Question for builders….
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
MA-PAdeerslayer 29-Jun-21
00rowe 29-Jun-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 29-Jun-21
HDE 29-Jun-21
Grey Ghost 29-Jun-21
sundowner 29-Jun-21
jdbbowhunter 29-Jun-21
cnelk 29-Jun-21
Surfbow 29-Jun-21
00rowe 29-Jun-21
WV Mountaineer 29-Jun-21
WV Mountaineer 29-Jun-21
Gileguy 29-Jun-21
jstephens61 29-Jun-21
jstephens61 29-Jun-21
00rowe 29-Jun-21
Grey Ghost 29-Jun-21
jdbbowhunter 29-Jun-21
00rowe 29-Jun-21
00rowe 29-Jun-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 29-Jun-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 29-Jun-21
JL 29-Jun-21
wv_bowhunter 30-Jun-21
wv_bowhunter 30-Jun-21
WV Mountaineer 30-Jun-21
00rowe 30-Jun-21
WV Mountaineer 30-Jun-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 30-Jun-21
DRR324 30-Jun-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 30-Jun-21
00rowe 30-Jun-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 30-Jun-21
bentstick54 30-Jun-21
29-Jun-21
Any experience with modular homes? I have a excavator for digging foundation and a friend to pour my foundation. The price of building is as you know astronomical right now. But I was looking at modulars and there not that bad… I know my foundation cost will be higher due to single level living and bigger footprint but that’s all just part of the build and probably cheaper than building from scratch and building up from what I see modulars going For.

Found plans for a 4 bed, 4 bath with office and den for $175k. And this was straight from the website. Was just under 21 or 22 hundred square feet. Plus we’d have all that basement open…

From: 00rowe
29-Jun-21
As a stick framer for new construction single family the only way its cheaper is cheaper components. Its easier and quicker to set up but you definitely get what you pay for!

29-Jun-21
Ya that’s my thought. I’d be doing all the plumbing and electrical my self from the basement to the house and possibly all the plumbing if they’d send it without it. Just didn’t know if the “shell” was really worth it ya know. Doors windows insulation fixtures and then connect everything

From: HDE
29-Jun-21
$81 per square foot. Not too bad...

From: Grey Ghost
29-Jun-21
I was the commercial sales manager for a modular building company for about 3 years. I also built hundreds of custom homes the conventional way. From a structural perspective, our modular homes were over-constructed compared to a stick-framed homes, due to the extra reinforcing necessary for the units to survive shipping.

Beyond structural, it all boils down to what quality of finishes you want. Our 3-story condo in Winter Park is modular, but you'd never know it, unless you knew what to look for. It has hard wood floors, granite countertops, and top-of-the-line cabinets, appliances, and other finishes thru-out.

The only downfall to modular, IMO, are its architectural limitations. High vaulted ceilings and large open areas are hard to design and engineer. Anything above 1 story gets tricky, as well.

If the price, design, and finishes are right, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a modular home.

Matt

From: sundowner
29-Jun-21
4 bedroom, 4 bath in 2200 square feet single story= very small bedrooms, probably no dining room, no living room, small den/kitchen combo.

From: jdbbowhunter
29-Jun-21
Have worked on many homes. Has been my experience that a stick built home is a better constructed home. But with lumber prices what they are would think it would be extremely expensive either way, at this time.

From: cnelk
29-Jun-21
Before I retired, I used to buy and install 4 modulars every summer for school classrooms. ($250,000 each/complete setup) Sometimes I would move existing modulars to new locations. Granted, they weren’t on a foundation, but complete with electrical, data and gas.

You can spec whatever you want in a modular. I spec’d insulated 2x6 walls, insulated floor and ceiling, 50yr architectural shingles, thermally broken windows, you name it - they will build it.

Modulars have come a long ways. The only thing is you may not be able to get FHA financing since it’s considered a mobile home. YMMV

From: Surfbow
29-Jun-21
Also check to see if your local building department has any regulation on modulars. A friend in California was going to buy one but ran into huge roadblocks getting it approved to build.

From: 00rowe
29-Jun-21
$81/ft doesn't include land, water/sewer, foundation, plumbing, electrical service. Assuming no garage with the modular. $150/ft in MN gets you a top quality home, move in ready.

29-Jun-21
They’ll build you a mansion. But, they aren’t going to magically do it without you paying for it. As stated above, you get what you pay for in a modular. If they are selling a 2200 square foot, 4 bath, 4 bedroom modular for $175,000, a walk through will explain why it’s half of a stick built home.

