The Tiny house Blog

Boxabl Homes Review: Comparing with Traditional Houses

Updated on:
February 5, 2024

The construction industry has been increasingly changing across the world. As more and more people shift towards sustainable living, companies like Boxabl Homes are offering a novel solution that promises not just a roof over your head but a vision of the future.

Prefabricated homes like Boxabl are becoming increasingly popular, enhancing home construction’s efficiency, affordability, speed, and flexibility.

But how do they compare to traditional homes?

Are they as durable, eco-friendly, and worth the investment?

Whether you are planning to buy a new home for your family or as an investor, you have been wondering about the future of housing and considering a Boxabl; understanding how prefab homes compare to traditional houses is crucial.

In this blog piece, we will answer the above questions and explore the differences between them, discussing their key features, pros, and cons in detail. 

The information we share here will give you the necessary answers to make a wise investment decision.

Let’s begin! 

What are the main differences between Boxabl homes and traditional homes?

The main differences between Boxabl homes and traditional homes are significant and encompass various aspects of construction, design, cost, and environmental impact. Here’s a breakdown of these critical distinctions:

Speed of construction 

One of the most apparent differences between Boxabl homes and traditional houses is the time it takes to build one. 

A traditionally built house usually takes 10 to 12 months or longer to finish.  In contrast, Boxabl homes can be made faster and more efficiently due to the manufacturer’s control over the materials and transportation process. 

Because Boxabl houses are built indoors, factors that can lead to delays, like rain or snow, can be avoided. 

Also, beyond speed in manufacturing the home, once ready and on-site, the house can be assembled in a few hours. 

If you have a specific time limit for transitioning from your existing home to a new one, consider a prefab house for time savings.

Customization options

Traditional homes offer more customization options in your home layout, style, and size to suit your liking. 

In contrast, although Boxabl homes can still provide some customization, they typically follow a standardized design of the manufacturer.

Design flexibility

In addition to their customization option differences, another difference between Boxabl  Homes and traditional houses is the flexibility of their design. 

As mentioned, traditional homes offer more customization opportunities. Still, concerning design flexibility, Boxabl homes are more flexible regarding mobility. 

Unlike conventional homes, they can be disassembled quickly and relocated smoothly to different locations, significantly reducing the ultimate demand for raw materials, expended energy, and overall time expense.

Cost-effectiveness 

Boxabl homes are mostly more cost-effective than traditional homes due to design standardization, less on-site material transportation, a lessened impact of weather, and reduced construction time. 

Maintenance 

Compared to traditional houses, Boxabl homes have lower maintenance costs, saving homeowners time and money in the long run due to the type of materials used in their construction.

Environmental impact 

If you visit any conventionally built site, you will notice the amount of waste produced during construction. 

In contrast, Boxabl homes tend to be more eco-friendly, as they are designed with energy efficiency in mind and are built with eco-friendly materials, including steel, concrete, laminated panels, and EPS foam, each contributing to their environmental friendliness to some extent.

Furthermore, because Boxabl homes are limited to assembly, like all prefab houses, there is less dust and noise, with carbon emissions 38% lower.

Longevity 

Traditional homes are often perceived as more durable and long-lasting, primarily when constructed with high-quality materials and craftsmanship. Boxabl Homes are just as good, if not better built, than many traditionally made houses.

Using durable materials such as steel, concrete, and EPS, Boxabl ensures that its homes pass the durability test.

These materials can withstand harsh weather conditions, including hurricane-speed winds and heavy snow loads. Hence, the home is rated for both hurricane-speed winds and snow load.

In addition, Boxabl homes are built in a factory setting on an assembly line, meaning the manufacturing process of every piece is under intense quality control.

Safety 

Construction is a dangerous line of work. With 951 work fatalities in 2021, construction and extraction workers ranked second in the United States for fatal occupational injuries.

When you delve down that figure, construction workers are the majority, with 726 in that year alone. 

But because modular houses like Boxabl homes are made in a controlled, factory environment, reportable accidents decrease by 80% compared to traditional building methods.

Resale value

Generally, traditional houses are known to appreciate over time. However, you may be surprised to learn that prefabricated dwellings such as those made by Boxabl  Homes are appraised like traditional homes.

The resale value of Boxabl  Homes isn’t dictated by whether it is prefabricated or not but rather by the location, amenities, and quality of materials, among other vital factors.

