What is the difference between a modular home and a traditional home?

Modular homes are similar to traditional homes. The same type of building materials and craftsmanship go into building a modular home. However, the way the home is built is the main difference.

In traditional home building, a home is built on the site from the ground up. Many factors determine when the home will be finished, including weather. Modular homes are built in a climate-controlled environment and are then transported to the site for final construction.

This type of construction saves time and money for the home owner, while producing a quality home that will last for years to come.

How are modular homes built?

A modular home can be built from existing plans or generated from your ideas of your “dream home.” There are so many options to choose from. The modular home system uses computer generated plans to meet all national, state, and local building standards.

Framing for a modular home is the same as a traditional home except that modular homes use 20 to 30 percent more material to guarantee a safe trip to the site. Modular homes are built in a climate-controlled environment using the same high quality materials used in traditionally built homes. Quality control is maintained throughout the building process.

Construction of a modular home follows the same path as traditionally built homes. The floor is built first, with great care taken to build a strong foundation, since this is what will carry the weight of the rest of the structure. Next, the walls are added with sheet rock already in place. Electrical, plumbing, wiring, and insulation are next.

After this, the exterior, roofing, and siding are put in place. And finally, windows, doors, bath and kitchen fixtures, cabinets, and others are added. Once the construction is complete, the structure is wrapped and shipped to the building site to be put together by a local contractor.

What happens once my home reaches the site?

The local contractor will have completed the site work by the time your home is ready to be shipped from the factory. Excavation, foundations, and footings will be already in place and ready for your home.

Great care is taken during this process to insure that exact measurements have been made for installation of utilities (electric, water, and sanitation).

Your home will arrive and be placed on the foundation. Once in place, the home should be ready within 2 to 3 weeks.

Why should I buy a modular home?

Because modular homes are built in factories, you benefit from the assembly line production process. Labor is used with maximum efficiency, with skilled craftsman moving between workstations on the factory floor. Superior quality control, reduced waste, and faster completion (30-90 days versus 4-9 months for site-built construction) are primary benefits.

Other benefits include less maintenance and lower energy bills, as well as the ability to design your own home with all of the amenities you want. Plus, financing is easy, and these homes really hold their resale value!

The real truth behind the myths about modular homes

Many people say that modular homes can be bought for just a fraction of the price of a tradition homes. And, although modular home are a bargain, you should be realistic in your expectations. You should expect a savings in the price as well as saving in maintenance and energy costs. But be alert to something that sounds too good to be true. It probably is.

Sometimes the myth that a small modular home is the best buy can seem like a true idea. However, because modular homes are a great value, the cost efficiency savings will increase as the size of the home increases. The greatest savings in a modular home comes from the materials and labor. It is logical then to understand that the larger the home, the greater savings on the materials and labor. However, your modular home builder should be able to assess your needs based on your individual lifestyle.

Finally, many people are under the assumption that modular homes are more difficult to finance. This is untrue. In fact, because of the popularity that modular homes have gained in recent years, many financial institutions are excited about financing a modular home. Visit our “Financing your new home” section to learn more.

Other Frequently Asked Questions About Modular Homes

  1. How long does the building process take? Typically, a home of two sections can be built in a couple of weeks. This includes interior finishes, such as carpet and walls treatments. Once the home is completed in the factory and arrives at the site, the local contractor has a list of tasks to complete. This takes normally 2 to 3 weeks.
  2. Are modular homes the same as manufactured homes? Modular homes are not the same as manufactured homes. Manufactured homes, also called mobile homes, are constructed according to the Federal Construction Safety Standards Act (HUD/CODE), and are required to be constructed on a non-removable steel chassis. Modular homes are constructed to the same building codes as traditionally built homes for state and county codes. Approval by State or inspection agencies are required.
  3. What does a modular home look like? A modular homes looks like any traditionally built homes, with styles ranging from ranch to contemporary. And many modular home builders are producing buildings such as banks, office buildings, schools, and even hotels. You can design your own home to customize it for your lifestyle.
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