Modular homes or prefab homes consist of several built-in components or modules that are delivered to its intended location for assembly. The different modules or sections are shipped to the location and they are assembled using large overhead cranes. The modules include bed rooms, living rooms, dining rooms and kitchens that match the requirements of the owner.
These homes are often confused with mobile homes or manufactured homes. People are often confused with what are the differences between mobile, manufactured, modular, prefab, etc. What do they all mean? The original concept of homes built efficiently in a factory on a steel trailer chaise that could be moved to a new location began in the 1950’s. So many soldiers were coming back from the war and cost effective housing was needed, fast. Since these homes had tires and were mobile they were considered personal property, not attached to real property, hence having a VIN number and treated as a mobile structure. Soon the term “mobile homes” began to be associated with the low quality and fast depreciation. Because of this, many factories began raising the quality level and building manufactured homes based on the HUD code. HUD stands for Housing and Urban Development Code. The federal government, in an effort to regulate the construction of factory built homes, issued a national building code for manufacturing facilities. With this national code a factory could build a home in any part of the country and it will be accepted nationwide, not requiring it to meet each individual state or city building codes. These HUD code homes still have a steel chaise and are constantly having the mortgage argument about real property vs. personal property. Many HUD homes struggle with financing problems and depreciation. As the evolution continued modular homes or another term is prefab homes surfaced to still utilize the time and streamlining of the factory process but reduce the low quality, financing and depreciation problems of its predecessors. Modular homes or prefab homes are built on a location basis. They are built to meet the building code standards of the state or city they are constructed in. They have wood floor systems and are permanently attached to the foundation causing the homes to be real property and no different than any of their neighboring homes built directly on-site. Since modular or prefab homes are constructed to the same code as their neighboring site built homes they are inspected by the same city inspectors, financed the same, appraised the same, resell is the same, appreciation is the same and once attached to the permanent foundation they are no different than site built home. Irontown Homes has taken the modular or prefab industry to a new level by offering custom built, custom designed homes that make it possible to build almost any home design in the factory no matter what features, what materials or what size the of home.
Today, more and more people are opting for a modular homes or prefab because of the benefits that come with it. Some of the benefits of buying a modular home include the following:
Flexibility in Design
A modular home provides a high level of customization to suit the needs of each and every customer. They can be built for any specification. It can be a single-level or a multi-level home. Its design can be a simple one module building or a 12,000 square feet mansion with everything in between. The design possibilities are endless and it gives the owner an opportunity to work closely with the builder and determine exactly how the house should be built. Numerous floor plans can be made and the owner can pick the one that he or she likes the best. So, with a modular home, one can get the exact dream house without any kind of compromise.
Less building time
The amount of time required to build a modular home is less. With weeks in the factory and mere weeks on site to finish the modules it can save a lot of time over a site built home. This is because work can be done in parallel. The excavation and foundation can be completed at the site location while the house is being built in the factory. There is no more hassle involved with contractors, weather delays, vandalism or theft. With all of the materials and resources centrally located in the factory and no outside weather restrictions a schedule can be very rigid with few interruptions.
Building codes and state regulations
Prefab homes have to adhere to the building codes and regulations laid down by each state. The regulations ensure that it meets the quality standards of any site-built home and so there is no difference between modular homes and site built construction in terms of quality. Modular homes have to go through a more stringent procedure than site-built homes. They have to meet the building codes of the state in which the house is going to be assembled. The building plan has to be approved by the state before the construction is started. They are subjected to frequent inspections from housing officials. An independent third party has to review the construction process, its quality and it has to place a label stating that the home complied with all codes and regulations. All these codes and regulations mean a higher quality in construction and delivery.
Modular homes are highly energy efficient because they use the latest technologies in construction. The walls require a two-by-six frame and this gives an added insulation that can save a lot more energy. They can be made to adapt to the living conditions of its final place of residence. Another advantage with the construction is that they are packed tightly and so there is little scope for the infiltration of external air. Also, during the process of manufacturing, the building company tends to use a lot more sealants in all the areas and so the home is completely sealed. This helps these homes to maintain a reasonably constant temperature year around and so the energy required to heat or cool is reduced.
The quality of materials used in making modular homes is high because they have to weather the transportation and assembly. To withstand this strain, an additional twenty percent of material is used over site-built homes. This makes them more sturdy and stable. Since the modules are tightly packed into one unit, they are better able to weather the forces of nature like hurricane and floods. The frequent inspections by third-party companies also add to its superior quality. They are more durable than site-built homes because they are completely sealed and there is no part that is left untouched. All these factors make modular homes a top-notch quality home.
Modular homes use a lot less materials than site-built homes and there is minimal wastage. The extra materials are reused for another module or stored for the next construction project. This means lesser use of construction materials and lesser harm to the environment. These modules are made in factories that are located far away from residential areas and so they have minimal impact on the living conditions of any city or community. It is also possible to recycle the parts easily. When temporary modular homes are dismantled, the modules can be used for another home. This reduces the materials required for construction and also reduces the time to build new modules.
The cost of building a modular home is far less than a regular site-built home. This is mainly because there are minimal delays due to weather conditions or contractor problems. The modules are built inside a factory and so there are no delays related to weather. Also, in the case of site-built homes, weather can bring down some of the construction and this part has to be re-built. There is no such problem in the modular home industry and this means reduced cost for the owner.
The reduced time in constructing these homes translate to reduced financing costs. The amount of interest is also less and so the consumer has to pay only a lesser amount of money on mortgage. Another advantage is that modular home builders purchase building supplies in bulk because of the number of orders they get through the year. So, the purchasing costs that are transferred to the home owner is less and this finally reflects in the overall cost of the finished house.
Remote locations and tight neighborhoods
Modular homes are the ideal choice for people living in remote locations or over-populated neighborhoods. It may be difficult to find contractors in remote locations because people may not be willing to travel far. Also, it may cost more to bring contractors to the remote location from their place of residence. For such places, modular homes are the perfect choice because the construction is done at a different place and only the final assembly is done at the remote location. This is the same for crowded neighborhoods as well. There may not be enough space to keep the construction materials or the contractors may not have the space required to move around to build the house. In this case also, modular homes are the best choice.
In short, modular homes offer the best value for money. They are not only aesthetically designed and environment-friendly, but they are also cheap and are superior in quality. They offer a great amount of flexibility and it can be built for any location and any specification. These are some of the factors that make modular homes a popular option today among many home-owners.