I don't mean mobile, or modulars that are made by mobile home companies, I mean true modulars.
Does anyone live in one? Any opinions on them? When we move to our other property I am really hoping that will be the answer instead of the traditional stick built.
Searching for my last two homes, I was fortunate to be in the hands of realtors who were from contractor families. They were great about pointing out the details of construction that really matter to the longevity of a home. Both told me right from the beginning: Stay away from modular homes. They're more expensive to insure and don't hold their value like a stick-built home, and are difficult to re-sell vs. S-B.
I've certainly seen some I thought were attractive on the outside, but once you get in and look at the little details, there's a huge difference.
My friend is having one built for her right now, so no personal knowledge other than what she has shared. She does a lot of research and speaks to a lot of people.
She was told in choosing a builder, pick the one that ONLY does modular... not modular and mobile. She told me the companies that make both use the same techniques/ lesser quality materials. Whereas, the companies that only do modular, the quality is much better.
A friend had one built within the last 10 yrs and is very happy with it. When I was looking at farms ~20+ yrs ago, the realtor told me the one home, which I actually liked the floor plan and layout, was a modular. Unfortunately didn't care for barn and lack of decent fencing so I didn't do more than a brief look at the house so I couldn't tell you if it was well built or not.
Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!
Ours is not more expensive to insure and it appraises in line with stick built houses. As far as building, it still takes awhile. All the same site work and stuff has to be done and the exterior/interior of the house has to be finished on site. It was pretty cool seeing four boxes turn into a house. Here's some pictures I've posted before of the day the house was set up: http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/astraled/House/
I read about a family years ago (in Family Circle or Woman's Day I think) that had a modular (the truck in and lower by crane type). They had the entire slab done for the expected total house. They originally bought the living room/dining room/ kitchen/ 2 bedrooms/ big family bath size. They had another patio type slab for the future add on of mastersuite with full bath, and another behind the kitchen for the family room-I think the opening for the patio door from the dining room or kitchen would be moved to the back exit for the family room, and the big doorway would be used for the door to the family room, or maybe the wall on the back of the kitchen would come down, making it an open concept.
I think the important thing would be the builder who does the site prep, and the manufacturer. I believe the good manufacturers only work with the same builders, and usually only service a specific geographic area-to limit transportation, and make sure the house meets local building codes and weather conditions.
Our first house was a modular. No difference in insurance rates, no resale problems because there was only one way to tell that it was modular.
If you were in the basement there was no center I beam as a support beam. Our house came was a bi-level and came in as two pieces. The center support was 4 boards thick- two from each side. However you couldn't see that anymore since we finished the basement.
It was really well built. The exterior walls were 6 inches thick so I had lots of insulation. Everything was square.
I just house sat in a house that is a ranch that came in on a truck in 3 pieces. Really nicely built, nice layout. If you didn't know it was a modular you would not be able to tell. House has a full basement.
There was one spot on the inside that I could tell but only because I knew it was a modular. The doorway to the hall had an interior frame size of about 8 inches where most interior walls would be about 4 inches thick. This was extra thick since it was where two pieces of the house were married together.
Apparently there are two codes that the homes can be built using- BOCA and HUD. BOCA code is the more strict code that stick built houses use. HUD code is for mobile homes- double wide, single wide.
Before we bought the modular home DH and I had walked through an open house at a stick built development. When I walked through the dining room the floor had enough bounce that the breakfront swayed. Plenty of short cuts to be found.
Stick-built is not automatically better that a modular.
I would not hesitate to buy another modular home. Since they are built on jigs in a factory they are square and have not been rained on before the roof was installed.
Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)
I've had a couple of friends who live in modular homes. The houses were nice enough that I considered going that route for myself. However, electric baseboard was the only heating option available then. Where I was living had one of the highest electric rates in the country at the time, so electric heat was a deal breaker for me. (In contrast, the electric baseboard was an asset for one of my friends. He liked to travel and needed to be able to easily drain all the pipes when he went away in winter. Electric baseboard was ideal for his needs.) I've heard that more recent modular designs can include forced water baseboards or air ducts, so you can install a gas or oil burner if desired.
The house I grew up in was a modular house. It was built in 1985, meticulously cared for and is still going strong today. If you look from the outside and look around inside you can't tell it was modular at all. If you knew where to look on the inside you could find the seam, but it was hard to find.
I've seen some gorgeous one that you would never know they were modelar.
Back in Colorado, most were set on basements. We considered modular here
to get more land....seems the financing and insurance would vary depending on
how it was installed. If sit on a concrete foundation with special attachment
technique, it was considered stick built for insurance and financing.
We've now got a poorly built stick home on a concrete slab where the builder
took every shortcut in the book. Wasn't here for the home inspection but DH was but it was a wet, rainy cold day. Methinks a lot got missed. What they did catch, the seller wouldn't fix....wasn't the custom in our neck of the county, it seems to fix stuff for the buyer. Like the garage door wouldn't close and apparently hadn't for a long time. Turns out the track was bent and they hadn't bothered to straighten it out. Then the opener didn't work so we just replaced it.
Lots of modular builders down here along the interstates and some of them
look just gorgeous--garages, porches, normal roof lines. Back in Colorado, they
had some that looked like log cabins.