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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Modular Homes

Is a modular home “just a cheap, flimsy, poorly-constructed house?”

Absolutely not! The modular homes of today are models of efficiency and quality assurance. Most modular builders, including Yates Homes, use state of the art computer design stations to assist them in planning and customizing the design. The highly engineered structures are then built in sections, called “modules,” inside the controlled environment of a factory. Finally, each section is shipped by truck to the building site where they are assembled. They must conform to the same local building codes as a regular home (often called site-built or stick-built home). Once they are set on and attached to the foundation, they are indistinguishable from the neighboring homes.

What does a modular home look like?

Today’s modular home looks like any other house on the street. In fact, you can’t tell them apart. Yates Homes can build almost any style home from a simple ranch to a highly customized contemporary. Modular producers are also building office buildings, banks, school, motels and other structures. You may have been in one and not even realized it.

Why am I hearing more and more about modular homes?

They are becoming more popular than ever as more people find the variety, quality, and cost savings that can be attained with a modular home. According to the Manufactured Housing Institute (Arlington, VA) figures, the total of all manufactured housing went from less than 190,000 in 1990 to over 400,000 in 2000; and the numbers continue to grow today. People’s attitudes have changed. Gone are the days when modular homes were confused with smaller, rectangular, temporary, poorly built homes such as “mobile” or “single wide” or “double wide” homes that were placed on small narrow lots.

What is the difference between the terms “manufactured” and “modular” home?

Manufactured homes, often referred to as “mobile, single, or double wide homes,” are constructed to a different building standard. The standard is the Federal Construction Safety Standard or HUD code. Unlike conventional building codes, it requires manufactured homes to be constructed on non-removable steel chassis. Many communities have restrictions on where (and if) these homes can be located.

A modular home (even though it is “manufactured”) and site-built homes on the other hand, are constructed to the same building code as required by your state and local authorities. Building and zoning regulations do not therefore restrict where they can be constructed.

How does the construction process for modular homes differ from site-built homes?

Basically there is no difference between the overall construction process for a modular home and a site (or stick) built home. The steps involved are the same as a site-built home. Before the modular home is delivered the builder or agent has to consider such details as surveys and permits, water and electrical hookups, foundation, and septic if required. After delivery and the modular home is set on the foundation, there are such things as final finishing work, water, electrical, and plumbing hookups, and finish landscaping.

What kind of construction is used in modular homes?

The same or better construction than that used in a site built home. The walls are 2-by-6 with R-19 insulation and 2-by-4 partitions. The flooring is 2-by-8 or 2-by10 depending on the floor span and is topped with tongue and groove flooring, glued and stapled. The roof and ceiling are trussed with R-31 insulation and is available with up to 30-year fiberglass shingles. Also incorporated are such things as Philadelphia carpet by DuPont, Thermal pane vinyl hung high performance glass tilt windows with screens, raised panel solid oak cabinet, Armstrong flooring, Delta faucets, etc. to name a few.

How does a modular home save time in the construction process?

When your modular home arrives and is set on the foundation it is usually over 90% complete and has most of the things already in it that you have chosen. The floor coverings, the wall and ceiling finish, ceiling fans, outside siding and shutters. The kitchen cabinets, sink, refrigerator, stove and dishwasher are there thus reducing move in time. Another plus is that the bathrooms are finished except final hookup. All this work has been going on simultaneously with work at the home site during the permitting, surveying, grading, and the building of the foundation phase. This is not possible with a site built home.

How does a modular home save on cost?

We buy building materials in very large quantities saving money in bulk purchases. Similar savings can be had in appliances and fixtures. Because the home is built using various jigs and fixtures in a factory under close supervision, they are built with less labor hours and there is less need for highly skilled craftsmen for all the various trades used. This “engineered” approach also results in savings in material and waste. Also, because the home is built inside there are no weather related delays and schedule inefficiencies that occur at a site-built home. There is also no vandalism costs so prevalent in today’s world. Finally because of the time saved there is a corresponding saving on loan interest during this process.

What is the difference between “Package” and “Set on foundation” pricing?

Our company generally prices and sells modular homes two ways. The first is “Package”. “Package” means that we can handle everything from start to finish. We can easily handle all tasks until the premises is complete, the site is finish graded and seeded, and the home is ready to move into.

The second is delivered “set on foundation”. In this method, you the property owner wish to save even more money by being involved in the construction process as the general contractor. This means you hire and oversee the sub contractors, such as the excavator, the plumbing and heating, etc. You contract with us a price for the home set and delivered weather tight on the foundation. The house itself at this point is about 90% complete.

In both cases we take you step by step through the house design and specifications for the order, cost estimating totals for the entire project, provide you with a procedural checklist, and assistance with documentation necessary for bank financing. Regarding delivery and set on your foundation, we coordinate permitting and scheduling along with the crane and set crew.

Is financing a modular home a problem?

No. There is no distinction is made between a modular and site built homes as far as appraisal and financing is concerned. Most Banks and lending institutions treat both types the same. The same thing applies to insurance companies.

How long does it take to build a modular home?

Of course, this depends on the size of the house and the number of modules used to construct it. With consistent quality and speed being one of the advantages of this type construction, a home consisting of two modules can be manufactures in about three to four weeks. Once this is complete, the finished modules are transferred to the building site and set on the foundation. The final completion, which is usually handled by a local builder or contractor who does the final finish work and utility connections and can often be completed within about three to five weeks.

Keep in mind that weather does not affect the building of the modules like a site built home, which is the major portion of the construction process. Weather can however affect the initial surveying, grading, and building of the foundation, and also to a much lesser degree, the finishing up after delivery of the module.

Do you have any miscellaneous information that I might want to know?

Here are a couple items that may be of interest. Most often, you can customize your modular home just the way you want it. In addition, unlike “manufactured homes,” you can have a full basement and a fireplace option, although this work is done at the construction site. You can also have an attached garage, which also is best done at the construction site.