Prefab ADU Myths are everywhere, because the promise of prefab technology is magical. You may think they are FAST or CHEAP or as convenient as a cup of ramen noodles (just add water!).
Prefab is pretty nifty stuff, but I think a good dose of the truth will help you make smart decisions on your prefab ADU.
Here is my latest video about Prefab ADU Myths and Truths. I explain the broader world of prefab ADU options and then run down the various common myths with their truth counter points.
Prefab ADU Myths And Truths
Prefab ADU 101
[00:00:00] Prefab adu. Here is what you need to know.
[00:00:05] Now, most people when they think of prefab, they’re thinking fast and cheap. Compared to ground up construction, but that is not always the case.
[00:00:15] PREFAB is short for PREFABRICATED,
[00:00:18] and that just means that it isn’t created from scratch in your backyard and the vocabulary is confusing.
[00:00:25] Panel kits, modular containers, 3D homes, panalized They can all be called prefab, but they are all very different. In fact, The entire category is confusing, especially when it comes to price. You may not realize that the advertised price that you is often is less than half of the total cost of your finished ADU
[00:00:51] and I’ll say more about that later. But my point is that the prefab ADU shopper needs information. And I’d like to provide it.[00:01:00]
[00:01:00] Hi, my name is Kendyl Young and I am the co-founder and CEO of ADU DIGGS.
[00:01:06] We believe everybody deserves great design and our modular factory ADU units arrive at your home, 90% complete and construction time in your backyard is just a few weeks.
Feeling overwhelmed? I can help. Click Here to schedule a free consultation. I’ll answer your basic questions, no strings attached.
[00:01:21] Here is a Reader’s Digest rundown of the various types of prefabricated or prefab ADUs that are out there.
Different Prefab Construction Methods
[00:01:30] Manufactured prefab ADUs
[00:01:33] are the same units that are typically installed in a mobile home park, and it’s the fast and cheap prefab adu that most people are thinking of when they hear prefab adu. Now, The base model that is advertised, the quality is not ideal. It’s actually pretty flimsy, and you can upgrade them to get decent quality.
[00:01:56] But the target market is for people who are [00:02:00] super price sensitive. Now, they are going to arrive at your home pretty much complete with all of the systems and finishes and cabinets and appliances that you need.
[00:02:12]: Factory built modular
[00:02:15] are prefab ADUs that are built just like they’re ground up construction ADU brothers. But most of the process, including systems mechanicals, appliances, fixtures flooring even are done in the factory and then it is shipped to your home. Active construction in your backyard is just a few weeks and it is the fastest and most convenient way to get high quality results./
[00:02:45] Panalized or Kit adu
[00:02:50] Are often called modular, but unlike factory built modular, panalized kits consist of just the walls and the roof. You [00:03:00] or your contractor will have to do everything else on site. Your finishes, your foundation, your appliances, your systems. Everything is done in your backyard, and this is a process that can take several months.
[00:03:14] Container ADUs
[00:03:18] Repurposed shipping containers were all the rage for a while, but they were neither simple nor inexpensive to fully convert into a habitable adu.
[00:03:30] 3D printed adu.
[00:03:34] This is dead, sexy, high technology stuff that is almost ready for prime time. This is where a huge high tech printer uses either light, concrete or a polymer composite to print the walls, interior walls and soon even potentially the roof and ceiling of your ADU structure. And then traditional contractors will [00:04:00] install the mechanical systems like plumbing and electricity and AC as well as do the finishes and fixtures.
[00:04:07] Probably on site now, you could either get one that is printed in a factory and then deliver to your house or theoretically, and we’re excited about this, potentially printing it directly in your backyard.
[00:04:22] Prefab ADUs give you great speed and convenience, but you give up on custom design.
[00:04:31] We believe everyone deserves great design, so the ADU DIGGS blends with the most common architectural styles in our neighborhoods.
Prefab ADU Myths And Truths
[00:04:41]: Now that you have a basic idea of the different types of prefab ADU methods, we’re going to talk about how you choose, because ultimately the choice is highly individual.
[00:04:53] So let’s cover some myths and truths about each of the individual [00:05:00] methods.
[00:05:00] Truth and myths about manufactured ADUs
[00:05:06] MYTH that they’re flimsy and low low quality
[00:05:09] TRUTH: they are. The advertised model is in fact flimsy and low cost, but you can upgrade for decent quality. For money.
[00:05:19] MYTH that they are very low cost
[00:05:23] TRUTH: they are the least expensive prefab, adu choice out there. However, the advertised price is still way more ex, way less expensive than the actual final installed price. More on that later.
[00:05:39] MYTH: that they’re easy to. install
[00:05:43] TRUTH: They are really convenient to install, but they can only be installed by using a crane, and not all sites can accommodate a crane.
[00:05:54] Truth and myth about factory built modular [00:06:00] ADUs, and this is what ADU DIGGS is
[00:06:03] MYTH: That they are less expensive than ground up construction.
[00:06:08] We are a lot faster and a lot more convenient, but we are not less expensive than ground up construction.
[00:06:17] MYTH: That they’re cheap and low quality truth.
[00:06:22] The method that we use produces consistently higher quality than most ground up construction.
[00:06:29] MYTH: You have to use a crane to install them.
[00:06:33] TRUTH: ADU DIGGS hold a patent pending for our forklift installation technology, we can install our factory built modular ADUs where others simply can’t
[00:06:48] MYTH: they are all contemporary boxes
[00:06:52] TRUTH: Not at ADU DIGGS! We have architectural ADUs designed to blend with [00:07:00] your main home.
