Prefab vs Traditional Homes: What’s the Difference?

Owning a property and building a home for one’s family is every person’s dream. If you are a prospective homebuyer, you need to know the different options available to you once you decide to buy a house.

These days, depending on the location where you want to establish your roots, you can choose to go with traditional houses or also called by home builders as “stick-built homes” or go with the alternative and buy a prefabricated house, otherwise known as a “prefab” or “factory-built” homes.

Prefab vs. Traditional Homes: What’s the difference?

Traditional houses are directly constructed piece by piece on a land, which the homeowner selects to live in forever. On the other hand, a prefab home is factory-built and transported to the homeowner’s lot in sections. Further, it can be disassembled and reassembled in another location should the resident decide to move.


Traditional houses have foundations that are built from holes in the ground, with concrete slabs, atop piers, or pilings that create crawlspaces. Prefab homes are built atop permanent foundations, and then anchored and strapped to the ground, resulting in temporary affixation to foundations.

Quality and Speed of Construction

Traditional homes use construction methods carried out by skilled craftsmen or construction workers. On the other hand, prefab homes are built in factories using machines with materials that are frequently laser-measured and cut according to specific tolerance codes set by location ordinances (tolerant to hurricanes or tornadoes, blizzards, etc.). Don’t fret though! The skeletal structures of prefab homes – when tested – are on par with the standard of traditional houses.

That being said, construction is faster for prefab homes, as they are built in enclosed spaces and not affected by natural events such as storms or extreme heat or cold the way construction workers building traditional houses on the site are. Prefab homes also employ less manpower to finish its construction since they are built piece by piece in a factory.

House Design

Often, prefab homes are built based on template designs for cabinets, countertops, and flooring which you can choose from based on your preferences. However, some manufacturers allow customization of prefab homes to cater to homeowners looking to build a house that suits their style and needs.

It’s the same way with traditional houses, as homeowners can choose to customize the floor layout plan and interiors of their homes. Then again, owners of traditional homes have more flexibility when it comes to choosing home designs with multiple levels.

Building Codes and Regulations

Both types of housing are governed by national and local building laws. One consideration for prefab homes is the construction can literally take place in another state, which may have different regulations altogether.

The rule of thumb for this is that the house is subject to local ordinances. So, wherever the prefab home is going to be transferred, the manufacturer should ensure that local building codes are followed. This is important as local ordinances take into account considerations for additional protection against tornadoes or heavy snow, for instance.

In addition to local ordinances, check in with your homeowner’s association (HOA) or community developer if they have rules against prefab homes. HOAs may also have rules about house exteriors – colors, roofing, siding, gutters, etc. – so you would need to double check their requirements.


Reducing carbon footprint is a social responsibility for everyone these days. Both housing options can be environment-friendly, depending on the builder.

As a homeowner, ask yourself if the company you have hired working with are using high-quality insulation, roofing, siding, and windows?

Prefab homes, since built in factories, have better cost efficiencies and less wastage, as they are manufactured under stricter norms using cutting edge technology.

Prefab home technologies have been gaining popularity from homeowners and construction companies, with the speed of development, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness among its biggest advantages.

With Revolution, you get a completed home in a simplified process, without denying yourself the best home designs by leading architects, artists and designers. We not only build efficient houses, but we also produce a home that’s carefully crafted, not just fabricated.