While having a custom-designed home might seem like the golden standard in terms of getting that beautiful and exquisite architecture, design, and decor elements, there are many good reasons why you might opt for a prefab or modular house instead.
First of all, you have to consider the costs. Building a custom house requires you to pay 15-30% more. Then, there is the significantly longer time frame necessary to build a custom house from scratch.
With prefab houses, you simply order the kit that gets delivered to your site, often in modules. Once delivered, you can actually put the pieces or modules of the house together by yourself or with the help of a professional contractor.
Note that if you don’t have the necessary site development, foundation, and general construction project management experience, then you will need to work with a contractor who has experience with either the traditional construction or modular homes.
Most people will have to hire a professional general contractor to get the modular or prefab house installed. Either way, your new home design and construction project will take less time compared to the amount of time required to plan and build a traditionally constructed house. With proper project planning and execution, you can save some 15% to 20% in costs of traditional home construction. 😉
- For being your own GC:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq94V3gCwZ4
- For hiring a GC:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yQBvzly0EI
- If you do decide to be your own GC,this videohas great tips for hiring contractors for each component (framing, plumbing, etc.) of the project.
Architects are not that cheap to hire, so if the whole prefab house idea doesn’t make you happy, you should expect to give 8-15% of the project value to the architect. If you are planning on building a house worth $100,000 you would be paying an extra $8,000 to $15,000 to the architect. — If this doesn’t chip away at your enthusiasm, then you are probably making the right call.
Anyway, for all of you who are on board with the prefab home idea, we scoured the internet for 15 designs that will show you don’t have to wait yearsto have a brand new home.
The HOMB House
Image via Method Homes
Developed by Method Homes and Skylab Architecture, this design comes in different sizes. Regardless of size, the house will be made of 100 sq. ft. triangular models that can be transported hundreds of miles away from the construction site. If you are looking for the cost effective option, the 1 bedroom 900 sq. ft. XS model is perfect for a couple with no kids.
However, you have to think about the future, which is why the 3-bedroom M model would be more suitable if you think you will expand your family in the future. Besides, the M, L and XL models offer garage space.
The very essence of the design is to combine coziness with some pragmatism, and we can say they nailed it. A great feature of the HOMB house is that regardless of how small it is you always get at least 400 sq. ft. of deck space.
How awesome is it to wake up in themorning todrink your coffee on the deck watching the sun rise up? It’s not only very romantic but also relaxing. Such an experience fuels you up for the entire day that lies ahead of you.
It’s important to note that in many cases it may be necessary to provide a site plan to obtain various home building permits from your city hall or township. You can turn to 24h Plans to get a custom site plan drawing prepared for your dream home in less than 24 hours by our team of experienced architects and drafters. Use the promotion code: 24hplans-20off to get a 20% discount off any package. — Please note this is a limited time offer, exclusive to the readers of our blog. This offer is not being advertised anywhere else.
The Elemental House
Image viaMethod Homes
The outside design suggests a contemporary architectural style. The large windows call for openness and make you feel one step closer to the outer world. The era of tight dark places has gone by as people began to embrace modern architectural features.
The design comes in many sizes that influence the price. You can opt for a completely modular design to keep the costs to a minimum, but if money is not a concern, you are free to choose a model that requires on-site customization.
For example, a 1,643 sq. ft. house with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and 277 sq. ft. garage space is made of 2 modulesthat can be assembled on site for $262,880.
If you choosethe modular+ site option, the price goes 60-70% up and you are looking at $420,000 minimum. The design can be adapted for a buyer who needs only1 bedroom, thus reducing the price with roughly $100,000. However, in this case you are saying goodbye to your garage space.
The Cottage Style House
Image viaMethod Homes
Here’s another design of Method Homes but this time they opted for a classic style that looks amazing anyway. You can choose between 6 floor plans depending on your preferences but the overall design will stay pretty much the same. The covered porch, the small square windows and the shape of the roof are common in the US.
What’s great about this design is that you get 1-2 sleeping lofts in addition to the 2-3 bedrooms. Having a loft suitable for a person to sleep in is a huge plus because loft conversions are not cheap. You could opt for a 4 bedroom model that lacks the loft if you don’t like it though. As for the price, a 1,484 sq. ft. house made of 4 modules with 2 bedrooms, 2 sleeping lofts and 2 baths costs $239.052.
