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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Are modular homes really less expensive?

Modular home benefits
Reliable modular homes save up to 20%
By Debra Wright

In recent years, modular homes have grown steadily in popularity because of the many benefits they offer, and also because they’ve begun to take on more designs and features that homeowners love. But along with this popularity, a major concern has also started to rise.

Many are starting to believe that modular homes may not be as affordable as they first set out to be, with some stating that they may even be more expensive than site-built homes.

Clearing out misconceptions

A common source of this misconception is that many people who first hear about the affordability of modular homes instantly think that this equates up to 60% in savings, or are led to believe so by shady manufacturers. While this figure may be possible, it is only possible for very few modular home builders and whatever is built with these kinds of savings will most likely include less than desirable materials and building methods. For most reliable builders, you can expect between 10 to 20 per cent savings when you choose to go modular.

Another factor that adds to this confusion is the builder that you choose. Not all builders are created equal, and just like in many other industries, some in the modular home building business will be better than others. Some will offer incredible deals but produce very shoddy, disappointing work; while others will cost you slightly more but deliver on their promises.

If you want to gain the most value out of your modular home, you need to keep your expectations realistic and choose a reliable modular manufacturer.

Source of savings

So exactly what makes modular homes more affordable than their site-built counterparts?
Kit Home designs
Material costs are lower for modular homes
  1. Bulk orders. Unlike site-built homes which are built individually, several modular or kit homes are built at the same time, reducing the cost per kit home.
  2. Bulk purchasing of materials. With site-built homes you often need to buy more than enough raw material in case something gets damaged. This can result in a lot of excess and wasted material and more money spent. Modular homes don’t have this disadvantage. Because of their bulk production, modular home manufacturers can purchase materials and appliances in bulk at more affordable prices, and excess materials will never be wasted because they can always be used in building another modular home.
  3. Lower labour costs. Kit homes are built more systematically in factories by workers that specialise in specific areas of the home. Unlike onsite workers who have to juggle different responsibilities, those who work on modular homes often have to do just one thing and become experts at finishing this one area of the building process. This results in shorter training times, lower costs per worker per hour and lesser total working hours needed to finish a kit home.
  4. Controlled building environment. Outdoor construction sites are often a slave to many uncontrollable elements. Harsh weather, pests, thieves and vandals are just some of the things that can lengthen construction periods, damage building materials and overall, increase construction costs. With modular homes you don’t have to worry about any of these as most of the construction happens in a controlled, secure and private facility.

Modular homes may not always be as affordable as you expect especially if you wish to add more complicated structures and features to it. But with the right builders and a sensible design and plan for your home, overall choosing a modular home will still deliver greater value.

About the author: Debra Wright is a creative online writer who supplies cyberspace with interesting and informative write-ups about her favourite topics including home decors and designs. A wide reader and ardent web surfer, she believes she can do anything as long as she has an Internet connection. Follow Debra on twitter @debrawrites.

Images: Author owned and licensed