If you’ve searched high and low but haven’t been able to find that one place that ticks all the boxes on the forever home front, chances are you might be thinking of taking on the challenge of building your own house from scratch. If you are considering taking this route, there are essentially two options on the table. First is a build-on-site home, which means raising a house from the ground up the traditional way. Alternatively, you can order a prefabricated (prefab) or transportable home, which is built in a factory and delivered to your site, ready to connect to power and water.
Both these methods have their pros and cons. Though while prefabricated construction has, in the past, been thought of as a lower-end, mass-produced mode of building, the contemporary transportable home has come a long way in the last few years – to the point that it has quite the competitive edge over a traditional on site build in terms of being of high quality, potentially quicker, more cost-effective and eco-friendly construction method, which can still be customised.
One New Zealand home-building company that has championed both the on site build and prefabricated construction realms in equal measure, while honing their unique interlocking solid-timber building system since 1951, is Lockwood. Their pre-manucatrued components have an advantage when using the option of on-site building method as they already come with insulation, cladding and interior lining and can be built quicker than a conventional build on site home. Lockwood also have a transportable option with ReadyBuilt. Popular ReadyBuilt designs such as the Lockwood Lifestyler, have the capacity to be customised and upgraded in many ways and their showhomes are the perfect opportunity to take a closer look at the benefits of the modern prefab home. If you’ve yet to set foot in one, here are our top 6 advantages of taking the ReadyBuilt path:
Time-Saving – Modular buildings can, on average, be built up to 50 percent quicker than homes built using the traditional method. Being constructed in a controlled undercover environment means timeframes can be more tightly controlled, as well as ensuring minimal delays without the risk of being rained off with weather often being an unreliable variable, creating a domino effect on the timeline. Another time-saving convenience of prefabricated buildings is that construction can be underway before site consent is issued.
Financial Savings – Prefabricated buildings are typically more affordable. Cost savings are made with shorter build times. Again, being constructed in a controlled environment ensures every element of the build can be tightly managed, meaning the budget can be better defined and adhered to.. Often, prefabricated homes can be smaller and more space efficient, limiting the chance for budgets to blow out through a design and build project. The efficiencies of a ReadyBuilt construction timeline also mean being able to settle into your home earlier, which in turn reduces any temporary accommodation costs.
Environmentally-friendly – Modern modular builds have the capacity to be a lot more energy-efficient, creating less waste while promoting the use of sustainable materials, which reduces the carbon footprint. Overall, there is also far less on-site activity with off site construction – less noise, traffic, mess and disruption. And with reduced site disruption without the constant footfall of vehicles, various trades and diggers of a traditional build, you will also get to experience that “settled-in” feeling a lot earlier.
Prefabricated homes also require a timber pile foundation, which is environmentally friendlier than a slab foundation in creating less disturbance for the soil underneath the structure and using less material. If, however, you require a concrete floor for your needs, an on-site build would be the way forward.
If the impact on the environment is important to you, but a prefabricated home doesn’t fit your needs, Lockwood’s build-on-site option may be something to consider, like these home owners in Tauranga who had a sustainable focus to every part of their build. Whether it’s a prefabricated ReadyBuilt home or an on-site design and build project, Lockwood’s building system sources all of its raw timber locally from sustainably-sourced plantation forests around the Rotorua region. Their proximity to the forestry industry also sees transport emissions minimised, further reducing the impact on the environment.
Consistent Quality – As a ReadyBuilt modular home is constructed in a purpose-designed factory under close supervision, the homes can be built to the highest quality standards. Furthermore, removing any exposure to the elements with the home being completed undercover minimises delays and possible damage to materials during the build. Whereas materials on a traditional construction site can often be vulnerable to environmental aggressors such as rust, mould and mildew.
Customisable – Lockwood ReadyBuilt homes can be customised and upgraded in many ways to reflect your individual preferences – from the joinery and cladding, roof colour and interior wall treatments to the bathroom, laundry, scullery and kitchen fit-out specifications. With Lockwood’s ReadyBuilt system, different roofline options are also available, as well as window styles interchangeable within the same opening such as replacing full-height glazing. The flooring, and interior and exterior wall finishes can also be adapted to suit your personal tastes. The standard interior finish of clear polyurethane can be upgraded to a blonded finish for that ultimate Scandi vibe, while the exterior cladding can come in low-maintenance powder-coated aluminium in a range of colours, painted or stained Vertical Grain pine, an upgrade of Cedar, or a mix of all three if you prefer more visual interest from the curb.
If you feel the need to venture outside of these options and upgrades to find a more flexible design that suits your needs and your building site, you would be wanting to talk to Lockwood about their more design and build Lockwood homes and on-site build options.
While the benefits of a contemporary prefabricated build would appear to outweigh any disadvantages, ultimately every project needs to be appraised individually on a case-by-case basis, considering what best fits your budget, your circumstances, and your vision longer-term as to your home’s liveability.
Prefab homes are somewhat limited in size due to having to transport them to site. There are set requirements on widths and heights to be able to transport a home on New Zealand roads and depending on where you live, the cost of transportation home can become very expensive. If you live off the beaten path, or have limited access to your site, transportation companies might very well charge you a hefty fee to deliver your home, or may not be able to deliver at all.
Aspects such as the nature of your site also come into play. Where the limitations of a site present enough difficulties for a ReadyBuilt to be transported to it, an on-site build may well be the best route to take.
As manufacturing technology continues to improve, it’s clear modern prefabricated construction, such as ReadyBuilt by Lockwood is proving to be an extremely viable option with oodles of appeal, not to mention the added bonus of a unique, tried and true building system coming as an integral part of the dream home equation.
To find out if a Lockwood ReadyBuilt home is right for you, visit their website.