Look at it this way. 4 bathroom sink fixtures are going to cost you $130 or $1000. Depending if you want project source or delta. That same reality applies to everything in any home. And, it’s why they offer such an affordable option versus stick built. Nobody pays to build a home and put the cheapest thing in them. However, that’s not so with some modular packages.

With all that said, I would buy one in a heartbeat if need be. They are generally built very strong. They have to be to survive the move. But, I have zero problems with cheap fixtures and such. Because I can fix them in minutes. And, to me, a home needs to be warm in winter, cool in summer, and dry in wet weather. Besides that, the only thing I require is my wife, dog, guns, bows, and my hunting and fishing gear.

My only caution with your request is check your shower drains routinely. I’ve yet to see one that doesn’t leak into the sub floor after a little use: In a cheaper modular home. Those cheap tubs would flex with a three old in them. Eventually causing the shower drain to leak. And if you don’t check them, by the time your floor starts buckling, it’s too late to head off a rip out and redo.

29-Jun-21
At almost $10 per 92 5/8ths stud, A $150/sqft would be lucky to get you in a bedroom modestly finished. Much less a home.

From: Gileguy
29-Jun-21
Working for electric utility I saw 100's of new homes, would never stick build in northern Wisconsin. Home built indoors with employees that generally stick or outdoors in the rain with employees arison.that never seem to stick around, no comparison. Did I mention inspector on site at modular build? And everything down to the outlets specced out on the plan. And no rain on your subflooring cuz it takes them weeks to close in.....go modular unless you have a builder you have great confidence in.

From: jstephens61
29-Jun-21
FHA will not finance unless it’s on permanent foundation. If it has a title, the bank has a depreciation schedule just like your car.

From: jstephens61
29-Jun-21
FHA will not finance unless it’s on permanent foundation. If it has a title, the bank has a depreciation schedule just like your car.

From: 00rowe
29-Jun-21
WV, 7000 sq. Ft 2 story,with finished basement, hardwood throughout, all high end finishes, sportcourt, 3 car garage, in a high-end neighborhood, brand new, semi custom, 1.3 million. I'm not selling, just a subcontractor, but 150/ft can buy you a new home in Minneapolis metro area.

From: Grey Ghost
29-Jun-21
Those who claim a stick-built home is "better constructed" simply aren't familiar with modular construction. Modular homes have to meet the same building code requirements as stick-built. In addition to that, they have to endure the rigors of shipping. The result is more shear bracing, often thicker wall and roof sheathing, more plumbing supports, etc, etc... Trust me, Ive done a ton of building using both methods.

The reason modular construction is typically cheaper is the same reason it's cheaper to build a vehicle in the controlled environment of a factory instead of in a field somewhere. Construction techniques are more efficient, and more precise in a factory environment. Labor is typically cheaper, because you can teach someone how to do one specific task, over and over, instead of teaching them to do multiple tasks like a conventional tradesman. If done correctly, modular homes can be built in about half the time as stick-built homes. Henry Ford was bright guy.

WV hit on one of the biggest problems with modular. Their biggest selling pitch is they are cheaper. Consequently, they are generally offered with low quality fixtures and finishes. When I was doing modular, we offered optional upgrades to our base packages. Some of our modular homes were equipped with fixtures and finishes similar to million dollar custom McMansions.

Matt

From: jdbbowhunter
29-Jun-21
No rain on subfloor? Had a friend who bought a modular, shipped and set up. 6 months later wife became very sick. House was loaded with mold, she was in hospital for a few weeks. Probably not a common, but it does happen.

From: 00rowe
29-Jun-21
Its the same as an LT vs a highcountry chevy, bells and whistles are expensive. However 2x10 joist and trying to toenail them down to plates on an existing foundation and hurricane clips are not the same as nailing floor trusses down to the sill, hangers on those and then sheerwall straps to the foundation, also overlapping sheathing to tie walls over the floor trusses into the sill.

From: 00rowe
29-Jun-21
Its the same as an LT vs a highcountry chevy, bells and whistles are expensive. However 2x10 joist and trying to toenail them down to plates on an existing foundation and hurricane clips are not the same as nailing floor trusses down to the sill, hangers on those and then sheerwall straps to the foundation, also overlapping sheathing to tie walls over the floor trusses into the sill.

