prefabricated container houses in building under construction

Modular or brick house?

Modular houses are becoming more and more willingly chosen alternative to brick buildings. But what makes them popular and how does their construction differ from those built using traditional methods? We explain the most important differences between both technologies and suggest whether it is better to choose a modular or brick house.

What are the basic differences in building a modular house?

Modular technology is very popular in Western Europe and the Scandinavian countries, but its advantages are also beginning to be appreciated in Poland. All-year-round houses, as well as office buildings, hotels, kindergartens and hospitals, can be built from the modules. So what makes a prefabricated house stand out? Opinions about buildings built in this technology indicate numerous advantages of modular houses, thanks to which they are increasingly serious competition for traditional buildings.

The speed of construction of modular and brick houses

In order to get an answer to the question of whether a modular or traditional house is better, one should take into account, among other things, the time of investment implementation. Taking this criterion into account, buildings made of prefabricated elements are definitely in the lead. A modular house, depending on its size or the technologies used, can be ready for use within a few or several weeks from the start of work.

This is possible because 90% of the structure is made in a closed production plant, under controlled conditions. Thanks to this, work can be carried out regardless of the season and the prevailing weather, which reduces the risk of delays. There are also no concerns about the availability of materials - all raw materials are ordered in the necessary quantity at the beginning of the implementation. Modules are transported to the construction site in the form of ready-made interiors - at the investment site, it is enough to install them and close the connection points, after which the building can be used.

When asking yourself whether to choose a modular or brick house, it is worth bearing in mind that in the case of traditional technology, the average construction time is several months, although sometimes it takes even several years. In addition, it may be longer, for example, due to the lack of availability of the necessary materials or difficult weather conditions, which are often the cause of delays. In addition, there is also a greater risk of implementation errors and the need to visit the construction site more often to supervise the course of work.

Modular or traditional house? The durability of the structure

When making a decision - a prefabricated house or a brick house - the durability of the structure should also be taken into account. In this case, it would seem that a traditional building would be a better solution. Indeed, brick houses are valued, among other things, for their durability, counted at least in tens, if not hundreds of years. It cannot be denied to objects erected from prefabricated elements. Modular homes are made of high-quality materials, often in accordance with the requirements of Swedish or German licenses. Thus, the investor gains certainty of the structure’s durability comparable to that of traditional buildings.

Energy efficiency in modular and brick houses

Among the main advantages of traditional houses, apart from durability, is the heat provided by the building using this technology. Energy efficiency is also one of the main advantages of modular homes. In prefabricated buildings, the walls are well insulated, and at the same time thinner compared to brick buildings with thermal insulation. It does not affect the insulating parameters of the building and allows you to gain more living space.

Moreover, in a well-made modular house, the risk of thermal bridges, i.e. places of heat leakage, often faced by investors who opt for traditional technology, is also lower. The energy efficiency of modular houses also translates into later operating costs, which may be even several dozen percent lower than in brick buildings of a similar area.

Choosing a modular and traditional house project

An important aspect influencing the choice between a modular house and a brick house is also the freedom in choosing the building design. In this respect, traditional technology is slightly more flexible, which may be crucial for investors who want to erect a facility with a more complex outline.

Modular houses usually have a simple, regular shape, but they provide almost unlimited possibilities for expanding the building with new modules. In addition, prefabricated building designs are becoming more and more diverse. You can choose a small modular house of 35 m2, as well as a larger one, with a different standard and style of finish, which allows you to adapt them to the individual needs and ideas of the investor.

The cost of building a modular and brick house

Until recently, the cost of building a modular and traditional house was comparable. However, with the sharp rise in the price of building materials in recent months, modular homes have become a cheaper alternative to masonry. Moreover, as has already been mentioned, in the case of houses built using traditional methods, it is easier to find mistakes that increase the cost of the entire investment. Building a modular house takes place under controlled conditions, so the risk of errors and thus cost increases are minimal.

Modular or brick house - what permits are necessary?

With the coming into force of the Polish Order, regulations were introduced to allow the construction without a permit of a house with a building area of up to 70 m2 (along the contour). So far modular houses without a permit could be erected only if their construction area did not exceed 35 m2.

However, the lack of a permit does not mean the lack of formalities, although they are actually kept to a minimum. The investor must be the owner of the construction plot on which the building is to be erected, obtain an excerpt from the local zoning plan or - in areas without it - development conditions, and then submit a construction notification. If the building area is greater than 70 m2, in accordance with the applicable regulations, it is necessary to obtain a building permit, regardless of the material from which the building is made.

Summary - a modular or brick house?

Traditional buildings undoubtedly have a number of advantages. However, when analyzing individual aspects related to the construction of a house, many of them speak in favour of modular buildings. Shorter investment implementation time, comparable durability of the structure, energy efficiency and lower construction and operating costs make modular construction enjoy a steadily growing popularity, and the construction of houses in this technology is of interest to a growing number of investors.