A Beginner’s Guide To Modular Homes
Modular homes are becoming a more and more popular home construction choice, due to a variety of factors and conveniences. If you’ve ever wondered about modular homes, what are their benefits, are there any disadvantages, or even what they are, this article will serve as your guide. In a nutshell, modular homes display an extraordinary strategy of home construction that fits nearly every style and terrain. Modular homes are beautiful, they are versatile, and they are fascinating.
WHAT IS A MODULAR HOME?
A modular home is a section pre-fabricated home that consists of multiple sections called modules. “Modular” is a method of construction that involves constructing components of a structure off-site, delivering said components to the site, then placing and joining the components (modules) together to create a single home.
DESCRIPTION & CHARACTERISTICS OF A MODULAR HOME
Modular homes can be put together in a variety of ways; the modules can be placed side-by-side, end-to-end, or stacked. This allows for customization, both in configuration and style, of the modular home’s layout. This capacity for customization is actually a concept that many people don’t associate with modular home construction – many are under the impression that modular homes are a built-from-a-box, one-size-fits-all deal. But the truth is, modular homes have no design limitations; virtually any “dream home” can be created in modular form.
The materials used for modular home construction are no different than those used for site-constructed homes. These include, but are certainly not limited to, wood framing, brick/stone exteriors, and granite or quartz countertops. Modular homes can easily be designed and adapted for sitting on a basement, thus expanding the square footage.
Because they are technically constructed on-site (as opposed to mobile homes, which are fully built and then moved to the site), modular homes are required to conform to all local residential building codes, just like any new home construction.
BENEFITS OF A MODULAR HOME
Benefit #1: Modular homes can be built in a matter of weeks.
Because they are built inside, modular homes are not subject to the elements, daytime/nighttime or seasonal. This construction can be completed simultaneously with the site work completion, making the modular home’s construction timeline much shorter (by as much as 50%) than traditionally constructed homes.
Benefit #2: Modular homes can give style to remote areas.
It is not always possible (physically or financially) to construct the home of one’s dreams in every locale. Remote destinations, rural areas in which materials are lacking, or other constraints make home construction a challenge in any off-the-beaten-path area. Modular homes provide an economical way to get a style-savvy home virtually anywhere.
Benefit #3: Modular homes retain their value.
As with pretty much any construction that focuses on quality and prices, the well-built modular home is not only usually indistinguishable from its traditionally constructed neighbors, but it typically retains its value similar to those neighbors as well.
Benefit #4: Modular homes are environmentally friendly.
As parts of the same plans are built regularly, modular homes are manufactured with maximum efficiency of materials and low waste. What is more, modular homes have 100% reusable components – that is, the home can be deconstructed, moved, then reconstructed with little to no waste, both environmentally and economically.
Benefit #5: Modular homes are flexible.
It is easy to add on other modules to the modular home, even after the home is completed. This is a much less expensive option to “add on” than the traditional construction methods of remodeling and expanding.
DISADVANTAGES OF A MODULAR HOME
Disadvantage #1: Modular homes are constrained to transportable sizes.
Despite an amazing level of flexibility within the design and construction options, modular homes are indeed affected by transportation constraints. Although there are many solutions for such challenges, designs that incorporate very large room sizes may be affected.
(An interesting note on this transportability factor: Modular homes actually end up designed to be stronger than traditional homes, for example using screws not nails, due to the fact that they have to withstand transportation.)
Disadvantage #2: Modular homes sometimes carry a stigma of transiency.
Despite their quality of construction, modular homes can sometimes be associated with the similar “mobile home” genre, which group has historically decreased nearby property values.
Disadvantage #3: Modular homes can be cheaply constructed and, therefore, cheap.
Just as with anything: you get what you pay for. Modular home construction is not above the budgetary short-cuts that can show up in any other home construction situation. Inexpensive materials and methods, and cost-cutting strategies that don’t lend themselves to the modular home’s increased value are sometimes apparent. Do your research and contract with a reputable, high quality modular home manufacturer to ensure the best quality.