Here are some commonly asked questions we get about modular design and construction.
DESIGN & MATERIALS
Absolutely! Our concept is “space” rather than “floor plan” which means that your modular home can be constructed exactly as you’d like it. The projects on our website will give you some examples of the configurations available for prefabricated homes with different accommodation needs but they are not a range you need to choose from. We know that each of our clients has their own requirements for their own sites, and that this requires complete flexibility in design.
Our innovative modular house construction hub is located in Brooklyn, just 20 minutes from Melbourne CBD. A member of the Modscape team will be happy to show you through our display suite and factory to help you get a feel for the space and benefits of the way we approach prefabricated houses and modular construction. You are welcome to visit anytime between 10am–4pm Monday–Friday, or we are open Saturdays by appointment. If you would like to discuss a specific project in more detail, or are travelling from interstate, please call us in advance so we can ensure you make the most of your visit. You can contact us on either 03 9314 7769 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our modular homes are constructed from materials that are recyclable, reconstituted or sustainably sourced. Fully welded structural steel frames and the structural insulated panels form the basis of the floor, wall and ceiling components of each module are crafted using recyclable expanded polystyrene sandwiched between 2 sheets of recycled Colorbond steel. The pacific teak timber used to clad some projects is sourced from sustainable plantation forests, and our floors are comprised of engineered hardwood timbers on a floating base. All windows and glass doors are double-glazed as a standard, and our paints are all low VOC.
Heating and cooling options are not part of a set of standard inclusions as requirements differ greatly depending on both location and project usage. Open wood or gas fireplaces and hydronic heating are all popular heating options while ceiling fans and, sometimes, air-conditioning systems are the most common cooling options. We will work with you to establish the best cost and energy solution for your sustainable home.
Definitely. We have a wide range of finish options but you definitely don’t need to be limited by these. External cladding, roof shape, internal wall finishes, floor coverings, paint colours, bench tops, fixtures and appliances can all be chosen to meet individual requirements, and clients are welcome to supply their own items for inclusion should they wish to do so. One of our team members will be happy to go through the range of options available for your prefab home when you visit us at Brooklyn.
The standard ceiling height of each Modscape module is 2.7m (9ft). For ceiling heights above this, or for cathedral or mezzanine style designs, we can stack modules to create greater ceiling heights. More information about module size and configuration can be found in our Modular Design Guide
We do not have a standard size module as all modules are customised to suit each design. Typically a module can range in from 2.0m to 5.0m in width and from 2.0m to 15.0m in length. Most Modscape designs use a combination of module sizes to create a design. Modules that fit within these dimensions enable us to keep the cost of transport to a minimum however if a design requires dimensions in excess of these parameters it can be assessed on a job by job basis. More information about module size and configuration can be found in our Modular Design Guide
Approximately 40% of the work we do is for commercial applications. Our modular design concept offers significant cost and time advantages over conventional construction methods and can be applied in a diverse range of commercial sectors from modular health and aged care facilities to educational buildings and sales display suites.
Yes Modscape can certainly assist with extensions. Our Brunswick and Carlton North projects are great examples as to how we approach extensions – a clear delineation between the original and the new. A small linking space is built onsite after the modules have been installed. It very much depends on the eaves and roofline of the existing house as to whether the extension can butt up right next to it or whether the linking space is longer, enhancing the separation.
Unfortunately Modscape cannot assist with second storey extensions. This is mainly due to the weight of the modules and the additional structural support required (it’s often the footings that aren’t sufficient). The extra engineering and the heavy involvement of onsite builders required to facilitate the integration between levels, often makes these projects cost prohibitive.
Yes. Because they are modular both in concept and design, our constructions are extremely easy to add to in the future and we frequently design projects for clients that are built in different stages. This means you can build what you can afford now and add to your modular home later.
LOGISTICS, SITE & ENERGY EFFICIENCY
From the date of issue of the Building Permit, your Modscape modular home will be scheduled into our factory program and then built and installed within 12 weeks. Installation of the modules usually takes 1 day, and a further 7–10 days is generally required for site works.
Definitely. The Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) that form the “shell” of each modular home generates a thermal property that makes them an ideal choice for extreme climatic conditions. With “R” values of 2.8 in the floors, 3.7 in the walls and 5.7 in the ceilings in combination with double glazed windows and doors the ambient temperature of the space is both constant and comfortable with very little requirement for additional heating and cooling.
Our modular home installation team will install the screw piles required for your project. In some instances, additional site preparation will be required and this will have an associated cost, however our team will be happy to help you address this need should it arise.
Screw piles are steel foundations that are wound into the earth until they meet a predetermined engineering torque. They are a widely used foundation system and negate the need to clear the site to create a level section of land for construction purposes. From an environmental perspective, the screw pile foundation system has the least impact. It also minimises the need for expensive site preparation.
Through a careful process of planning and sustainable house design, every step of construction and subsequent use of these modular homes has been considered in terms of its impact on the environment. Site preparation is minimal, meaning less disruption to flora, fauna and neighbouring areas, and the screw piling technique we use means there is no need for earth moving or compacting. Having the construction take place in a factory rather than on-site minimises noise, rubbish, dust, and debris and maximises the quality of the final product; this means less repairs and re-work in years to come. All materials used in the construction of our transportable homes are recycled, reconstituted or sourced/created sustainably. Rain water tanks are an optional feature for all of our homes, as are other environmentally conscious services such as solar hot water or solar/wind power. The quantum of insulation resulting from the Structurally Insulated Panels and double glazing we use means the ambient temperature of our homes is more stable and less prone to extremes (thus requiring less heating and cooling). And finally, the appliances we use and recommend all have maximum energy and efficiency ratings, and are included in the price of the homes.
