18 Feb Modular and your Forever Home
Modular housing delivers the benefits of precision steel frame engineering, global supply chains, and responsible factory automation. This leads to lower costs and faster construction timelines. But did you know that a modular home can be your forever home? This forever home can be yours whether you choose to remain in one location with changing needs, or whether you choose to move around the world.
Imagine finding the perfect piece of land for your dream home- whether in the mountains, your ideal suburb, or near the ocean. And you are designing your dream home and trying to forecast out into the future all of the various needs you might have with varying headcount in the household. During some stages you may only need a place for one. And during other stages of life you may require several bedrooms for children, guests, parents, in-laws, etc. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a right-sized house during each stage of your life?
With modular housing you can do this. Lego-like units can be combined to create a home that is right-sized for today. And when your needs change, additional units can be added for additional space. This is because these are built with structural steel frames that can be stacked vertically or combined horizontally to create additional space. This makes it very easy to add an extra bedroom or mother-in-law unit down the road. And it is also easy to downsize and remove space as it is no longer needed.
Using traditional housing construction, if you build too small you may outgrow it. And if you build too large you may be wasting costs and creating empty space. For each stage of life, the optimal is to be right-sized. A properly built modular home lets you stay on your piece of property and always be right-sized.
Let me provide the other scenario. Imagine having the right-sized home and you are required to move to another location? What if you could literally pick up your home and move it with you? Would this be an appealing feature? Modular are self-contained units that can be loaded onto a ship, train, or truck and transported. They can be bolted and secured in place to a specific location, and then unbolted and detached and moved to another location. So you can be ‘mobile’ with a permanent fixture.
One of the hot topics of urban planning today is addressing the scenario of rising sea levels with climate change and what this might do to the large populations that live at sea level or near the oceans. 40% of the US population resides in a coastal area.(1) These areas are vulnerable to climate change scenarios with rising sea levels which could make many miles of prime waterfront property underwater, both physically and financially.
A modular built home can withstand this prospect as it is not permanently fixed to just one location. A modular home is built inside of a factory with a structural steel frame and is structurally capable to be lifted, moved, and placed. This is how it is initially installed to go from a factory to a prepared site. And how it can be easily modified with additions or subtractions. But keep in mind this is also how it can be detached or unbolted from its current location and moved to another location.
This is a bit of an oversimplification as there is site prep and utilities and space configurations that need to be addressed with each change. But relative to traditional construction methods where a home is entirely built into a specific location- modular provides significant benefits.
Whether used as a backyard patio unit, as a single-family home, or as part of a multi-story complex, a modular home can become your forever home.
By Scott Huish
Scott Huish has directed technology driven companies in finance, agriculture, energy, construction, and real estate. Scott has completed advanced education at Oxford, Harvard, and London School of Economics and Political Science. www.ScottHuish.global