What is a Modular Home, Anyway?
A modular home is a building that is partially constructed offsite in a factory. The factory-built sections, or modules, are transported by truck to the building site. Once onsite, a builder assembles the pieces on a prepared foundation by stacking the modules or laying them side by side or end to end, depending on the design. The finishing work is then completed to the owner’s specifications. Modular homes are sometimes referred to as systems-built or factory-built houses.
The history of modular homes in North America stretches back to the early 20thcentury when companies began selling prefabricated house kits. Sears offered 45 different models that could be ordered and shipped by rail to the homebuilder. People could actually choose their dream home from the Sears catalogue!
- Modular homes date back to the early 20th century
- Modular homes are fully customizable
- Building a modular home is quick, affordable, and green
Modular Homes versus Mobile Homes
The most common misconception about modular homes is that they are the same thing as mobile homes. While both types of buildings are manufactured in a factory, a mobile home (which is also commonly known as a manufactured or trailer home) is constructed on a steel frame and requires no assembly. It is transported on its own wheels and can be moved from location to location.
Modular Homes versus Homes Built on Site
Modular houses are defined by the way they are constructed rather than what they look like. There’s nothing cookie-cutter or generic about these homes! Unless you watched a house being built, it’s very difficult to know whether it has been constructed in the traditional way or whether it is modular construction.
- Modular homes are usually faster to build. Choosing a modular home means you can shave weeks off the traditional building process. Because the majority of the components are manufactured indoors, modular homes don’t face the same weather challenges that site-built homes do. Rain, snow, and wind will not slow down the construction timeline. And onsite work such as pouring the foundation can go on at the same time as the work happening at the factory.
- Modular homes are good for the environment. The modular home building process is inherently green. The factory system and focus on material utilization means there is less waste than in traditional building methods.
- Modular homes are high quality construction. Structurally, modular buildings are very strong since the components are engineered to be transported and craned into place. As well, the construction quality management is typically higher than in many traditionally-built homes because manufacturing plants have stringent inspection protocols and standard operating proceedures.
- Modular homes can be built to suit your taste. There’s a high level of customization available with many modular home builders. Today's leading factory-built homes offer a huge variety of designs that can be customized to suit your taste and needs. As well, almost any home plan can be transformed into a modular home.
- Modular homes can be less expensive to build than site-built homes.The method of construction and the speed that the house can be completed means paying for fewer person hours and paying less interest on construction financing. And with a Prestige home, the price quoted is guaranteed so customers don't have to worry about cost overruns that often arise in typical site built homes (often up to 15-20% in overruns).
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