Understanding modular homes: pros and cons

Modular or manufactured, these are words we hear a lot, but imagining a house, wall to wall manufactured seems like a far fetched dream. However, that isn’t the case anymore. Technological advancements in architecture have made it possible for buildings such as offices and homes to be prefabricated in a factory setting, and delivered, ready to move into. Modular homes in particular, have been gaining a ton of momentum over the past few years. While some strongly support this union of tech and architecture, there are still a good amount of people who don't understand it well or are too skeptical to give modular homes a shot. This is because the term modular homes is mostly associated with mobile homes which are not as common amongst home owners. The image that pops up of a manufactured home thus seems one that is hooked to a caravan and moved around. However, modular homes and mobile homes are very different. 

Modular homes are built exactly like a real home. They are made from mostly natural materials and cartridges of different materials such as metal, plastic etc. The layout and look of the home is just what a normal stick built home would offer. They look and function just as a brick and cement made home. Since they are prefabricated, they are essentially built, assembled and delivered to be installed on the given land by the homeowner. Opting for a modular home is a sustainable pick. However, there are a bunch of advantages and disadvantages with owning and managing a modular home that you must keep in mind if deciding to invest in one. 



Modular homes are a super affordable housing alternative. Modular homes are generally much cheaper than typical homes. Since the labor and material costs are significantly less, the lower price point becomes feasible. Infact, in a set budget, you would be able to get more space/square footage in a module rhome than a regular home costing just about the same amount. The amount of money needed to facilitate a long construction period and constant inspections also gets eliminated as the homes come finished to the installation spot, reducing the costs incurred by both the home owner and maker. 


The biggest plus point of modular homes is that their construction is fairly quicker as compared to a typical house. Since modular homes are mechanically manufactured in a factory, they require much less time to be ready to go. Simultaneously, being made in a controlled setting, factors such as fluctuating weather or the need to hire countless workers and coordinate each action with them, gets eliminated. Rather, machines manufacture and assemble the house, which is then loaded and transported to simply be set up and hooked to the plumbing and electricals on spot. This saves both time and money which otherwise goes up as the time taken to construct increases. 


Modular homes are extremely sturdy as well as reliable. Unlike the usual weariness of consumers over the reliability of a manufactured home, such structures are built with the utmost attention to detail and precision. Since the set designs are simply replicated into 3D printed form, the design is extremely accurate. The cartridges are mostly made of materials that are extremely strong like metal, plastic etc. Modular homes undergo a number of inspections to ensure each part is strong enough and certified optimal for use, making these structures extremely reliable. 


Modular homes are almost entirely customisable. Be it the space, the materials used, the layout, the finish, you can customize a modular home to suit your needs perfectly. WHile the typical imagery of modular homes seems to be a simple mechanical looking structure, modular homes have the ability to be developed into the finest of modern and gorgeous designs. Further, modular homes offer an advantage in customizing which is that over time if you wish to extend your home, or have some additions to it, they can easily be worked and attached to the existing structure. In a typical home this would be difficult, probably requiring hours of labor and heavy costs. WIth modular homes, however, making a house true to your vision is a piece of cake. 


Modular homes tend to conserve and consume a lot less energy, throughout their construction process as well as in regular use. Since they are manufactured in a factory in a shorter time frame, the amount of energy needed to construct a house racks up far lower in modular homes as one saves on utilities needed too. Subsequently, modular home manufacturers are increasingly pivoting towards more energy efficient designs. Using solar energy and more sustainable materials, modular homes are being made with a vision to save up on energy consumption as well as on utility bills, proving to be the more sustainable choice. 


Modular homes are extremely eco friendly. Constructed in a factory setting wherein designs are simply replicated through machines, the amount of waste generated in the construction process ends up being drastically less than a typical home construction. This also means that there is no surplus material sitting around, rather everything is utilized in perfect proportions rather than creating more waste. Further, since the construction is indoors the amount of dust and debris released into the air also becomes a lot less, keeping the surroundings as clean as possible. 



Modular homes need a foundation to lay on just as typical homes do. They also have to abide by the same kind of zoning permits, tax laws and norms that a regular home would. Therefore, the need to acquire land and proper permits for the modular home to be installed still persists. This becomes a huge part of the cost as the land needs to be enough according to the square footage of your home. This can prove to be an expense for people looking to save otherwise through a modular home as well as a difficult task as not all areas are zoned and permitted to have a modular home installed. This further limits the options of neighborhoods for buyers. 


Even when the construction is smooth sailing, actually having the modular home installed is not as easy. For a modular home to be installed and ready for use, the utilities have to be first laid down ready to be paired with the modular structure. From the plumbing to the electricals, having utility connections ready before the home arrives can be a complicated process. Not everyone is familiar with modular homes and how they work. This means that one would need to find someone well acquainted with the concept and the structure so that the utilities are set up in the right way to make the home truly functional. This can prove to be a daunting task for homeowners, making the whole experience difficult. 


The biggest drawback of the stigma associated with modular homes is that in the current market at least, the release value of modular homes is significantly low. Over time, the value also significantly decreases, making it an investment which could end up being sold at a loss in the end. The low resale value is influenced by the way people perceive modular homes, which is usually as delicate homes of poor quality or caravan homes that move around associated with a certain lifestyle. While there are active pursuits to change this perception, it could be a while before they are truly accepted, making them a risky choice in terms of resale value. 

Overall, modular homes have become a highly discussed topic. People around the world are debating the merit of prefabricated homes over typical homes. One thing's for certain, that modular or prefabricated construction is a method that is here to stay. Not only is it technologically advanced, but has a good amount of advantages too. Infact, it is expected to trend well this year as more architects and consumer embrace the prefabricated building method. Keep the above points in mind while deciding on a modular home to help you make the right decision. 


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