Modular vs. Prefab Buildings: What’s the Difference?

Explore Mobile Modular's blogs for insights into our modular construction solutions. We cater to diverse industries, providing flexible, timely, and top-tier modular buildings. Delve into our blogs as a comprehensive knowledge center, offering resources and experienced perspectives to learn about Mobile Modular's processes and how modular construction can be the optimal solution for your specific needs.

    April 20, 2022

    Modular vs. Prefab Buildings: What’s the Difference?

    Modular & Prefab Buildings For Sale

    Mobile Modular provides buildings that can be considered prefab and modular in nature. While these terms may seem interchangeable, they are not the same thing. While all modular buildings are prefabricated, not all prefabricated buildings are modular. Mobile Modular’s modular, prefabricated buildings are a cost-effective modular space solution for various sectors.

    What Is Prefab?

    Prefab refers to a pre-made individual piece or part of an overall building structure. Prefab structures and materials are always created off-site in a climate-controlled factory environment, ensuring unmatched quality. Prefabricated materials or modules are later transported to an on-site location for installation.

    Types Of Prefab Structures

    Examples of prefabricated structures used in modular construction include:

    • Bathroom pods
    • Assembled ductwork
    • Precast walls, staircases, or floors
    • Window panels

    Modular Buildings

    Modular buildings are fully encapsulated, volumetric modules made out of prefabricated materials. The use of pre-made components accelerates the modular construction process. Discover your ideal office, classroom, university dormitory, church, healthcare clinic, or government-use building with Mobile Modular.

    Prefabricated Modular Construction Process

    Mobile Modular crafts custom modular buildings using prefabricated materials. This approach reduces costs and construction time, ensuring your organization receives its structure promptly.


    No matter your industry, we've got experience—Mobile Modular has vast expertise across sectors. We're eager to discuss your organization's specifics, but rest assured, we've designed and built numerous schools, clinics, churches, and offices. We'll discuss space size, optimal layout, and suitable materials and aesthetics. During the design phase, we'll also decide on the best foundation type, secure necessary permits, and obtain building approvals from structural engineers.


    After finalizing your plans, our contractors initiate the module build(s) in a climate-controlled factory. This efficient process, free from weather hazards or site-related delays, ensures your project remains on schedule. Everything, from doors to floors to plumbing to painting, is perfected before the building departs the warehouse for your site.

    Transportation & Installation

    Your new modular building is nearing completion! Our team ensures careful module loading, transportation to the site, and placement on the prepared foundation (often via crane). Once utilities are activated, your new space is ready for use.

    Benefits Of Using Prefabricated Construction

    Advantages of using prefab materials in new, modular construction include:

    • Efficiency: Fewer crew members can complete projects faster.
    • No Delays: No waiting for components to ship ensures timely construction.
    • Quick Turnaround: Prefabricated buildings are completed faster than traditional on-site builds.
    • Cost-Effectiveness: The efficient, repeatable process offers savings.
    • Superior Quality: Indoor construction protects from weather-related issues, often resulting in higher standards.
    • Sustainability: Prefabricated, modular buildings produce less waste.
    • Less Disruption: Modular construction reduces noise pollution, equipment emissions, and foot traffic.

    Types Of Modular Buildings Offered By Mobile Modular

    Mobile Modular has new and used modular buildings for every industry and their needs. 

    • Modular offices: No matter what kind of business you have, a reliable, welcoming office is key to productivity. Impress potential employees and customers with a custom space that serves your team in every way, permanently, or while your current office is under construction. 
    • Modular classrooms: If your district is experiencing an influx of new students, or if your current building is in serious need of a modern revamp, modular classroom buildings are the best way to quickly accommodate classes of all sizes. We offer single and double classrooms, as well as entire educational complexes. 
    • Modular healthcare facilities: From university clinics to dental offices to veterinarians offices to urgent cares to imaging labs, modular healthcare buildings are perfect for customizing your new space or adding onto an existing hospital. During the pandemic, temporary modular healthcare buildings really came in handy for hospitals seeing patient surges. 
    • Modular churches: Create a vibrant, warm space for your religious organization. Whether your congregation is growing, or you temporarily need a place to use for youth groups or administrative work, VESTA provides spaces of all sizes. 
    • Modular jobsite trailers: If you work in the construction industry, the oil industry, or somewhere rather remote, you’re familiar with temporary jobsite trailers. Mobile Modular provides delivery all over— contact us today to get more information on securing a space as soon as possible for your project.  
    • Modular government buildings: Municipalities need safe, secure, sturdy spaces for their endeavors. Modular buildings can be made from an array of durable materials and be fitted with additional security measures when necessary. 
    • Permanent modular buildings: While we do have many refurbished modular buildings for rent, we also sell them, as well as customized modular spaces. A modular building will always be more affordable than a traditionally built structure—save money and receive higher quality with permanent modular construction. 
    • Temporary modular buildings: We offer flexible lease terms for modular buildings and are happy to work with you on your specific needs. Generally, if you need a building for less than five years, a lease is recommended. 

    Customize Your Prefabricated Modular Building Today

    Interested in a modular building for your organization? Contact us today—Mobile Modular offers prefab modular buildings for sale and lease.

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