There’s no doubt that modular homes have come a long way in recent years. Once seen as little more than cookie-cutter houses, today’s modular homes can be customized to suit nearly any taste. Building a modular home can give you exactly what you want, and the process can be easier than you imagine. So, if you’re wondering whether you can customize a modular home, the answer is a resounding yes!
What Are Modular Homes?
Modular homes are a mix of real estate and art. The craftsmanship on these homes are beautiful and can be completely unique. In fact, the ability to customize is one of the top reasons people choose modular homes.
Modular homes are also called pre-built homes, prefabbed or factory-built homes. And that is essentially what they are. How they are created is fascinating. The pre-assembled pieces are built inside a giant factory — a giant puzzle that comes together in the end to give you your dream home.
When all the pieces are made, they are shipped on a flat-bed carrier to the lot where they will be assembled. A crane on site will assemble the pieces.
Modular home components are mostly built inside a facility instead of the traditional way, where the home is built on site from the ground up.
The Benefits of Owning a Modular Home
If you are planning on building your dream home, you might start to wonder about possible benefits of owning a modular home. Why should you build in this way instead of going the traditional route?
Are there enough benefits to modular homes to make it worth your while to build your home in this way? Yes, there definitely are. Let’s look at some of the practical reasons to choose a custom-built home.
You can save a lot of money when you build a modular home instead of a traditional site-built home. For a home of the same size and quality, you can expect to pay between 20% and 30% less for a modular home than you would pay for building traditional homes.
How much savings does that equate to? If you take into account the fact that most average house builds cost around $200,000 dollars today, for a normal family home, the savings can mount quickly.
But the savings doesn’t stop after your home has been built. Even after you live in the home you will still keep saving because you have chosen a modular home. Modular homes tend to be more energy-efficient than site-built homes.
The first reason is the insulation of modular homes. The exterior wall is normally a 2 × 6. and that means your home insulation goes from a R-11 rating to a R-21 rating. The house is better insulated, and the heating and cooling costs will be less than with a home that is traditionally built. As an added bonus, these walls will also add strength to your home.
You also won’t waste as much material when building your home as you could waste building in a traditional way. Modular homes are built in factories to exact specifications. For traditional homes, people order materials and, often, there are some left over. Or, they don’t fit where they should fit and the materials are wasted. These issues are eliminated with modular builds.
Modular homes also generally use LED or CFL bulbs, which are more energy-efficient than the incandescent light bulbs used in most traditional homes.
This all sounds wonderful. But you might wonder, are these modular homes just as safe and built to the same standard as homes that are built on site? Again, the answer is yes. These homes need to be built to exactly the same standards as a home built on site.
Marks of high-quality standards in customized modular homes include:
- Modular homes can take the same load in pounds by square foot put on the structure as traditionally built homes.
- Modular homes can handle the same downward force that snow and ice can put on a house.
- Custom-built modular homes have the same plumbing and electrical safety standards as other houses.
- Financing qualifications are the same as or very similar to other houses.
How to Start Customizing Your Modular Home
With modular home construction, you typically have flexibility when it comes to choosing the layout and design of your home. Some manufacturers only allow the home to be built on an as-is basis, because they order everything in bulk and don’t go outside of those parameters. While this does save costs for the buyer, that means you won’t be able to make even the most minor changes.
However, in most cases, with other manufacturers, you can pick and choose from a variety of floor plans, or sometimes even work with a designer to create a completely unique layout. And because modular homes are built in sections in a factory, it’s easy to make changes and modifications during the construction process. That means you can customize your home to suit your specific needs and wants.
Lay Out Your Floor Plan
It is always best to start with a modular home floor plan that meets your needs, and discuss exterior and interior changes with your home builder to achieve the look you want. This will allow you to look at cost and square meters, adding on any rooms and features you need in your idea of your dream home.
Instead of starting from scratch, you can start with a basic plan and edit it until it is exactly what you want.
Determine Exterior Changes
Exterior changes are usually the easiest changes to make. Things like the shingles, siding, windows, the style of the home, and a lot more can easily be changed to suit your tastes.
In most cases, you can select a floor plan but make modifications to the exterior that comes with that floor plan. These exterior changes can go a long way to making the overall look of your home exactly what you want. Depending on what level of customization your manufacturer allows, moving, changing, or adding things is an option, to an extent.
However, sometimes these changes can threaten the structural integrity of a home. Your manufacturer should consult with you on those types of changes, and together you can make a decision based on what is best for the overall safety and structure of the home.
