Omitting Modular Home Materials

Customers often ask whether they can safely omit any modular home materials from the manufacturer so they can buy them on their own and have their GC install them. Some materials are easy for the manufacturer to omit and the general contractor to install. This includes both required materials, such as a faucet, and optional ones, such as a zero-clearance fireplace. Other modular home materials can create significant additional work for the GC when not done by the manufacturer, although it is still reasonable for a customer to omit them. Interior moldings and doors fall into this category. Still other materials, such as electrical wiring, make no practical or economic sense to omit. The lists give typical examples of modular home materials that fall into each of these three categories.

Modular Home Materials You Can Omit As Long As Your GC Plans Properly

A contractor replacing modular home materials (kitchen cabinets) by installing them on-site
Kitchen cabinets are modular home materials that are easy for the manufacturer to omit and the general contractor to install
  • Gable dormers installed in unfinished attics
  • Appliances
  • Bathroom medicine cabinets and mirrors
  • Closet shelving
  • Door handles
  • Exterior doors
  • Faucets
  • Flooring
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Kitchen countertops
  • Light fixtures
  • Decorative gables
  • Siding
  • Sinks
  • Skylights
  • Stair railings
  • Toilets
  • Zero-clearance fireplaces

Note that it may cost more to buy and install the materials listed above from a local supplier and installer, but not much more.

Modular Home Materials You Can Omit But This Will Create Significant Additional GC Work

  • Electrical switches and receptacles
  • Interior doors
  • Interior moldings
  • Roof system
  • Shingles
  • Stairs to upper floors
  • Tubs and showers

Modular Home Materials You Should Not Omit

  • Drywall
  • Electrical wiring
  • Floor, roof, or wall sheathing
  • Second floor plumbing
  • Windows

When deciding to omit the manufacturer’s modular home materials, make sure that the general contractor understands what additional work he is expected to perform; this is particularly important when the GC is not also the dealer. In addition, consult with the GC and dealer to determine what the manufacturer should and should not do to prepare the house for the GC’s on-site installation.
For more information about modular home materials, see Modular Home Specifications and Features in my book The Modular Home.