flexiblefullpage - default
Currently Reading

What's Standing in the Way of Home Builders Adopting Off-Site Methods?

billboard - default
Off-Site Construction

What's Standing in the Way of Home Builders Adopting Off-Site Methods?

Findings from Home Innovation Research Labs show home builders continue to embrace the status quo when it comes to adopting new methods, but results vary by builder type and region

January 23, 2024
Wall panels for home construction built off-site and delivered to the jobsite
Image: Bokicbo / stock.adobe.com

The ongoing chronic undersupply of skilled construction labor has spurred renewed interest in off-site construction methods such as modular and panelization. But the shift from traditional construction methods to off-site construction in home building continues to face obstacles. The question is: Does removing barriers lead to accelerated market adoption of off-site methods?

To better understand that question and to help builders overcome hurdles to adoption, Home Innovation Research Labs has been investigating home builders' attitudes to off-site since 2020. Using nationwide surveys deployed in 2021 and 2023, Home Innovation sought to discover the top reasons keeping home builders from using off-site methods and how attitudes may be shifting. In survey results from 2021, the view that on-site building works fine and there's no need to change was the No. 1 reason given by respondents. 

In September 2023, amidst changing market conditions, Home Innovation asked builders the same questions in a new survey. The “no need to change” response continued to top the list. Coming in at No. 2 was that the complexity/customization of the builder's new-home designs wasn't suited to off-site methods (45% of custom home and luxury builders selected this as one of their top three reasons, while 26% of production builders did), followed by off-site's lack of on-site adaptability for last-minute changes in the No. 3 spot, and negative homebuyer perceptions of off-site methods in fourth place.

... Because the respondent profiles were very similar, we can conclude that large differences between the two years indicate directionality of a trend. For example, two barriers rose substantially in the ranking during the 2 year period: home buyers not accepting offsite rose from the #4 position to #3. This can be readily explained that the rising interest rates over the past 2 years have put many lower-end buyers out of the market, who are typically younger and have less bias against offsite-constructed homes. This should resolve as entry-level buyers return to the market when interest rates decline. Rising from 7th position to 5th was local logistics issues.

There were also a few that fell in the rankings during the past 2 years: the barrier of adopting offsite as a major time commitment fell from the 11th place to 9th place —understandably because many builders’ production volume has declined over the past 2 years and allowed them to adopt construction practices they have previously avoided. 

Read more about the research findings


leaderboard2 - default

Related Stories

Off-Site Construction

New Study Examines Barriers and Solutions in Manufactured Housing

The study from Harvard's Joint Center looks at the challenges faced by developers using manufactured housing and how they're overcoming them

Off-Site Construction

Utah Passes Bill to Regulate Modular Construction at the State Level

Goals for housing innovation and affordability meet in Utah's passage of a new bill that establishes a statewide modular construction program

Off-Site Construction

What's Needed to Ensure Modular Construction Companies Succeed?

Factory-built housing is increasingly being hailed as a solution to the housing shortage and affordability crisis, but the companies building those homes are failing

boombox1 -
native1 - default
halfpage2 -

More in Category

Home builders can maximize efficiencies gained through simplification and standardization by automating both on-site and back-office operations 

Delaware-based Schell Brothers, our 2023 Builder of the Year, brings a refreshing approach to delivering homes and measuring success with an overriding mission of happiness

NAHB Chairman's Message: In a challenging business environment for home builders, and with higher housing costs for families, the National Association of Home Builders is working to help home builders better meet the nation's housing needs

native2 - default
halfpage1 -

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.