What is a Modular Home?
Because modular homes are a prefabricated home, some people believe they are of a lesser quality of stick built homes. Instead, modular homes are governed by the same building codes as site-built homes and are actually inspected more often.
A modular home is a perfect option for any home buyer looking to build a new home. Not only are there fewer delays, they usually cost less than a site-built home and are of equal, or, arguably, better quality.
A modular home is built in a climate controlled factory setting in two or more sections (modules). The sections are then transported to a destination and assembled on-site.
Before the home leaves the factory to be assembled, it is inspected by a third-party in accordance with the building code and to the requirements of a factory-built home.
When assembled, a modular home looks similar to a traditional site-built home – including multiple floors and options of adding features such as a porch or a garage.
Just like a site-built home, a modular home is built to the standards of the local building code and the International Residential Code (IRC). A third party inspects all site-built and modular homes built and assembled in Pennsylvania to ensure compliance, so a modular home and a site-built home only have a few major differences: the location that the home was built, the time it took to construct the home, and the overall cost of the home by the end of the process.
Key Features of a Modular Home
- The sections are transported to site on a steel frame. The house is craned or rolled onto the foundation and the frames are returned to the factory. Typical floor framing is 2×10’s, although this can be upgraded.
- They are inspected at the factory to be in compliance with the IRC. The house, once set on a foundation, will be considered identical to a site built home in all future transactions.
- Standard 5/12 roof, although there are a wide range of styles and options to choose from, including T-ranch, split-entry, Cape Cod, or 2-story models.
- A modular home comes standard with finished drywall throughout, primed and ready for your choice of paint or wall covering.
- Standard 8’ flat ceilings.
- The code does not require a standard heating system be installed from the factory. Many times, the heating system is installed in the basement similar to a site built house.
- The code does not require appliances be installed from the factory. Appliance packages may be optioned into the house but are rarely on the standard feature list.
- These homes must be placed on a full foundation or crawlspace.
- Higher upfront cost than manufactured housing, but typically lower than an equivalent site-built home.
In fact, the argument can be made that a modular home is a higher-quality option than many site-built homes because it is built by expert craftsmen in a weather-controlled environment.
Modular Home Options
One of the major benefits of choosing a modular or manufactured home are the additional features you can choose to customize your home. What’s even better? Most manufactured and modular home builders have options for custom home designs, so you can choose the floor plan, the design, the size, the style and more!
Here is a short list of options for each type of home.
- Optional Loft
- Optional doors/entryways
- Optional staircase/staircase location
- Optional kitchen/bath/bedroom designs
- Additional cabinetry
- Built-in entertainment center/ desk
Even if choose a model already available from your home seller, there are still options available to upgrade the home to your liking.