Modular vs Traditional Homes:

Which One Is Right For You?

Building a new home is an exciting prospect, but it poses many questions. Where should you build? What size should it be? What can you afford? And how long will the process take?

The answers vary depending on whether you build a modular or traditional home. The modular home building business has changed dramatically over the last decade. Many homebuyers assume they know the industry, but it has grown tremendously. Some homeowners have opinions about modular homes that are factually incorrect. Let’s compare modular and traditional home building to inform your decision and separate fact from fiction.

COST OF BUILDING

The answers vary depending on whether you build a modular or traditional home. The modular home building business has changed dramatically over the last decade. Many homebuyers assume they know the industry, but it has grown tremendously. Some homeowners have opinions about modular homes that are factually incorrect. Let’s compare modular and traditional home building to inform your decision and separate fact from fiction.

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The average cost to build a traditional home is $150-$250 per square foot. This varies greatly depending on location and finishes that you choose. Modular home pricing averages $50-$150 per square foot and is typically at least 20% lower than the cost to build a stick home. But that’s not to say that modular homes are more basic. Amenities exist now to increase modular pricing to $250 per square foot or more if desired.

Modular homes offer better pricing because of thoughtful design. Shorter build time means lower construction costs. Inspection fees are absolved by in-warehouse oversight. Modular homes are also more energy efficient to save money even after they’re built. Modular home builds also reduce waste by as much as 75%, decreasing dump fees and waste management costs.

MYTH: Modular homes are cheaper to build than traditional homes because they are inferior in quality.

FACT: Modular homes are more affordable because of how they are built. Since they’re constructed in climate controlled factories, there are no costly delays for weather or destruction of materials along the way. They save money because they save time and material, and because they prevent certain costs like inspections. Modular homes are customizable to any budget from the most affordable to the most extravagant.

TIME TO BUILD

Traditional builders estimate 6-16 months to build a traditional home if things go according to plan. That time doesn’t include prior legwork like grading the lot, applying for permits, or passing inspections, which can push things well over a year. And of course, things rarely go according to plan with stick-built homes. Weather delays, unforeseen structural issues, and contractor availability can slow the process too. Homeowners are often surprised how long it takes to go from purchasing the land to walking through the front door of traditional homes.

How long does it take to build a modular home?

Modular home building eliminates many delays, like inspections and rainy days. Modular homes take 2-4 months from beginning to end. The actual building process is only 4-6 weeks, so this timeline includes applying for loans, sourcing the land, and designing your custom floor plan. Modular homes are built off-site in climate-controlled warehouses that provide predictable timelines. Inspections happen each step of the way, so there’s no waiting around for homes to pass inspection.

MYTH: Modular homes are quicker to build because they aren’t made very well.

FACT: Modular homes come together more quickly because of indoor building sites, superior quality control, and predictable timelines. Modular builders have everything ready to go at each step of the process, so there are no hang-ups or delays.

STRUCTURAL QUALITY

The structural quality of stick-built homes is subject to several variables. How many different contractors are building the home, and how well do they communicate? Has the home sustained any weather damage during the build, and has it been repaired? A poorly laid foundation can affect the structural integrity, as can moisture from foundations that aren’t well sealed. Finishes and upgrades vary in quality depending on the provider. Much of the structural work done on traditional homes is covered by drywall, insulation, or carpet before the homeowner can see it.

Some homebuyers confuse modular homes with mobile homes, but these are two completely different products. Modular homes are held to the same, if not higher, standards than traditional homes when it comes to structural integrity. Modular homes are inspected at every step and are built with strong frames to endure bumpy roads and movement during transportation. Their building process is completely transparent, so there are no unpleasant surprises. FEMA recommends modular homes as a safe choice to withstand even the strongest storms. Foundations on modular homes are conditioned, sealed, and ventless to create an environment that prohibits bacteria and mold. Modular homes also come in a range of sizes and floorplans, which offers you design flexibility with the comfort of quality control.

MYTH: Modular homes are quicker to build because they aren’t made very well.

FACT: Modular homes come together more quickly because of indoor building sites, superior quality control, and predictable timelines. Modular builders have everything ready to go at each step of the process, so there are no hang-ups or delays.

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Carolina Custom Homes offers over 600 customizable floor plans ranging from 800-5,000 square feet. We’ll help you choose what’s best for you- from the location, to the size, to the flooring. Our builders work exclusively with our products, all day long, which eliminates any guesswork. Unlike traditional builds where different contractors do different jobs, modular home building is a seamless, consistent process. Modular home building is on the rise, as buyers see the advantages in time, cost, and energy efficiency.

Building a home is an important decision, so don’t trust just anyone to do the job. You should never compromise when it comes to the place you live. Contact us today to design the home you’ve been looking for!

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What to expect when you meet with Carolina Custom Homes.

First: Tell us when you’d like to come see us.

Then: Chat with us about your unique needs and vision. We’d recommend considering the following so we can cover a lot of ground in our meeting and better serve you.

  • How did you hear about us?
  • How much space and how many bedrooms and bathrooms would be ideal?
  • Would you prefer a one-story home or multi-story home?
  • Do you already have land and if so what’s it like and where is it located
  • Budget! How much are you looking to spend? Will you be financing your home or paying cash?

The rest is really just showing them the model homes and finding out what is important to them in their new home.

Finally: Walk through some of our most popular floor plans. We swap these out occasionally, so keep an eye out for anything new you’d like to see. Keep in mind while your wandering that any of our floor plans can be customized to better fit your lifestyle.

Not Ready To Meet?

During the tour of our homes, you will see a wide variety of features that are available to you for your custom project. Of course, any home you build with us, can be completely customized with an open concept floor plan, 9′ ceilings, granite countertops, hardwood flooring, atrium doors, transom windows, etc.

Touring Our Floor Plans