General Modular Building Information

Modular Building Process Timeline

Modular buildings are similar to on-site buildings or stick-built units in appearance and performance. However, one big advantage of modular buildings is the shortened timeline, which delivers cost savings. This is because the pieces of the modular house (or office) are constructed in a climate-controlled workspace that removes the possibility of weather delays. This working environment increases efficiency allowing the structure to be built faster and costing less. In addition, having a separate workspace from the building site allows for concurrent building. In other words, while your building site is being prepared (ground leveled, foundation poured etc.) your walls and roof are already being built in the climate-controlled workspace. Listed below is a general timeline that will take 60 to 120 days for the entire project. Each individual modular home and modular office contractor will be different.

  • Financing Part I
      Like most Americans, you will probably need some financing for you building project. Your local banks and even modular builders can provide you with home mortgages. Before you talk to anyone about your finances, make sure you are educated about the basics so you can ask smart questions. Look up your credit report (which is free to do once a year) and make sure there are no errors. If there are issues with your credit, try to improve your credit score before applying. Then look up the current mortgage loan rates. This will help you to estimate how much you can spend on your new home. Then start contacting banks to determine which will offer you the best rate and have a preliminary mortgage meeting with them. The financing modular homes section of Modular Today discusses this topic further.
  • Decide what you want
      What type of house do you want? Do you want a ranch, colonial or another style? How many floors, bedrooms, bathrooms and how much square feet of space would you like? Where would you like to build? (Most modular builders will only service a specific area.)
  • Research
      Look at our modular home builder reviews or search Google for "modular builders in (your area)". Most of the builders will ask you to fill out a contact form so they will know what information to send you. Usually, it will take a few days for them to send you this information and a price estimate for your project. Make sure your builder is certified and in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Architectural Plans
      Once you decide on a builder, your next step is to choose which plan of theirs you would like or if you want any add-ons to their normal plans. Based on your selection, the builder will prepare house plans and architectural drawings in about 2-6 weeks. Check out our sneak peek at some modular floor plans. Each manufacturer has unique plans but this should give you a good sense of what you can expect your house to look like.
  • Construction Costs
      When the architectural drawings and house plans are complete, the cost of the local builder and needed labor can be determined. It can take a few weeks to determine the costs and guarantee the scheduling with the local builders.
  • Financing Part II
      Once the costs are completed and you have blueprints, you can go back to the bank that you had the preliminary home financing meeting with. The bank normally will require a copy of the final blueprint drawings and written construction bids before they will approve the loan.
  • Building Permits
      Once you have the necessary financing, you then need to work with your modular home builder to apply for any necessary building permits that are required by the state or local governments. Generally, this will take one or two weeks for typical building sites. If you are in a historic area, environmentally sensitive or other protected zone, it can take considerably longer.
  • Site Preparation/Construction
      Modular buildings enable you to experience a great time and cost savings by allowing your construction to commence while your site is being prepared. While your foundation is being created, the modular building is being fabricated at an off-site location. It is then shipped to you in sections then it is assembled by the local builders and constructed on top of your foundation. This step will take 1 to 3 months depending on the size and complexity of your modular home or office.