Prefab means prefabricated, not prefabulous, although prefabricated homes can also be fabulous. A prefab home is a structure where parts are made in a factory and which are put together on site, like a jigsaw puzzle to be simplistic about it.
The construction industry suffered a blow last year because of disruptions brought about by lockdown measures. However, it is expected to bounce back this year and is seen as a key driver for our economic revival. An economic pundit “expects the industry’s output to be supported by increased investments in infrastructure, housing, and energy.”
Reasons for the Rise in Interest for Prefab Homes
The use of prefabricated homes started in 1911 with the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Pieces of the structure were made in a factory, shipped, then built on the construction site.
Why is there a rising popularity now in these structures?
First, there is the trend of rural escapism which we talked about in May 2020. Urbanites feel the need to flee to the rural areas and be closer to nature. Many who have no probinsiya to go to have taken up gardening at home as a hobby. For some, gardening is also a way for some to be food self-sufficient, if not fully then at least partially.
Second, we feel the need to connect to nature to improve our well-being, and those places are usually outside the major cities. The interest in biophilic design increased with the pandemic. People are beautifying their gardens, or making indoor ones. Because of this, we see a boom in the garden and plant businesses, and we’ve even given birth to the term plantita during the pandemic.
Third, the rise of the work from home (WFH) phenomenon has also given people the flexibility to uproot themselves from the major cities and spread their wings to places where they get more space for their budget, and where fresh air and nature abound. Of course, the main lookout is a robust internet connection to be able to do WFH.
Fourth, the return of OFWs also is a reason for the increased interest in prefab homes. But it is not only homes that can be prefabricated. Buildings that can be used for businesses like stores, water filtering stations, coffee shops and restaurants, can also be prefabricated.
All these trends fuel the rising demand for prefab homes. Not everyone can afford to build a home. But if you really want this kind of change in lifestyle and you have the financial ability to do it without breaking the bank, it is definitely something to consider. Just start pencil pushing to see if you can afford a prefab home.
The Advantages of Prefab Homes
Prefab homes can be a reused container plonked down on some land, or it could be a fabulous multi-level, sprawling home.
Here are some advantages:
- Shorter construction times. Once you have the standardized parts on your property, assembly usually takes a few days, sometimes even just a few hours, depending on the complexity of your modular home.
- Easier budget control. Usually, designs are scalable so you can add modules depending on your budget.
- Better sustainability. Most materials can come from other builds or are repurposed (like shipping containers). If the manufacturer is good, it could aspire for zero waste.
- Easier to transport. If you are thinking of building in a remote location, this is an easier build.
- Higher energy efficiency. Since parts are built in a factory, the seams are tighter which offers for more energy efficiency. For example, your A/C is more efficient when the room does not “leak”. You can also consider solar panels on your roof .
A big downside is that it can look like a cookie-cutter home because you will be limited by the set of options given to you by the manufacturer. But there are ways around that so it shouldn’t be such a problem. Trawling the internet will bring you so many design inspirations.
Design Inspirations for Prefab Homes
There are companies in the country who offer prefab homes. Just do a search and you should get a list quickly.
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There is a homegrown company called CUBO Modular that uses engineered bamboo for their prefab homes. The company offers several models which are customizable and scalable. The promise is that a 14.5 sqm home can be built in 4 hours!
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This is a KODA loft made by an Estonian company called KODASEMA. They have been talked about and written about by top architectural and design magazines. Their homes have a Nordic feel. The company promise is a movable home that offers “minimalist luxury living in a spaciously sustainable house”.
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Who would have thought that a home built out of shipping containers could look like this? Honomobo maximized the modularity and durability of shipping containers in the designs of their prefab homes. As they said, “We don’t hide our boxes, but we have embraced the essence of the shipping container.”
Recommended Colors for Your Walls
There are several prefab companies in the Philippines and they use different kinds of materials for walls, like GI sheets with polystyrene installation, fiber cement boards, glass, or as mentioned above, engineered bamboo.
We prepared these paint swatches of light neutrals as suggestions for your wall color.
Any of these six colors can make the space look bigger and brighter. It is also easier to dress up your home with your unique touches if you have a neutral canvas to work with.
Tip: Identify the surface first then check what kind of Boysen paint can be used for your particular surface.
Dream About Getting a (Pre)FAB Home
The pandemic has brought a lot of changes in people’s mindsets.
An example would be the change in the daily grind. If the possibility of working remotely has opened up to you, do take this opportunity to reassess how you want to live your life especially if the nature of your job would allow you to work from home.
Or do you just want a change period? Do you want to ditch the city for another place that provides fresh air, that is closer to nature, and that provides a better quality of life? Is the idea of slow living becoming more and more attractive?
Then maybe a prefab home can help you achieve your dream life.
For more lifestyle trends, click on this link.