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Why Modular Homes Are So Much Less Expensive

Learn why the price for modular homes is so much lower and how you can make sure that you get all the savings that you can on your new prefab home!

Much has been said about how much less expensive modular homes are than standard site-built homes. Some companies will tell you that they can save you anywhere from 40 to 60% by building modular. These savings can only be expected in very few circumstances. You can generally expect to spend anywhere from 10 to 20% less on your home if you choose to build modular. These savings are found mostly in three major areas: bulk purchasing, labor costs, and building materials.

“You can generally expect to spend anywhere from 10 to 20% less on your home if you choose to build modular.”

Bulk Purchasing

Fancy Sink In A Modern Kitchen

Your manufacturer can get you huge discounts on items made by their partner companies. If you want a specific brand that they don’t have a deal with, you may end up paying full price.

Since site-built homes are constructed one at a time, with no place to store excess items, the company building the home will have to order only as many items as will be used on that one house. Modular manufacturers create multiple homes every month, and so are able to order items they need in bulk, reducing the cost per item. With some companies, manufacturers will even work out a deal to get a set discount across the board on any item produced by that company. This may mean that a more premium brand will be available to you at reduced prices, but if you want a different brand that the manufacturer doesn’t have a deal with, you may have to pay closer to retail prices.

Pro-tip for getting the best appliance deals in a modular home

Materials

When using lumber, stone, brick, or any other building material, a builder for a site-built home will have to order enough for just that one build, and usually some additional spare material in case some of it gets ruined. This means that not only are you paying more because the materials can’t be ordered in bulk, but you’re actually paying for more material than you actually need.

Most of the lumber used on a site-built home comes to the construction site in standard pre-cut lengths. This means that when a builder wants a beam to be 8 feet long, but only has 10 foot long beams, he has to cut it down, effectively wasting 2 feet (20%) of expensive materials. Modular manufacturers can cut the exact length they need, and even if there is extra lumber that has to be pared off, that lumber can be reused by that home, or one of the hundreds of others that will be constructed in the same facility, passing the savings on to you.

Labor

Labor costs is the area that there is the least talk about since there are so many different variables to account for. A manufacturer cannot make a claim about reduction of total cost because they have no control over how much a builder or general contractor may charge for their services. It is also unlikely that specialty contractors like plumbers or electricians will charge your GC any less per hour for a modular home than a site-built home, but they will have less work to do since much of the work has already been completed in the factory.

Workers roofing a modular home in the factory

These men are at the roofing station. If the factory has a high enough volume, they will work on roofing all day, every day.

What we know for sure though is that it requires fewer man-hours total to construct a home by modular means and the cost per man-hour during the manufacturing stage is much lower. Your average workman on a site-built home will have multiple responsibilities. A working in a modular manufacturing factory is much more specialized. Depending on the worker, the size of the factory, and the volume needed, a modular worker may need to do only one type of task all day, every day. The worker will become an expert in just that one aspect of home-building (say installing cabinets) and will be able to do that one task much faster and more efficiently. And because that worker can be trained in much less time than an on-site worker, his cost per hour is much lower.

Green Living With Modular Homes

Modular homes are greener and more energy efficient than stick built homes. Find out why and lean how to make your prefab home the greenest it can be!

Because modular builders typically waste less raw material and manufacture and ship in massive amounts, the construction of a modular home is almost always more environmentally friendly than the construction of a similar site-built home. Where modular homes really shine is in their ongoing energy efficiency.

Air-Tight Construction

Modular homes are crafted with factory precision, and all the seams fit much more snugly than they do in a typical site-built home. This means that much less outside air can make it in to the house, keeping the temperature and quality of the air at a stable level. Modular construction also lends itself very well toefficient use of insulation, allowing perfectly sized pieces to be an integral part of walls.

 

Efficient Heating and Cooling

zone heating in a home

By using zone heating and cooling, you can temperature control only the parts of your house that you will using during certain times of day.

