The Differences Between a Mobile Office Trailer and Modular Building
Over the past 20 years, the concept of ‘selling space’ has evolved into a full-blown industry. The two most common types of temporary space available for lease or purchase are the mobile office trailer and the modular building. Both are used by a broad range of industries that include but are not limited to, education, government, healthcare, retail, and construction.
What is a Mobile Office Trailer?
Mobile office trailers are self-contained, portable units that provide office and storage space. They’re most commonly used as a temporary space solution when speed and budget take priority over customization and longevity.
How Long Does it Take to Set Up a Mobile Office Trailer?
Due to their simple design and portable nature, mobile offices require far less assembly and time to prepare until they’re ready for occupancy. The time it takes to for a mobile office to be delivered and fully ready is often between 5-10 days but in some cases can be done in 24 hours.
Who uses Mobile Office trailers?
Everyone! Mobile office trailers are designed for those who need short-term space quickly. The most common examples of industries that use them include.
- Energy and Power
- Event and Festivals
How Much do Mobile Office Trailers cost?
When to Rent vs. Buy
Consider the cost of renting a trailer to be $400 per month while the cost of buying one is $4,800. It becomes clear that after 12 months, you’d be better off buying instead of renting. However, if possible, renting is convenient because it removes any hassle of owning the asset and dealing with it once you no longer need it. When dealing with shorter time frames it can be best to rent a trailer since most of them are designed to last about 5-10 years.
What are the Customization Options?
While they don’t have full customization, they do have amenities you can add on should you need them. For example, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), showers, toilets, a kitchen, or rest areas. Typically, washrooms come in larger trailers.
What is a Modular Building?
Modular buildings are fully customizable structures that are capable of providing temporary or permanent solutions for any business. These buildings are made out of modules that are built off-site in a factory which are then brought onsite to be quickly assembled.
How Long Does it Take to Construct a Modular Building?
Modular construction typically takes about 6 to 18 weeks depending on the size of the building, taking far longer to finish than mobile office trailers. This is because they’re more durable and built for more customization. Additionally, they’re generally used for much longer periods of time, up to 50 years or potentially more, so more work gets put into making sure they’re built properly.
Who Uses Modular Buildings?
Modular buildings closely resemble traditional construction but are becoming many businesses’ first choice because they greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a project without sacrificing any quality. Industries that commonly use modular buildings include, but aren’t limited to.
- Commercial Housing
- Industrial & Energy
- Offices & Administration
How Much Do Modular Buildings Cost?
Temporary modular buildings average the $35-$100 per square foot range while permanent ones average $50-$300 per square foot. When you throw the following customization options into the mix, the typical range falls in the $70-$400 per square foot range.
- Quality of Materials
- Degree of Customization
When to Rent vs. Buy a Modular Building?
Most people choose to buy modular buildings instead of renting them because they’re designed to last for decades. Given that, they can still work for temporary solutions if you need something more robust than a mobile office. If you want to get more of your money’s worth, we recommend buying a modular building, not renting one.
What are the Customization Options for Modular Buildings?
Unlike mobile offices, modular buildings are entirely customizable. Whether it's a permanent modular building or not, you have full control over the type of materials, colors, style, size, amenities, utilities, or even an additional floor. Your budget and imagination are the only things in your way.
In short, a modular building is similar to a mobile office in that it is a temporary structure, just on a larger scale. Modularity could be the way to go if your business needs multiple classrooms, floors, or buildings. If your business is just looking for a temporary office or classroom to utilize until a permanent structure is built, the mobile office trailer may be more your style.