New Orleans House
Image via Welcome Homb
Do you own a small patch of land in a crowded city and you need a place to live? This house was designed so smart that it can fit in a 20 foot wide lot while providing 2100 sq. ft. of living space.
This househas 2 stories and roof decks, thus adding just the right amount ofoutdoor space to a spacious interior.
One module measures 100 sq. ft. which makes it suitable fora lot of different layouts. This house is efficient and beautifulat the same time.
With the help of a talented interior designer you can make the house feel verycomfortable to achieve a balance withthe rather cold looking exterior.
The Vipp House
Image via Vipp
If you are looking for a modern natural retreat for the days when you want to escape the city chaos, this is the right choice. The model costs a bit over $500,000 plus a 12-15% tax for installation in the US.
It will take approximately 6 months to deliver the house because that’s how much it takes to manufacture and transport the modules to your piece of land. In addition, it takes3-5 days to put the modules together.
If you are interested in this design, you can find aVipp showroom in New York. The house will be delivered fully equipped as you see in the photos.
The wall glasses are meant to blur the line between indoor and outdoor space. The house is quite small, measuring 592 sq. ft. It has a family room, 1 bathroom, and 1 bed loft, thus making it suitable for a person who lives alone or with a partner.
The Geodesic Dome House
Image by aidomes at eBay.com
Now let’s move on to the very cheap prefab houses available on the market. What better place to find one than eBay? This panelized dome house building kit costs roughly $19,000 and measures 370 sq. ft.
You have to carefully read the ad because the pricedoes not coverdoors and windows (nor their framing), foundation, shipping or installation among other things.
Some may say it looks weird while others appreciate its uniqueness. It’s all about personal preference, so you will either love or hate this design, there is no middle path. It has 1 bedroom, a living room and a kitchen area.
The house will be assembled on a monolithic concrete slab foundation with footer but the plans can be adjusted to include a basement if necessary.
Because of its even distribution of wind load (unlike in regular house designs), the dome is very strong and withstands 225 mph hurricane winds and F4 tornadoes thus making it perfect for high risk states.
The American Barn Style House
Image byameribuiltsteel at eBay.com
If you have always dreamt about a classic barn style house but you never had the money to build one, this is your chance to make your dream come true. This kit is assembled into a 2560 sq. ft. house with porch and it costs about $30,000. Still, it’s important to notice that the kit includes only the frame of the house and the roof.
The doors, windows, and finishing are not included, which is why you have to take these costs into account. Also, don’t forget about permits, insulation, plumbing, HVAC system and electrical wiring. Anyway, the entire price of the house should not be higher than $75,000-$120,000.
The Shenandoah House
Image via Deltec Homes
Combining a round piece with a rectangle, this house measures 1500-1600 sq. ft. and the shell costs $120,000-$150,000. The price of the shell includes the fiber cement siding, the doors, windows, WebTec floor system, walls and energy modelling depending on theclimate you live in.
If you want the siding, porch, the shingle roof, as well as the solar hot water and electric kits, you have to pay extra fees. The solar kitsactually allows you to save up to $1,000 per year on energy bills. The house has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and an open floor plan that includes the living room, kitchen and dining area. You also get a laundry room and a walk-in closet.
Classic Deltec House
Image viaDeltec Homes
This is a round 2-story house that measures 1500 sq. ft. indoorsplus around 1,500 sq. ft. outdoors thanks to its wraparound porch. The shell price of the house is approx.$150,000 but if you want it fully equipped expect to pay between $360,000 and $475,000. The estimated annual energy savings are $1,400. The house has 4 bedrooms thus making it perfect for a family with 3 kids.
The Northvale House
Image vie Proto Homes
Do you want your house to look like this? Well, all you have to do is pay $175-$300 per sq. ft. The interior floor plan is customizable to fit your exact needs but the house will be built in modules and then transported to your location for installation.
The manufacturing process will take 1 month while the construction assembly will take approx. 4 months (delivery, foundation, actual assemblage). In addition, you should take into accountthe time needed to get a permit, to preparethe design, to do interior finishes, landscape & hardscape work, and utility hook-ups.