Boxabl homes overview

Boxabl home
A backyard view of Boxabl Casita

Boxabl homes are prefabricated houses revolutionizing the standard of housing construction through advanced manufacturing. These modular housing systems are designed to cater to individuals who want to break free from the burden of a 30-year mortgage and the lifelong commitment of traditional homeownership.

It’s no longer big news that Boxabl homes are redefining compact living with signature models like the Casita offered by Boxabl, which unboxes into a full livable house consisting of a single-bedroom apartment, a full-sized kitchen, living area, and a bedroom, encompasses all the essential utilities and amenities you’d expect from a contemporary living space.

Purpose of Boxabl

The purpose of Boxabl is profound in that they are looking at the heart of the housing crisis or the inefficiencies caused by old, outdated home construction methods.

The founders believe that since many of the products we use daily, from breakfast cereal to cars, are mass-produced, why aren’t our homes? 

With this question in mind and action towards providing an ultra-modern, flexible, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional homes, Boxabl factories are paving the way to:

  • Revolutionize the standard of housing construction.
  • Mass-produce homes that are inexpensive.
  • Provide customization options for homeowners, which can be done after you receive your box home.

Key features of Boxabl homes

Key features of Boxabl homes
An overview of a BOXABL Casita

Boxabl Homes is more than just a sustainable dwelling choice. They are packed with features that cater to modern-day demands, ensuring homeowners receive the best of both worlds: an eco-friendly home with conveniences. 

Let’s look at some of the most notable features of Boxabl Homes.

Laminated panels

Boxabl home walls are built with metal structurally integrated panels (SIPs), which are known to be resistant to mold. And as long as the wall remains laminated, they will continue to stay immune to condensation problems.

Built with eco-friendly materials

Materials like steel and styrofoam (EPS) panels, which are used in building these homes, do not give off gas, making it a safe housing option for those who are chemically sensitive. The interior surfaces feature a magnesium oxide (MgO) board, which is also known for its low or no off-gassing.

Beautiful interior finishing

The interior finish materials include already glued-down vinyl, MDF-Based laminate countertops, and conventional cabinetry. 

Modular Design

Boxabl homes are constructed in a factory as modular units or "boxes." These boxes can be transported to the building site and assembled quickly and efficiently. This modular approach significantly reduces construction time.

Pros of Boxabl Homes

Pros of Boxabl Homes
An interior view of a BOXABL Home

The following are the advantages Boxabl  Homes have over traditional homes.

Shorter build times, lower risk

Since Boxabl is prefabs, factors contributing to delayed building projects, which can also result in it costing more than intended, can be avoided. 

Weather, for example, can cause projects to be delayed by up to 21%. This does not account for future rework, which can cost up to 5% of the contract value of your project

However, with Boxabl, you can cut your project’s completion time by more than a third and boost schedule certainty by 90%. 

More affordable

One of the most apparent advantages of Boxabl homes is their affordability. These homes are typically less expensive than site-built homes because manufacturing is more efficient and requires less labor.

You can order a decent factory-built modular home for less than $100,000.

Highly durable and safe

Boxabl houses are built in a controlled environment with construction managers supervising work quality and production components. 

Their use of reinforced concrete, steel, and other high-quality components ensures their safety. 

They are so sturdy that they can endure extreme climate conditions and hazards, including hurricanes, fire, snow, bugs, etc. 

If you want a house that will keep you and your family safe, a Boxabl home is a fantastic choice.

Improved project safety 

Construction is a dangerous profession, and the numbers say it all. 58.6% of construction worker deaths are due to one of the “fatal four” leading causes of private sector working fatalities (falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and being caught in something or between two objects). 

Offsite construction like Boxabl increases efficiency and safety, thereby mitigating these hazards. For these reasons, they are encouraged in the UK.

More environmentally friendly

Since the homes are made in a controlled setting with systems for collecting and using construction materials, less time is spent transporting materials and personnel to and from the job site, meaning fewer emissions. 

In addition, their use of recyclable materials leads to little or no waste during production, which benefits the environment.

Portability

Boxabl homes are designed to be easily transportable. This means they can be relocated to different sites if needed, offering flexibility to homeowners.

Energy efficient

Another pro of Boxabl Home is that they're energy efficient. Thanks to custom insulation technology boasting a high R-value, these homes minimize thermal bridging, Which means you'll save money on your monthly energy expenses. 

