The modular home industry is fast becoming a trendsetter in the new home construction industry. Innovations in design and improvements in factory built technology are leading the way for the continued growth of the modular home industry.
HOME DESIGN: Modular homes are not only affordable, but have first-rate quality and a wide selection of creative designs. Gone are the days of one-size-fits all. Modern assembly lines and state of the art technology are producing unique, custom designs. The home buyer is offered an array of standard floor plans or the ability to customize a home. Exterior features like 12/12 pitched roofs, vaulted and cathedral ceilings and reversed gables, skylights, whirlpool tubs, and bay and bow window, hardwood floors, solid-surface countertops, and cedar siding are just as common in today’s modular homes as in any site-built home. Many modular floor plans offer porches, deck sunrooms and even an attached garage. In short, modular homes can be every bit as luxurious and flexible as any stick-built home placed in any neighborhood, from rural settings to up-town elegance and all done at an affordable cost.
QUALITY: Many home buyers assume that the primary advantage of modular housing is lower prices but at a cost of lower quality. This could not be further from the truth. Modular homes are better quality homes because they are built with better processes. The process includes a trained and closely supervised workforce, powerful and sophisticated equipment in the factory, home assembly using a precision roof, wall, and floor jigs, use of the highest quality lumber and materials. Each home is built in a climate-controlled facility with materials protected from the elements, construction standards that meet or exceed local and state building codes, unparalleled structural strength by using 30% more material than a traditional site-built home, superior energy efficiency, rigorous quality control systems including 3rd party inspections done right in the factory, and extended warranty coverage. Consider this; because modular homes have to be shipped over the road and then be lifted onto the foundation with a crane, they are built stronger than more conventionally built homes. Major components, such as walls, floors, and ceilings, are not only nailed together but often screwed and lag bolted together also, and they are bonded with a special adhesive. This double fastening enables modular homes to be sturdy enough to withstand miles of travel and lifted by a crane, something no stick-built house could survive without serious structural damage. Also, keep in mind, a modular home is built to the same standard building code (which they typically exceed) as any other site-built home in your neighborhood, so local zoning officials and appraisers do not distinguish between site-built and modular homes. Consequently, appraisals for modular homes are on par or higher than the actual cost of the home because of the cost savings during construction.
SPEED OF CONSTRUCTION: Building a modular home will normally save you time compared with building a conventional stick-framed house. Saving time on construction not only saves money because of the shorter construction time, but it also reduces the stress involved in home building to you and your neighbors. It is estimated that building a modular home can often be Â½ the time involved in building a site-built home. One big time-saving reason is that there are few delays caused by weather and the repair of weather-damaged items typical in site-built projects. Another big time saver is the scheduling pitfall of a traditionally built home. A small delay with a plumber can throw the electrician off and now the drywall contractor cannot get done. With a modular, you are dealing with only the site contractor. Even when a site-built home runs on time, a modular home can still be completed faster because of the concurrent building process that allows more than one job to be done at a time (foundation is built while the home is being built in the factory).
COST SAVINGS: Modular homes capitalize on the efficiencies of a central building center, providing considerable cost savings over site-built homes that are not feasible in a site or subdivision setting. These efficiencies include:
Modular home builders buy material in volume, which allows through the economy of scale, significant material discounts.
Lower labor costs: Experienced factory workers are well paid, with good benefits, but they do not command the wages paid to independent carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and painters.
Assembly-line efficiencies: Organizing the construction process with inventory controls, power tools and equipment, and quality-control systems enables the factory crews to produce a home with greater efficiency than a handful of construction workers building in the field.
Less material loss: Inclement weather does not damage the materials.
Less pilferage and vandalism: Factories are easier to secure than building sites.
Less waste: By working with standardized dimensions, modular manufacturers are better able to make optimal use of materials and avoid waste.
Additionally, the construction costs for modular homes are always fixed in advance of construction. The builder usually offers guaranteed prices for long periods of time. This process greatly reduces the possibility of cost miscalculations and overruns later. Many site builders have a price-escalation clause in their contracts that remains in force until the house is finished. If material prices were to rise sharply during the construction of a stick-built home, the customer might be responsible for a big jump in costs. Also, there are no types of “up-charging” and no price surprises. All prices and options are agreed to and finalized before the home is ever built.
GREEN CONSTRUCTION: Because of the material-resource use process in the factory, which typically produces very little material waste, and the energy efficiency of the finished product, a modular home is considered very green. Most modular manufacturers are Energy Star approved. Additional green features can be added at the factory, where recycling materials is an obsession. The green advantage is a driving force in modular’s growing appeal.
SUPERIOR WARRANTY: While most site-built homes are covered by NO WARRANTY after the homeowner takes possession, a modular home carries a 1-year warranty from the factory and an extended warranty for up to 10 years.
Modular construction has become the construction method of choice for quality and cost-conscious house buyers. Any modular home is better built than the vast majority of stick-built homes. Modular homes offer better materials, state-of-the-art construction technology, superior finished quality, and time and money savings. And you gain all of these benefits without sacrificing design or amenities. Simply put, modular homes are the wave of the building future.