Around the south, it isn't uncommon to see a home being trucked down the highway with a "wide load" sign. What is uncommon, but becoming less so in this area, is for that house to carry a price tag of over half a million dollars.
So what is it with these new modular homes? Modular homes are built and assembled in a factory, then shipped in sections to its site. The industry is becoming more and more popular as people learn the advantages of modular homes.
For one thing, they are more economical to build:
- Material is bought in bulk, shipped to the factory instead of to numerous home sites. Quantity discounts are significant.
- Material waste is much lower.
- Job site theft is reduced.
- Since the factory allows homes to be built indoors, weather delays are not a consideration.
- Labor efficiencies result from full-time construction staff that can move from one job to the next with no travel time.
- Faster construction time means less interest costs on construction loans!
Modular homes are built with the same materials as site built homes. In the climate controlled environment, many of the houses are built from the inside out - - drywall, then insulation, then sealed with the exterior. There are no worries about rain or weather damage, no risk of wet materials being used, and greatly reduced possibility of mold on the lumber. The work area (and therefore the home itself) is much cleaner.
Modular homes are built to the same building codes as site- built homes. Inspectors comply with codes and regulations set by the state where the house will be located.
Cottage Living magazine's 2007 Idea Home was a modular cottage that was constructed right here in South Carolina (Haven Custom Homes), then shipped to New Orleans.
About 90% of the work on a modular home is completed inside the factory. When a modular home is ready to leave the factory, it travels in sections on tractor-trailer trucks. Sections are lowered by a crane onto the foundation. The roof is then installed, and final touch up work is done.
Modular homes should not be confused with "manufactured homes" (formerly referred to as mobile homes or trailers). A manufactured home is built on a non-removable steel chassis, is transported to its destination on its own wheels, and is not necessarily attached to a permanent foundation. Manufactured homes are usually more difficult to finance, and generally decrease in value over time.
Well built modular homes, on the other hand, have the same longevity as site-built homes, and generally increase in value over time (same as site-built.)
Modular home construction is also a consideration for additions to existing homes. Plans can be customized as needed. If you consider modular construction for your new home or addition, be sure to check with neighborhood covenants and restrictions.
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