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Modular Homes Consumer Guide

Modular homes

Custom modular homes are a great alternative to traditional on-site new home construction. Because most of the initial construction work is done in an off-site, climate-controlled factory using an engineered approach to building, these systems built houses offer a more efficient and cost-effective method for building your dream home. After individual, custom-designed modules are created by the manufacturer, they are transported to the building site. A local builder applies the finishing touches after joining the sections together using the same methods and standards used for stick-built houses. The result is that beautiful one and two-story homes and even multi-family homes can be purchased at significantly lower cost per square foot.

Modular homes match the quality and appearance of old fashion stick-built houses. This is not boring housing with no curb appeal. Custom built modular construction offers a wide range of custom-designed floor plans that can deliver your family its custom luxury house. Our free online consumer guide is here to help you understand the pros and cons of climate controlled prefab construction, help you review local builders and show you some of the thousands of customizable floor plans you can pick for your dream house.

Modular Homes are Not Mobile Homes

Modular homes have no design limitations. Your manufacturer and local modular home builder can work together to create any dream house you want. The key difference between this home built with this building process and old fashioned houses is that pre-fabricated houses start out as individual sections that are constructed in a factory. The finished section are transported to your selected building site and then assembled together using giant cranes. The assembly process looks a little like building with Lego blocks but the construction standards are much higher. Engineers build the prefab homes on permanent foundations. There is no design limit to these houses. Your modular home builder can make any shape or size and will meet or exceed your local and state building codes. The experienced builders can give you your custom designed kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms and all at an affordable price. Of course, these new homes are also very green and energy efficent. Once they are fully constructed, they are just as strong and attractive as any building constructed with old fashioned building process.

On the other hand, mobile homes (also known as manufactured homes) use a building process according to the federal HUD Building Code. This requires all mobile houses to be built on a non-removable steel chassis that severely limits their design options. A manufactued home can be moved from one site to another. Manufactured houses are not built on permanent foundations. Check out our home construction comparison chart. These homes can have any feature a traditionally built house enjoys. You can have high energy efficiency, glass sunrooms, extra tall ceilings, warm fireplaces and anything else you can dream up for your custom floor plan. Even with customized plans, you will save time and save money with climate controlled factory built construction.


We have gathered over 500 floor plans from the best prefab builders across the nation so you can preview the great designs they offer and contact them. Remember these home designs are just a starting point and you can custom design your new home so it perfectly fits your family's lifestyle. Go ahead and browse our floor plan gallery and see the great looking homes that are being built today.


Cost and Time Savings

Modular Time Saving Graph

Modular Savings

Traditional Homes

Traditional Costs

Modular construction projects continue to become more common as homebuyers learn more about them and better understand the construction process. Using streamlined production process your home builder delivers higher efficiency and a higher quality house. The prefab construction speed is faster than on-site construction since manufacturers build your house inside a factory and weather cannot cause delays. Weather delays in site-built construction can greatly increase labor costs. Home buyers also don't get stuck with the tab for wasted building materials exposed to wind, rain, snow and general rot at the building site of old fashioned construction.

Prefab home prices will vary depending where you live. A general guide is that stick-built houses cost upwards of $150 per square foot while mobile/manufactured homes will cost $40-$80 per sq. ft. Modular housing prices will be about $90-$150 per sq. ft. For more precise pricing estimates, use our directory of modular builders. These veteran builders will be able to give you accurate constuction prices based on your personal building situation and your preferred floor plan. Also, read our article about modular home prices.


Custom Appearance Like Any Traditional Home

Prefabricated modular homes allow you to afford the home that has all the options you want. You can have a basement, multiple levels, extra bedrooms, increased green energy efficiency and additional insulation in your luxuy home. Modular builders allow you to select different custom options so you can have the floor plan of your dreams. You can now enjoy your perfect home at a lower price - made possible by the efficiency of prefab construction.

Modular housing looks just like traditionally built homes. The big difference is that these homes are pre-built in factories and assembled on-site. This process provides time savings since construction on the modular building can begin in the factory while the site preparation work is being done (leveling of ground, laying foundation, etc.) and weather delays don't slow down the factory construction. Don't take our word on the beauty of these houses. Explore our gallery of modular home floor plans highlighting hundreds of prefab home plans from builders across the construction industry. Keep in mind that you can use these plans as a starting point and customize them to suit all your needs.

homebuyers comparison chart

Homebuyers Comparison Chart

Find out how these houses compare to old-fashioned stick-built houses and mobile homes. Learn the facts about modular houses and avoid confusing misconceptions. We brush away the marketing fluff and compare these construction options. Become informed so you can make the best decision for your family and your budget.

modular home financing

Modular Home Financing

Don't be surprised that factory built homes are easy to finance. Financing is the same as old-fashioned construction financing because they meet or exceed the same building code standards as stick-built homes and are placed on permanent foundations. That is why they are financed the same way as stick-built homes. Find out your financing options to make your new home a reality.

new homes gallery

New Homes Gallery

Many people confuse prefab with mobile homes and think they are ugly and made of poor quality. Let this gallery open your eyes to the impressive world of climate controlled factory built homes and enjoy all the different styles from simple ranches to multi-family homes to stunning mansions that are available. The huge construction factories are impressive and the million dollar mansions that they produce are even more impressive.

insiders guide to modular homes

Insiders' Guide to Modular Homes

Looking for even more information? Order the Insiders' Guide to Modular Homes! It has over 164 updated pages written specifically for the homebuyer. This eBook provides unbiased information from industry veteran Tim Key. Learn from his insights and avoid costly mistakes that can waste thousands of dollars and cause months of headaches when building your dream house.