A Modular-Housing Checklist Windham ME
South Portland, ME
Affordable, Site-Built Homes, Owner/Builder
A Modular-Housing Checklist
In a nutshell, modular housing compares favorably with ordinary "stick-built" structures erected on site. In six key categories, here's how the two methods stack up:
Initial Price: Modular house prices are generally less expensive than site-built, coming in 5 to 20 percent less for the same structure. The difference usually depends on local labor and materials costs for site-built.
Design Variety: In wood-framed structures, modular should be able to match anything a designer for site-built homes can come up with. For exotic housing - log cabins, foam-block buildings and the like - modular can't compete with an on-site contractor.
Fit and Finish Reliability: Site-built housing rarely comes close to matching modular's fit and finish, mainly because modular is built in a controlled environment and site-built isn't. Only in areas where weather changes are infrequent is site-built competitive.
Construction Time: Modular houses are frequently finished in one-quarter of the time it takes to do an identical site-built home. For modular, think weeks; site-built, months.
Product Reputation: Even though modular products are built to code requirements the same as, or better than, site-built, public perceptions lean distinctly toward the latter. This can adversely affect modular resale values, particularly where modular homes are uncommon. Resale Value: In areas where modular housing is commonplace, resale values are competitive with site-built. In general, the more distinctive the modular home's design is, the better its resale value.
For More Information: The best sources of more information are via the Internet at: www.modularhousing.com (run by the Modular Building Systems Association) www.buildingsystems.com (run by Building Systems magazine) www.buildingsystems.org (run by the Building Systems Councils of the National Association of Home Builders). If you don't have online access, most public libraries provide it at no charge.