Modular Homes vs. Homes Built On-Site

Posted on May 25th, 2016 by Westchester | Posted in: Home Trends

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Some people might ask, “Why should I purchase a modular home?” When the question is raised, our response is, “Why shouldn’t you buy a modular home?” Both types of homes have great benefits, but one exceeds the other in almost every way. Here are some of the main criteria you should consider when evaluating both types of construction.

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Exterior Appearance
Modular: It is assumed that a modular home is always identifiable from the outside because it may look more plain or boxy than site built homes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. With the advent of Computer Assisted Design, you can achieve the look and style that you want. Most modular manufacturers such as Westchester Modular Homes allow you to customize any existing home plan to attain the outward elevation that you choose by varying the roof lines and dormer windows and adding architectural features. Once the home is built, you will not be able to discern a modular home compared to traditional built homes.
Site Built: The traditional site built home appearance can be customized to the homeowner’s preference, but the process can be much more painstaking. Many times additions or changes will be required that will involve architects and increase the time and cost.


Floor Plans and Design
Modular: Modular homes may be highly customized right down to the very last detail. Quality modular manufacturers such as Westchester Modular Homes offer floor plan collections with hundreds of different homes and styles, or they can start with plans that you provide. In-house engineering services are offered so that you will be able to achieve the look and the feel that you desire. Thousands of customizable options are available from which you can choose. With modular construction, pre planning is the key and your home will be designed with all of the amenities that you desire.
Site Built: Most custom builders have sample plans of homes that they offer or have built in the past. They may offer internal design services and can work with you on plans. They also will work with architects to design and build your home. In both cases customization is available, but can come with a premium cost.

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Modular: Time savings is one of the biggest advantages to building a modular home. According to the complexity of your home and when the home can be produced by the manufacturer, the first phase may only take a total of 3-6 months. The timeframe of completing your home after it arrives at the jobsite and is set on the foundation typically ranges between 30 and 120 days. There are some significant time saving advantages due to the fact that while your home is being built by the manufacturer, excavation and foundation work can be accomplished on your jobsite. Weather conditions are usually not a factor because the majority of your home is completed in a climate-controlled production facility.
Site Built: The normal timeframe is six months to one year or more for traditional site built projects. Since all construction occurs on site, scheduling of sub-contractors tends to be tricky and slower due to availability. Work can be also significantly slowed due to weather conditions.

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Modular: Building offsite is organized, efficient, and detailed and can offer numerous advantages. Because homes are constructed in climate-controlled facility with a highly skilled and trained work force, many problems can be eliminated before they occur. Every home is carefully inspected for quality and approved by the states where they are delivered for code compliance.
Site Built: Homes built from scratch may risk quality and consistency because much of the work is done by numerous subcontracted trades that do not work directly for the builder. Also, materials are unprotected and exposed to the elements and can be damaged if not protected properly.


Cost Comparison
Modular: Builders always control the final cost of the house, but generally modular homes are always competitive and frequently less expensive than site built homes. This is due to labor costs and efficiencies in building and purchasing. Construction time is reduced, which can also lower the interest payments on your construction loan.


Site Built: Depending on the builder you choose, site built homes tend to be much more per square foot and things often pop up during the building process that will increase the cost even further.


Appraisal and Resale Value
Modular:  There is no difference in appraisal or resale value of a quality built modular home and a site built home. Modular homes retain their value well.
Site Built: Traditionally-constructed site built homes are the known standard.


Building Codes
Modular and Site Built: Modular homes and site built both have to meet the local and state building codes. Many times modular homes are code compliant with numerous other codes above and beyond the required state codes. Ask your manufacturer about compliance with local, state, and additional building codes.


We welcome hearing your thoughts and questions about the differences between building a modular home and a site built home. Feel free to post your questions and ideas in the comments section below.



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