Some typical exterior changes include:
- Architectural style — The overall style of the home is a great starting point in determining the look you want. Some typical styles include Colonial, cape, and ranch style. With just a few minor changes you can completely modify the style.
- Siding — Most manufacturers will offer a selection of siding. Some of the most minor changes in siding can completely make your house unique.
- Shutters or Lineal Trim — A unique shutter on your window can change the exterior style a lot. Linear trim does the same, like dressing your house up. Both can come in different colors to be exactly to your liking.
- Roof — Shingle type, awnings, or any other decorations. Adding decorative dormers or gables is an inexpensive way to add character to the home without changing the overall structure. Adding decorative roofing in general can change the entire aesthetic of the home.
- Windows — Amount, placement, material, trim, style, glass type, size, shape, and so forth may be changed. Most manufacturers offer an extensive list of window choices even with their most standard floor plans. Changing your windows also changes the look of the home inside, since it can let in more light.
- Front porch — Adding a porch or changing the style of the porch can completely change the curb appeal of your home, without changing the structural components too much.
- Front door — Changing the front door style or color can really add personality to the home. Make sure you’re not over-customizing it, since the front door is used a lot and you want to make sure it holds in the heat, keeps out the cold, and doesn’t pose a safety risk by having too much glass.
- Garage Layouts — Customizing garage layouts can make a home a bit more memorable
- Color — Choose from a variety of colors. The modular home builder you choose can help you in determining the right color scheme that fits with the style of your home.
- Stone Accents — Adding stone accents to the home or the porch columns is always a nice aesthetic to consider.
Customize the Interior
Changes to the interior of the home are extremely common when customizing your home. Keep in mind, though, that making cosmetic interior changes can add to your building costs and doesn’t necessarily increase the resale value of the home. Interior changes such as removing walls and adding rooms, however, might not always be a possibility. A well-constructed modular home will be energy-efficient and the HVAC systems are placed where they are in the floor plans for a reason. If you are wanting to change things around that will affect the HVAC systems, consult with your modular home manufacturer about these types of changes.
Still, even if some changes aren’t possible or easy, there are many other changes that you can make to make the house your own.
Some typical Room-by-Room changes include:
You may have some things you feel are critical that your home does not include. With a modular home, making these changes are possible.
- Kitchen — Additions or changes such as an island, a pantry or more cabinets can completely be possible. The kitchen is the heart of the home and it’s important to build it exactly as you would like it.
- Living Room — Maybe you want a fireplace, and the floor plan you like doesn’t come with one — or you want a small office space in the corner — these types of changes are things that can be modified to add the customization you need based on your lifestyle.
- Bathrooms — You can change the tile, sink style, faucets, and even make sure there are two sinks. You could include a soaking tub with your shower, or make any other specific changes to suit your bathroom needs.
Some typical overall interior changes include:
Other changes might not be in a specific room but rather in the house and the plans. These could include:
- Floor Plan — Repositioning rooms and adding room dividers, for example, is one way to modify the floor plan. Manufacturers will have different guidelines and they will advise you on what changes will work and won’t work.
- Flooring — Considerations include the type, color, and which rooms have hardwood vs. carpet. These are normally easy changes and they can completely change the feel of your home.
- Cabinets — Look, style, color, and the size can all be modified. 40″ Kitchen overhead cabinets are an example of a common request.
- Utilities — This can include placement of the utility hook-ups, electrical outlets, and if you need more outlets.
- Paint — The color can change the entire look of a room and it can be very personal to your own style.
- Stairs – Placement and how they look could change depending on the floor plan and how structural these changes are.
- Storage space — Make sure you have enough.
- Hardware – Such as facets, cabinet hardware, light fixtures – Changing the look of the faucets in kitchens and bathrooms can make a huge difference. Just be sure to match the existing hardware or make sure it’s all consistent. Lighting fixtures can set the tone of a room, and even changing details like the cabinet hardware can change the entire look of the cabinetry.
Other smaller changes:
Changing small but significant features can help make your house feel like a home. These are some of the things that can be changed.
- Tile Showers
- Barn Doors
- Tray Ceiling
- Doors — Solid wood, 6 Panel or 3 Panel doors
- Appliance upgrades
- Entertainment Center
- Countertops — Such as solid surface counters or quartz counters
- Soft close cabinet doors and drawers
Learn How to Customize A Modular Home Today
So, if you’re looking for a new home that is totally unique and customized to your taste, a modular home is definitely worth considering. With so much flexibility and customization potential, you’re sure to find a modular home that perfectly suits your style. Contact Century Home Builders today to discuss your home needs. We will work with you to customize the home of your dreams.