Frequently Asked Questions

» What Are Modular Homes?

» How is my New Modular Home Going to Look?

» What Is the HUD Building Code?

» How long does it take to Build a Modular Home?

» What Materials Are Used in a Modular Home?

» They sound like mobile homes. Are they the same thing?

» Why are Modular Homes Quicker to Construct?

» Don't all modular homes look alike?

» How is a Modular Home Safe?

» Will Banks finance a modular home?

What Are Modular Homes?

A modular home is, quite simply, a traditional home that is custom built inside a factory and delivered to the job site by truck. These homes use the same, or in many cases, higher quality material than would expect to find in on-site “stick-built” home. Their quality control and precision assembly, provide a higher standard of construction. Modular houses are built under the same, or even more stringent, codes that the local homebuilder is required to follow. Modular homes are the only housing in America built to a national building code standard, the HUD building codes.

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What is the HUD Building Code?

Just as site built homes are constructed according to a specific building code to insure proper design and safety, today’s factory built homes are constructed in accordance with the HUD building code. The United States Congress laid the foundation for the HUD Code in the National Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974. This Act directed the Secretary of the Department of Urban Development to establish appropriate manufactured home construction and safety standards that “…meet the highest standards of protection, taking into account existing State and local laws relating to manufactured home safety and construction.” Every HUD Code modular home is built in a factory, under controlled conditions, and has a special label affixed on the exterior of the home indicating that the home has been designed, constructed, tested and inspected to comply with the stringent federal standards set forth in the code. No manufactured home may be shipped from the factory unless it complies with the HUD Code and receives a certification label from an independent third party inspector.

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What Materials are used in a Modular Home?

Factory building materials are the same or better than those used in a stick-built home. The exception in factory building is that the materials are dry, and always protected from the weather damage. Green lumber cannot be used in a factory building. In most cases, it is too warped or bent to fit into the precise jigs for wall panels or trusses.

On many stick-built homes, green lumber is used. The problem becomes that the ultimate homeowner inherits decades of cosmetic problems, such as “nail pops” and “wall cracks” after the building is finished, caused by drying lumber and structure movement. Factory building eliminates many of these problems by the use of proper seasoned materials, adding value and longevity to the home.​

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Why are Modular Homes Quicker to Construct?

The process of factory building allows for a controlled environment for the home to be constructed in. There are no concerns of weather conditions, unreliable subcontractors, late material delivery and human error. The home is constructed by skilled workers who each have certain responsibilities and tasks, which they are responsible for during the assembly process. Because the tasks are being accomplished simultaneously, the structure fits together quickly and in an orderly fashion. A home is completed inside the factory in about a week’s time. When the home is shipped to the building site, the building is erected within a day and can be completed, ready for occupancy, within a few weeks.

How is a Modular Home Safe?

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Modular construction resists natural forces better because of precision cuts, which are fit and fastened in the factory. The construction technology calls for glue-nailed sheathing and decking plus additional framing members which makes Modulars most likely to endure nature’s onslaughts. The structure has to withstand being hoisted by crane and hauled on carriers over roads. The motion and forces that the structure is put under during these processes exceed that of healthy earthquakes.

Modular homes are built with high safety standards in accordance with federal laws requiring smoke detectors, escape windows and incombustible materials around furnaces and kitchen ranges. Modular homes assure the buyer that all electrical, plumbing, mechanical and structures are built to a HUD national code, which exceeds any local standards.

Stick- built homes are often constructed in areas where local building codes may be lax or not enforced, and the safety of the homeowner and family may be compromised.​

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How is my New Modular Home Going to Look?

Modular homes are customized to meet the desires for style, design, and flow for the buyer. Many Modular companies are producing spectacular mansions and custom homes, producing the desired type of architecture the buyer may want. Home styles can vary from a New England Salt Box to Ante Belle mansion. Many homes are being finished with stucco walls, tile roofs, and exterior design features, which are done on-site, to further customize the home and enhance its features. There are few limits to what can be accomplished with this type of building. The technology of computer drafting enables any home design to be produced in a modular form.

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How long does it take to build a modular home?

That depends on your design and the manufacturer, but some modular homes can be built in the factory in as little as 1-2 weeks. And since modulars are built indoors, there’s never a weather delay. It usually takes another 2-4 weeks for your local builder to complete the home once it’s delivered to the building site.

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 Are they the same thing?

Mobile homes, now called manufactured homes, are built to conform to the same federal code, no matter where they will be delivered.
A modular home conforms to the building codes that are required at the specific location it will be delivered to, and in many cases construction exceeds the required codes.

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Don't all modular homes look alike?

No, and unless you were there to see the house delivered and assembled, you might not guess it’s a modular home. Modular home manufacturers use computer aided design programs to draw plans to your specifications, or to modify one of their standard plans to suit your needs, so nearly any home plan can be turned into a modular home.

It’s true that some modulars are very basic and resemble double wide manufactured homes, but the two structures are still built in different ways.

Each manufacturer is different, so be sure to ask questions about flexibility if you would like to design your own home

Will banks finance a modular home?

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Yes. Most banks, appraisers, and insurance companies treat modular homes the same way they do site-built homes–a house that’s constructed entirely on your property. Ask the mortgage brokers and banks in your area to explain how they finance modular homes.
Construction costs for a modular home are sometimes less per square foot than for a similar site-built home. And there are other cost-saving features:

Many modular homes are very energy efficient, which helps reduce your heating and cooling costs.
Your home will probably be ready to move into much sooner than if you wait for a builder to construct a house on-site.

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