Options abound when you are planning a new home and now that you
know what you are looking for, in terms of downsizing and universal
design, you will hear the terms site built, modular homes and
manufactured homes. It is important that you know the difference
whether considering an existing home or plan to build on a vacant lot
Site Built Homes: This refers to house built from the ground up on the home site. These houses conform to all state, local or regional codes and a well- built, cared for site home generally increases in value over time.
Modular Homes: These homes are built in modules in a factory. Modular Homes conform to all of the state, local and regional codes for the area at their destination. Modules are transported to the home site on a truck bed and put together by local contractors. Modular homes are sometimes less expensive than site built homes and should increase in value over time.
Manufactured Homes: These homes are built in a factory and conform to HUD codes rather than the building codes at their destinations. Sections of the homes are transported to the home site on their own wheels and joined at their destinations. Manufactures housing is generally less expensive than site built and modular homes but often decrease in value over time.
You have probably lived in a site built home for most of your adult life and we have already discussed manufactured homes in a separate article. One more option presents itself in terms of a modular home.
Modular Homes: Reducing a building into modular component pieces to enable quick assembly is not a new concept. The module has been developed to simplify and standardize the building practice and the components.
There are three stages of family life (early, crowded and late) and each of these stages presents different space requirements. The early stage consisting of a single individual or a couple requires only the basics for living, sleeping, cooking and bathing. The crowded family stage requires more space in order to provide the privacy necessary for comfortable living. The later stage looks back toward the basics again as the children move out.
The care and upkeep of a large family home is often too much to handle in terms of maintenance and upkeep.
A modular home is an option for retirement living. Rather than remodeling your large family home you might find it less costly and more energy efficient to look into a modular home. You are no longer stuck with a basic floor plan but can work with a designer to computer generate a plan that will meet your personal needs.
Modular homes look like any other houses and can range from small simple “starter home” designs to large custom-built homes. Affordable log and timber homes are included in the category of modular homes. A modular home (designed, engineered and built in a factory) is constructed in sections and put together by a builder on your own site. The technology used can produce homes that are not only more affordable than traditionally built homes but of higher quality.
Speed and efficiency are the most popular concepts of modular home construction. Because the modules are constructed in a factory and are not subject to variables, such as the weather, you can think in terms of weeks rather than months for a start to finish outcome. Modular homes are constructed to the building codes required by your state and locality are not restricted by any zoning regulations.
Modular Homes are built in modules or sections in the factory and are transported to your site and joined together by local contractors. Modular homes, when you add up the costs of labor and materials, are generally lower in cost than its site-built counterpart of a comparable size.
There is no distinction between modular and site-built homes when it comes to appraisal, financing and insuring issues. Most modular home manufacturers market their homes through local builders or developers.
Source: The Craft of Modular Post and Beam (Building Log and Timber Homes Affordably) by James Mitchell