What Is a Prefab Cabin?

Onur Aydin - October 6, 2023

building cabin with family

What do you think of when you think of the word “cabin”? A place in the mountains? A vacation home? Guest quarters? Investment property for passive income? All of these are possible uses for small cabins, but like most other things in life, building a cabin is “easier said than done”.

Since the dawn of time, men have been carving out little living spaces all over the world—for pleasure, protection, and privacy. Sure, there’s nothing quite like the beauty of the outdoors, but life isn’t complete without a roof over your head. We all need a house or an apartment to live our daily lives, but there is nothing quite like having extra space in a beautiful spot to “get away from it all”. That’s why there’s nothing quite as romantic as the word “cabin”.

You might be thinking about a cabin but wondering if it’s possible to buy one of your own. In this post, we’d like to show you how to get the small cabin you’ve been thinking about, with less money, time, and fuss than you’ve ever imagined. How you may ask? Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of the prefab cabin, also known as a modular cabin.

In this blog post, we will be talking about the advantages of a prefab cabin and how it differs from other types of cabins. A prefab cabin isn’t a universal “cure all” for every situation, but it might be more useful and advantageous than you’ve thought. You might be skeptical about whether or not a prefab cabin can deliver for your situation. Don’t make your conclusion before you read this post! Let’s dive into it.

What Are the Advantages of a Prefab Cabin?

advantages of prefab cabin includes beside swimming pool

So, what is a prefab cabin? How is it different from other kinds of cabin construction methods? In a nutshell, a prefab cabin is a small building that is built in a factory and delivered to your choice of location in one piece. This makes it very different from other kinds of buildings that are constructed on your job site or brought in many different pieces.

Why does this matter? If you want to avoid the many headaches that come with building your cabin from scratch by partnering with a contractor, then a prefab cabin is for you. Yes, hiring a contractor will get the job done, but the process is much messier. You will have to deal with all the workers, their vehicles, and their tools covering your property for months. Not only that, but the contractor will also have to unload all your cabin’s materials on your property as well.  Be aware that there might also be unexpected delays or issues in the building process depending on the weather and other natural causes, such as material damage due to building outdoors, etc. Plus, you may end up paying more than you had originally anticipated by the time your cabin is finally in full functionality. Why go through all that extra fuss?

That is why we recommend the novel Prefab Cabins. They are much more affordable and faster than building a cabin at your property with a contracting company. The standout benefit of prefab cabins vs. building from scratch is that they are built in a factory. What does this mean? It means that the factory’s set-up and environment is ideal for manufacturing more than one building at a time. Plus, when working within a controlled environment, nothing can interfere with the construction of your prefab cabin which allows for greater efficiency and guaranteed completion by the expected time.

The workers at the factory are trained professionals and masters of this field since their primary and daily experience evolves around building prefab cabins. Another unique benefit of prefab cabins is their delivery to your property. Once you buy a prefab cabin it is delivered to your property by truck for a quick and easy installation. It is that simple. No headaches, no fuss, no prolonged disruption on your property, it is more affordable and way faster. Those are the unique advantages of choosing a prefab cabin.

What Can a Prefab Cabin Be Used For?

prefab cabin used as hunting cabin

So, you may be wondering, what can I actually use a prefab cabin for? While it’s true that a prefab cabin will be smaller than many other types of cabins, that doesn’t limit their usefulness! Consider the following options that are all great fits for ideal ways to use a prefab cabin:

  • Can be added to your property as a guest room / granny pod.
  • Additional investment to your property. (a potential buyer would be pleased to have the additional space. OR you can take it with you if you decide to move.)
  • Can be used for fun activities such as vacation, summer home, hunting lodge etc.
  • You can rent your prefab cabin to other individuals or families when it’s not in use.
  • Combine many prefab cabins together to create a family resort at your vacation retreat property!

