Comparing Panelized Homes vs. Modular Prefabricated Homes
Workplace Inspiration

Comparing Panelized Homes vs. Modular Prefabricated Homes

|May 2, 2024

If you are looking forward to moving to a new place or starting living by yourself for the first time, you must have heard of modular and panelized homes. These residential settings are often more affordable than average options and offer benefits you won’t get with the latter.

The idea of getting a prefabricated house is really appealing when you think you are the first one who will live in that place. However, there are several kinds of preset options on the market. Read this page to learn more about modular houses and panelized home kits.

This page will show you options and the main benefits they offer. You can also go to the Autonomous website to look for studio office and house furniture for your new place.

What Are Panelized Prefabricated Homes?

Panelized prefabricated homes are structures built with pre-made wall panels taken to the construction site. Companies make those panels in a factory and assemble them where the client wants the place.

Typically, people need to build panelized prefabricated homes in sections before taking them to the building site for the final assembly. Therefore, transportation costs are often affordable.

Specific companies and contractors are the ones who offer these products. They become more popular each month, so more retailers are starting to develop their own versions of a prefab house. You can either ask for a specific design that matches your needs or buy a preset option from the company’s catalog.

What Are Panelized Prefabricated Homes

What Are Modular Prefabricated Homes?

Modular homes follow the same idea of giving you a prefabricated house. In this case, companies look for a factory-controlled environment to make the modules and sections of the house.

Transportation costs are more expensive with modular houses because modules are harder to move than wall panels. Apart from transportation, the assembly process for both products is different.

The modules companies use for the house are taken for their assembly, while wall panels are already assembled and only need you to put them where you want them. Both types of homes offer excellent benefits, so pick the one that best suits your needs.

Regardless of that, panelized homes are more popular than modular houses at the moment.

What Are Modular Prefabricated Homes

Benefits of Panelized vs. Modular Prefab Homes

The best way to understand which option is best for you between modular and panelized construction kits is to analyze the benefits both offer. While they share some similarities, they are not the same.

However, before looking at the differences between them, we want to check what they have in common. The first perk of getting a prefabricated home is that the construction process takes less time.

Construction companies can take a few days or weeks to get the place done. Regular houses could take up to months. Apart from that, prefabricated homes are often more affordable than standard ones.

The reason for this is the reduced labor costs and faster construction time for the project. Being more affordable doesn’t mean compromising quality, though. These properties are highly customizable since they are made to match your needs and preferences.

Benefits of Panelized vs. Modular Prefab Homes

That being said, panelized prefabricated settings give you many things you don’t get with modular ones.

It’s way easier for companies to transport panelized houses than it is with modular homes. The process is simple since they just load the wall panels into flatbed trucks and drive them to the construction site.

Since people use flatbed trucks for the transportation process, you can take the wall panels wherever you want. This includes remote locations.

People need huge trucks to transport the modules of a modular home kit, which makes it truly expensive to take them to places far from the factory where they made them.

Taking that aside, building panelized homes takes shorter than modular homes. The whole project can be ready in about 10 weeks. On the other hand, construction companies will take up to four months to completely assemble modules where you want them.

Energy-wise, it’s also better to get panelized homes. While not all of them are like that, you can order your house with structural insulated panels. They are energy-efficient and can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Modular homes are more energy-efficiency

Modular homes are more energy-efficient than traditional houses but still don’t get to the efficiency level panelized options deliver. The same happens with durability since both options are durable, but panelized settings are stronger.

Although they are still made in a factory, modular homes are similar to traditional houses. Panelized ones can withstand severe weather conditions for years. That doesn’t mean all panelized house kits are like that, but most of them are highly resistant.

Everything depends on how strong the panels they use for the house are. Since they come from a factory, they aren’t exposed to weather. Thanks to that, they are safe from external agents such as mold.

If you care about the environment, you will also love panelized homes. They produce less waste than modular homes because all the construction process happens in a factory-controlled environment. Therefore, workers can know the exact amount of lumber they need for the project.

Panelized homes are more customizable than modular ones. The former lets you use different panel designs and floors while the latter makes you stick to taking modules together.

Do Panelized Homes Offer More Design Flexibility Than Modular Ones?

Panelized homes offer more design flexibility than modular homes. Since modules always come in rectangles or squares, they can’t go out of the box (literally) and try more appealing or innovative designs. You could get a bit creative with the interior of the place, though.

However, panelized construction homes offer a lot of design flexibility. You can choose any kind of wall panel you want and change what you want about the floor plan.

Do Panelized Homes Offer More Design Flexibility Than Modular Ones?

What Is the Best Kind of Prefabricated Home?

