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The Ups and Downs of Prefabricated Construction Part 1

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Prefabricated construction may seem too good to be true. It’s an all-in-one answer to labor shortages and the never-ending search for greater efficiency. However, while prefabricated construction lives up to its reputation, it may not be right for your construction project. In this two-part article, a Raleigh contractor lawyer at Cotney Construction Law will detail the downsides and upsides of prefabricated construction. But first, what is prefabricated construction?

Prefabricated construction (also known as modular or off-site construction) is the process of planning and crafting building components in a separate location before transporting them to the construction site for rapid assembly. Various components such as walls, rooms, or even entire buildings are being built completely off-site. This kind of construction emphasizes control over flexibility.  

The Downside of Prefabricated Construction

Despite the many benefits of prefabricated construction, there are drawbacks. The main downside is the lack of flexibility that comes when changes are needed on site. You won’t be able to simply add a closet or extend a room. All problems have to be anticipated and planned for in advance, which can be difficult if the designer or architect has never set foot on the final building site. Once components are on-site, the intense assembly process can also lead to trouble. If workers are rushed to meet deadlines in the assembly phase, they may make mistakes that can lead to costly construction defects. Please consult with a Raleigh contractor attorney if you ever have to defend against a construction defect claim.

Additionally, you run the risk of overbuilding with prefabrication, which can needlessly raise the cost of a project. You have to ask yourself: is building and transporting from an off-site location more or less cost-effective than a traditional construction site? Modular construction, for example, is excellent for buildings that feature repetitive design, like classrooms or retail spaces. These single module designs can be used over and over again; however, spaces that require reconfiguration are not going to benefit from this design.

The above hurdles are formidable, but the benefits of prefabricated construction far outweigh the downsides. For the upsides of prefabricated construction, please read part two.

If you would like to speak with an attorney at our Raleigh construction law firm, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.