Modular Homes Costs Vs. Stick-Built Home Prices
If you’re considering a custom modular home, you might have heard of the staggering cost difference between modular construction vs. traditional construction. Most people will tell you that a modular house does cost considerably less to build than conventional lumber or ‘stick-built’ home, but when it comes down to it, how does the average price of a modular home really compare?
To put things in perspective, here’s the average cost per square foot for building a modular home vs. stick-built:
- Modular Home: $130-$145/ sq ft
- Stick Built Home: $210/ sq ft
The numbers speak for themselves. The critical difference between the cost of a modular vs. a stick-built home is how they are assembled.
Traditional stick-built homes are constructed on-site from the ground up, which most homeowners think of in terms of construction. However, site-built homes face more potential delays due to weather, climate, and the condition of the construction site. The price is higher, but the likelihood that you’re going to experience more delays is increasingly likely.
On the other hand, modular homes are built in a controlled environment off-site and then transported to your land for assembly. Like traditional construction, you typically communicate with your general contractor more than anyone. They’ll help you decide on the crucial features like the overall square footage and floor plan of your home, along with add ons you’d like to make to the house.
This is where costs can vary with your overall construction plan. Modular home prices tend to be far more reasonable than traditionally built homes. For more information about the construction process at Carolina Custom Homes, check out Why Modular Homes Only Take 3-4 Months to Build.
But, if you want to know the ins and outs of modular construction and the average modular home cost, we have an inside look at what construction costs you can account for in your budget.
A Complete Breakdown of Modular Homes Costs
The time has come to build your home, and you’re curious to know one thing: what is the price of a modular home? The truth is, the answer isn’t the same for everyone, especially as you consider what features you’d like to add to your home.
As we work from the ground up, consider the average modular home prices and what additional features you’re looking for.
Base Home Price
Any modular home floor plan you choose will have a base price for the home itself. These prices typically don’t include freight costs, sight work, taxes, fees, or any customizations you want. So, while it’s the most affordable, chances are you’ll want to add more features to your home outside of the basic model.
The initial modular home cost varies between $30-$50 a square foot, so multiply the price by square footage, and just like that, you’ll have the average modular home price.
Once you have a base model selected, you can adjust the floor plan to suit your needs. One of the best features of modular homes is their customization features, so you’ll get exactly what you’re looking for in a home.
Don’t underestimate the value of adding customizations to your custom modular home, as they can significantly increase your resale value! This is where you can adjust the overall square footage, add new features to the home design, etc.
However, this is also where the price per square foot can change your base modular home price. It’s important to leave some room in your budget so there aren’t any unsuspecting surprises down the line.
Site Prep Work
One of the first steps in the modular home building process is picking a plot of land to build on. At Carolina Custom Homes, if you don’t have existing land to build on, we’ll help you find land to purchase before construction starts. Whether you’re looking for rolling hills or more flat terrain, location is an important step in the home construction process and affects modular homes’ costs.
Once your purchase is complete, the land will need to be prepped for building. This includes grading, tree and brush removal, and stump grinding so there is enough cleared area for construction.
The first step in building your custom modular home is laying the foundation. Your modular home’s price may or may not include the cost of the foundation, so it’s important to talk to your general contractor before they start working. You can also consider adding a basement to your house plan, which can be added to the final cost but will also add valuable living space.
Taxes, Fees, and Permits
These modular home costs are difficult to think of but have to be accounted for. Every state has different taxes, fees, and permits required when building a home. Your modular home builder will know what to apply for and add them to your overall cost.
Delivery and Assembly
Once the modules have been constructed at the factory, they will need to be delivered to your house for continued site work and assembly, known as the “button up” phase. Your contractor should break down the transportation modular homes costs.
Another must-have step that also affects the overall cost of your home is the cost of utilities.
The HVAC system installation needs to be handled, including air duct installation. Pricing depends on the size of your home, but it will likely be a hefty investment ranging close to $10,000 or more.
Your new custom modular home will need to be hooked up to the city’s water and septic. If you live in a rural area, then a well and septic tank will need to be installed near your home.
Plus, you’ll have to consider the installation of electricity and gas. Overall, there are a lot of outside factors that impact the modular home cost, but local affordable custom home builders like Carolina Custom Homes can guide you through the process.
Additional features, such as a porch or carport, must be built on-site rather than in a factory. These are usually the finishing touches that ground your home and will cause the overall modular home price to fluctuate.
Your Overall Savings and Modular Homes Costs
While there are a lot of steps that go into modular building construction, there are overall a lot of cost benefits you just can’t beat, such as:
- Reducing overall material costs: Modular home materials are purchased in bulk and stored in a controlled environment, so you don’t have to go out and buy your materials for construction. You’ll be able to pick and choose what you like as a part of the design process and keep things more affordable.
- Lower construction costs: A stick-built home takes much longer to build than a modular home, meaning labor costs will add up, especially if you have a multi-story home or add additional square feet during your customization period. Plus, the controlled construction location means you’ll never deal with extended timelines or increased pricing.
- A stick-built home generally requires more on-site labor than a modular home. You’re looking at an accelerated timeline because of the different construction methods.
- Modular homes are built with high insulation and improved airflow, so you’ll have a more energy-efficient home that increases your overall home savings as well.
Building a custom modular home instead of a stick-built home allows you to enjoy significant savings without sacrificing the quality of customization options you’re looking for. While you might still wonder if you can afford the total modular home costs, the overall savings of your home will speak volumes once you’ve settled in.