Find the Best Modular Home Manufacturers
Compare Top Modular Home Reviews
|Clayton Homes||Read 2,171 Reviews|
Clayton builds homes in all sizes, ranging from tiny homes to homes over 2,000 square feet. Home prices range from under $30,000 to over $200,000. Their ENERGY STAR certified modular homes help homeowners keep costs down.
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|Skyline Corporation||Read 47 Reviews|
Skyline Corporation specializes in building manufactured and modular homes in many styles. Their modular homes range in size from around 600 square feet to over 2,000 square feet. All their homes come with a 15-month warranty.
|Icon Legacy Custom Modular Homes||Read 6 Reviews|
Icon Legacy designs 1-5 bedroom modular homes that can be customized with features to suit your lifestyle. Choose from six styles like ranch, chalet, cape cod, raised ranch and two-story.
|Blu Homes||Read 5 Reviews|
With more than 20,000 design and home options to choose from, Blu Homes offers almost endless customization options to new home buyers. Starting home prices range from $195,000 to $545,000. Garage prices start at $65,000.
|American Homestar||Read Author Review|
American Homestar is a modular home company servicing residential single-family housing markets and state and federal government short-term and permanent housing. Starting prices range from $30,000 to $130,000.
|Champion Home Builders||Read Author Review|
Champion Home Builders builds single- and multi-family modular homes in the U.S. and Western Canada. Floor plans range from about 750 square feet to over 2,000 square feet. Contact your local Champion retailer for pricing info.
|Custom Modular Direct||Read Author Review|
Custom Modular Direct works with you to design and build your home. Choose from designs like ranchers, cape cods, split foyers, two-story, single-story and estate homes. Starting prices range from around $70,000 to $600,000.
|Express Modular||Read Author Review|
Choose from 8 plans from Express Modular, and design your own blueprint using their free interactive tool. Starting prices depend on your location and can range anywhere from $70,000 to over $600,000.
|Method homes||Read Author Review|
Method Homes builds sustainable modular homes with unlimited customization. Choose from six series, each with multiple floor plans. Modular costs range from $145-$210 per square foot with soft costs around $15,000-$30,000 and up.
|Nationwide Homes||Read Author Review|
Nationwide Homes builds modular homes in 16 states in the South, Southeast and Midwest. Choose a pre-built modular home or a customizable floor plan. Options range from a 300 square foot guest cabin to a 3,600 square foot house.
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Cost of modular homes
How much do modular homes cost?
Modular home prices range from under $100,000 to $1 million. Like site-built homes, the price of a modular home is dependent on a variety of factors, which makes it difficult to estimate your total cost until you’ve spoken with a contractor and figured out all the details of your home.
Some things that influence the price of a modular home include:
- Land: The price of land is separate from the price of your home when you build a modular home. Make sure to take the land price into account when you’re trying to estimate your overall cost.
- Where you live: Modular home manufacturers have to follow state and local codes when they build, which means the total price of your home will depend on where the home is going to be delivered.
- How big your home is: The cost per square foot for a modular home can range from $40 to $200, depending on what materials are used. For instance, if you want high-end countertops and exotic hardwood floors, expect to pay on the high end per square foot. In general, modular homes end up costing $90-$150 per square foot.
- Your floor plan: Modular home manufacturers work with a variety of floor plans that all come at different costs. Work with your manufacturer to find a floor plan that works for your lifestyle and stays within your budget.
- Site prep: Your site will need to be prepped before the home can be delivered. This includes marking property lines; leveling the land; clearing the land by removing any trees that are in the way; removing dead trees, tree stumps and large rocks; pouring concrete; and preparing a site for your modules to be unloaded when they’re delivered. Some manufacturers roll the cost into your total home price, while others will have you find your own contractors.
- Add ons: Adding plumbing lines, natural gas, a septic system and any exterior electrical will add to your overall cost. You’ll likely have to find your own contractor for these additional projects.
Cost of modular homes vs. building
Are modular homes cheaper than buying a house? In most cases, yes. Buying an existing site-built home might compare in price to building a new modular home, depending on where the home is. Building a new site-built home, though, will likely end up costing more than building a new modular home.