The Wilmington House
Image via Modular Home Owners
Estimated at $200,000 – $275,000, this house measures 1682 sq. ft. and is built in a ranch style. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, this making it perfect for a family of four. The design itself is not spectacular but rather common. There is an advantage to this though: you will neverhave problems with neighborhood associations.
The Orchard House
Image via Ideabox
This single bedroom 750 sq. ft. house costs about $135,000 and it’s meant for people who want a simple life in the middle of nature. You have a porchlarge enough for 2 deck chairs and a bedroom big enough to hold a very large flat screen TV. It’s true the house is quite small but it’s cozy, so what else could you possibly want for a relaxed lifestyle?
The Breeze House
Image via Blu Homes
We have now reached the designs that take more than $1.3 million to build but you will soon understand why this price is so high. The design is modern, it has open interiors and 3-4 bedrooms. The butterfly shaped roof has celestory windows while the 16′ wide sliding glass walls open fully to create an expansive living area. The decks offer plenty of outdoor space while the high quality insulation allows you to cut $1,500 per year off of your energy bills.
The Solaire House
Image via Blu Homes
The price of this house starts at $1 million for 2,504 sq. ft. spread across 2 stories. You get a roof deck accessible through the master bedroom, a shed style roof perfect for solar panel installations and a MERV 15 air filtration system. There are a total of 3 bedrooms plus 1 media room and office space, which is more than comfortablefor a family of four.
The Sidebreeze House
Image via Blu Homes
And last, another $1.3 million house that measures 3.565 sq. ft. confined in a 2-story design. There are3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The 13′ high ceilings combine versatility with stunning views, and so does the private balcony of the master bedroom. The bedrooms are upstairs, while the living room area is at ground level together with the laundry room and media room.
After seeing these designs, some cheap, someexpensive you should have a fair idea of whattypes of prefab houses are available on the market and how much it would cost to have them built.
In general, the entire process has the following steps: you make the order, they build the modules and after they deliver them to your location, the installation starts. This step can take as little as a few days or as much as a few months depending on the complexity of the project.
If you didn’t opt for a turnkey package, there is one more step left: to make the house suitable for living. The whole processstill is takes lessthan building the house from scratch.
Note: Here’s how we can help: 24hplans has team of highly-trained, professional architects and drafters who can prepare any kind of site plan in the shortest amount of time possible, so that you can easily obtain that building permit and get on with your project. Use the promotion code: 24hplans-20off to get a 20% discount off any package. — Please note this is a limited time offer, exclusive to the readers of our blog. This offer is not being advertised anywhere else.
- Best Overall: Champion Homes.
- Best Custom: Impresa Modular.
- Best Budget: Commodore Homes.
- Best High-End: Method Homes.
- Best for Energy Efficiency: Deer Valley.
Budget: While prefab home cost is a cheaper option in itself, the type of home can further affect the cost to build. Modular homes tend to be more expensive than manufactured homes so you should check which fits better in your budget.What are the top 10 manufactured homes? ›
- Champion Home Builders: Best Overall.
- Clayton Homes: Best for Energy Efficiency.
- Fleetwood Homes: Best for Families.
- Skyline: Best for Tiny Homes.
- Adventure Homes: Best Custom.
- TRU Homes: Best for First-Time Home Buyers.
- Deer Valley: Best for Modular Homes.
Clayton Homes is the largest builder of manufactured and modular homes in the US.What is the difference between a modular home and a prefab? ›
Prefab is a general term used for a prefabricated building or building component that is manufactured in a factory prior to its final assembly at the construction site, whereas modular refers to something built or organized in self-contained units—like building blocks.How long do prefab homes last? ›
With proper care, temporary modular buildings have a service life of at least 25 to 30 years, after which the components are typically repurposed or recycled.What is the cheapest price for a modular home? ›
Small Modular Home Prices. Small modular homes (200 to 800 square feet) cost $20,000 to $80,000 on average for the prefab base unit, or $30,000 to $130,000 after site prep, installation, and finishing.Is it cheaper to buy a prefab home or build? ›
The general rule of thumb is that prefab construction is cheaper than stick-built homes by an average of 10 to 25 percent. Why? Mass-produced materials on an assembly line cut down costs because factories buy supplies in bulk.What are four drawbacks of modular homes? ›
- Foundation Cost. A downside of modular homes is pouring the foundation. ...
