an architect's desk

Modular house - is it a good choice for investment?

Thinking of building a house or expanding the existing one? Why not take an interest in a solution that is gaining more and more popularity and is widely used, for example, in the USA, Canada or Scandinavia? It is about modular technology. Let's find out what it is, and what advantages and disadvantages it has.

In Poland, modular homes are still a market novelty, but more and more construction companies are offering to erect and finish them. Investors are also showing growing interest in this solution. No wonder.

What is a modular home and how does it work?

The simplest way to define a modular home is as one that is created from prefabricated, pre-prepared in a factory and assembled on site (although homes up to 35 m2 are almost entirely built in halls). This method allows to shorten to a minimum investment time; it usually takes up to a few days to put together even dozens of modules. Modules can also be added to existing buildings.

This is similar to the technology used in the construction of the prefabricated houses. The main difference is that in the case of modular homes, whole sections are created in the factory and only joined together during construction, while with the erection of prefabricated buildings, all the individual components must be transported separately to the construction site and put together there. A prefabricated house also requires separate finishing, which lengthens the investment time. Instead, it can take on a more architecturally interesting appearance than a modular building.

Advantages and disadvantages of investing in a modular home

Modular house for investment - is it worth it? This solution has many advantages. One of them, mentioned above, is the very short construction time. The building itself can be erected even in a few days, and it will be possible to move into it in two or three months after choosing its design. The investment can also be carried out regardless of the season and weather conditions. The production time of the individual elements from which modular houses are made is also shortened by the fact that they are subject to standardization.

The construction of such a house is cheaper than a brick house (about which more will be said later). Immediately at the erection of the building, high-quality, airtight thermal insulation is made, allowing to generate savings on heating. These houses are also energy efficient, due to the installation of photovoltaic and heat pump systems. Living in them therefore brings relief to the wallet. There are many modular home designs available on the market, so you can easily choose the right one for your needs. As a rule, construction companies provide guarantees for these buildings.

And what are the disadvantages of modular homes? They are most often built based on ready-made designs, so there is no room for any architectural extravagances or individuality. When building, you also have to invest extra in foundations and installations. During construction, no changes can be made to the plans - all decisions must be made before the modules are ordered. A crane is most often required to erect the building, so it must have access to the property.

As for the building permit, it is required for modular houses with an area of more than 35 m2. Smaller buildings can be erected on plots of land after notification to the city hall or district office.

Modular house prices - is it worth it?

It was mentioned above that costs of building a modular house Are lower than in the case of masonry. This is true, but the final price depends, of course, on the construction method used, the design and the contractor. The latter offer varying price lists, and besides, the range of construction services they provide varies. Remember that the more elements included in the proposed price, the better. These may include:

- The skeleton of the building including the frame;

- window and door woodwork;

- implemented at the stage of prefabricated smelting installations: electrical and water and sewage systems;

- Interior and exterior finishes according to the standard chosen by the client.

The cost of constructing the building itself also varies depending on the material chosen. Those erected from wood are slightly cheaper - their prices start at about PLN 1,400 per m2. More expensive are modular keramsite concrete houses - a shell building costs from 1700 PLN per m2, and a finished one from 2000 PLN per m2 upwards. The price may also be increased by the use of eco-friendly prefabricated materials for finishing windows or doors. How much we will ultimately pay for a turnkey house depends on ourselves, including what finishing and furnishing elements we decide on.

Is such an investment worthwhile? It depends on the needs and decisions of each of us, nevertheless, taking into account that the modular house is energy efficient and cheap to use, it is definitely worth considering betting on this technology.

What are the trends in modular home design and construction?

Despite the standardization of modules, modular homes can be quite easily adapted to our needs, thanks to the fact that there are many diverse designs on the market created based on the latest trends. And what do they look like?

Simplicity and minimalism are currently in vogue in construction; a modern house is to be, above all, practical and as inexpensive to maintain as possible. Popular is the "modern barn" style with a gabled roof, a reference to a country house. Another popular trend is the modernist house, in the style of the Interwar Bicentennial. Ideally, buildings should be built on the basis of the golden ratio, which is approximately 1.62. Subdued colors are liked.

What kind of interiors? Spacious and well-lit. They should be finished in a practical yet pleasing to the eye style, such as Scandinavian.

Ecological trends, related to environmentally friendly methods of heating (e.g., heat pump) and electricity generation (photovoltaics), are becoming increasingly important. Energy efficiency is also important.

Modular houses fit in with these assumptions, so it is reasonable to assume that their popularity will continue to grow.