Building Your Next House: Weighing the Pros and Cons of Modular Homes

Most people start looking at online listings when thinking about buying a home. You may have already begun that process yourself. After looking at house after house, however, you may have also found that nothing is quite calling out to you. They could be missing key features you want, you might not like the layout, or it just doesn’t feel right for you. 

If you can’t find a house that fits your wants and needs, that doesn’t mean you have to settle. Instead, you can have a brand-new home built. As you’re going through your options, you may have come across the term “modular homes,” which offer an alternative to traditional stick-built homes. Weighing the pros and cons of modular homes can help you decide what the right choice is for you.


What Is a Modular Home?

Before you consider the pros and cons of modular homes, it’s important to understand what they are. They are new constructions, but a majority of the building process takes place in a factory. Even so, the builder builds them to the state and local standards of where they’ll live. They then get shipped (generally fully preassembled) to your property and placed on the foundation.

Are Modular Homes the Same as Prefab or Manufactured Homes?

When it comes to building a home, modular homes are typically only one option you’ll come across. You may also see prefab (prefabricated) or manufactured homes. While some use these terms interchangeably, they’re all different. 

Prefab homes are similar to modular homes. The main difference is that prefabricated houses get shipped in sections and then put together on-site. Manufactured homes, on the other hand, refer to mobile homes. Where modular (and prefabricated) homes get installed permanently on a foundation, manufactured homes are meant to move. 


Why Build a Modular Home?

Now let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of modular homes. First, we’ll start with the reasons why you might go this route:

1. It Takes Less Time

Stick-built homes (those built entirely on-site) can take a long time. Most builders are pretty good at estimating how long the process will take. Inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances, however, can make it take even longer. 

With a modular home, your builder creates your home in a factory. That means their crew doesn’t have to worry about weather delays. Rain or shine, construction continues. Then, they deliver it to your property and install it on your foundation. Additionally, an inspector will check your home during building, so you can rest easy knowing that everything’s in place when it arrives.  

2. Your House May Be More Affordable

Modular homes don’t have many of the costs that stick-built homes do. For instance, you won’t have to worry about an architect fee because the homes are already pre-designed. You also won’t need a general contractor, and labor costs tend to be lower. Without these costs, the price of a modular home can be lower than a stick-built one

3. Modular Homes Are More Energy-Efficient

Not all homes on the market have the latest energy-efficient features. In other words, you could be buying a house that comes with high monthly electric, heating, and cooling costs. Modular homes, on the other hand, are incredibly energy-efficient. From structural features like windows and insulation to interior features like kitchen appliances, everything is up-to-date.

4. You Have Some Freedom When It Comes to Customization

Contrary to what some believe, you still get to customize a modular home. In addition to various floorplan options, you also get to choose finishes, flooring, and other details. You may even have some wiggle room to move walls if you want. Your builder will work with you to help you create the home of your dreams. 


What Are the Drawbacks?

While there are plenty of good reasons to choose a modular home, there are still a few potential drawbacks you’ll want to keep in mind:

1. You May Face Zoning Issues

Depending on where you want your house, you may face certain issues that can make the process of getting a modular home more difficult. For instance, modular home builders might have a harder time meeting stricter building codes if you want the home in an area more prone to natural disasters. Some developments may also not allow them. 

2. Additional Costs Could Make the Home More Expensive

You might not have architect or contractor fees, but other costs could make a modular home more expensive. One is the cost of your land. Generally, a plot near a more populated area is more than a plot in a more rural location. Choosing numerous upgrades and the most expensive finishes will also increase your price.  

3. Your Customization Options May Be More Limited 

You do have some freedom to customize your modular home. Those options, however, are typically more limited. With a stick-built home, you can work with an architect to design every aspect of your new house. With modular homes, you’re limited to their floorplans and features. 

4. You Might Have a Harder Time Selling 

There are really no differences between stick-built and modular homes outside of the building process. However, there’s still a bit of a stigma associated with modular homes. People often feel they’re lower quality, even when they’re not. As such, you may find it more challenging to find a buyer if you ever decide to sell. 


How Do You Know If a Modular Home Is Right for You?

Going over the pros and cons of modular homes is just one step in the process of deciding if they’re the right choice for you. You’ll need to have a plot of land (or find one in the area where you want to live). You’ll also want to consider factors such as your budget, financing, and builder options. All of these components can help you make a more informed decision.


Are You Ready to Get Started? 

If, after completing your research and weighing your options, you’ve decided a modular home is right for you, it’s time to get started. With over 40 floorplans to choose from and the ability to customize different features, Century Home Builders is here to help you build the home of your dreams. Contact us today to get started!

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