Modular homes are increasing in popularity as people realize that they are equal or better than traditional site built homes. When modular homes first came on the scene, they were clearly confused with mobile homes. Early modulars looked very much like mobile homes and were limited to small inexpensive dwellings.
Any similarity between the two has all but disappeared. Mobile homes, also referred to as "factory built," are built on non-removable steel frames, and are limited in size to double wide units. While the components of each are manufactured in a factory environment, modulars are quite different.
Just as the name suggests, these structures are made up of modules that are built in a factory, and then assembled at the home site. They are built to meet or exceed the same federal HUD regulations, and local building codes as a site built home. There are essentially no limits to the final shape and size, and it's actually impossible to distinguish a modular home from a custom built home after completion.
As with a site-built residence, you can choose a size, style, and floor layout from ready made plans. You can modify existing plans. Or, you can custom design a home from scratch and make every detail your own.
The walls, floors, ceilings, and roof sections are typically built in specifically made jigs at the factory, in order to insure more precise alignment of the final assembly. Quality control and inspection of materials and workmanship is much easier in the factory situation than is possible with on site construction. And, at the factory, there is no exposure to inclement weather to negatively affect the materials, or cause construction delays.
Since modular homes must be transported to your home site, they are built stronger than regular site built homes. This translates into a stronger home for you. After Hurricane Andrew hit southern Florida in the early 1990's, FEMA conducted a study which revealed that modular homes generally withstood the storm better than site built homes.
Because about eighty-five percent of your home is constructed at the factory, your home will usually be completed months earlier than if it had been built on-site. Modular homes are typically ready to ship to your site in a week or two. Less on-site work often means lower costs as well. Opinions on savings vary from zero to thirty percent over a site built home. Most builders and owners estimate that the savings are typically about fifteen percent.
One thing that really stands out about modular homes is that they tend to be more energy efficient. Most exceeded the requirements to qualify for the ENERGY STARÂ® rating as specified by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Modular homes offer all of the same design features, options, and benefits of site built homes. They can be ready to move into more quickly. And they are stronger, of better quality, less expensive to operate, and they are usually less expensive to build.
When you consider all the benefits of modern modular homes, they provide a great value for any home buyer. So if you had been thinking that modular homes were different than regular site built homes, you were right. They might just be a lot better.