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What Is a Modular Home: Everything You Should Know

What is a modular home, you ask?

You’re probably thinking of those prefab homes you see going by on trucks. Or maybe you’re thinking of suburban tract homes, where every home looks exactly the same.

And you’re definitely thinking affordable!

You’re not wrong in thinking about houses on trucks or those that look exactly the same or those that are affordable, but there is more to these homes — namely the gems started by Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 20th Century called system-built structures, the sisters of modular.  

Yes, if you look at the whole spectrum of prefab, modular gives you some great options that look unique and can be built to suit your needs, taste, and budget.

So, what do I need to know about a modular home, you ask?

To help get you up to speed, we’ve put together the basics on prefab modular homes and then some. Keep reading to learn all your options for building a home that’s not built onsite (or at least not entirely). Then, start thinking about what you want for your home and take the first steps to having it built for you!

What Is A Modular Home?

A modular home is a home that is prefabricated in a factory and transported by truck to the location where it is set into place on its permanent foundation.

A prefabricated home can be entirely designed, built, and put together in the factory so the whole house is shipped. This is a modular house in its truest sense.

A prefab home can also be partially built in a factory in sections.

The sections are not put together at the factory, rather, they are trucked separately to the permanent foundation and assembled there.

These homes are called system-built structures, like the Frank Lloyd Wright homes. They offer more flexibility in design and have some other great advantages over homes that are entirely pre-built — read on here

Modular homes are not “manufactured” homes. Manufactured homes are mobile homes that are put on an axle foundation rather than a permanent foundation.

The Advantages of Modular Homes

If you’re thinking about going for a modular home, you’re on the right track as they have a multitude of advantages.

Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Cost Savings

Since modular homes are built in a factory and put together entirely or partially there as well, it costs less to make them.

The factory can automate and doesn’t have to move equipment or people to the site to build. Also, inspections can be done at the factory as well.

The savings this creates trickles down to you, the homeowner.

When creating your budget, remember that you will still have work to do onsite. There will be plumbing and electricity to install as well as heating, air, and ductwork to factor in. Be sure to take this into account.

Construction Speed

Since all the work can be done at the factory, the time it takes to build each structure is also significantly less than if it’s built on location.

Again, you have the automation and logistically everything is right there.

Also, you don’t have to stop construction due to bad weather since everything is indoors. 

Modular homes can be constructed in weeks. Homes built entirely on-site can take multiple months (or more) if there is bad weather.

Again, do factor in the plumbing, electrical, and other work that will need to be completed onsite.

Durability

Even though you can transport a modular house or its parts on a truck, it’s still sturdy and can be built with the same materials as an onsite-built house. 

These homes can be designed and built to withstand extreme weather with proper insulation and the ability to stay standing during big winds (think category-5 hurricane speeds!) and storms.

System-built homes are particularly durable and tend to have greater longevity than modular homes built entirely in the factory.

Custom Design

You can work with the modular home designers to build the house you want.

You’re limited with modular homes that are entirely built in the factory, but with system-built homes, you have a lot of flexibility.

This is one of the big advantages of the system-built home.

You can design the style you want — be it modern, colonial, Mediterranean or South Western, to name a few. You can add a basement and an attic. You can choose where you want windows and if you want eaves. 

With the system-built home, you are also not limited in size. The modular home that’s built entirely at the factory does have to be small enough to be able to be transported by truck. 

A Regular Home

A system-built home is considered to be a traditional home when it comes to loans and disclosures when reselling.

If you have a modular home built entirely at the factory, you must disclose this to new home buyers. 

Also, system-built homes are like regular on-site-built homes when it comes to permits. You only need local inspectors rather than local and state inspectors. 

Your New Home Is Waiting to Be Built

What is a modular home?

Now you know the answer and all the amazing advantages of a prefab home — whether entirely modular or system-built, you’re ready to start working with a designer to turn your dream home into a reality. It’s completely possible and affordable!

While you’re at it, keep perusing our blog for more life and home trends to look out for and to put to use in your day-to-day and big picture. We want to help you make more of your dreams happen for a happy life.

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