail and that you consult with professionals. Advice when making an investment of this type is essential.

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