- Payment May Be Required in Full. One of the problems with prefabricated houses is financing. ...
- Hard to Guarantee Quality. ...
- Extra Costs. ...
- Difficult to Make Modifications. ...
- Customization Issues. ...
- Hard to Finance. ...
- Finding Land.
The primary difference between modular and manufactured homes is that modular homes are held to the same local, state and regional building codes required for on-site homes. Manufactured homes are held to a federal code set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and have the ability to move.
What is the smallest size of double wide? Double-wides can run as low as 704 square feet or as large as 2,300 square feet.Do manufactured homes lose value? ›
In 2021, the average age of a used manufactured/mobile home sold was 22.1 years with an average price of $51,133. That's a 71% increase! Even though factory-built homes are aging, homebuyers understand that manufactured homes are the best housing value in America. Demand is increasing, which keeps home values high.Do prefab homes have foundations? ›
A true “Modular” home is completed up to 80% in a factory and is built to the California Building Code, the same code that applies to site-built homes. Modular homes are always permanently set on a concrete foundation or a special foundation system if the site requires.Is a prefab a good investment? ›
A prefabricated home is a beneficial investment for numerous reasons. Firstly, they are often cheaper than traditional brick-built homes. This is in part due to their relatively quick time frame, with the average time from conception to completion being cut almost in half when compared to a traditional build.Can you put a modular home on a slab? ›
Modular homes are built specifically to be placed on a basement or crawl space foundation, also known as perimeter permanent foundation. It can be a block or poured wall foundation. It cannot be placed on a slab foundation because the home needs to have a way to fasten to the foundation.Who is Clayton Homes biggest competitor? ›
Clayton Homes competitors include LGI Homes, Zillow and Fleetwood Enterprises. Clayton Homes ranks 2nd in Gender Score on Comparably vs its competitors.Do modular homes last long? ›
In most cases, modular homes are constructed using the same materials as site-built homes. And as you now know, they are subject to many of the same standards and regulations. As a result, you can expect modular homes to last for a long time—over 50 years in many cases.Where is manufactured homes most popular? ›
Number of cumulative mobile homes in the U.S. 2021, by state
As of December 2021, Texas was the U.S. state with the highest number of mobile homes, with 137,460 manufactured homes. Florida and Louisiana followed behind with 50,761 and 46,381 homes respectively.
One of the cons of buying modular buildings is that it is not easy to customize or make changes once the build has started. In many cases, these homes are built to a higher standard than the traditional home. You can find more information about financing in this related article.Where are the most modular homes built? ›
Manufactured homes have historically been most popular in the South and West. For example, the share of manufactured homes in New Mexico, South Carolina, Mississippi, and West Virginia are more than twice the national average.
Modular homes are transported to the home site and set on a permanent foundation. Modular homes appraise the same as their on-site built counterparts do; they do not depreciate in value.What is another name for a modular home? ›
The terms "manufactured home," "mobile home," and "modular home"are sometimes used interchangeably, but while they have some features in common, these types of home have more differences than similarities. Modular homes are constructed off-site in segments and assembled on-site on permanent foundations.Is a prefab home worth it? ›
One of the benefits of prefab homes is that they tend to be highly energy efficient. Their tight seams and state-of-the-art windows keep heat in and reduce your energy bills in the process. As a bonus, modular homes' tight construction gives them a reputation for being able to withstand natural disasters.How long does a roof last on a modular home? ›
While we may know how long manufactured homes last, the real question is how long the roof will last? The simple answer is that your roof can last up to 50 years, just like the mobile home itself.Which is better stick built or modular? ›
In general, though, there is no difference in a modular home value vs. stick-built. Both stick-built and modular homes are made to last and tend to appreciate value over time. This means, if you ever decide to move, you may be able to sell your home for more than you paid for.How long does it take to build a prefab? ›
Surprisingly, the process to fabricate and construct your modular home will take only 16 to 31 weeks. This timeline is dependent on the following factors: Standard home plan vs. designed custom home.Is it hard to get a mortgage on a prefab house? ›
You can absolutely get a mortgage for a prefab house, however, it may be more difficult than it is to get a mortgage for a typical brick and mortar property. There are two major reasons why it can be more difficult, depending on the age and style of prefab you're planning to buy.What is a panelized kit home? ›
A panelized house kit is a prefab home that typically includes a roof, wall panels, and floor systems that are all first assembled in a factory, then delivered to the construction site. When building a panelized house kit, the foundation is laid first.What is a Barndominium? ›
A barndominium, also known as a barndo, is an open concept steel building with large square footage that combines living space and a working area. The term can be used to describe any metal structure from a simple one story to a large, luxurious home.What appliances come with a modular home? ›
For starters, a new manufactured home comes fully equipped with kitchen appliances. With any new manufactured home, you'll find a dishwasher, fridge, and oven already included by the manufacturer, by the time the delivery is done.
