Advance Build Shines Light on the Speed and Benefits of Prefabricated Homes Over Traditional Builds

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Advance Build Shines Light on the Speed and Benefits of Prefabricated Homes Over Traditional Builds

06th Jul 2023

Building your dream home doesn’t have to break the bank.

In recent years, more and more New Zealanders are discovering the incredible advantages of prefabricated homes. These innovative dwellings are constructed off-site in a purpose-built factory and then transported to their final destination, ready for you and your family to move in. Prefabricated homes are gaining popularity not only for their modern designs but also for their efficiency and cost-effectiveness when compared to traditional building methods. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of prefabricated homes and explore the many benefits they offer over conventional construction techniques.


Cost Comparison

The Price Tag: Prefabricated vs. Traditional Homes

When it comes to the upfront costs of prefabricated houses, factory production and assembly play a significant role in determining the overall cost. Since prefabricated homes are built off-site in a controlled environment, the manufacturing process can be optimised for efficiency, leading to reduced labour costs. Additionally, as the assembly line follows a standardised process, the production timeline is significantly shorter and more predictable compared to traditional on-site construction.

In contrast, traditional construction methods involve on-site labour, which can be costly due to the variable nature the weather and, the building process materials, delivery, security safety fencing, scaffolding, portable toilets, temporary power supply and storage expenses all  add up, as does the potential for delays due to weather, design changes, and other unforeseen circumstances. Traditional builds typically have longer construction timelines, which generally translate to increased costs for the homeowner.

While the industry is still growing in New Zealand, great data is coming out of international markets where prefabricated and modular houses are more common. According to a research paper published by BRANZ, in Germany, there was an average saving of 22% when comparing prefabricated and modular home construction to traditional builds. Another case study from the United States of America involved an architect by the name of Michelle Kaufmann building two identical houses, one via traditional methods and one using modular construction. The end result? The modular, prefabricated home cost 25% less to construct than the traditional one.


Factors Influencing Cost Efficiency

Streamlined Construction Process

The primary driver of cost-efficiency in prefabricated homes is the streamlined construction process. Because these homes are manufactured and assembled off-site in a purpose-built factory, the entire construction phase becomes significantly faster and less labour-intensive. In our case, Advance Build has a purpose-built factory in Kerikeri in which all construction takes place before the prefabricated home is transported and placed on the site.

Traditional on-site builds are often plagued by a multitude of challenges such as unpredictable weather conditions and changing site situations. In contrast, factory production eliminates these variables, allowing work to continue unhindered and on schedule. This reliable scheduling helps to significantly reduce labour costs as construction teams can operate more efficiently, minimising downtime and overtime costs.

Standardised production and assembly line techniques further enhance efficiency. These systematic techniques enable components of the house to be constructed concurrently, as opposed to the sequential nature of traditional builds. This concurrent construction methodology means that while one part of the house is being manufactured, other parts can be assembled simultaneously, significantly reducing the overall build time.

An additional benefit of off-site manufacturing is the reduced likelihood of unexpected expenses due to weather delays (particularly relevant to New Zealand’s unpredictable climate!) or design changes. Since the design elements are finalised prior to the start of manufacturing, there is no risk of costly last-minute changes. Similarly, by working within a factory setting, the construction process is not subject to weather-related delays or damages, providing more predictable cost and timeline outcomes. All this contributes to notable cost and time savings, making prefabricated homes an increasingly popular choice among Kiwis.

Material Costs and Waste Reduction

Another significant factor that contributes to the cost efficiency of prefabricated homes is the optimised usage of materials and a significant reduction in waste. This method of construction is designed to precisely calculate the number of needed materials, thus eliminating the extra costs associated with surplus or wasted resources that are common in traditional builds.

In the controlled environment of a factory, the materials for a prefabricated home can be ordered in the exact quantities required, reducing leftover materials and minimising wastage. This not only cuts down on the overall cost of construction but also limits the environmental impact by reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. 

In addition to reducing waste, prefabricated homes often utilise cost-effective, high-quality materials that can be bought in bulk, further reducing costs. The use of these materials does not compromise the quality or durability of the home but instead contributes to a more efficient and sustainable construction process.

Recycling also plays a key role in the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of prefabricated homes. Any waste that is generated during the manufacturing process can be efficiently recycled within the factory setting, further reducing the environmental footprint and saving on disposal costs. By making efficient use of materials and reducing waste, prefabricated homes provide a cost-effective, sustainable alternative to traditional builds.


Additional Cost Savings

Energy Efficiency and Lower Utility Bills

One of the most attractive advantages of prefabricated homes is their inherent energy efficiency. This is often due to the precision offered by factory manufacturing, which ensures each part of the home is designed and built with a high level of accuracy. Consequently, these homes are tightly sealed, minimising the chance of heat loss and improving overall insulation. 

High-quality insulation is a standard feature in prefab homes, which helps in maintaining a stable internal temperature regardless of the weather outside. By keeping the cold out during winter and the heat out during summer, homeowners can reduce the need for expensive heating and cooling systems, leading to considerable savings on utility bills. If the property is used as a rental, this goes a long way in ensuring that the house meets NZ’s Healthy Home Standards too.

Prefabricated homes also provide the potential for the integration of renewable energy systems, such as solar panels. The controlled manufacturing process allows for these energy solutions to be incorporated into the design from the outset. The addition of solar panels, for instance, can offset electricity costs, further reducing long-term expenses. 

Furthermore, the energy-efficient design of these homes reduces their overall carbon footprint, making them a more sustainable choice. To put it simply, prefabricated homes not only save you money but also contribute positively towards the environment. This combination of lower utility bills, potential for renewable energy integration, and sustainability make prefabricated homes an increasingly appealing option for homeowners.

Financing and Mortgage Options

While Advance Build doesn’t offer long-term financing for our transportable homes, we can step in with bridging finance to help meet your lender’s requirements. It’s no secret that some financial institutions hesitate to back prefabricated homes due to perceived risks associated with off-site construction. However, once your home is affixed to foundations on your site, Banks regain full security and are usually more than ready to release funds. To ease any financial strain this might cause, we’re equipped to offer alternative payment terms during this transitional phase. This is just another way we work to make the process of owning a prefabricated home as smooth and simple as possible.

Find out more about our finance options

Advance Build – NZ’s Prefabricated Building Specialists

To sum it all up, prefabricated homes offer numerous advantages over traditional builds. They provide greater cost efficiency due to their streamlined construction process, optimised use of materials, and significant waste reduction. The precision and accuracy of factory manufacturing result in homes with superior energy efficiency, leading to lower utility bills and a smaller carbon footprint. Not to mention, prefabrication opens up the opportunity for integrated renewable energy solutions, further enhancing savings and sustainability. 

Prefabricated homes are more than just economical; they are a step towards a sustainable future, without compromising on quality or style. They are a testament to how advanced building methods can help turn your dream home into a reality, all the while staying within budget.

If you’re considering your options for a new home, we strongly urge you to explore the benefits of prefabricated homes. Feel free to reach out to our experienced professionals at Advance Build for further information or to start your journey towards a cost-effective, environmentally friendly home today.

For a future built on efficiency and sustainability, consider prefabrication. Explore your options and Contact Us today!


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