Modular Building Part 1

Here at Modarc we are always looking at new ways of building houses, which in this day and age need to be cost and time effective, and still have the high quality which our clients require. Everybody has their own preferred way to build their new home or extension, and there happen to be many options on the market at the moment. One of the systems which we have been highly interested in and becoming increasingly involved within is the modular building industry. This is where a company takes full control of designs, construction and installation of the house within a very short period of time. The homes are built in a factory to very high standards and quality in sections, which are then transported to site and put together over a matter of hours/days. The homes already have plumbing, electrics and furnishings before they leave the factory, so this reduces contractors attending the site once the house is installed. A huge benefit with this system is that clients are able to liaise directly with the company and choose what they desire in their new home, for example kitchens, bathroom suites and flooring down to small detail such as light switches and door handles. It can be extremely personalised and as you can imagine save a lot of time as there is no requirement to deal with other contractors or delays affected by weather.

Using modular building, our clients also have the choice to pick and choose what they would like included in their project, for example if the client wishes to install their own electrics or install kitchens or bathrooms with a different supplier then they can just basically leave this out of their order. You can pretty much have anything from just a shell of a house to a fully functional finished product, it all depends on what the client requires.

We recently had the opportunity to visit one of these company’s and see the process in action. We visited Boutique Modern, who if anyone caught it were recently on Grand Designs the Street. They are based in Newhaven, which isn’t exactly on our doorstep but definitely worth a day out to see the system in action which we will be recommending for our clients. Visiting the factory was exciting for us as we were able to see all of the stages that take place when a house is being built. We could see the 1ststage which was the structure of the building taking place, and ended up at the finished product which included electrics, plumbing and furnishings inside, shrink wrapped and ready to be loaded onto lorries for delivery. The factory and offices are very well organised, with a team on hand to liaise with clients and make sure their design and specifics are correct. Boutique Modern offer a range of specialities such as bespoke houses, rooftop extensions, mobile homes and houses in high volume projects. 

A few weeks prior we also visited a Modular Building company called Precision Homes who are based in Cornwall. We were unable to see the factory process however we were able to stand inside a 3-bedroom house assembled and finished. Standing inside we found it unbelievable to think that this house was made as 4 elements and once delivered to site it is bolted together to create a luxurious home.

Each system has different timescales depending on the size of order and size of company. However, it would be expected to see a house from start to finish built within the factory to take between 9-12 weeks. This can also be shortened further if they were constructing just the shell, with this taking between 4-6 weeks. 

We strongly believe that Modular Builds are only in the early stages and will be a huge industry here in the UK in the near future. Speaking to the companies which we have already visited, they have seen an increase in interest and have been approached by councils to help build affordable housing in which our country is currently crying out for. 

The government are currently setting targets of 300,000 homes per year to be built/converted. Currently over the past 10 years, the industry has fallen well short achieving figures of circa 170,000 at the highest with an average of 150,000. At present Modular Building occupies 10% of the market so has a massive future for growth. 

We often hear comments relating to the original ‘prefabs’ of the 1940’s & 1950’s in the post war era, which were built in mass to address the countries need for housing after many were destroyed. These were built using old techniques and materials. Modern modular buildings come with a 10 year insurance backed guarantee like any traditionally built house and have a life expectancy to outlive anyone on this planet. This really has a massive place in the future of the building industry in the UK. 

Every single client we have are looking at their own unique way of building their home, and Modular Build is a very strong competitor that we will be recommending to many of our clients as we believe it will be the right process for them.

Posted on June 11th 2019

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