Latest Discussions : Miscellaneous

Bob Jr

03:54PM | 01/20/03
Member Since: 01/19/03
44 lifetime posts
I was thinking of building my own home this coming summer. Never done anything quite like it and am wondering if I'm up for the challenge. I plan to just be the builder and sub everything. And then I thought about modular homes. Any opinions out there on either, I'll read them.

The modulars I looked at look very well built but the cost (by the time I add all the nice options like real oak trim)is same ($103 sq ft. excluding lot) as hiring a my own builder for stick built.

I have several friends who have acted as their own builder and some even did alot of the work themselves, so I have a list of subs who have done nice work, etc.

Any opinions? I am also afraid of the stigma placed on modulars, many people think they are still just wide mobile homes, even though mine would have to come in four sections and look like a stick built. Does modular matter for resell value?


06:40AM | 01/26/03
Member Since: 01/25/03
12 lifetime posts
Just a few thoughts on being your own GC...

You may have a hard time finding a bank to finance the project if you plan on being your own general contractor. They have to be convinced that you can finish the project in a timely manner.

Out of curiousity, what region are you located in? There are tons of modular home manufacturers located in the Middle Atlantic area that ship as far north as Maine and as far south as North Carolina. Just make sure you find a reputable company and that you are dealing with a true modular manufacturer and not a manufactured home. Most modular manufacturers have an in-house engineering department which would allow you to customize your floor plan. If you have a specific plan in mind, they could also help you to determine if it could be built as a modular.

Keep in mind that even though most of the interior work on the unit is done, it is far from complete when it arrive at your site. The manufacturer should provide you with a foundation plan. I would suggest having an experienced set crew set the house (especially if the manufacturer offers their own set crew the cost varies but $3000 is a good estimate). This crew is responsible for "buttoning up" the boxes once they are one site.

Because modular homes arrive in "pieces", there is a considerable amount of finish work involved in completion. At the plant, the units are rough plumbed, and wires are run or coiled for on-site tie-in and completion. In addition, modular manufacturers "ship loose" items that must be completed on site such as interior doors and windows at matewalls. Be prepared for extensive drywall finishing in areas where accesses have been left open for on-site plumbing tie-in as well as normal "stress cracks" that occur around doors due to shipping and setting.

As far as resale goes, many of today's modular homes would not even be outwardly distiguishable from traditional stick built homes. I would doubt that the modular design you have in mind would vary much in price from a stick built home.

Most importantly, READ THE CONTRACT and be aware of your responsibilities as a builder. Most first time modular builders are not aware of their responsibilities when it comes to finishing one of these homes.

If you need more info, drop me an email.

Good luck with your project.


02:28PM | 05/09/03
Member Since: 05/08/03
3 lifetime posts
We had a modular home built last summer. What Saoltmann said re: different crews is very correct. The outcome depends just as much on those crews hired as the manufacturer of the home. This is something we didn't know and was never explained. Now we are living in a brand new home that we are embarrased to have people see. We went with a modular because they are done so quickly and we "thought" the quality was very comparable. If we could go back in time, we would definitely go stick built.

Bob Jr

01:20AM | 05/10/03
Member Since: 01/19/03
44 lifetime posts
I am in the Midwest. The modular I had in mind would run $176,000, plus lot and utilities.

I am serving as my own builder and the cost will be $140,000 for same house with fewer posts in the basement. A friend who is his own builder started last month and I am starting first week in June. I plan on using his subs if they pan out, plus some I already know.

The modulars were just not friendly to the custom home. Everytime I wanted a change or an upgrade the costs shot up. Even upgrading to Andersen 400 series windows, the add-on was basically the same cost as me buying the windows myself at Home D*pot, no credit for the standard windows. Real oak millwork, add $1600, that's how much it costs me to buy it, you gotta figure they already have the labor to install it, whether I go with the plastic crap or real wood.

You still have same foundation costs and HVAC is not included, nor is the septic, they add on costs for the garage making it $15,000 instead of $11,000. The setup and delivery is $16,000.

It's just not for the person who wants to build his own design and who cares about quality components like windows. And you have the stigma of the modular home.

The homes I looked at had normal roof lines like 6/12 or even 8/12, they are better looking than the old modulars with 4/12 pitched roof, that had to fit under an interstate highway bridge. The roof is now raised on-site and propped up, which scared me too. My neighbor put in a old style with low roof line and it looks like a mobile home, sitting in a neighborhood with $300,000 2000sq foot ranches. Not good, but thats why we move to the country, fewer zoning laws and more freedom to do our own thing.


08:15AM | 03/11/07
Member Since: 03/10/07
3 lifetime posts
Your posting gives us second thoughts about a modular home. What company did you buy from?



04:35PM | 07/01/13
We just bought our modular home and love it. We went through a local builder but the manufacturer was Ritz-Craft Corporation. Their website has a lot of great information if you're looking for somewhere to start:


04:36PM | 07/01/13


01:34AM | 01/06/16
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