Cons of Boxabl homes

Boxabl homes have a lot of benefits, but they may not be for everyone. Here, we will outline the three possible cons of Boxabl homes.

Restrictions on the land 

Some areas have covenants on the land which specify that only brick homes can be built. These often limit the location of where Boxabl home can be set up.

Difficulty integrating into built-up areas 

Although Boxabl takes much of the hassle out of the building process, specifically in built-up urban areas, it is not easy to negotiate when assembling the sections. 

For example, a tiny lane with multiple power lines may not be ideal for bringing in prefab sections as it could delay setup and escalate installation costs.

Limited customization option

You don’t have as many customization options in a Boxabl home as you might want. Hence, you will have to spend more money on a Boxabl home to add any extra add-on you want. 

For example, it comes with an already glued-down vinyl floor, so if you would like the option to choose your own healthy floor, it would be challenging to do so.

What is the cost of a Boxabl in the US?

The cost of a Boxabl can range between $50,000 to $70,000 in the US. This price does not include shipping and other expenses like land and any home upgrades you would like installed.

For delivery to your choice location, consider shipping, which will cost you between $3-$10/mile from North Las Vegas, where they are located.

If you want one right now, Boxabl has partnered with several financial institutions to provide financing options for potential homeowners. 

They understand that price is critical, so they ensure the buying process is as seamless as possible with a 30-year mortgage offered by many of their financial partners.

For more information on financing possibilities, read: Can You Finance a Boxabl Home? (Explained!)

Overview of traditional homes

Traditionally, built homes are constructed on a specific site (location), where they stand permanently after completion. 

This home construction method has existed for ages and often takes several months to years for completion. 

Here’s an overview highlighting its key features, pros and cons:

Key features of traditional homes

Boxabl houses are more flexible, affordable, and sustainable than traditional homes; however, they have been the standard for years. 

Let’s look at some of their most notable features.

Customization 

Homeowners can custom-design traditional-built houses to soothe their preferences from the ground up. This flexibility in design choice leads to a diverse range of conventionally built home styles.

Materials

Like Boxabl, traditional homes use durable materials like brick, wood, concrete, and stone, contributing to their longevity and classic appearance.

Time-tested design elements

Traditional homes typically incorporate design elements that have stood the test of time, including fireplaces, intricate molding, and stately facades.

Space and size

Traditional homes offer ample living space, making them suitable for larger families or homeowners wanting room to spread out.

Pros of traditional homes

The following are the advantages traditional homes may have over Boxabl homes.

Compatibility with luxury materials

Traditional homes can be built to have features and designs you will not find in a Boxabl house. This is because the materials and style may not suit the modular house.

Offers more customization options

Traditional house gives room for design options that will be challenging to achieve in a Boxabl house. Hence, homeowners can create a home that truly reflects their preferences and lifestyle needs.

Appreciate in value

Traditional home, the norm for ages, is still an attractive choice for home investment with a high resale value potential.

Cons of traditional homes

Here are some of the limitations of traditional homes: 

Longer build time

Compared to Boxabl, a conventional home takes longer to build. Apart from possible financial constraints, weather conditions, shortage of skilled labor, and other factors can also contribute to the delayed build time.

Higher construction cost

The initial cost of building an on-site house is costly compared to modular homes.

Generate more waste during construction

On-site construction produces more waste of leftover materials that often end up in a landfill, which does not benefit the environment.

High maintenance

Conventional homes cost more to maintain since they are larger and often occupied by large-sized families; this is beside factors like aging, which can lead to higher maintenance and repair costs.

Energy inefficient

Most regular homes do not offer the same energy efficiency standards Boxabl offers, potentially resulting in higher utility bills.

Boxabl vs traditional homes, which one should I buy?

Choosing between a Boxabl home and a traditional home is a significant decision. To help you make an informed choice, we'll explore the following key aspects:

Are Boxabl homes durable?

Boxabl homes are designed to be durable, but are they as durable as the average traditionally built home? The quick answer is yes.

Boxabl homes are built using long-lasting materials, including steel, concrete, and EPS. 

These materials can withstand the most extreme weather conditions and are rated to withstand floods, heavy snow loads, fire, hurricanes and earthquakes, and tornadoes.

Also, proper home maintenance ensures home longevity. Compared to traditional homes, Boxabl’s use of premium quality laminate panels will help you save money and time on maintenance over time.

Read also: Are Boxabl Homes Hurricane Proof? (Answered).

Are Boxabl homes eco-friendly?

