Why Your Home Extension Should Be Modular

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Extending your home with modular construction is an excellent choice: it is faster, cleaner, and in a majority of cases cheaper. Enlarging an existing house is a great solution to add that much-needed extra home space you have been wishing for. Traditional extensions usually take long and while they last you are forced to live together with noise, dust, and a constant movement of workers coming in and out of your home. Modular Additions have a wonderful advantage: their construction process is a unique procedure in which most of the construction works take place off-site.

Benefits of the modular construction process:

  • Faster process
  • Cleaner process
  • Minimal disturbance during construction works
  • Lower overall building cost
  • Improved quality

Despite the outstanding benefits of opting for a modular extension instead of a traditional one, some situations could shift them into complications. Before deciding to extend your home with modular construction be sure that there are experienced professionals in your area and that your property can be reached by a truck of big dimensions.

The modular extension construction process

Modular extensions follow a unique construction process in which most of the work takes place off-site. In essence, building a modular extension is just like building a modular home, though in this case, the modules don’t only combine with themselves but with an existing building that in most cases it isn’t modular. 

  1. Module construction: The volume of the extension is fully built in a factory-like environment.
  2. Site preparation: While the modules are being manufactured, the existing property is being prepared. These works are in most cases done simultaneously, which saves an incredible amount of time. Depending on the type of extension chosen, the site works required will vary but they always consist of preparing the property to receive the module.
  3. Module assembly: Once both the module construction and the site preparation are finished, the module is delivered from the manufacturing company in a flatbed truck and assembled in its definite location with the help of a crane. The module assembly is a very fast procedure that rarely takes longer than one day since the property was already fully prepared to welcome.
  4. Finishing works: Some finishing works are still required to ensure the home extension is completed and ready to be lived in. The unions between the house and the module will be sealed and if the extension includes plumbing or electrical wiring, these are installed in the manufacturing premises though will be connected to the original construction.

Benefits of extending a house with modular construction

Building a house extension with modular construction has a lot of benefits linked mainly to its construction process. Most of these advantages are especially valuable if you are planning to live on the property while the extension works are running. Though, even if you aren’t physically there while the works are on, a modular extension will definitely offer a better outcome.

Faster process

Modular extensions are faster to build than traditional extensions. The volume of the extension is built in a factory-like environment which offers access to sophisticated equipment. The building process of the modules is highly mechanized becoming closer to an assembly line than to traditional construction labor [1]. These conditions accelerate the construction timeline. Additionally, building the extension off-site allows working on the site preparation and the module construction simultaneously, which definitely saves a great amount of time. 

Cleaner process

Construction is always messy and dusty, and extensions are no exception to it. However, when the extension is built modular, most of the construction works take place in a separate environment, which highly reduces the amount of dust and debris both during and after construction.

Minimal disturbance during construction works

Since fewer works take place right on the property, there will be less noise and movement of workers getting in and out of your home. The amount of disturbance received with a modular extension will depend on the type of extension chosen. If the extension is a separate unit independent from the hose the disturbance will be minimal, while if the house is extended by adding a second story, the disturbance will be quite higher. Still, given that the module is brought to the place as a whole completed piece, the noise and movement will be indeed lower than they would be with a traditional home extension.

Lower overall building cost

In general, the overall construction cost of a modular extension is lower than the cost required to build the same house extension with a traditional technique. Since modular extensions are built in a shorter amount of time and with mechanized building techniques, the workforce needed is lower and therefore the price is cut. In addition, the centralization of the works allows reusing the material leftover from one construction to the other, reducing the material’s cost as well [2]. 

Improved Quality

Home extensions are required to attach to the same building codes required for building a new home. Therefore, as a general rule, both a traditionally built extension and a modular extension are built up to the same minimal standards of quality. However, usually modular construction exceeds the building code requirements offering a higher quality build. Being built in a factory-like environment, ensures effective monitoring of every stage of the construction process, reducing the possibility of overlooking any mistakes that could jeopardize the overall quality of the house [3]. 

Is a modular extension good for you?

Modular additions are usually a smart approach to a home extension and usually, everybody can benefit from the simplicity of extending the house with modular construction in one way or another. Though, given the uniqueness of the modular extension process, some situations could turn the modular construction into a complicated process. Below, we have prepared a checklist that will help you know if a modular extension is a good choice for you.

  • You will be living in the house during the extension works: Modular extensions are faster, cleaner, and cause minimal disturbances. If you will be living in the house while the extension works are running, a modular extension will make this naturally stressful process easier. 
  • Your budget is limited: Since a modular extension is usually cheaper than a traditional one when on a budget, a modular extension is usually a smarter choice.
  • There is at least one modular home manufacturer in your area who works with extensions: To build a modular extension it is absolutely necessary to work with a modular manufacturer who can do extensions. Given the complexity of adapting a module to the existing house, it is always recommended to choose a manufacturer who is near you so it can visit your property. A modular extension is only possible when you have access to a manufacturer. 
  • There is at least one contractor in the area with previous experience in modular extensions: Modular extensions follow a different process and not every contractor has the knowledge or experience to handle them. Opt for a modular extension if you can find a contractor that is right for the job.
  • Your property is easily accessible: Since the modules are built off-site and shipped to the property to be assembled, the road access to the property should be wide enough for a flatbed truck carrying the modules to reach. A modular extension can become highly complicated if the access road isn’t in good condition or offers obstacles. 

References

  1. Martinez, S., Jardon, A., Navarro, J.M. and Gonzalez, M. (2008, April 18) Building industrialization: robotized assembly of modular products  Assembly Automation,  Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 134-142. https://doi.org/10.1108/01445150810863716
  2. Why Are Modular Homes Cheaper? Home Smitten https://homesmitten.com/why-are-modular-homes-cheaper/  
  3. 2019, December 18) Modular Buildings Northgate Industries Ltd. https://northgateindustries.com/how-modular-buildings-enhance-construction-quality-control/