There is a common misconception about modular homes. While some might think these are mobile homes, modular homes are lasting structures with permanent foundations. Modular homes will be safe in minor storms because they are secured to the ground.Are prefab homes sound proof? ›
Some people mistakenly think modular buildings have sound proofing issues, but this myth is easily dispelled. Modular construction provides a high level of acoustic separation because each module has separate floor, ceiling and wall elements, which prevents direct transfer of sound along the members.What's the difference between a double wide and a modular home? ›
The differences between a modular and double-wide home are therefore seen in the foundation. Unlike the steel frame trailer mostly used for the double-wide, a modular home will always be set onto a foundation. The construction is also done in sections and then moved onto the site of your choice.
Modular homes are transported to the site in sections and are NOT dependent on I- beams, which are typically removed after delivery. Floor joists with and, they support the units permanently and cannot be removed. If you see metal beams, it is likely a MANUFACTURED HOME.Is a double wide the same as a manufactured home? ›
Eligible manufactured homes will be considered “double wide” will be no less than 20 feet in width and have no less than 600 square feet of living space inside. Some people think of a “double wide” and think it must be at least 16 feet wide, but the industry marker is actually just 12 feet.How much is the cheapest Clayton home? ›
And at Clayton, our homes can range in price from about $60,000 to more than $200,000, not including the cost of land or required installation and delivery charges.What is the smallest mobile home Clayton Homes? ›
Our smallest home on this list at 620 sq. ft., it's packed with beautiful, luxurious features like crown molding, recessed lighting, a built-in buffet, breakfast bar, big windows and more.What is the smallest size of a modular home? ›
Single wide modular homes are the smallest of manufactured homes. Their size typically ranges from 690 to 980 square feet. They can contain up to two bedrooms comfortably and are ideal for those looking to downsize affordably. Double wide manufactured and modular homes range from 860 to 2,085 square feet.Why people are against manufactured homes? ›
It's likely that Americans' perceptions of manufactured housing are at least somewhat related to cost and general assumptions about lower-cost (and thereby, lower-income) housing. This is directly related to concerns about quality. To many, cheaper homes may mean lower quality, cheaper materials and building methods.Are manufactured homes a good investment in 2022? ›
You may not have thought to invest in mobile homes before, but it could be a profitable investment in 2022. While the savviest real estate gurus are jumping on single-family homes, you can get a step ahead with lower-cost, high-demand units.
Extra costs imposed by manufactured home community. Fewer choices and higher costs of financing. Fewer personalization options and amenities. Lingering stigma of mobile homes.What is the life expectancy of a modular home? ›
Most permanent modular buildings can last 35 years, 50 years or even centuries given the care and building type.Which is better manufactured or modular home? ›
The primary difference between modular and manufactured homes is that modular homes are held to the same local, state and regional building codes required for on-site homes. Manufactured homes are held to a federal code set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and have the ability to move.What is the difference between modular and prefab? ›
Prefab is a general term used for a prefabricated building or building component that is manufactured in a factory prior to its final assembly at the construction site, whereas modular refers to something built or organized in self-contained units—like building blocks.How much wind can a modular home withstand? ›
Based on the International Building Code, a manufactured home that will be placed in a hurricane-prone area must be designed to withstand sustained wind speeds of 160 mph. In the rest of the country, manufactured homes should be able to resist wind speeds of 130 mph in Wind Zone 1 and 150 mph in Wind Zone 2.Are modular homes worth the money? ›
Yes, modular homes are often a very good investment! Unlike mobile homes, which tend to depreciate with time, modular homes hold their value or even increase with time. In many cases, the resale value of modular homes will be higher than the initial purchase price.