Sometimes known as manufactured homes, what older generations in the UK will call Prefabricated homes are on the rise in the UK.
The old prefabs of post war Britain are mostly long gone, though a few remain as monuments to a simpler time. Built as temporary answers to a housing problem after the war when so many properties had been destroyed, the old prefabs provided much-loved homes for many families and some stayed in theirs for the rest of their life.
Now as some of the UK’s larger cities struggle to provide enough affordable homes for people with low-incomes and the retired, it seems that prefabs have once again come to the fore.
Modular developments in Manchester and in Liverpool are gaining traction thanks to a renewed interest in the low-cost, low-impact and affordable homes. Both cities are and have been for some time, dealing with extreme housing crisis and changes are afoot. A growing number of companies are looking into or are already, manufacturing prefab houses to fill the gap in availability.
The lack of affordable homes for young professionals and for older people stuck in the rental trap has needed addressing for some time and it has been estimated that prefab homes can be built in around half the time of a traditional new-build of bricks and mortar.
The homes are factory-built and whilst they are under construction, foundations are already laid or helical piles are used ensuring fast installation with minimum upheaval and mess. Once the would-be owners have decided to purchase a home, the order for it can be placed and building can begin.
The lack of mess and noise is of course an especially important consideration when prefab homes are being built to order and may be on sites with relatively small areas allotted per home. Some allotments will already be occupied whilst others are being installed, the lack of disruption which helical piles introduce is far preferable to traditional foundation digging which is not only noisy, long winded and dangerous but also expensive. Prefab homes are also touted as a more energy efficient option by dint of being smaller and utilising less concrete.
As the UK’s housing crisis shows few signs of abating, there are certainly many points of interest to consider with regard to prefab housing. Whilst smaller properties might not be suited to larger, or young families, with careful design, larger family homes could be constructed making new and vibrant communities for the future.