You have probably come across the term, “modular home.” In the rapidly changing housing market and with the rise of new technologies like 3D printing, future homeowners are rethinking what defines a home, while builders are rapidly changing their approach to the ways homes are built. Another one of these technologies is the modular home.
What is a modular home?
No, a modular home is not a mobile home or recreational vehicle. In short, a modular home is a house, consisting of sections, or modules, that is largely built off-site from the planned location of the building and then delivered and finished on site.
However, modular homes are not manufactured homes. Manufactured homes are not placed on a permanent location or foundation. Once a modular home is set in its foundation, it cannot be moved.
Slowly moving their way into the forefront of home construction, a modular home could be in your future. Here is everything that you need to know about modular homes and if they are right for you.
What is the difference between modular homes and prefabricated homes?
The term "prefab" (prefabricated) is a catch-all used to describe a building made in sections that have been constructed off-site. In most cases, modular homes are also considered to be prefab because most sections are built off-site.
How are modular homes built?
Most modular home companies have in-house engineering departments that use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to design these homes. Working from the initial designs, modular homes are constructed in an indoor factory setting. However, these are not “factory-line” homes. Builders and individual customers have the ability to create bespoke homes quickly with the help of this modular construction model. Once the modules have been completed, they are transported to their new location, where the builders assemble and finish the home.
Sometimes called factory-built, system-built, or prefab homes, the modular building process is changing construction for the better around the world, providing a fast, cost-effective, and efficient way to build a home.
Modular construction can also be used for commercial applications, including office buildings. Even more so, these construction techniques can be easily designed for accessible living and future planning.
Can a modular home have a basement?
Believe it or not, yes it can. Placing a basement in a modular home is very common and tends to be used in numerous ways, including to provide a safe shelter from stormy weather such as tornadoes. Modular homes must meet the same building regulations and codes as more traditional homes, including the use of basement storm shelters where required. Interestingly, some of these homes can withstand win speeds up to 173 mph (278 km/h).
Some modular homes are also built over existing crawl spaces and basements. Whether you want a place for a play area or a panic room, a basement is absolutely possible.
Modular homes can be created quickly
One of the first talking points when discussing a modular home is how quickly the process can be completed. Compared to some of the other common home construction methods, a modular home can be completed around 50% faster.
Creating the perfect home using traditional building techniques can take years, while a modular home can be finished on-site in a matter of weeks. With no need to worry about unpredictable weather or other issues that can slow construction, these are some of the most rapidly constructed homes you can own.
Building offsite removes 80% of construction activity, minimizing the impact of any local disruptions to construction and allowing work to proceed even in poor weather. When the home is ready, it is brought to the location in flat-packed panels. Think of it like a half-assembled Lego kit.
They are the ultimate bespoke experience
Aside from the impressive savings, another major appeal of owning modular home centers around the building’s customizability.
Most modular homes have very few design limitations, allowing builders and customers to create the house of their dreams without the fuss and stress regularly associated with bespoke homes.
The factory-like process allows you to build any addition, and almost any feature or amenity that you can think of, all without breaking the bank. For example, building a modular log cabin house can cost anything from $14,000 to $30,000, which is considerably less than using traditional construction methods.
Whether you want something large and roomy or small and cosy, modular homes can be tailored to your specific needs and family size — and a garage can be added too!
Modular homes are eco-friendly
Due to the streamlined process used to create modular homes, builders are able to ensure that the materials used on your home are environmentally safe and sustainable. On the construction site, the indoor modular process allows for construction waste to be properly managed.
Due to the adaptability of the design and building process, it is easy for manufacturers to source eco-friendly and sustainable materials. Modular homes can also be designed to minimize their environmental impact on the surrounding area.
Modular homes are flexible
Tied in with bespoke flexibility, modular construction allows buyers to add on and take away almost anything they deem necessary or unnecessary on the house.
Some of the modular construction companies around the world specialize in allowing clients to create multi-purpose homes.
Within limits, modular homeowners can build whatever their hearts desire, creating homes that double as offices, workspaces, music studios, classrooms, and even schools. You are not just limited to a living space in modular construction.
How much do modular homes cost? Modular homes are budget-friendly
Modular home financing is easier and cheaper than your traditional home. As mentioned before, modular homes are cost-effective, quick, and are able to be built off-site. Generally, a modular home's average cost will be 15% less than a similarly-sized home that is built using traditional methods. All these factors contribute to a lower price for those interested in this unique living experience.
Most inspections and third party checks will be completed off-site in the modular factory. Nevertheless, it is good to mention that the more you build and tailor the home, the more expensive it will be for you. Also, you'll need a standard homeowners insurance policy, which is the same insurance you would get for a traditionally built home.
Elements like electricity, plumbing, and even ductwork are also generally not included in your quoted starting price. If you are looking to get a modular home, it is crucial you take the time to properly include these costs in the bottom line.
Thankfully, banks can and do offer home loans for modular houses. However, every lender has different rules, and every situation will be different. But generally, lenders will provide finance on a modular home just as they would for a traditional home.
It should also be noted that many people consider modular homes a good investment, and they are becoming increasingly popular. It is a high possibility that they will increase in value, therefore this makes them a good home investment.
Did you know we can 3D print homes?