Modular housing has certainly come a long way in every decade since their conception. Manufactured homes have actually been around since the early 1900’s in the form of “house kits.” Prefabricated homes were the first types of housing to rebound after World War II – mobile homes in particular. Returning veterans who needed housing were taking to the new highway systems, and since mobile homes were so affordable, they eventually settled in one place and used their mobile houses as permanent residences.
In the 1970’s, the federal government decided to regulate manufactured homes for safety purposes, as well as create the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Code. After this, manufactured homes became a major resource for affordable housing.
Now, modular homes are becoming trendier than ever because of their eco-friendliness, quick building time, and space efficiency in both urban and rural areas.
Modular Homes Get Big!
Interest for prefabricated housing (“pre-fab”) continues to build across the U.S. and in other countries. Donna Peak of the National Association of Homebuilders recently told The Oregonian, “Given all of the advantages of modular, it’s crazy to build another way.” Furthermore, Peak suspects that one of the biggest reasons homebuyers are finally warming up to manufactured housing is because they’re realizing that modular is a building technique, not a style. This type of housing can provide just as much variety as site-built homes, except that they’re more cost-effective and easier to construct. Not all modular homes are exact replicas of each other, as some consumers had previously believed. Furthermore, they now come with a wide range of customizable features to truly transform it into your home. In fact, you’re unlikely to see two pre-fabricated homes that are exactly alike inside and out.
But it’s not just home buyers who are beginning to favor manufactured homes – builders are developing a preference too. Not only do they provide a faster build (allowing for way more homes to be built in the same time it would take to finish one site-built house), but their construction is safer for workers. Perhaps their only drawback is that they must meet all national, state, and city building and fire codes, which a consumer can hardly complain about.
As modular homes continue to grow in popularity and more buyers move towards prefab, it will be fascinating to see how this changes the way our cities are planned and how home buying is accomplished.