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Things to Know About Modular Homes Before Buying

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Did you hear about modular homes? These homes come with pre-constructed modules or sections, which one can install on the site. You can get them pre-designed or customised at your convenience. These abide by the same construction codes as site-built homes. But experts find them more energy-efficient and stronger. Living in this can feel similar to living in a regular house. Generally, 80 to 90% of this type of building work happens in a factory. They take care of walls, drywall, appliances, paint, roof framing, etc. These and the on-site foundation process can coincide. You don’t have to worry about quality issues.

When the factory-made modules reach the construction site, a crane helps them sit over a foundation. The assembly work takes place to establish utility connections, plumbing, and drainage. Some homeowners are choosing the modular concept for its faster turnaround time. Usually, it takes 2–6 months to build, deliver, and assemble. However, many factors can eventually impact its completion, such as workers, modules’ requirements, shape, and size. The on-site setup time can take about 4–6 weeks to complete depending on the number of workers involved in the process. Here is a quick overview of the cost of modular homes to help you get a deeper insight into this type of modern housing system.

Average overall price

You can expect the cost of the modular homes to start from USD $50 to USD $100 per sq ft on average. Or, more precisely, the base model with delivery can cost anywhere from USD $60,000 and USD $200,000. Customizations, number of bedrooms, and floor plans can have a huge say in this. The setup and installation charges can be USD $30 to USD $60 per sq ft. The base usually refers to delivery plus setup, while finished homes cover land preparation, foundation, permits, utility lines, installation, and others.

You don’t have to compromise with styles if this is what concerns you. You can get it done in duplex, two-story, modern, and other forms. The final cost may vary from one service provider to another. Hence, it is good to inquire about what they offer and how much they charge for everything. Once you hire a company, the manufacturer will finish your project in his factory in one or two months and deliver it to your location. Meanwhile, your contractor can prepare land and foundation with utilities. 

Cost per sq ft

If you order for a 1,500 sq. ft. modular home, you will need to keep a budget of USD $50 to USD $100 per square foot or USD $75,000 to USD $150,000. It includes only base. Customisation, assembly, and on-site setup will have an additional cost. However, if you opt for finished work, the same house can take up to USD $120,000 to USD $240,000 to complete.

Types of modular home plans and prices

Whether you go for a two or four-bedroom plan, you can expect it to cost around USD $55,000 to USD $70,000 on the lower spectrum and USD $90,000 to USD $150,000 on the higher side, respectively. It applies to a base unit, though. It means installation and finishing will incur additional costs. Likewise, a custom-made prefabricated home can be accessible between USD $200,000 and USD $500,000 if they charge USD $100 to USD $250 per sq ft. It includes site-work to finishing. You can ask the modular builders to modify the designs as per your choices. 

If you go for a modular duplex, you may have to pay USD $100 to USD $200 per sq ft for a finished project. Suppose your duplex home is 2,000-square feet. You can expect it to cost around USD $200,000 to USD $350,000. Generally, these types of structures come with two floors with two bedrooms each. You need to hire experienced contractors specializing in multi-family construction. 

Those who don’t have an adequate budget buy tiny modular homes of 200 to 800 square feet. Going by this, the budget for a base unit may soar up to USD $20,000 to USD $80,000 on average. With an end-to-end process (site prep to finishing), the same amount can vary USD $30,000 to USD $130,000.

Costs of land preparation, foundation, delivery, setup

Although various conditions impact the costs of everything, you can expect land and site preparation to cost you around USD$4,000 to USD$11,000 on average. Foundation work can be achievable in the range of USD$7 to USD$30 per sq ft and delivery in USD$5 to USD$10 per square foot. The charges for moving an on-frame home can be anywhere from USD$1,000 to USD$8,000 and an off-frame home USD$5,000 to USD$15,000. For setup, you may have to spend USD$5 to USD$35 per square foot. 

Construction costs for plumbing, electrical, and HVAC

These homes may not have these utility lines. If you go for them, you have to be ready with a budget of at least USD $2,500 to USD $25,000. Charges may vary based on the nature of the work. Usually, rural locations tend to be expensive because they lack these essential things. 

You may wonder whether you can install your favourite features in these types of homes or not. While your concern is legitimate, you can clarify it with your manufacturer. If they agree, you can explore a modern bath sink from Kraus USA or somewhere else in proper shape and size, for example. Most homeowners prefer modular homes over manufactured ones because of the flexibility of customisation and firm foundation. That’s why these can be expensive than manufactured ones. 

If you wish to own a home without overreaching your budget, you can depend on these. There can be many benefits of living in these houses. One of them is cost-saving. Your stick-built home can generate expensive utility bills. However, these houses lower this expense by being energy efficient. You can also expect your property value to appreciate over time, just as the site-built homes. Some even feel these can tolerate flooding and storm better than other houses. So, if you want to fulfil your dream of homeownership, modular builds can be your best option. Please make sure you thoroughly research them before taking any final step. It is necessary for the protection of your investment and mental peace.

Helen Bradfield did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health and well-being.

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