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8 things you didn't know about prefab homes

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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Prefabricated (or pre-fab) homes have gone from being a less than desirable option for low-cost homebuilders to a coveted choice for a range of different individuals. Gone are the days of the typical, somewhat boring modular home that satisfies living requirements without much thought to the structure’s design. These days pre-fab dwellings are incredibly innovative, elegant, unique and eye-catching.

Today on homify we’re going to take a look at 8 different considerations you might have when choosing to build a prefabricated abode. Cost efficient, stylish and versatile, these properties are an affordable and time efficient option that definitely deserve attention. Check out our tips and tricks below, and ensure you consider everything before you begin building…

1. Know your soil

Before you begin your pre-fab dream home, you need to know your soil. Chat to a professional and ensure you have the right advice prior to proceeding. Two common soil types in Hong Kong are decomposed granite and decomposed volcanic. These will require different foundations to prevent weakening and collapsing that can lead to landslides and landslip risk.

2. What are the advantages?

Why build a pre-fab home? Here are some of the benefits:

Affordability: One of the cheapest ways to build a house, pre-fabs are brilliant if you’re on a budget.

Efficient construction time: Pre-fab homes can be built in as little as one month, with larger homes taking only 5-6 months.

Sustainable: Many pre-fab homes are eco-friendly and use minimal energy and water to create. Additionally, many building materials are recycled, leading to a more environmentally friendly option.

Simple and easy: Some pre-fab homes are so easy to construct you can build them yourself.

Range of designs and styles: These days there are plenty of options and stylistic possibilities to suit everyone

Versatility: The range of styles means you can often alter the design to suit your specific needs and floor plan desires.

3. So, are there any disadvantages?

Of course, there are disadvantages:

Quality can vary depending on price: Some homes may look inexpensive, but they utilise lower quality fittings and fixtures that might wear out faster than their high quality counterparts.

Personalisation costs extra: Sure you can alter the design, but you might find the final price is far higher that you thought.

4. Do I need a permit?

The quick answer is generally, yes. Permits are required in Hong Kong for structures over a certain size, those that will be inhabited and those in areas of landslip risk. When in doubt consult a professional. If you construct your home without prior government or local council approval, you risk your home being torn down once it has been discovered it was built without a licence or permit.

Additionally, electrical connections and plumbing will almost certainly require certification upon completion.

5. Design and extras

If you want to give your home that extra personal touch or luxurious amendment, you should consider the following:

- A swimming pool

- Automatic entry gates

- Keyless home entry system

- Terraces or outdoor entertaining space

Remember these additions will alter the price of your ‘low-cost’ pre-fab dwelling, and it might end up a little more expensive.

6. Plot topography

As well as looking at your soil, you should consider various factors such as your plot topography, slope geometry, geologic conditions and vegetation cover.

Retaining walls are often required in Hong Kong, and these will need to be considered and engineered by a professional.

7. Other tips and tricks…

Don’t forget the following:

Heating and cooling: Essential for comfort in Hong Kong’s seasonal shifts, you should factor this into your end value and home price.

Municipal taxes: These can often be far more than you expected and need to be considered carefully.

8. Can you build your dream home?

Once you’ve considered all of these factors you can finally set yourself a budget to see if you are able to build your dream home. If you’re unsure, chat to a professional and get some expert advice.

Did you find some helpful tips here? If you’d like to continue reading, check out: 6 things you need to know before building a garden cabin

Do you have any other tips or considerations for our readers? Add them below!
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