Prefab Cabins vs. Cabin Kits

prefab cabins vs kits

We’ve already read some useful information about the advantages of a prefab cabin. Prefab cabins are novel cabins that are built in a factory by experienced professionals and delivered to the location of your choice. Of course, prefab cabins are not the only way to acquire a cabin. There is also the option of building a cabin by using a cabin kit. What is a cabin kit? A modular cabin kit gives you the opportunity to build your own modular cabin by putting all the pieces together with your own hands. If you choose to go the modular cabin kit route, the kit will be delivered to your location with the necessary parts and pieces needed for the shell of the modular cabin’s construction.

Building a cabin with a cabin kit may appear to have its own set of advantages. For example, since you will be the one building, you will be able to avoid the disturbance of workers on your property. You also will be able to save money because you will not need to hire a contractor.  Plus, by the end of the project, you will have harnessed or sharpened your carpentry skills. It sounds easy, affordable, and educational, right? But before you jump on board the cabin kit wagon, let’s take a closer look at those cabin kits.

Imagine you bought a modular cabin kit to build your very own cabin, and you enthusiastically started working on it. As you dive deeper into the project unexpected problems begin to damper your original enthusiasm. It may be a missing piece (or pieces) inside the kit that was overlooked by the manufacturer. Hidden costs will begin to show up as you recognize your need for specialized and expensive tools required to complete the installation or the building process. Or it could be that one little mistake that you make that affects the whole process and stalls or prolongs your cabin’s construction.

All those are likely realities, and all will leave you extremely frustrated. Plus, personally constructing your cabin takes a lot of time, and unless you really love building, you will not find the cabin kit construction exceptionally enjoyable or easier than any previous construction project. You will end up sacrificing your precious time just to build a cabin that you could have sourced easily and quickly through a professional company.

You may have been initially swept up on what appeared like the “cheaper”, easier, and more educational route, yet unless you are skilled at carpentry and installation, you will end up losing money, wasting hard work,  and your precious time. In fact, some disappointed modular cabin kit buyers never finish their projects. Unfortunately, they learned the hard way that modular cabin kits are not all as they appear. They now recognize that it is better to seek out professional advice from an expert or investigate other affordable and more effective ways to create their dream cabin before choosing cabin kits.

Prefab Cabins vs. Stick-Built Cabins

inside of a prefab cabin

The most common method of construction versus a prefab cabin or modular cabin is a cabin built on the desired location by a building contractor company. This is called a stick-built cabin. Let’s explore the differences between prefab cabins and stick-built cabins, and why you would choose one over the other.

Stick-built cabins are similar to building a new house from scratch. You will have to find a contractor for your project because it takes a lot of skill and expertise to build a stick-built cabin. A contractor will provide all the equipment, tools, and materials (unless you decide to purchase all the materials) that you need. You can make changes and include some customizations when you go the stick-built route. Once your stick-built cabin project begins, you will be able to supervise it every day and pay close attention to each step. Going the stick-built route may create more personal responsibility and pressure to ensure that the work gets done just right.

Prefab cabins are specialized creations and built off-site in a factory, so while its possible for you to watch its assembly, you will be able to view similar finished structures to ensure its quality and precision. Prefab cabins also offer you countless personalized and customizable designs. You can even pick a stick-built cabin design and make it happen as a prefab cabin. Plus, the turnaround time is way faster than a stick-built cabin. This attractive benefit is due to its controlled building environment. Bad weather and unpredictable travel times are avoided when you go with a prefab cabin.  

Bonus: A prefab cabin is a friendly keeper of your budget. You will save lots of money because when you go the stick-built route, you might make hasty, last-minute decisions like adding extra additions or customizations that go outside of your budget’s limit.

Prefab Cabins vs Modular Cabins

prefab cabins vs modular cabins

Modular cabins are the upgraded version of prefab cabins in their size and a few specialized building and set-up components. Otherwise, they are similar to each other. They are both built in a factory and delivered to the location of your choice and installed with efficiency and speed. So, what are the unique elements which differentiates these two types of cabins?

