It is a widely-reported fact that not enough houses are being built in the UK.
Last year the government set a target of building 240,000 homes but only around 120,000 were built.
The race is on to meet housing requirements and the industry needs to find more efficient ways of constructing housing.
One solution is modular homes. Off-site built homes can be produced in half the time of traditional constructed homes and reduce the requirement for skilled labour, which may in time help relieve the burden of the skills shortage, should it intensify following Brexit.
Modular homes have become widespread in European locations such as Scandinavia, where they have provided an answer to quicker build times, tighter controls for developers and cost-effective homes for the end user. But will modular homes spark interest in the UK?
Michele Wietscher, director of Newview Windows & Conservatories, comments: “Modular homes have gained a bad reputation over the years for their quality and perhaps haven’t been taken seriously by the industry or potential buyers, but this is changing.
“Recently a 48-home modular housing scheme in Manchester has been sold and occupied, showing buyer interest is definitely there as well as the opportunity for similar schemes across the UK.”
Although some original common features of modular homes such as the ‘popcorn ceilings’ made them undesirable to buyers, newer models can go toe-to-toe with traditionally built homes on quality. And an increase in quality does not equate to an increase in cost; the cost for a modular home can be up to 15% cheaper than a traditional one.
The downside to modular homes is the lack of customisation, which can be a turn-off for potential buyers desperate to find their ‘dream home’.
Another con is that the components used to construct modular homes are overwhelmingly imported, which adds air miles and costs British jobs. In contrast, traditionally built houses source 80% of materials domestically.
“The housing crisis is about production capacity and the time is ripe for a disruptive new entrant to the market,” says Michele. “There are pros and cons to both prefabricated and traditionally built houses, but what it boils down to is if we want to reach the required number of homes to be built each year we need to be quicker. And modular homes are a practical solution.”
For more information call Newview Windows & Conservatories on 01903 244 449 or visit www.newview-homes.co.uk