29-Jun-21
Definitely good opinions guys much appreciated. Should have better laid out my plan. I have the ability and licenses to do water sewer and friend to do electrical service. Land is already owned was kind of a hand me down. We weee just waiting to be financially ready to pay for the house mostly as we go with little if any mortgage. And Matt you points is kind of what I was thinking. And the house is actually 4 bed 2.5 bath stock. I’d be adding basement bath upon construction as I’m a plumber and who doesn’t want a basement bathroom? Ha. And I understand the no vaulted ceilings and such which my wife graciously let go so long and she gets a farmers porch after construction.

29-Jun-21
I’ve done tons of new construction houses doing plumbing and heating just never got into any modulars. All our builders did was custom builds

From: JL
29-Jun-21
FWIW........I was just talking to a realtor buddy in Montana a few days ago. He said at the moment....here is what it looks like. The sawmill in town did say the price of lumber is finally starting to come down.

$267sqft (not sure if that was turn-key)

$3.50 a foot to run mainline electric (that seemed too cheap)

Anywhere from $10 - $15 per foot for a well. (I read that elsewhere too)

From: wv_bowhunter
30-Jun-21
My wife and I customized our own modular floor plan in 2014. It is a 1,920 sq ft single story ranch w/ 6/12 roof pitch. 3 bedroom two bath. We had a subcontractor come in once the home was set to build a 28x30 attached garage and 60x8 4/12 shed style concrete porch across the front. Later had a 10x28 covered concrete porch and 10x30 patio added to the back.

On the inside we let the builders do everything but the light fixtures, appliances and some flooring. We included vinyl tile in the kitchen, baths and utility room. Friends and family helped lay hardwood through your the rest of the house.

Other than a few minor layout and design tweaks we thought of after living in the home we couldn’t be happier. It has proved to be very efficient to hear and cool.

We looked at several different “installers” and their offerings. We ended up going with an independent dealer who sold multiple builders products, I think working with a reputable installer is very important.

From: wv_bowhunter
30-Jun-21
I should have added that in our area, the mortgage was no issue and most insurances quotes it the same as a stick built home since the finished product was detached from the frame and on a permanent foundation.

We live in a rural area and the appraised value does not seem to be affected by it being a modular instead of a stick built when compared to the comps.

30-Jun-21
00rowe. You’d better check your math. That’s not $150/sqft. Your finished cost is nearly 20% higher then $150/sqft. And, that will build you a nice home. Interior finishes hasn’t taken the hit that dimensional lumber and building supplies. Or it’d be over $200/sqft.

From: 00rowe
30-Jun-21
WV, Thats a very high end example, and still not 200/ft.

30-Jun-21
Smh. I know what it is. I did the math. I know what you said because you didn’t do the math apparently. Your math was $250,000 short of the claim you made. That’s a lot of money. And nearly 20% higher then $150/sqft.

That’s all I’m saying. I’m not doubting that’s what the house sells for. I’m simply pointing out $150/sqft didn’t build the house you used as an example.

30-Jun-21
WV mortgage and insurance is the same way here in mass. That’s why we’re considering the modular route

From: DRR324
30-Jun-21

DRR324's embedded Photo
DRR324's embedded Photo
We bought our BOCA modular as a shell only. It came with kitchen cupboards, counter tops and bath vanities. It’s 16’ vaulted ceiling with half loft in front over the kitchen. With the shell package, it was set on the basement and they assembled the roof, dormer, windows in the front and completed the siding. I finished everything else inside and was able to chose all fixtures we wanted, paint colors, T&G ceilings, closed cell insulation spray, etc etc. It was a ton of hours, but worth every one to finish it how we wanted. 2x6 walls, dbl hung windows, can be ordered. It’s our second home like this and I wouldn’t hesitate to go this route again.

30-Jun-21
Dave I think I’d be interested in doing shell only. That eliminates a huge amount of work to begin the project and once it’s up me and my guys can go to town doing plumbing electrical and all the inside work. Good to know shells are a possibility. I’ve heard some places can be a pain to deal with so that’s nice to hear

From: 00rowe
30-Jun-21

00rowe's Link
WV, here's your new home for under $150/ft, if the link works. 269,900, 1953 finished sq ft.

30-Jun-21
I remember looking before COVID at what 150-165 sq ft could get vs now…..times changed so quickly

30-Jun-21
If you go with modular see if you can tour the plant. Make sure of all your options. I was in building material sales for most of my working career, and sold to several different modular home plants. While some may look great on paper, they quality of many products that go in them can be budget products. Many price out with cheap trim, cabinets, plumbing and light fixtures, etc. Then maybe offer upgrades to any and/or all. Every company is different so do your homework before you buy to make sure you are happy with what you get.

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