What is a modular home? Modular homes are distinguished from traditional site-built homes in that they are built of “modules”, which are constructed in a factory to exact specifications, transported to the home site and assembled on site.
A shortage of skilled construction workers has driven up costs and lowered craftsmanship. Factory labor is more closely supervised than site labor, and workers have greater opportunity to master their individual crafts. Automated assembly equipment produces greater quality. Only high-quality materials will work well with precision factory equipment.
Modular homes are built to withstand highway transportation to the home site, and crane-lifting onto the foundation. In addition to nails, special adhesive is used to fasten major components, such as walls. Double and triple headers are used where modules will be joined together. And a correctly finished modular home outperforms a typical site-built home on air filtration, meaning lower energy bills.
A house constructed by a competent custom builder will likely take one to two months longer to complete than a comparable modular home. Modular methods avoid weather-related delays during the bulk of construction process, and the labor that takes place in the factory environment creates efficiencies that speed the building process.
The manufacturing process creates cost advantages through lower labor costs and assembly-line efficiencies. Additional advantages are generated by lowered material costs from volume purchasing and elimination of losses. In an area with average construction labor costs, one can expect to save about five percent versus site-built costs, for the portion of building done by the manufacturer and the GC. These savings may increase in areas like Long Island, where local construction labor costs are high.
A modular home dealer designs your plan, determines specifications and establishes the price. A modular manufacturer builds the home and ships it to your site. A general contractor (GC) puts the home together on site. It is recommended that you purchase from a dealer who is either an experienced GC or works hand in hand with an experienced GC.