The majority of our projects require a crane. Trucks carrying your modules may be able to reverse in between the screw piles and lower your modules down into position. Projects located on sloping sites, with difficult site access or involving more than a single storey will certainly require a crane.
All of our prefab homes in NSW and beyond are trucked to their destination in complete sections and placed directly onto your prepared site. The exceptionally strong steel frames used for each section of our designs in conjunction with the Structural Insulated Panels in the floors, walls and ceilings enable our modules to withstand much greater stressors than would be possible with on-site construction. Rigorous testing procedures ensure that each modular home arrives at its destination in the same condition in which it left the factory.
Your modular house project will need to be serviced either by mains or stand-alone facilities. Most clients choose to have Modscape manage these arrangements on their behalf however you are welcome to make these arrangements yourself should you prefer to do so. We will discuss these options with you at the time of your Project Consultation.
Once completed, our housing modules are transported individually to your site, where they are placed into position, by either crane or truck, and then grounded using a screw pile foundation system. The modules are then bolted together with a seamless finish on the floor and a completely waterproof expressed joint or reveal between wall and ceiling joins.
Every Modscape modular home has the capability of operating completely “off grid” so they are the ideal choice for remote locations. Access is the only factor that can prevent Modscape from being the right outcome for a remote site but if trucks can gain access then it’s likely Modscape will be able to create a fantastic modular solution for your remote site.
Absolutely. The screw pile system we use for our foundations is height adjustable and makes a great solution for sloping sites. Additional costs may be incurred for very steep sites if additional steel is required to achieve the required structural support and elevation. A crane will also be required to install modules onto a sloping site and the cost of this will be determined by the complexity of the lift.
PERMITS, COMPLIANCE & PROJECT MANAGEMENT
We have installed modular and prefab homes all across Australia, so we are very familiar with the issues involved in working at a geographical distance from our clients. Our clients are frequently updated via phone and email on the progress of their project whether it is in town planning, design and development, or construction, and the need to travel interstate is confined to the key decision making stages only.
Absolutely. The highly-planned process involved in creating our eco friendly homes means all parties are clear on who does what and when. We will always oversee your modular house project from design through to installation, ensuring you are informed and consulted along the way, but can additionally undertake the town planning element of your project at the start as well as any landscaping and site works required at the end. One project, one team.
A soil report is required for each project and we will obtain this for you on your behalf. Should the soil conditions on your site be atypical, it may be necessary to commission additional geotechnical reports at an additional cost to the client.
Yes. Our constructions meet the requirements of the first 2 Bushfire Assessment Levels (BAL) without the need for any alteration and can be made compliant with all BAL’s through to, and including, Flame Zone if required.
Yes. Our modular homes can meet Cyclone Building codes at all levels and we have installed several prefabricated house projects on the coast of Northwestern Australia where our homes were easily able to meet these mandatory standards. The steel frame we use as the basis for each element of our designs provides the required structural integrity to meet Cyclone Building codes Australia wide. Double glazed windows, the option of external shutters and built-in inclusions further contribute to making Modscape an excellent choice for modular houses in cyclone affected areas.
Land subdivision will ultimately be determined by your local Council or Land Surveyor however Modscape can assist with the process of subdivision by drafting and submitting plans to Council on your behalf and offering advice on the best method of approach to this process.
We will arrange this for you using our building surveyor. We will also arrange the energy report and any other project specific reports using external consultants.
Your local Council will advise whether or not you need a planning permit. They will take into account heritage factors, the size of your block, the building envelope and the size of the modular home you are planning to build.
Yes. If a Planning Permit is required, Modscape can submit a Planning application on your behalf and follow this through to the issue of your Planning Permit. There is a small additional cost for this service based on the level of complexity involved.
PRICING, WARRANTIES & FINANCE
The additional cost for solar panels will depend on the size of your modular home and the number and type of appliances you have. For a standard 3 bedroom home you could expect the cost to be around $20,000–$40,000 for a full off-grid solution but can be more depending on your output.
Yes. Our modular homes are certainly eligible for the 1st Home Buyers grant but one thing you should be aware of as a first home owner is that banks will only lend money for prefabricated constructions if the borrower has equity equal to the amount being borrowed.
Not all prefabricated house projects will require a crane but for those that do, this cost is additional to the cost of your project. The cost of a crane is determined by the size of crane required and the complexity of the lift involved. Simple lifts are likely to cost $10K – $15K and more complex lifts $20K – $40K. For rooftop installations this figure can be higher.
Transport for each module is $3k within 150km of our Brooklyn facility. If your project falls outside of the 150km radius of Brooklyn it is likely each module will cost somewhere between $5K (for distances up to 300km from Brooklyn) and $23K (to the Kimberley)
The cost of each Modscape prefab house project is simply the sum of the parts. Our Standard Inclusions form the basis of each project costing with additional items such as heating and cooling, decking and finish upgrades all priced if required. Clients can include anything they like in their Modscape modular home and either supply it themselves or have Modscape source it for them at wholesale rates. Our aim is to ensure our clients know exactly what they’re getting and how much it will cost, with no surprises along the way. See the Modscape Pricing page for more information.
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