You’ve heard the sales pitch. They’re less expensive, more convenient and less time-consuming than building houses the traditional way. Indeed, modular homes are rife with benefits. But like all other construction options, they are not limited to these benefits or their sales pitch. There’s a whole lot more to modular home building- a lot more that you need to consider before you choose to go modular.
To help you make a wise decision about building a modular home, make sure you check on the following factors:
- It’s more than just the house. Modular home builders may be able to provide you a structurally complete house by the time the pieces move out of their factory doors, but even then you won’t have a fully functional home. There are still plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning and other installations to think about that you may have to work on with another contractor. To relieve you of this hassle, make sure you pick a builder that does the complete job and offers these installations.
- Is your budget up to it? While the up-front price for a modular home is often affordable, you have to anticipate the possibility that that’s not all you’ll be paying for. There may be additional charges for certain inclusions, such as garages, decks and porches, and other complicated design elements. You may also have to pay for certain installations not included in your builder’s standard package. To avoid additional costs as much as possible, keep your design simple and get a builder that covers everything you need at no extra cost, or set an agreement beforehand of what you need and how much you are willing to pay.
- You need a firm foundation. Unlike conventional construction sites, there’s no room for adjustments to the foundation of a modular home. Since it’s built away from the site, the foundation needs to be fixed. It also needs to be flat, level and cleared of obstructions to give way to the large crane that will carry the house.
- You have the freedom of design but… you might need to invest more to achieve it. While modular homes are no longer limited to box-shaped structures, complicated designs are certainly going to take a bit longer to construct (even in a factory) and will probably cost you more. If you’re willing to wait and pay, then by all means, fulfil your design dreams with your modular home.
- It fares well against conventional homes. Contrary to what some may believe, modular homes fare well against their conventionally-built counterparts. Modular homes are appraised in the same way, don’t depreciate in value, are considered real property and are surprisingly strong- they can even withstand wind speeds of up to 175 mph. They can also be customised, insured and bought via home loan in the same way as conventional homes. While they may not have very high resale values when sold separately from the land, they make up for it by usually costing less to construct and being a ‘green’ building option.
- Not all modular home builders are the same. And the reliability of house builders cannot always be determined by their finished product. You might think that one builder’s gallery of finished work looks amazing, but you don’t know how many complaints, unmet deadlines and other issues may have been encountered to get these results. To choose the best modular home builder, check their reputation. Talk to the people that have worked with them and of course, inspect the quality of their work.
By Debra Wright
Marketing specialist Debra Wright enjoys learning new things both online and offline. Her love for discovery encompasses varied subjects from the mundane to the riveting, including topics like homemaking and makeovers. When she is not in front of her computer or behind the wheel for a road trip, she is busy with her oven trying to master her baking skills. Follow her on twitter @debrawrites…