A modular home is a factory-built home. The finished products will be transported to and assembled by a builder in their final location. Modular homes are often mistaken as mobile homes but they are homes built off-site, therefore opposing traditional on-site built homes and mobile homes. Some of their designations are factory-built, prefab (prefabricated) or system-built homes.
Differences between modular and manufactured homes.
The main difference between these two types of homes is that manufactured homes do not have permanent foundations. For that reason and because they can be moved from one location to another, manufactured homes are usually called mobile homes. The laws and regulations are different for each home and very specific for these relocations.
Differences between modular homes and site-built homes
Because they are built indoors, modular homes can be completed in weeks instead of the months it would take with traditional homes. Modular homes building process is also not affected by weather-related delays. Modular homes must comply with specific rules, building codes and guidelines that usually exceed the ones of on-site homes.
Like with any home purchase or build it is important to shop around and do your research, because the companies are all different. You can find important differences in their price, quality and service that can influence your decision.
Facts about Modular Homes
- -Modular homes are customizable.
- -Modular homes are built as permanent structures that classify them as real property.
- – Alike on-site built houses, modular homes do not depreciate in value
- -Modular homes are not all the same. They have different sizes, styles and designs.
- -Some modular home companies use CAD (Computer-Aided Design) in their modular home designs.
- -Modular homes are built faster than traditional homes.
- -Modular homes are considered eco-friendly.
- -Modular homes can be used for commercial use, like office buildings.
- -Modular homes can use crawl spaces and basements.
- -Modular homes loans, insurance premiums, and taxes are the same as site-
- built homes.
- -Modular homes can withstand winds up to 175 mph.
- -Modular homes can be built for accessible living and prepared for any future convenience.
How are modular homes produced?
Every modular home starts as sections that are factory-built in a climate-controlled building. When finished, the sections are transported to their final destination and assembled with the aid of cranes. The process is similar to building with Lego blocks. After they are placed and set on their foundations, modular homes cannot be moved.
During your home design process, it’s important to know which questions are important to ask because each manufacturer has different guidelines. Modular homes are extremely customizable due to their hundreds of personalized features. These can range from ceramic floors and high-end countertops and cabinets to exterior finishes and upgrades.
There’s a popular misconception that all modular homes look the same, but modular homes have no design limitations. You can build your house in every style you want, making it as unique as you wish.
Almost every design plan can be turned into a modular home. From a different style of window to intricate architectural detail, you can add any detail to your home thus creating your dream home.
Are modular homes more expensive than traditional homes?
Because they’re factory-built, they’re built quicker than on-site built houses and due to the lack of weather delays, prefabricated homes can save you some money. All of the necessary inspections are done and completed in the factory during construction by a third-party inspector.
However, if the home’s design and specs are more complex, the modular home will cost more. Usually the initial price does not consider electrical, plumbing and ductwork. Because of that, your final cost may be inflated by 20%. The installation of a septic system, natural gas or even a basement will also add to your final price.
How to recognize a modular home?
All modular homes have a metal tag outside of each section, or in the cabinets or closets. If you can’t locate them, there are details about the home in the electrical panel box. The manufacturing date is included in these tags.
Modular homes are built on a non-removable metal chassis. If you think that a home may be prefabricated but can’t find the tags because they were removed, look for small holes where the markers should be.
Benefits of owning a modular home
Modular homes are more affordable than traditional houses. You will save money in the construction because they have a shorter build time. You also don’t need any inspections because they were already done in the factory, therefore its cost is already included in the initial price.
Modular homes are eco-friendly and therefore much more energy-efficient, which will substantially reduce your monthly expenses. There is a wide selection of different home types to choose from and like traditional homes, every modular home can be expanded.
The land where the house will be built must be owned by the homeowner. This cost can go up to $100,000. The lots cannot be built on subdivisions. Because the builder must be paid first and in full before the process is completed or, depending on the cases before it has begun these initial fees can sometimes be costly to bear.
To facilitate this, it’s advised to get a construction loan. The loan is valid for a year and when the work is finished, the dealer will pay it off and a traditional mortgage will be in place. It is important that you know your budget and makes the best choices when shopping around.
These rules only apply to U.S. residents. Any other country resident will need to check their country’s guidelines.
Buying a modular home
You can order a pre-designed home ready to install or you can customize it to fit all of your needs and desires. No matter the choice, modular homes are a great and affordable housing option with a lot of different and great designs.