A modular home is a home that is built off site in sections, or “modules,” and then moved and assembled on-site.
Roughly 70 to 85 percent of a modular home is produced in a controlled factory environment. The boxes are then shipped on trucks and assembled at the home site using a crane. Once assembled, the home is permanent; it is not moveable in the way that mobile homes are. This is very different than a mobile home which is entirely (or almost entirely) built off-site and then shipped to its final destination.
Modular homes are typically produced and delivered within four to 12 weeks of the initial order. Because homes are constructed so quickly, lending institutions have structured their loans to provide about 35 percent up front for the foundation and building of the house, and the rest when construction has been completed.
Modular homes must conform to the Uniform Building Code (UBC), which is a higher standard than the HUD code that regulates mobile homes.
Because modular homes are constructed in a controlled environment, risk of accidents and mistakes are lowered, and the end-product and estimated time frame are more consistent with original construction plans. A controlled environment also eliminates the common problem of “sick building syndrome” or toxic mold because the material is never wet, snowed on or rained on.
Modular home construction frequently incorporates energy efficient designs.