Potential home buyers often consider buying a home or building their own. Another option – modern modular homes – offers the best of both worlds with lower costs, bespoke features, and no home inspections and other delays, a faster and cheaper way to live in your dream home.
What a modular home is – and what isn’t
A modular home is built in parts in a factory outside the home’s final location. Then the parts are shipped to the country where the house is located, where a contractor will put the parts together. Modular houses are sometimes referred to as “prefabricated houses” or “factory houses” because the houses are built off-site and simply put together on site.
Sometimes buyers worry that a modular home is a prefabricated home. (For example, mobile homes are a type of prefabricated house.)
However, there is a distinct difference between the two: a modular home has a permanent foundation, a manufactured or mobile home does not. Prefabricated houses can be relocated; Modular houses stand on a foundation and can be built on slabs or basements.
Modular houses can save time and money
Prefabricated homes can save buyers a great deal of time and money. If the home is being partially built away from its final location, the building process can take weeks instead of months. Thanks to the protection of the indoor factory, the weather plays less of a role in the completion and poses no threat to the building materials. The construction therefore costs less work.
In addition, no part of the house leaves the factory without being officially inspected. So buyers don’t have to worry about paying for inspections or doing costly rework throughout the process to comply with the code.
Modular houses are designed for energy efficiency. Thus, modular homes save buyers money both during the construction process and throughout the life of the home. Buyers can also choose energy efficient windows and insulation from the start and avoid costly renovations later.
Of course, all buildings must meet the standard requirements. Plumbing, sewer systems, electricity, gas, and other necessary utilities must all be part of the overall budget and can add up to a fifth of what the builder is supplying costs.
How the process works
Buyers go through some basic steps to customize and build a modular home.
Choose a house plan and features
First, buyers consider the floor plan options and decide where to go for the large items such as windows. Then buyers can choose how to make their floors, cabinets, faucets, and the like. Remember that not all custom functions need to be included in the initial factory build. Builders can work with local experts to install these things later at an additional cost.
Modular homes are flexible and allow buyers unprecedented creativity in the design of their home. Some of the best architects offer modular home designs, and buyers can customize floor plans to suit their needs. Almost any living style or combination of living styles is available, from traditional to Mediterranean, and buyers can incorporate options from any style to create their own eclectic dream home.
Here are some popular features that add personality to a modular home regardless of style:
– A second door leading from the living room to the kitchen and dining room: this allows free movement in the house and makes navigation easier.
– A double-sided fireplace between the living room and dining room: A unique fireplace can heat common areas efficiently and provides a decorative focal point.
– A wraparound porch: expand the outdoor public space and greet guests to enjoy the property. Of course, complex floor plans cause additional costs. Buyers should be careful about how much they are investing in details.
Nail down details in every room
As with any home construction project, special attention must be paid to each room in a modular home to ensure that the final home lives up to expectations. Buyers should consider the following:
Walls are functional, but they’re especially important in a prefabricated house. That’s because the gaps where the builder on-site joins the walls are usually covered with molding strips and the molding is a giveaway for the house to be modular. Buyers can strategically paint the walls to mask the grout, or they can work with the contractor to avoid using strips in favor of grout and texturing.
As with any kitchen, the kitchen of a modular home can age a home quickly. For an updated look, buyers may want to choose timeless cabinets or replace cabinet doors with fabric for variety. Further options are stain, paint or hardware changes.
In a modular house like a mobile home, the bathrooms tend to be smaller. Buyers can use monochromatic colors and linens to unify the space, or they can add to the bathroom’s footprint on the floor plan. Clutter makes any room appear smaller, of course, so buyers should consider storage options.
For bedrooms in prefabricated houses, buyers may need to consider the size of the furniture to affect the feel of the bedroom. Smaller furniture allows for easier movement around the house, and the height of the furniture affects how tall a room feels. For a cozy feel, larger, padded pieces that fill a room can add a calming feel. Buyers who keep their decoration simple can make their home more open and spacious.
Watch the pieces become a home
Once the house is defined and the modular home company is making and delivering the parts, the builder on site can quickly assemble those parts. Without the hassle of inspections, once all of the parts have come together and painted and adjusted as needed, the house is ready.
As with any home, buyers can modify a modular home once it is completed. That means buyers can expand the home as needed so they can enjoy their dream home for years to come.
Thanks to publications like Dwell, the modular home movement is growing. Find out more there or at a modular home business in your area.