Most people envision what their ideal house looks like


Buyer demand in regional areas “has always trended towards Container House”, says Western Australia builder TR Homes’ General Manager Dale Putland, because of quick construction periods, lack of local tradespeople and the high cost of having tradies on site.

TR Homes produces transportable steel framed houses, starting from about $93,000 for a single module 2-bedroom design.

Its latest home, The Grange is a 240sqm homestead. It will set you back $288,146 plus GST, including four bedrooms, three bathrooms, an open plan living dining area and kitchen, a home theatre and a games room.

Also trending is younger metropolitan home buyers showing interest in modular housing options.

“Most people envision what their ideal house looks like and then change materials and products to meet bushfire (safety) requirements,” says CSIRO fire researcher Justin Leonard.

He says many homeowners could save a lot of money by incorporating materials, techniques and features that are flame resistant and reduce the risk of fire in their initial home design.

“Think about masonry, mud brick, steel frames and things like that don’t burn,” he says. “You can win the cost back that way.”

Homeowners also need to be aware that there is no single solution that will totally protect their house, but there are things they can do to decrease the risk of fire.

“We need to move away from the magic bullet approach and move towards the weakest link approach – that is building things that do well passively in a fire situation,” says Leonard.

“Previous generations have typically trended towards brick and tile, unfortunately association prefab with a lesser quality home, but times are rapidly changing,” Putland says.

Is modular green?Yes, prefab homes’ construction method can boost their energy saving merits.

Built inside factories using recycled and/or mass-produced Modular Home materials, their per-home energy usage is reduced, says Ashley Beaumont of Ecoliv.