Looking for an Affordable Prefab Home? Here are 8 things to look for when shopping around.
More people around Los Angeles are taking a second look at the potential of prefab. Here at Proto Homes, we couldn’t be happier to discover that affordable house hunters seeking out cool, modern abodes are blazing a trail to high-tech prefabricated homes.
When it comes to affordable prefab homes, there’s no need to settle for less than the best. Unlike traditional home construction, prefab can be affordable, beautiful, and as personal as your own fingerprint. With the average home, you have to pick two out of three – at best. With prefab, you never have to compromise yourself again.
Just how inexpensive is an affordable prefab home, anyway?
When a home is designed and developed by experts, then assembled on-site, it can cost you anywhere from 30% to 50% less than a new build with comparable square footage and amenities. Plus, it can be ready for you to move in within months.
If prefab had you at hello, then what should you look for when shopping around for your new home? The next generation prefabricated homes might appear to be exquisite in its simplicity but behind the scenes, the genius in the prefab frontier stands on the shoulders of industry expertise calling for a proficient engineer, the insight of a tech entrepreneur, and the attention to detail of a master architect.
Look closely at all your options.
Now let’s delve into the most critical buying criteria for any and all prefab homes.
Always keep an eye out for these features:
A Leak-Proof, Weather-Resistant Outer Envelope
One of the biggest contributors to structural problems over time is water damage. And it isn’t always obvious: Moisture can leak deep into a house’s structure and slowly erode the walls or even the foundation. A building’s outer envelope is key to resisting this; it must be solid, secure, and free of high-stress areas that could warp over time and invite leakage.
A Sound Structure With Replaceable Materials
Whether prefab or traditional, some elements of sound construction stay the same. A strong structure should be top-light and bottom-heavy to withstand pressure over the years. Likewise, it should rely on lightweight, replaceable materials – ideally from renewable sources. Here at Proto Homes, we make use of engineered lumber so structural elements are easily switched out as they age.
Centralized Infrastructure That’s Easy to Access, Fix, and Upgrade
Most single family homes suffer from this dilemma: Everything that makes a home comfortable is spread all over the place. Wiring, plumbing, climate control … diagnosing malfunctions is hard and fixing them is even harder, since accessing these systems often requires opening a wall. The best prefab homes centralize everything in one easy location. Check out our Proto Core™️ to learn about how we do this at Proto Homes.
Plenty of Experience in Prefabricated Housing
Experience is crucial to making sure mistakes and oversights don’t happen. Cost and time overruns are major drawbacks in conventional housing construction. However, unlike conventional homes, prefab homes have a much great efficiency rate. Prefab manufacturers shouldn’t be reinventing the wheel with each purchase. They should have a repeatable, reliable, process-based approach that delivers excellence. Beware of companies that have only recently launched.. And if you’re shopping around don’t be afraid to ask even established companies how many homes they have actually built and shipped.
Green and Solar Friendly Construction
The #PrefabRevolution isn’t the only one that’s taking flight here in the Los Angeles area. Many people are trading up to a new, more modern home because they want to enjoy the benefits of solar energy. To maximize solar collection and reduce electric bills – or even qualify for buybacks when you generate excess voltage – your home should be structured to enhance panel efficiency. Not only that, but going green is good for the environment, good for our children, and good for our neighbors!
Money-Saving Features for the Long Run
Low upfront costs are always desirable, but what happens in three, five, or 10 years when you want to renovate? With the average home, pricey projects – like wall removal – might add thousands to your cost of ownership. A prefab home should be more nimble, adaptable, and affordable.
At Proto Homes, we believe homes must be built to evolve. That is, the interior walls of the home can be reconfigured; There’s no long, costly, and uncomfortable DIY projects involved or any need to take risks with the credibility of an outside contractor.
Reviews and Testimonials You Can Trust
When you shop for something important, there are certain basics you should always see. One of those is testimonials from thrilled buyers. A trustworthy company should be willing to put you in contact with satisfied customers and show you exactly what others got for their investment.
It’s a good idea to scope out trusted publications in the industry. Dwell Magazine, for example, has write-ups on the best prefab home manufacturers in California.
Recently, we were featured #1 in California: 7 Reliable Prefab Companies in California.
An Initial Consultation That Inspires Confidence
If you were choosing an accountant, a real estate agent, or an attorney, you would want to feel that person out and make sure you have a rapport. You’d strive to be sure the expert held all the right credentials, of course, but also that you feel comfortable trusting them with a big job.
Whether a prefab manufacturer can live up to its promises influences your home and the value you get from it for many years to come. Misstatements and mistakes that might seem minor can lead to major aggravation later, potentially snowballing into repair bills or other hazards.
It’s always a great idea to go to a manufacturer’s office or showroom if you can, a phone call or Skype session can also work in a pinch. Come prepared with these topics so you don’t forget a thing. And never be afraid to ask the tough questions.
If you’re dealing with true professionals, they’ll be glad to satisfy you completely.
What do all these factors add up to? Longevity and peace of mind. While the average house starts to accumulate serious problems within 30 years – necessitating more drastic and expensive repairs – a Proto Homes build is different: Each one is meant to last for 300 years.
We think that’s the standard of excellence to which affordable prefabricated homes should all aspire.
To find out more or get started, contact us today.