In general, you can expect to spend 10 to 20 percent less building a modular home than building an on-site home. Like site-built homes, modular home prices vary widely and can range from under $100,000 to over $1 million.
While you can build a modular home that rivals the size of most site-built houses, they’re known for their compact designs that make the most of small spaces. Modular homes are designed with insulation in mind, which makes controlling the climate inside them cheaper than a regular home.
The cost savings for building a modular instead of site-built home comes from two main areas:
- Materials: On-site builders have to custom order materials for one house at a time, and they usually order more than they will end up using in case some of their materials are destroyed or otherwise unusable. They often need to cut the lumber they get to specific measurements and end up discarding what they don’t use. Modular manufacturers buy materials in bulk since they build several houses at a time, which lowers the overall cost of materials for you. They can use excess lumber and materials on other houses, meaning there’s less waste overall and less materials that need to be ordered.
- Labor: Labor costs inside the factories where modular homes are manufactured are lower than labor costs for site-built homes. While there might be more people working on your modular home than if you were building it on site, every person has a specialty, which means the whole process is much more efficient than site building a home. You’ll still need to pay contractors, like electricians and plumbers, just as you would with a site-built home, but in general the cost per hour and the total amount of man hours needed are lower for modular homes than for site-built homes.
Modular home financing
Most banks and mortgage companies offer financing for modular homes. Mortgage lenders treat modular homes the same as they would with traditional, site-built construction.
Here are the steps involved in getting modular home loans:
- Get prequalified: Start the process by getting prequalified for a loan. It’s a good idea to compare rates from at least three different banks. Once you’ve decided on a bank or mortgage company, they’ll let you know what documents you need to gather and submit, including a blueprint of the home for appraisal.
- Get approved: Once you’ve been approved, you’ll get a letter of commitment which you’ll need to show the manufacturer before they’ll sign the final contract. When that’s complete, you’ll have a construction loan and can get started.
- Establish disbursement schedule: Once you’re approved, you’ll establish a disbursement schedule to determine when payments will be made and how much will go to each vendor.
- Make payments during construction: As your home is being built, you’ll be making interest payments every month. These payments cover each milestone like building the foundation, delivery of the modules to the site and finishing the exterior and interior of the home. You can’t make payments against the principal until construction is complete.
- Begin permanent mortgage payments: Your construction loan turns into permanent financing once construction is complete and the bank has an appraisal. Now you’ll start making payments against interest and principal. As soon as you close on your construction loan, the time it took to build your home counts toward your mortgage. For example, if you took a 30-year mortgage and it took three months to build, you now have 29 years and nine months to pay off your loan.
Pros and cons of modular homes
Enables you to build in remote locations
One of the advantages of modular homes is making your dream of building on a secluded piece of land a reality. If you dream of owning a secluded lake home away from everyone, a modular home can be an excellent option since the logistics required for a traditional stick-built home make a lot of remote locations too difficult for construction. Since modular homes are built in a central location and transported to the build site, they make building off the beaten path much easier.
Modular homes have become highly customizable, from picking out interior features and colors to designing your own floor plan with an architect. Companies offer a lot of pre-designed modular home floor plans, including plans for luxury modular homes, modern modular homes, ranch style modular homes and two-story modular homes. Once you’ve decided on a floor plan, the possibilities are endless when it comes to picking out things like fixtures, flooring, countertops, windows and colors.
Reduced build time
Modular homes are built in about one-third the time it takes to build a brick and mortar home. Since your homes modules are prefabricated in a factory and delivered to the build site to be put together, you won’t have to deal with things like weather delays and subcontractors not showing up to the job site.
Modular homes are very energy efficient. Most modular home builders use 2 x 6 framing for the walls, allowing more insulation to be put into the walls. Modular homes greatly reduce air infiltration, which is one of the leading causes of heat loss in a standard home.
Since they’re built in a factory, builders have easier access to seams so they can caulk and seal them. For example, builders can seal areas around fixtures and outlets because they can get behind, above and beneath all areas of the module that's being built.
