Modular Home Friendly Designs Can Save You A Lot of Money

It’s true that some house plans are not modular home friendly designs. Not every style and design of home can be built economically by a modular manufacturer.

Why Some Plans Are Not Modular Home Friendly Designs

The most significant limiting factor is the size of the modules that can be driven from the factory to the job site. Federal, state, and local laws limit how wide and long each module can be. Fourteen-foot-wide modules are the most popular and most conventional house designs that can be comfortably built with these modules. Now that many manufacturers are building sixteen-foot-wide modules, even more conventional designs can be built without sacrifice in layout or style. However, there are many contemporary designs that are too expensive and impractical to build as a modular home. If you prefer such a design, you will need to have it stick-built.

A Rule of Thumb for Selecting Modular Home Friendly Designs

This contemporary cape is not a modular home friendly design because of the multiple gables and roof design
This home, although handsome, cannot be built economically by a modular manufacturer because of the multiple gables and roof design

One rule of thumb that puts this constraint in perspective is that if a design cannot be built as a modular home, which means it cannot be built out of rectangular boxes, it will likely be more expensive to build regardless of the type of construction used. In short, designs with multiple bump-outs and roof angles are always more expensive to build. If you want to get the most home for your money, you will likely want a design that can be built as a modular home even if you ultimately decide to build it as a site-built home.

Site Conditions and Access for Modular Home Friendly Designs

Although most building sites can take delivery of a modular home, there are some locations that require enough extra site work or a redesign of the house plan into smaller modules that building a modular home is not practical. Narrow approaching roads with hairpin turns, lots on the side of steep hills, and very narrow properties can pose challenges. The only way to know if a building lot can comfortably receive a modular home is to have a modular dealer visit it.For more information about why some plans are not modular home friendly designs, see Designing a Modular Home in my book The Modular Home.