Are Boxabl homes eco-friendly?
View Coleus, a stylish tiny home built with functionality.

Currently, people are more eco-conscious than ever. Maybe you, too, care about the impact your home investment would have on the environment.

Concerning Boxabl, the materials used in building the houses, their processes, and features make their home more eco-friendly than many traditionally built homes. 

To ensure that their home is friendly to the environment, Boxabl uses recyclable and sustainable materials in their construction process to ensure minimal waste and low carbon footprint of their homes.

The steel, concrete, laminated panels, and EPS foam used by Boxabl each contribute to their eco-friendliness. 

For example, the laminated panels used in the home are made with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are known to contribute to better indoor air quality with less harm to the environment.

Because EPS foam has insulation properties, which help prevent heat loss and reduce energy consumption, Boxabl uses it to build their homes. 

In addition, Boxabl homes are also designed to be energy efficient with their use of energy-efficient appliances, water-saving fixtures, and solar-readiness, making them more eco-friendly in this regard.

For more on this, read: What Are Boxabl Homes Made Of?

How long do Boxabl homes last?

As mentioned, Boxabl homes are built using steel, concrete, EPS, and laminated panels. These materials dont degrade. Hence, homes constructed with such materials will last a long time.

Concrete is primarily a long-lasting building material, but when meticulously reinforced with steel, it forms a solid foundation that ensures the structural integrity of a house.

In addition, as noted, Boxabl homes are designed to resist both harsh weather conditions and other hazards like flood, fire, bugs, and hurricanes that will destroy other housing options like stick houses.

Nevertheless, the longevity of a Boxabl home will ultimately depend on the maintenance and care provided by the homeowner over the years. 

With that said, keep in mind that a Boxabl home doesn’t include a prepackaged foundation or add-ons. Hence, the longevity estimate is on the basic structure alone, which may endure for about a hundred years.

If a prefabricated house is well-built and properly maintained, it can last 50 to 70 years, the same as a house built traditionally.

Is a Boxabl worth buying?

Now that you know the difference between Boxabl homes and traditionally built homes, it might be obvious to you now which housing option you prefer to invest in, especially if it is something you have been contemplating. 

Now, to answer the question if investing in one is worth it. Well, the answer depends on your needs and preferences. If you want to invest in a compact, low-maintenance, affordable, durable, and healthy home, then a Boxabl is worth buying. 

Besides its affordability, its potential resale value and odds to help you create a more financially stable future make investing in one a wise choice.

Aside from the above points, investing in one is worth it for the following reasons:

  • Boxabl homes are built using premium materials that underwent strict quality control checks.
  • Boxabl homes are extremely energy efficient, saving you on monthly utility bills.
  • Boxabl homes are rated to withstand extreme weather conditions and resist bugs, fire, flood, and wind. So be rest assured of your investment’s lifespan and potential for appraisal.
  • Boxabl homes are low maintenance; therefore, unlike traditional homes, the money required to maintain and manage the home is minimal.

You may also like: How Sustainable are Boxabl Homes? A Deep Dive.

How much can I invest in Boxabl? 

Presently, a Boxabl home costs around $50,000 to $70,000. This price does not include shipping and other costs. Prepare to spend between 3$ -10 $ per mile from Las Vegas to your location.

That said, you should expect to invest between $50,000-$100,000 for a fully furnished Boxabl house pre-installed with all you need to live conveniently. 

Takeaway: Boxabl is a revolutionary housing solution when compared to traditional homes

Modular and Prefab homes such as Boxabl provide long-term solutions to the growing demand for inexpensive, environmentally friendly housing. 

With many advantages over traditionally built homes, such as being cost-effective, energy-efficient, speed of construction, and design flexibility, they are quickly gaining favor among homeowners, tiny home enthusiasts, and well-known figures like Elon Musk.

While Boxabl has numerous advantages, there are some downsides, like having little customization option or permit and zoning issues in some locations. 

Nevertheless, the advantage of Boxabl homes outweighs conventional houses. 

As more people shift towards sustainable, affordable, and healthy housing options, Boxabl Homes is well-positioned to impact residential construction in the future significantly.

If you have been thinking of which type of house to invest in, we hope this piece has provided you with the answers you need to make a reasonable decision.

If you have decided to invest in a Boxabl home but aren’t sure if it is legal in your state, then you should read: Are Boxabl Homes Legal in My State? (Answered)!

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