Disadvantages of modular homes
Modular homes are often confused with manufactured, or mobile, homes. Unlike mobile homes, modular homes cannot be moved once they are put together. This can be a disadvantage for people who want a mobile home.
Another disadvantage of modular homes is that you have to buy the land separately from the house. If the land is undeveloped, you might end up paying a small fortune to make it livable. For instance, if there is no sewer system nearby, you might end up paying thousands of dollars for a septic system. Make sure to factor in the price of the land and development when you’re estimating your total final cost.
Finally, be aware that some homebuyers are biased against modular homes. This means a modular home might be more difficult to sell than a site-built home. Talk to local real estate agents to get a better idea of how easy or difficult it might be to sell a modular home in your area.
Common questions about modular homes
- What's the difference between modular homes and manufactured homes?
- People often get modular and manufactured homes confused. Manufactured homes are mobile, while modular homes are built in a factory and then transported to a permanent site. Modular homes (often called prefab homes) are built in climate controlled factories. Manufacturers build the homes in separate “modules” which are transported to a permanent location where they are fit together, sort of like Legos. The modules are set on your foundation and joined together to make a single home. Modules can be placed side-by-side, end-to-end or on top of each other. This allows for a variety of design options. Keep in mind that some towns have restrictions on where you can put a modular home. In many cases, modular homes aren’t allowed to be put on subdivision lots, which might limit your options of where you’ll build. Manufactured, or mobile, homes are built off-site and delivered to the site where the owner will live, like modular homes. The key difference is manufactured homes are built on a permanent chassis for transportation. You’ll typically see manufactured homes in mobile home parks as a single- or double-wide structure. Manufactured homes are frequently the least expensive option, but they depreciate in value over time, unlike modular and site-built homes. Site-built, or stick-built, homes are what you find in the majority of neighborhoods built today. As the name suggests, these houses are built at the location where you’ll live. All materials are delivered to the site as ordered by your builder and contractors. These homes are not mobile.
- Are modular homes a good investment?
- In many cases, yes. Modular homes do not depreciate in value the way that mobile homes do. Instead, modular homes appreciate in value over time, making them as good an investment option as standard, site-built homes.
- How long do modular homes last?
- In general, modular homes last just as long as traditional, site-built homes. Many modular homes that were built in the 1950s, when they started becoming popular in the United States, are still around today.
- Are modular homes safe and energy efficient?
- Modular homes are known for their small footprint and their energy-efficient, sustainable design options. Modular home manufacturers understand that energy efficiency is a key part of the prefabrication house movement. Because of this, they often incorporate energy-efficient components into their designs. Things like solar panels in the roof, geothermal heating and LED lighting are seamlessly worked into the design of your modular home. Because modular homes are built in a climate-controlled environment, they’re more airtight than homes built outside. Modular homes are built to withstand hurricane-force winds for people living along the coast. Modular homes are held to the same standard as on on-site houses.The fact that modular homes are constructed in a factory means they’re subjected to factory inspections in addition to the same third-party inspections that an on-site house gets. Not only do the modules of your home have to endure the trip to their permanent location, the way the modules fit together (similar to Lego blocks) ensure a very stable structure. Modular homes are built to withstand hurricane-force winds, which is especially important for people living along the coast.
- How long does it take to build a modular home?
- Modular homes are built in about a third of the time it takes to build an on-site home, thanks to the way they’re constructed. You won’t have to worry about weather-related delays since they’re built inside a factory. The build process is more efficient for modular homes than for site-built homes, which contributes to the shortened time frame for completion. Once it’s ready, a modular home can be assembled on your lot in as little as two days.
Compare Top Modular Home Reviews
|The Commodore Corporation||Read Author Review|
The Commodore Corporation designs and builds modular homes in 32 states. You can customize all aspects of your home from interior to exterior. Home sizes range from 750-over 2,000 square feet.
|Wheelhaus||Read Author Review|
Wheelhaus provides high-end modular homes that are delivered turn-key. Their energy-efficient homes are designed to hold up under high winds and heavy snow. Starting prices range from $89,500 to $365,000.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.