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What is a Modular Home?

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

Modular Home Installation

First and foremost, it is NOT a “mobile home.” Mobile homes that may also be called “manufactured homes” are trailers with a steel chassis like any other vehicle. They come with a VIN and title and are usually put on piers for stability and skirted with a decorative trim made to look like a foundation. Mobile homes have specific models and just like cars, you can’t create your own model from scratch. You select from available models and then select predefined options. They are built to a special federal code created by HUD and, like any other vehicle, will depreciate over time.

Modular Homes are different. Modular is identical in structure to a home any contractor would build and meets all state and local codes. It does not have a chassis, it has a framed wooden floor system like all other homes. The exterior walls use 2x6 studs and interior walls 2x4. It is finished with drywall and ceramic tile and all mechanical systems (water, waste, HVAC and electrical) meet all standard residential construction codes. Modular homes can be Energy Star certified for their tight, durable construction that minimizes energy costs.

The only difference between a home built by a contractor on your land and a modular home is HOW it is built. Modular homes are produced in a modern factory using precision machinery and no materials are exposed to rain, humidity and insects. Waste during construction is less than half of site-built homes and engineers inspect the work constantly to ensure all codes are complied with. Efficiency in construction means smaller carbon footprint and less trash in the landfill. Factories also recycle everything they can, on-site local builders may not have access to such recycling.

Modern Modular Factory

Modular homes can be designed to withstand up to 180 mph winds and can be elevated on piers or pilings to be above storm surges and floods. We can also build a modular addition to an existing home. A study of modular homes after hurricane Andrew showed that modular withstood the brutal winds better than the homes build the conventional way. Modular technology is also used for hotels, dormitories, and commercial buildings.

Modular homes are also custom designed meaning you can have it your way. Builders who specialize in modular will design your home the way an architect would, and the factory will have engineers certify the design before construction begins. Your modular home is built in sections (modules). Modules are 90% complete when they leave the factory. Wiring and plumbing are in, cabinets and fixtures are installed, drywall completed and painted. The modules are put on a permanent foundation on your land using a 90-ton or heavier crane. After all structural connections are made, the final 10% of the finish work is done onsite and the home is inspected by your local building inspector and approved for occupancy. Modular homes can be any size and also be up to 4 stories tall. Modern modular construction techniques also mean the modular home is virtually indistinguishable from a home built onsite.

Modular Beach Home on Pilings

Factory construction is very cost effective and can be much faster than building onsite. There are no weather delays and completion is on time. Once scheduled for construction the home will be delivered within a few days of scheduled completion.

Modular homes are built to last for generations, do not require any disclosure to future owners, can be financed for 30 years, and will grow in value over time just like homes built the traditional way. If you are planning to build a new home, consider a modular home.

The Morgan Davonn team can tap over 50 years of experience in modular. Give us a call and we will explain the process and the options.

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