Prefab has gone posh!
18 September 2017
When I mention the word prefab, I’m guessing you’ll be thinking of some dreary post-war eyesore or something resembling a nuclear bunker however flat-pack is now fashionable and fabulous…
Building your own Grand Design is something many people dream about but they often get cold feet when it comes to the lengthy and complex business of traditional building and the uncertainty of just how much it’s going to cost. The answer could be a modular home which is built off site and then installed in a matter of days with a price that has been agreed. One factor to consider is that with a kit home you’ll be choosing everything from flooring to kitchen and bathrooms down to the positioning of electrical sockets before you’ve signed the final contract. Typically, prefab house-builders maintain extensive collections of finish materials at their showrooms and many expect you to take some time, even up to a week, to choose every element of your home.
An alternative route to this is to contract a factory house-builder on a shell-only basis and get your own builder to finish your home. However the attraction of kit houses is having one highly focused business that is keen to get to completion as soon as possible. Having highly skilled craftsmen working away from home sounds expensive but they will be motivated to finish the job quickly and they certainly won’t nip off to sort out another client’s leaky loo!
High-end modular homes can be better quality, more luxurious, ecological and sustainable than those built in the traditional way, so who are the major players in the timber-framed, luxury prefab market?
The Germans really know prefab and the most distinctive of all is Huf Haus whose signature glass and timber framed design certainly has the wow factor. Huf Haus were the first to enter the UK market. Their homes cost around £300 per square foot (£3,230 per square metre) but they have their own construction team who build all of their kit homes themselves.
Baufritz is another German manufacturer offering luxury design and very fast construction, typically 3 to 4 days for the shell. The company is committed to building energy efficient and climate-friendly homes using natural materials, such as wood shavings for insulation. Approximate costs for an average Baufritz home are around £186 per square foot (£2,000 per square metre).
Scandia Hus is a Swedish company which allows for flexible building options. Self-build (not for the fainthearted), appointing a professional project manager to manage all aspects of the build or calling on a single contractor to undertake the complete build. Scandia Hus manufacture and supply the kit ready for construction. They offer different designs or a complete bespoke service and their homes offer good insulation, triple-glazed windows and underfloor heating. Although the timber is brought over from Sweden, they have a factory in Sussex which constructs the kit. Their costs range from £120 per square foot (£1290 per square metre) to £200 per square foot (£2,150 per square metre) depending on which service you opt for.
So, indulge your inner Kevin McCloud, find yourself a perfect plot and turn your back of a fag packet doodles into a dream house!