Prefabricated House Extensions, What You Need To Know

What The Prefab Extension Actually Is

Reading Time: 7 mins

House extensions are pretty well established on British market and are very well known solutions to improve your house, expand your living space and increase the value of your property.

Prefabricated house extensions on the other hand are a little bit of novelty. Yes, they are available on the market for quite some time now, but they were never a very popular alternative.

Few reasons contributed to their low popularity.

One of them was that prefabricated house extensions were… not too attractive. Usually grey, concrete slabs. Definitely not something many people wanted in their well cared-for gardens.

Another thing was customizability. Such solutions did not provide many options and hence couldn’t be a real alternative to traditional house extensions. Which are obviously highly-customizable.

Fortunately these times are over.

Nowadays there are many companies on the market that offer beautiful prefabricated house extensions, much more open for customization and done as per customer’s request.

You can get almost anything you would like to have in almost any design you would like. I’m using “almost” on purpose here. You can find the explanation in the last paragraph.

So is it the best possible solution for house extensions? Let’s find out.

What The Prefab Extension Actually Is

Prefabricated house extension, or prefab extension for short, is nothing else than the house extension that is done off-site and installed later on-site. Prebuilt so to speak.

It means that after taking the measurements and noting down all your specifications the house extension will be worked on in the factory, instead of your own homestead.

As mentioned before you have a wide range of options.

You can choose the exterior design, number of windows, maybe even roof windows if you like. The same applies to the interior, including the general purpose of the extension and what should be prepared inside.

But that’s not everything. You can also decide how well insulated the extension should be. Plainly speaking it’s almost exactly how it would look like if you decided to build an extension from scratch.

Although you have to remember the ability to customise is limited. 

And the extension itself is slightly different. It’s usually built on timber or steel frame structure. Then next pieces are being added according to your specs. Most of the time it will be fairly light-weight construction.

Once everything is ready, prefab extension will be transported to your home and placed in a designated area with a crane. So this is also something that has to be taken under consideration. 

Is there enough room for the crane to operate?

If you are planning to go ahead with #prefabHouseExtension you have to make sure there is enough space to use a crane or at least you can get a permission to #roadclosure to make the whole operation possible #houseExtension

Besides, it most likely will require a road closure, so you have to speak to your local authority about permission. The same applies to house extension itself. It must meet Building Regulations.

If all goes well it will be attached to your house in a matter of days. Although it might be a couple of weeks in case of more complex projects. Which is still pretty cool, right?

What Is The Difference Between Prefab And Modular Extensions

Alongside prefabricated house extensions there are also modular house extensions. What’s the difference? It is a little bit confusing, but I will try to explain as best as I can. Please bear with me 🙂

You could say that prefab extension means “one piece” extension, just as explained above. Meanwhile, modular extensions will have multiple pieces. On the other hand prefab extension is also an expression used for all types of prefabricated extensions.

That’s the confusing part.

Every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square. Same here, every modular extension is prefabricated extension, but not every prefabricated extension is a modular one.

Modular extension is a sub-type of prefab extension, it matches the definition. The problem is there is no separate name for these one-piece-extensions, hence the confusion.

Maybe one-piece-extension will stick?

But coming back to the main topic, that’s the difference. Modular house extensions are such extensions that are produced in a few pieces that must be assembled together.

Maybe you can even do it yourself if you have a jam for DIY. General principle is the same – pieces of such extension are being pre built in the factory off-site.

In this case you also have some options to choose from.

You can decide the exterior, interior, windows, insulation and general function of your house extension. But at the same time you have to remember customizability is limited. Not everything will be possible to get.

How The Process Of Building Modular Extensions Looks Like

While prefabricated house extension is done completely off-site and then just installed, modular extensions require a little bit of a different process. After all it comes in multiple pieces.

Every modular extension is different so there is no one-size-fits-all procedure. Luckily in most cases you will get video and / or written instructions if you will decide to put it together on your own.

What Is The Difference Between Prefab And Modular Extensions

However, in principle it will look more or less like this:

  1. Plan your house extension area
  2. Place the foundation pads or dig holes if needed
  3. Construct the frame of your extension
  4. Install numbered wall sections
  5. Install the roof
  6. Install the floor
  7. Take care of interior works

That’s pretty much the whole process. Put in a very simplified way, but I believe you get the point. It’s a very easy and pretty fast solution. Once done the interior can be taken care of.

Unlike the one-piece prefabricated house extensions, the modular extensions do not include the interior. I mean it’s perfectly fine as it is to have a coffee table and few chairs, no doubts about that.

But if you want to have something special, it would require additional work.

And depending on what function it ultimately should fulfil it might mean quite a lot of work. That’s why, although it’s a great solution, it’s not ideal and has its pros and cons.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Ready-made Extension Solutions

No matter how great something seems there are always pros and cons. That’s how it is in life and ready-made house extension solutions are no different.

Whether it’s a one-piece prefabricated house extension or modular house extension there are positives and negatives of each solution. It all depends what works best for you.

Something that’s great for me might be just average for you.

And vice versa.

When it comes to ready-made extensions I would say that time efficiency is definitely an advantage. In both cases the installation is really fast and almost painless.

The same can be said about cleanliness, the process is a lot less messy than in case of standard house extensions. And since it’s usually very fast there is no need to move out.

If you would be considering that of course.

On the other hand prefabricated house extensions have limited customizability. It’s much better than a few years ago, but still you can’t get everything. It’s more or less standardized.

Although, it might very well be that the company offers everything you would like to have. It really depends on what your dreamt house extension looks like and what purpose it’s supposed to have.

And when it comes to cost efficiency? That really depends.

Since it standardized I would imagine it could be slightly cheaper, but there is no straight answer. I would get quotes from companies doing prefab extensions and from few trades to compare.

Just remember to take all costs and hassle under the account. Like a crane to move the extension. On the other hand if you have to move out while all the works are being done it will increase the overall price. 

But maybe you could plan some holidays during that time 😉

Same goes in the opposite direction. 

Make sure the customisation of your prefabricated house extension doesn’t eat up all potential savings compared to traditional solutions. And it’s really the extension you would like.

Also the materials are playing a huge role when it comes to final price. Make sure the company and trades will be using the same materials to compare apples to apples. 

It cuts both ways, there is no one-size-fits-all.

Pros of prefab house extensions

  • No need to move out
  • Time efficiency
  • More clean process

Cons of prefab house extensions

  • Limited customizability
  • Standardized solutions
  • Not necessarily cheaper

Leave a Reply

Your Dream Home Awaits...

Call us at 01223 491 480 or email and book a date with us.