 

Since modular homes are so airtight, it’s important to make sure they’re properly ventilated or the air will start to get stale. This will mean placing a vent in almost every room, which is perfect for maintaining steady temperature and air quality throughout the home.

Each module has a floor, walls, and a ceiling which are joined together to their neighboring modules. There are two walls between each room and both a roof and a floor between different levels. This means that your house is effectively broken up into separate, well-insulated sections.This is perfect for heating and cooling your house by zone.

With a vent in most rooms, breaking up your house into heating and cooling zones is very easy and can save you a lot on your utilities bill each month. There’s no reason to heat or cool your whole house when you’re only using the bedrooms at night or the kitchen and living room during the day.

Energy Star

Energy Star Logo

Look for the blue energy star logo for the appliances that will save you green!

Modular homes lend themselves so readily to green living that every single home offered by some manufactures are designed to earn the Energy Star. Even in homes that wouldn’t be automatically Energy Star certified, you can add energy efficient appliances, properly seal ventilation ducts, install programmable heating and cooling systems, and take many other steps to make your home as energy efficient as possible.

 

Building Stronger With Modular Construction

The general impression on modular homes used to be that they were created with inferior workmanship, but since the industry has evolved over the past few decades, modular homes have become knownincreasingly not only for their affordability, but also for their superior construction quality. This is due to a few major factors: access to superior quality building materials, construction in a controlled environment, factory-quality inspections, and the need for each module to be so structurally sound that it can survive the trip over highways.

 

Superior Quality Building Materials


Anyone who thinks that modular construction is unsafe or shoddy clearly hasn’t heard that the new tallest building in the world, Sky City One, is set to be built from start to finish in just 90 days. How? They’re using modular building techniques.

At their core, regardless of the techniques used to build it, every house is made up of raw building materials. When those materials are of a lower quality, the whole structure suffers, but high quality materials are the foundation for a solid home.

Modular manufacturers hold an envious position when it comes to ordering building materials. They require so much lumber that they become the most important clients that lumber retailers have. As such, the retailers make sure that they keep the manufacturers happy by providing them with their highest quality materials.

With a small quantity of lumber, it is prohibitively expensive and can cause major delays to return less-than-optimal pieces and request new material. Since modular manufacturers buy in bulk, if any sub-par materials do get shipped, they can be returned before they threaten the structural integrity of your home.

 

Controlled Environment

 

Building indoors offers incredible advantages to modular manufacturers, not least of which is that no matter what the weather is like outside, construction on your home can continue. Bad weather can also damage your building materials, causing parts of your home that should not be exposed to the outdoors to weather prematurely.

The factory environment is also preferable to a build site because it can be kept locked up overnight. Budget overages and delays are frequently due to missing, stolen, or damaged building materials, particularly in more densely populated areas.

 

Quality Inspection

 

Since modular homes are constructed in a factory, they are subject to rule concerning factory manufacturing and therefore arethoroughly inspected at every step. The inspector is someone employed by the manufacturer whose whole job it is to make sure that quality standards are being upheld. These inspections are in addition to the third-party inspections done on every residential building, not as a replacement. There are no easements given to modular homes like there are to manufactured or mobile homes; they are subject to the same strict regulations that site-built homes must adhere to.

 

Structural Integrity

 

As the final nail in the coffin to the argument that says that modular homes aren’t constructed soundly, consider that every separate module that is used to create your home has to travel over highways and back roads –sometimes for distances of hundreds of miles – to get to their final destination. This means they have to withstand high winds, constant vibration, extreme shifts in weight distribution due to turning and braking, and shaking from bumps in the road. Modular construction is so strong in fact, that FEMA says that modular homes hold up better against extreme weather than site-built homes.

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Urban Infrastructure & Prefab Housing

# B3, 2nd Floor
Lake View Apartments
Road No: 11 Banjara Hills
Hyderabad 500034

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Web: www.smartecprefab.com

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