[00:07:02] Myths and truth about penalized kit ADUs, often called modular
[00:07:09] MYTH: You can put it together yourself in a day
[00:07:15] TRUTH: As if! It might take a few days with a skilled and experienced panelized kit installation company. More likely it’s gonna take a few weeks. . But then once you get that done, you still have to do all of the mechanical systems, interiors, finishes, plumbing, fixtures, lighting, flooring, like all of that which needs to be done either by that installation company or by a contractor. And it’s gonna take like months.
[00:07:45] MYTH: That it is less expensive than ground up construction
[00:07:50] TRUTH: It is a little less expensive. Mostly the penalized companies are vastly overstating the [00:08:00] labor savings in their kit components. By the time you’re done, it’s gonna be a little bit less expensive than your ground up construction.
[00:08:10] Myths and truth about container home ADU
[00:08:16] MYTH: that they are inexpensive
[00:08:19] TRUTH: it takes a lot of time and money to finish out a container into a habitable adu. Once you are done, you’re gonna be on par cost-wise with ground up construction.
[00:08:34] MYTH: That they are more eco-friendly.
[00:08:38] TRUTH: It is really hard to insulate them to California energy standards. Plus, frankly, many containers are just a toxic mess.
[00:08:49] MYTH: That they are fireproof.
[00:08:51] The TRUTH is the container itself is fireproof. It’s made out of metal, but the exterior finish that is going to be [00:09:00] required by many, if not most of your cities are not fireproof, nor is your interior fireproof. So if a way, if a window breaks during a fire, your interior is toast, literally.
[00:09:12] Okay. Sorry, . That was a bad joke.
[00:09:16] Truth and myth about 3D printed ADUs
[00:09:22] MYTH: You can get one today.
[00:09:25] TRUTH: Its getting closer. It’s getting so much closer. In fact, I think we are going to see 3D ADUs installed and delivered as soon as maybe next year. But we have a ways to go before 3D printed ADUs are ready for mass product.
[00:09:43] MYTH: You can print your entire ADU in a day
[00:09:48] TRUTH: You can print the exterior walls, interior walls, and maybe even your roof and ceiling in a day. But you’re going to have to install the mechanical [00:10:00] systems. Your interior finishes, fixtures. Flooring, all that stuff. And that is gonna happen on site in the old fashioned traditional ways with the traditional timelines.
[00:10:12] MYTH. That they are less expensive.
[00:10:16] TRUTH. That might be true! I am very hopeful for that, but it’s really too soon to tell, so stay tuned.
Prefab ADU Myths About Price
[00:10:25] Now that you’re armed with the myths and truths of the various prefab ADU methods that are out there, let’s talk about price specifically. Let’s talk about what the ADU companies do not want to tell you about. Price.
[00:10:43] Now almost everyone starts their ADU journey by thinking about price. Because after all, it’s only natural.
[00:10:49] You don’t want to overpay for an ADU and you don’t know what things cost.
[00:10:54] So you start researching all of the various ADU companies, probably online. [00:11:00] Right now, the ADU companies, they want you to call them so that they can start their sales process with you.
[00:11:07] They are advertising the lowest price possible, and that price is for just the ADU structure, and that is less than half of what you’re going to need to do and pay for in order to get a finished and habitable ADU.
[00:11:26] The other half **plus** are for things like design and engineering and permits , and fees and utilities and finishes, right? Now, most of this other half is very unique to your site and your location.
[00:11:44] The total cost of any ADU is gonna vary by tens of thousands, maybe even north of a hundred thousand dollars based on site particulars.
[00:11:56] This means that the advertise price that you see [00:12:00] online is a terrible predictor of your final ADU Cost.
Additional Reading: Avoid These 4 ADU Pricing Mistakes
How To Comparison Shop For Prefab ADUs
[00:12:06]: How do I comparison shop? How do I figure out one company over.
[00:12:13] The only way to get an accurate range of your cost for your unique ADU and your unique site and location is to identify an ADU company and then hire them
[00:12:25] To do the necessary research, somebody needs to go and figure out exactly what your city requires and what they’re is gonna charge for permits and fees. Figure out the design particulars and the options. Study the site and the location. Talk to the utility companies and find out what they are going to cost and require, and all of this takes dozens of man hours. Nobody is going to do that for free.
[00:12:52] So I’ve given you some basic information about the different methods that are out there, and given you a way assess the [00:13:00] speed, the convenience, the price of each of these methods.
[00:13:03] Find a company or a contractor if you wanna do grounded construction, and find that person or company that you trust to tell you the truth and to give you value. Pay close attention to reviews and recommendations. Call up the company and just chat with them.
Why CAll ADU DIGGS?
[00:13:22]: When you call ADU DIGGS you’re gonna talk to me, the co-founder, and I will give you as many answers as I possibly can to help you decide whether or not we are a company that you can trust. ADU DIGGS was built on five star reviews from thousands of customers over decades.
[00:13:43] We are known for truth, transparency, and customer satisfaction. We believe that our reputation. is Everything, and we are gonna do everything possible to make you a happy and satisfied customer.
[00:13:59] I hope that you’ll call [00:14:00] us and I hope that we get to know each other. I hope that you will engage us! We look forward to meeting you, and we look forward to building your ADU dream.