If you need a standard place to work, you could get a modular home. They often offer a lot of space, so you could use them for many activities.

However, if you want to live in a visually appealing place you can customize, you want a panelized prefabricated home. When you study all the benefits and setbacks both options bring, you could say that panelized ones are considerably better.

Panelized home kits generally offer more benefits than modular ones for a more affordable price. They are also energy-efficient, so living in them can save you a lot of money in the long term.

This doesn’t mean modular homes are not good, though. They are still excellent options that give you more benefits than average properties but are not as good as panelized ones.

Regardless of that, the quality of the panelized home kits you buy depends on the retailer you get them from. The same happens with their price, but it’s easy to find affordable prefab homes online.

What Is the Best Kind of Prefabricated Home?

About Autonomous ADUs

Anyone looking for a prefab ADU can turn their eyes to what Autonomous has to offer. This company focuses on office furniture, so it offers many products to make the average worker’s life easier and more comfortable.

In this case, it released a new series of ADUs for people to work outside their houses and be safe from external distractions. We are talking about the WorkPod, WorkPod Lite, and StudioPod.

As often happens with Autonomous lineups, all the products share some features. However, they are essentially different and mean to cover various needs and preferences. It’s worth noting that they are more affordable than many other options on the market.

One of the main benefits of choosing these ADUs is that, since they come from Autonomous, they often include other products from the same company. Thanks to that, you don’t have to waste money on office furniture and can cut to work right after you install it.

Building permits are often a struggle for people buying ADUs or panelized home kits. Autonomous thought of that, and due to the measurements and features of the pods it offers, you don’t need a building permit for them in most localities.

That means you need to buy the pod and install it to start using it. Check if that applies to your town before doing anything, though. 

workpod for designer

Now that you know that, it’s time to learn more about what these products offer. Here is a brief review of what you can get from these Autonomous ADUs:


Starting with the WorkPod, it’s important to say that this product has shipping to most states in the United States and a one-year warranty. Its price is highly competitive too.

As its name suggests, the main goal of this home office pod is to give you a space to work peacefully. Therefore, it comes with all the features you need to do it.

First, you should know that the WorkPod gives you all the space you need for all your daily office-related activities. It’s also sound-insulated to keep distractions outside your workstation. The pod also comes with a SmartDesk Connect, ErgoChair Plus, an anti-fatigue mat, a bookshelf, and a cabinet.

Regardless of that, you have the option to order the pod with no furniture to save costs. Clients in California can request installation services if they want to.

The installation process is simple and will take just a couple of days. You can install this backyard office pod in any terrain you want.

However, this pod’s best feature is that it comes pre-wired with all the outlets and lighting you need. That means you only need to install it and can get to work right away.

WorkPod Lite

The WorkPod Lite is a smaller, more affordable version of the previous product on the list. Autonomous made this product for people who may not want all the features of the full version to enjoy its core ones for a better price.

Since this modern ADU comes with the key benefits the WorkPod gave you, it comes pre-wired, and it’s compatible with any terrain. It’s indeed smaller than its full version, but it gives you all the space you need for office work.

Similar to the other products in the lineup, the WorkPod Lite is waterproof and sound-insulated. Apart from that, it’s highly durable and weather-resistant, so you won’t need to replace it after a few months or years.

Remember it’s a lite version of the WorkPod, though. This ADU doesn’t come with any additional furniture pieces.


While the WorkPod and its light version are popular among Autonomous clients, the flagship product of the lineup is the StudioPod. The reason people like this ADU so much is that you can use it for a wide variety of purposes.

Naturally, you can work there but also practice yoga, watch movies, play video games, or even sleep. This studio shed comes with an electric cabinet, TV shelf, desk, small shelf, regular cabinet, sofa table, sofa, and a big shelf.

Apart from being weatherproof and prewired, the best thing this pod offers is how customizable its space is. Needless to say, it’s also sound-insulated, durable, and visually appealing. Since the product comes pre-wired, you can use this prefab backyard studio once after you get it.

In a nutshell, when you buy the StudioPod, you get the opportunity to have a tiny house in your backyard.

Final Thoughts

Although modular construction homes are excellent, they are not as good as what panelized homes offer. When you get one, you can enjoy more benefits than what you get with an average house but for a more affordable price and less construction time.

Panelized construction houses are better than modular ones thanks to how customizable they are. Apart from that, they take less time to build, and you can ask your contractor to take them to your property wherever you need them.

Regardless of that, try to stay aware of building permits in case you need one for your new home.

If you are interested in the pods mentioned on this page, go to the Autonomous website. There, you will learn everything you need to know about them and how to get one. It also has several blog posts like this one.

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