Prefab is a Broad Term
When people hear the word “prefabricated,” they don’t understand that this type of home encompasses several different types of buildings. Prefabs can include any home that has been built in sections in a factory.
But, there are different types of prefab homes available, with the most popular being: panel and modular.
Panel buildings are essentially made in panels. The builder will lay the floor, and then the walls are lowered into place one at a time and assembled. This structure can be equally as sturdy as any other form of prefabrication, and this is often an option with homes that are too difficult or complex to put together using a modular design.
Commercial buildings often use panel building because wide open spaces are offered as well as high ceilings. Many warehouses are built using this method.
When constructing a modular building, the building is often already assembled in the factory and transported to the work site. Cranes are used to lower the sections into their respective places, allowing for a home to be pieced together.
This method isn’t ideal for massive commercial buildings because of transport issues.
The width of the building pieces cannot be longer than a truck or wider than 16’ in most cases. And things like garages aren’t able to be constructed in a factory. The main issue is transport, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have these additional items added.
Porches, for example, will be built on-site, but 90% of a home can be built in the factory.
So if you’re wondering what the difference is between a modular or prefab home – they’re the same thing.