Package homes, despite their escalating popularity across the globe, are still shrouded in mystery, clinging to their post war, boring box-home stereotype. However, a lot has changed since the 1950’s and self-build package homes are getting hotter than ever and becoming the go-to choice for design-savvy self-builders. But the ultimate question remains; to package or not to package?
Here’s our breakdown of some key advantages to premanufactured construction:
Blink and you’ll miss it. Without doubt, package homes are the fastest method of building a home. Everything - walls, roofs, windows and doors - is constructed off-site in a state-of-the-art factory before it is delivered, leaving just the record speed assembly by an efficient and experienced team of specialists, which typically takes 2-3 days. Fast-forward a couple of months and you will be handed the keys to your completed home.
Quick construction combined with specialist teams will free up a lot of your time too, making the build-process as stress free as possible. Instead of dedicating every spare moment to watching over the work carried out on site, simply hand over as much of the responsibilities to the professionals as you like, sit back and watch your home come to life.
With every element of a package home pre-constructed in perfect factory conditions, struggles associated with traditional brick and block on-site construction in our notorious British weather no longer have to be considered. Within a factory setting, homes can be built at greater speed to higher engineering standards than would be possible onsite. A pre-manufactured home is crafted with precision and designed to be extremely airtight. Due to this, finished homes will commonly have an energy requirement that is a quarter or less than that of a fully compliant, UK home built with traditional methods. Panels, which make up the roof and walls, are heavily insulated to deliver extremely high levels of thermal performance. With all this in mind, package homes perform to a much higher standard than a conventional home, making them a sustainable investment for the environmentally conscious and those building for the future.
As every last detail is accounted for in the planning stages, the cost for a package build is entirely fixed before the home is delivered. As a result, nasty surprises, such as unforeseen spikes in cost or snags in construction will not cause any mid-build financial headaches. In essence, building a home under controlled conditions off-site and to exact and pre-defined specifications results in every one being both delivered and built on time and on budget.
You also have ultimate control over the design. Although your package supplier with have ‘catalogue’ variants, in-house architects will be on hand to help you to design a home based on your specific style and needs. On top of this, due to the package supplier’s rich experience with numerous previous projects, in-house teams will have an in-depth understanding of what does and does not work, meaning the project in itself is firstly; less stressful and secondly; runs as smoothly from start to finish.
Things to consider
It’s true that pre-manufactured homes can be up to 15% more expensive than those built using traditional methods. It’s also true that, in many cases the uplift in initial cost is balanced by cost savings experienced within efficiency of the build programme itself as well as further down the line in dramatically reduced running and maintenance costs and the potential increases in resale values associated with future proof homes.
Package homes are undoubtedly beginning to shed their post-war image and offer real promise for sustainable, low-energy building both now and into the future. If you are hoping to build a home, it pays to keep an open mind to the various alternative build methods and their potential benefits. In the case of package building, the advantages are well documented and do make the solution an attractive option for future self-builders.
Oliver Grimshaw, Head of UK Sales, Hanse Haus GmbH
Oliver Grimshaw is the Head of UK Sales for premium German supplier of pre-manufactured, high-efficiency homes. Founded back in 1929, Hanse Haus now erects some 400 homes annually Europe-wide and has been active in the UK since 2006.
With over 85 years’ experience in the construction industry and boasting more than 30,000 completed homes, the company is also a certified builder of the remarkable Passivhaus; a home that loses almost no heat through its walls, roof and windows, thanks to extremely high levels of thermal insulation.