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In short: Choose a prefab home if you want a cheaper option. Choose a modular home if you want a customized house at a higher price.
Let’s look closer into the pros and cons of each type of home and decide which one is better under which criteria. There’s no one answer that fits all but the more information you get, the better decision you can make. This is our goal.
The criteria you can use to decide:
- The construction process.
- The construction time.
- Customization options.
- Suitable land.
- Real estate value.
- Permanent structure and additional structures.
- Energy efficiency.
- The cost.
Table of Contents
A modular home or mobile home is an affordable housing option built in the factory with all of its parts pre-assembled on-site at your new location. Modular homes are usually constructed by manufacturers who specialize in building these types of houses for mass production. They come in different sizes, shapes, designs, and price ranges.
A modular home comprises pre-manufactured components that have been trucked or flown from a manufacturing facility to the building site. These modules include walls, roofs, floors, doors, windows, cabinets, prefab countertops, appliances, etc. They also typically come with all their hardware already installed.
The advantage of modular homes is that they allow builders to create custom designs without worrying about how much material will fit onsite. This means that there won’t be any wasted space in the finished product. It can also save time since everything needed to build the structure comes together at one location instead of multiple locations throughout the project.
Manufactured Prefab Homes
Prefabricating a home involves constructing the entire structure using factory-made parts. Once completed, the units are moved onto a flatbed trailer, where they are loaded onto trucks and taken to the job site.
In some cases, manufacturers build their own housing communities from scratch. This means that all the components needed to construct a single home are brought onsite.
Once everything is assembled, the structure is ready to move onto its permanent location. Manufacturers usually offer financing options through banks and credit unions.
There are many advantages to manufactured homes:
- They can be big or tiny prefab houses.
- They tend to be less expensive than traditional stick-built homes.
- They require fewer skilled tradespeople.
- They allow homeowners to customize their living space.
- You can add prefab additions to your house and backyard.
Modular vs. Prefab
Prefabs have become more popular over time because they’re easier to build than traditional stick-frame houses. They also tend to be cheaper to buy and install. Modular homes can cost anywhere from $50k-$100k depending on size and features. Some of these homes come with all appliances included, while others may require additional work by an electrician or plumber.
Modular vs. Mobile Homes
Mobile homes are different than modular homes because they’re designed to move around. Modular homes are usually constructed of concrete blocks and steel frames. They may also include other materials such as wood siding. Mobile homes typically do not require foundation support.
Modular Home Cost
The price of a modular home varies depending upon its size, features, quality, brand name, etc. Prices range anywhere between $50K-$150K+.
Modular Homes vs. Houses Built On-site
The main difference between a house built on-site versus a modular home is size. Modular homes tend to be larger than traditional stick-frame construction because they’re assembled at a manufacturing facility before being shipped out to their final destination. They also typically come with more amenities like appliances and other features.
Do All Modular Homes Look Alike?
No two modular homes will ever look exactly alike. The design process varies depending upon what type of house you’re looking at. Some manufacturers offer more options while others limit their choices. You’ll want to find out which company offers the most flexibility when designing your new home.
Are Modular Homes More Expensive Than Those Built On-site?
The cost of a modular home varies depending upon many factors such as square footage, number of bedrooms/baths, etc., but it’s generally less costly than an equivalent site-built home.
The Difference Between Modular and Prefab Homes
There is no difference between prefabricated homes and modular homes. They are just different names for the same type of home that has been manufactured offsite and then transported into place on site. The only real differences between them are how they were built and what materials they use.
Prefab vs. Modular: Verdict
There are many advantages to both types of prefabrication. However, if you want something custom designed, then modular is probably best suited for you. On the other hand, if you need an off-the-shelf solution, then manufactured homes would likely work better for you.
If you’re looking for a quick fix, then a modular home might make sense because it allows you to get started quickly while still giving you plenty of room to design your dream house later. If you don’t mind waiting until after construction begins, however, then manufactured homes may be a good option for you. Either way, though, you should always do your research before making a decision.
- Prefabricated homes are constructed by assembling individual pieces of wood frame panels at a remote location.
- A manufactured home is created entirely out of metal, plastic, glass, concrete, or composite materials.
- Both prefabs and modular are often used when creating affordable housing solutions.
Modular Home Assembly
Modular homes must conform to specific rules, guidelines, and building codes that often surpass traditional on-site homes.
The process begins when an order is received at the manufacturer’s facility. The company will then begin assembling the modules using their own equipment. Once complete, each module is transported to its final destination, installed onto a foundation.
Where Can You Find Modular Homes for Sale?
Several companies build and sell modular homes. If you want to personalize your home, you can either order pre-designed homes that don’t need installation, or you can do it alone.
Yes! In fact, there’s been a significant increase in demand for these homes over the past few years as more people have become interested in buying them. As long as you keep up with maintenance and repairs, you’ll see steady increases in resale values.
A typical price range for a new modular home starts around $50,000. Prices vary depending upon size, quality, features, and customization.
Yes, but not all manufacturers offer this level of affordability. You can also purchase land from developers who have already built several modular homes and use their plans to create yours. This method typically costs about 10% more than purchasing a ready-to-build model.
Manufactured homes are just like any other type of home—they are subject to weather conditions, earthquakes, termites, etc.
Modules are usually made of steel, so they tend to last longer than wooden structures. However, some components such as windows and doors require regular replacement.
Manufactured homes are generally very well insulated, which helps reduce heating and cooling bills.