Site Built, Manufactured, or Modular Homes: What’s The Difference?

Are you ready to leave the renting and landlords behind? Choosing a first-time home can be a tough decision, and there are many options to choose from. We’re here to help you understand the difference between a site-built home, a modular home, or a manufactured home.

Here at True Built Home, we only offer site-built homes. Still, we genuinely care about our clients, which is why we want you to be well informed before you make a decision. Our business is all about quality, which is why you can feel confident you’re getting the best of the best. Our precise building techniques and commitment to quality are what set us above the rest.

Site-Built Homes

Site-built homes (also known as stick-built homes) are built by a contractor on your land, according to your specifications. This style of home is by far the most popular, and it has been around for a long time.

Building Codes

Site-built homes must have construction standards that meet the International Residential Construction code, zoning regulations, and state, county, and town codes, which ensure quality and safety during construction.

Floor Plans and Designs

Our selection of over 50 home designs is completely customizable. Additionally, you can choose to add completely customized features to your floor plan.

Appearance

There are many traditional-looking home plans among our collection, but we also offer many modern-looking homes, along with some farmhouse homes, and some craftsman-style homes.

Cost

The average cost per square foot of site-built homes can vary quite a bit. The design of a home, such as its size and shape, obviously influences construction costs. However, the cost per square foot for a new home is even more greatly impacted by the construction quality, grade of materials, and level of interior finishing of the home. This involves the quality of the cabinetry, countertop material, plumbing fixtures and finishes, lighting, flooring, and HVAC systems, as well as the level of molding and trim, the grade of siding and roofing products, the number and efficiency of the windows and doors and the extent of energy-efficient features included. To see what is and what is not included in our pricing, check out our Standard Features.

Financing

While we don’t offer in-house financing, we do work with a variety of lenders to make this easy for you. We have preferred lenders that we work with on a regular basis. These lenders specialize in traditional construction loans, while some specialize in FHA or VA loans. Please view our list of our preferred lenders who can help you get started with the loan process.

Time Frame

The time frame for a site-built house varies based on factors like weather delays and the project’s size and complexity. Since construction can be a complicated process with many moving parts, we schedule 270 days or more from the time the foundation is poured. That’s just an estimated timeline, and it could take more time or less, depending on your project.

Site-Built Home Building Materials and Construction

The construction process occurs directly on the land where it will sit. Usually, this on-site building process takes longer than modular or manufactured homes. That’s because the house isn’t factory-built. Instead, it’s all constructed on-site in different phases.

Resale Value

A site-built home will keep its resale value far better than modular or manufactured homes due to the superior quality and customization involved.

Manufactured Homes

A manufactured home, which contrary to popular belief, isn’t necessarily a trailer or mobile home, can be a popular choice because it’s the least expensive of the three options. At True Built Home, we do not offer manufactured homes.

Building Codes

This type of home also must follow the IRC code and local zoning regulations and laws. While they can be attached to a permanent foundation, they are not required to be.

Floor Plans and Designs

Depending on the home builder, you may be able to choose from a variety of home designs, but they are usually pre-designed. This style of home offers the least customization out of the three.

Appearance

A manufactured home can look very nice but doesn’t offer the same look or curb appeal as a site-built home.

Cost

It’s hard to give an exact number due to numerous variables, but there are different costs based on if you purchase the manufactured home alone, or possibly $80- $160 per square foot for a fully installed manufactured home.

Financing

Some specific financing considerations may need to be considered. In some cases, they could be considered personal property rather than real estate, and that can impact buyer plans and financing options. Affixing the manufactured home to a permanent foundation may help with financing, but adds to the cost. However, some manufactured home builders may offer their own financing.

Time Frame

The time frame to build can be the shortest of the three, at around four to six months on average.

Manufactured Home Building Materials and Construction

The construction process for a manufactured home occurs in a factory setting. The building materials are factory built, and then the home is shipped either fully assembled or in pieces to the home site. The building materials are the cheapest of the three options because the manufacturer purchasing materials can do so in bulk, and might not be as concerned about the highest quality materials to keep the costs lower than traditional home building.

Resale Value

This style doesn’t hold resale value as well compared with other options. The assessed value of manufactured homes may, in some locales, be significantly lower than for stick-built homes.

Modular Homes

Modular homes (also known as prefab homes) are factory-built like manufactured homes, but they are shipped in sections and assembled at the home site. Again, True Built Home does not offer modular homes.

Building Codes

Modular homes also must follow IRC and local building and zoning regulations.

Floor Plans and Designs

Modular home floor plans vary by the manufacturer you choose. However, they provide a moderate amount of customization.

Appearance

Despite the different building and assembly processes, a prefab home may be able to look like it was site-built.

Cost

Modular homes costs will also vary greatly, but on average are around $90 to $120 per square foot. The lower cost is usually due to the quicker construction time and easier assembly process.

Financing

Some lenders may tend to have a problem with modular homes. There can be extra steps involved in securing enough funding to make these homes happen because they’re not considered a traditional type of building. One of the biggest challenges with modular homes is that buyers may often have difficulty getting funding in time to pay contractors. This is something you may need to take into account if you want to build a modular home. However, some manufacturers may offer their own financing.

Time Frame

The construction time frame is about six months, which usually includes: financing, building permits, construction, delivery, and assembly. Factors such as weather, delivery times, and your land may affect the time to build.

Modular Home Building Materials and Construction

The modular construction process occurs entirely inside a factory. The sections are factory-built before the manufacturer ships them to the final location. They are usually mass-produced and are designed to be made as a single home, or as a “mix and match” project. Then, they are assembled on a foundation.

Resale Value

Modular homes hold their resale value fairly well. The assessed value of manufactured homes may, in some locales, be significantly lower than for stick-built homes. You could also consider adding an addition or expansion to increase the value.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a site-built house?

This house is one that a general contractor builds directly on a piece of land instead of in a factory. It is constructed in traditional phases, such as foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical, drywall, roofing, etc.

What is the difference between a modular home and a site-built home?

Modular homes are factory-built, whereas site-built homes have a building process that occurs on-site. They can vary in cost, financing availability, and resale value.

What is the site-built construction method?

This construction technique involves building a home directly on a permanent and sturdy foundation.

Are modular homes cheaper than buying a house?

The total price will vary based on many factors. Modular homes can be less expensive than site-built or pre-built homes, but not always.

Call the Custom Home Builders at True Built Home Today

When you’re ready to have a home built exactly to your custom needs, True Built Home has straightforward pricing and exceptional quality workmanship. Contact us today at 1-855-WHY-TRUE and learn more about our site-built homes and how we can help you build the custom house of your dreams.

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