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Modular buildings are very affordable because of the factory construction of these buildings. They are very cost effective compared to conventional construction. These units are typically constructed in an enclosed facility, therefore weather is not a factor in the construction timeline. Material delivery fees are also out of the equation because an ample amount of material will always be available at the facility, as opposed to being delivered in limited quantities to the job site, nearly eliminating construction delays, and theft of building materials from the site. Such dwellings are often priced lower than their site-built counterparts and are typically more cost-effective to builders and consumers. Homes can be constructed in less time than it takes to build a home "on-site."
Manufacturers cite the following reasons for the typically lower cost/price of these dwellings:
Speed of construction/faster return on investment:
Modular construction allows for the building and the site work to be completed simultaneously, reducing the overall completion schedule by as much as 50%.
Assembly is independent of weather, which increases work efficiency and avoids damaged building material.
Favorable pricing from suppliers:
Large-scale manufacturers can effectively bargain with suppliers for discounts on materials.
Ability to service remote locations:
Particularly in countries such as Australia there can be much higher costs to build a site-built house in a remote area or an area experiencing a construction boom such as mining towns. Modular homes can be built in major towns and sold to regional areas.
With the same plans being constantly built, the manufacturer has records of exactly what quantity of materials are needed for a given job. While waste from a site-built dwelling may typically fill several large dumpsters, construction of a modular dwelling generates much less waste. Modular construction reduces waste and site disturbance compared to site-built structures.
Conventional buildings can be difficult to extend, however with a modular building you can simply add sections, or even entire floors. As well as commercial applications from schools to churches.
Modular homes vs. mobile homes
(*note Premier Modular Homes does not offer the sale mobile homes, this is for informative purposes only as consumers.)
Differences include the building codes that govern the construction, types of material used and how they are appraised by banks for lending purposes. The codes that govern the construction of modular homes are exactly the same codes that govern the construction of site-constructed homes. In the United States, all modular homes are constructed according to the International Building Code (IBC), IRC, BOCA or the code that has been adopted by the local jurisdiction. Mobile homes (manufactured homes) are constructed according to the HUD Code and are generally considered lesser quality. The materials are the same as site constructed homes. Wood-frame floors, walls and roof are the most typical. Some modular homes include brick or stone exteriors, granite counters and steeply pitched roofs. All modulars are designed to sit on a perimeter foundation or basement. Mobile homes are constructed with a steel chassis that is integral to the integrity of the floor system. Mobile homes often require special lenders. Most companies have standard plans. However, all modular buildings can be custom built to a clients specifications. Today's designs include multi-story units, multi-family units and entire apartment complexes. The negative stereotype commonly associated with mobile homes and has prompted some manufacturers to start using the term "off-site construction."
Standards and zoning considerations:
Typically, modular dwellings are built to local, state or council code: dwellings built in a given manufacturing facility will have differing construction standards depending on the final destination of the modules. Steel and/or wood framing are common options for building a modular home. Modular home designs can be customized for local zoning codes. For example, homes built for final assembly in a hurricane-prone area may include additional bracing to meet local building codes.
Some US courts have ruled that zoning restrictions applicable to mobile homes do not apply to modular homes since modular homes are often assembled with a permanent foundation. Additionally, in the US, valuation differences between modular homes and site-built homes are often negligible in real estate appraisal practice; thus, modular homes can in some market areas (depending on local appraisal practices per [[Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice]]) be evaluated the same way as traditionally built dwellings of similar quality. In Australia manufactured home parks are governed by additional legislation that does not apply to permanent modular homes. Possible developments in equivalence between modular and site-built housing types for the purposes of real estate appraisal, financing and zoning may increase the sales of modular homes over time.
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According to manufacturers, modular homes are generally designed to be initially stronger than traditional homes by, for example, replacing nails with screws and adding glue to joints. This is supposed to help the modules maintain their structural integrity as they are transported on trucks to the construction site. Despite manufacturer claims that the modular home is initially built to be stronger than a traditional home, it is difficult to predict the final building strength since it needs to endure transportation stresses that traditional homes never experience. When FEMA studied the destruction wrought by Hurricane Andrew in Dade County Florida, they concluded that modular and masonry homes fared best compared to other construction.
Typically, a modular home contains about 10 to 20 percent more lumber compared to traditional stick-built homes. This is because modules need to be transported to the job site and the additional lumber helps keep them stable.
Surfaces and finishes:
Modular buildings can be assembled on top of multiple foundation surfaces, such as a crawl space, stilts (for areas that are prone to flooding), full basements or standard slab at grade. They can also be built to multi-story heights. Churches, schools, Motels and other multi-family structures have been built using modular construction techniques. The height that a modular structure can be built to depends on jurisdiction but a number of countries, especially in Asia, allow them to be built to 24 floors and possibly even more. Exterior wall surfaces can be finalized in the plant production process or in the case of brick/stone veneers field applications may be the builders choice. Roof systems also can be apart of – separate from – applied in the field after the basic installation is completed.
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