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What is a Modular Home?

By Jared Moats

If you're thinking about building your own custom home, you've probably heard of modular homes. This building method has skyrocketed in popularity over the last few decades. But despite its popularity, many people aren't quite sure what modular homes even are.

In fact, one of the most popular questions we get is, "What is a modular home, anyway?"

After you read this article, you'll know:

  • What a modular home is
  • How modular homes are built
  • Why modular construction is faster than other building methods
  • How modular homes cost less for better quality

What is a modular home?

A modular home is a home that's built in a factory instead of on your land. After that it is transported in sections (modules) to your land and then set on a foundation with a crane. Finally, a construction crew assembles the modules to bring your home together.

 

2nd piece set cc

 

This is the opposite of what most people think of when they consider building a custom home. Most people think of site-built homes, which are built on your land (on-site) board by board.

Aside from the building method, modular homes and site-built homes are identical. The same home can be built either through the modular method or the site-built method.

Advantages of building in a factory: quality, speed, and cost

There are several advantages to building your home in a factory instead of on your land. Modular homes can be built in less time, for less money, at better quality.

Better Quality

The first advantage of building your home in a factory is quality. Modular homes are built in an indoor quality-controlled environment, so your home will face little exposure to adverse weather conditions during construction. This ensures your home will be in top shape from the moment you move in.

Building materials are also stored in a controlled, indoor environment. This keeps the materials from being warped or damaged.

On top of that, because modular homes need to be transported to your land, they are built with up to 30% more lumber than other home types so they can withstand the trip. This makes modular homes more durable than other home types, and they are able to stand the test of time.

Manufacturers used and trusted by Middletown Homes hire third-party companies to inspect their homes to make sure they adhere to state and local building standards. Since the homes are examined and approved by a neutral company during construction, you can be confident the home is top quality.

Quicker Construction Time

Construction speed is the second advantage of building your home in a factory. Your home will be finished in 2-6 months after its ordered, whereas a site-built home takes 6 months - 2 years to build.

Your home can be ready so quickly because the manufacturer uses a streamlined construction process in the factory. Below is a helpful graphic that shows the process.

 

Modular construction timeline-1

Image source: modularhomeowners.com

Two crucial steps of the modular construction process take place at once. After you are done designing your home with your builder, and after you get all permits and approvals, your home's foundation is built at your site while the factory builds your home. This happens at the same time.

Homes that are constructed using the traditional site-built method are slowed down because building can't start until the foundation finished.

Site-built construction timeline

Image source: modularhomeowners.com

Reduced Cost

Reduced cost is another advantage of building your home in a factory.

Your home's price will be greatly reduced thanks to the building process used by the manufacturers that Middletown Homes trusts.

First, manufacturers purchase building materials in bulk directly from distributors instead of local hardware stores. Because they are eliminating the middleman by going right to the distributor, and because they're buying in bulk, they pay less for quality building materials. This price advantage gets passed on to the customer.

Labor rates are also less for modular home manufacturers. They use an efficient assembly line and long-term employees. Since construction takes place in a factory, they do not have to worry about travel costs, high employee turnover, or work getting slowed down by bad weather.

All of this and more reduces your home's cost by tens of thousands of dollars, meaning you can spend less money for a quality home.

Key takeaways

Modular homes:

  • Are quality homes built in a controlled environment and inspected by third-party companies
  • Cost less to build thanks to reduced labor rates, purchasing materials in bulk, and more
  • Quicker to build thanks to a streamlined factory process that allows crucial construction milestones to be completed at the same time.

Want an in-depth comparison between modular homes, site-built homes, and manufactured homes? Download our free eBook "Modular vs. Manufactured vs. Site-Built Homes: An Honest Comparison" to get a complete comparison so you know which home type is best for you.

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