The main distinction of modular cabins vs. prefab cabins is the way they are built and delivered. Modular cabins are built in different modules due to their larger sizes. Once the modules are built, they are then delivered in sections and installed onsite where all the modules are attached together. Also, modular cabins always require a foundation prior to installation. Does prefab cabins require foundation? A foundation is optional with prefab cabins and comes down to your personal preference. Besides, even if you decide you want to have a foundation for your prefab cabin, it will not require nearly as much excavation as a modular cabin will need.

We listed the factors to simplify the differences between these two cabins.

Similarities Between Modular Cabins and Prefab Cabins:

  • Both are less expensive than stick-built cabins.
  • Both are built in a factory, giving less mess on your property.

Advantages of Modular Cabins (compared to Prefab Cabins):

  • Modular Cabins are available in larger sizes.
  • Modular Cabins typically include a basement area for extra space.
  • Modular Cabins typically have more finishing options.

Advantages of Prefab Cabins (compared to Modular Cabins):

  • Prefab cabins are less expensive than modular cabins. You could probably buy 5 prefab cabins for the price of one modular cabin!
  • Prefab cabins do not require much (if any) excavation.

Features of a Prefab Cabin

prefab cabins vs stick built cabins
  • Outside Features
  • Roof Styles
  • Material Options (Look and feel)
  • Inside Features
  • Interior Finish or Shell Frame
  • Kitchen Options
  • Bath Options
  • Fireplace Options
  • HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning)

When Should You Not Buy a Prefab Cabin?

prefab cabin

Perhaps you want to feel the same way as when your grandpa first taught you how to use a tool and create wooden “masterpieces” with your own hands. You might want to feel the same nostalgic ambiance after many years of inspired carpentry thanks to your dear Grandpa or Grandma. Perhaps now you feel the importance of mentoring your kids as your grandpa or grandma had once mentored you back in the day. You may want to pass on the wood-working passion to your kids, grandkids, or other close relatives. It does not even have to be for anyone around you. It could just be for yourself and your desire to recollect and feel that sweet taste of nostalgia once again.

If you want to experience the “good old days” again, you should not buy a prefab cabin. You may be a perfect candidate to buy a cabin kit and build it during your personal hobby time. No rush, just taking it easy and enjoying every single piece you put together.

When Should You Buy a Prefab Cabin?

when should you buy a prefab cabin

Prefab cabins are the latest global novelty and have caught the interest of thousands across America and Europe. Due to its modern speed coupled with expertise and efficiency, prefab cabins are replacing the age-old, tedious construction methods. Nowadays, most people order their life essentials online due to their rigorous, busy work lives. Prefab cabins are available online as well. It is as simple as pulling up the website, picking the specific layout that matches your exact needs, choosing personal customization, and then ordering it. This is the beauty of a prefab cabin, it saves time while offering top-notch quality. When your time is limited, a prefab cabin is your perfect match.

Buying a prefab cabin will save you time and help you avoid all kinds of confusion, stress, and frustration associated with the other building routes previously mentioned. All thanks to the prefab cabin’s ingenious method of off-site build in a factory and smooth and speedy delivery to your property. Imagine how much time you would have spent watching your stick-built cabin coming together and all the potential interruptions due to the weather and other factors created by an outdoor building environment. Instead of unnecessary stress and prolonged construction, you will now be enjoying your new getaway cabin with your family and friends sooner than you would have ever dreamed!

When your precious time is much more important than wasting time on things like supervising people building your cabin, that is when you should buy a prefab cabin.

Get a Prefab Cabin from GEMCO!

get a prefab cabin from gemco

If you are unsure about which prefab cabin is the right fit for your needs, we invite you to schedule an appointment with our experts. We are ready and available to partner with you to discover the prefab cabin of your dreams!

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