Modular homes are becoming an increasingly popular option for those looking for a new home. They offer many of the same features and amenities as traditional stick-built homes, but at a fraction of the cost.
But what is the real cost of building a modular home?
This post will consider the true cost of building a modular home, the factors that drive up the price, and how much you can expect to pay for custom-built homes. So if you're thinking about building a modular home, read on!
How much does a modular home cost?
The actual cost of building a modular home ranges from $40,000 to $805,000. Of course, the cost increases if you choose a custom unit, need more rooms, or if the site is located farther from the factory. However, it is generally cheaper than building a home built from scratch.
A closer look at modular residential costs
On average, a modular home costs between $100 and $200 per square foot. A base model costs between $50 and $100, while a custom unit costs between $120 and $230. However, these prices can increase if you are building in a remote location or need to ship the structure from another state. .
Although,this Forbes articlenotes that modular homes are up to 33% cheaper than traditional homes. The main reason for this difference is that modular homes are built in factories using prefabricated parts, which is why they are often referred to as "prefab".
In particular, building a prefab home is much faster and requires less labor, which lowers the overall cost.
Also, most modular homes require lscarce materialthan traditional houses built with sticks. They minimize waste as the pieces are cut to size at the factory, unlike stick-built homes where the wood is often cut on site.
Breakdown of the cost of building a modular home
We can divide the cost of building a modular home into nine main categories:
- site preparation- the cost ofclear and level the land, which can go fromUS$ 2.000 a US$ 6.000.
- Base– the foundation of a prefabricated house is typicallybetween $6,000 and $8,000. This includes the cost of the foundation and concrete slab.
- public utility services– connection to water, sewage and electricitycost from $2,000 to $25,000. The price can be even higher if you are building in a remote location.
- Transport– the cost of shipping the modular home to the construction site can vary fromUS$ 5.000 a US$ 12.000. If you live in a remote area, the shipping fee may increase.
- permission fees– the cost of building permits varies from$ 500- $ 5.000.
- Installation– configure and install modular homes with foundation costsUS$ 10.000 a US$ 50.000.
- interior finishes– the cost of flooring, cabinets, countertops, appliances, paint and other interior finishes. Price can vary fromUS$ 10.000 a US$ 100.000.
- exterior finishes -This includes the cost of cladding, roofing, decking, porches and other exterior finishes. The cost can vary fromUS$ 5.000 a US$ 30.000.
- Sales tax costs– most states charge a sales tax50-65%of the total cost of the modular home. Hethe tax varies between 4-5%therefore, check with your state for the exact rate.
- Total cost– the total cost of a modular home can vary fromUS$ 40.000 a US$ 805.000. Expect to pay more for a custom unit as it will require more materials and labor.
Here is an interesting video describing some of the typical costs of a prefab home:
Modular Home Cost by Manufacturer
The cost of modular homes varies by manufacturer. Some companies offer a basic model customized to your liking, while others only offer fully customized homes.
Here are some US modular home builders, their typical products and prices:
|blue houses||$430 per square meter|
|Casas Clayton||US$ 75.000 a US$ 150.000|
|method houses||$170 to $300 per square meter|
|Deltec Homes||$250 to $500 per square meter|
|Houses with calm waters||$200 to $300 per square meter|
- Basic housing model:up to $430 per square foot
- Base price of domestic product:$ 430.000
- Ranch of a story:$ 1.800
- House with green label:$ 435.000
- Unlabeled family:$ 400.000
blue housesis one of the main builders of modular homes in the country. They offer basic models and fully customized houses. Their prices range from US$400,000 to US$430,000 per unit, with an average price per square meter of US$430.
Without a doubt, Blu Homes charges some of the highest prices in the industry. However, their homes are also some of the most energy-efficient and eco-friendly manufactured homes on the market.
Notice:Despite Blu Homes' high prices, some customers have already complained about poor customer service and construction delays, so do your research before committing to this (or any other) builder.
- Basic housing model:US$ 75.000 a US$ 150.000
Casas Claytonis one of the most popular modular home builders in the country. It has a good reputation for quality homes and excellent customer service. The company offers a wide range of basic models and custom homes.
Home prices start at $75,000 and go up to $150,000.
- Basic housing model:$170 to $300 per square meter
- Soft costs:$25,000 on average
- Location costs:60-120% of modular costs
method housesis a leading builder of modular homes in the United States. Hecontractors bidsentry-level models and custom homes, starting at $170 per square foot.
In addition to the actual unit price, you will also need to factor in site costs, which can range from 60-120% of modular costs. Intangible costs such as licenses and utility connections can also add up.\
- Basic housing model:$250 to $500 per square meter
- military discount:4% discount for active and retired military personnel
Deltecis a renowned builder of modular homes, thanks to its hurricane-resistant homes. The company offers basic models and custom homes, with prices starting at $250 per square foot.
Additionally, the company offers a 4% military discount to active and retired military personnel.
Deltec is an option worth considering if you are looking for an eco-friendly and sustainable manufactured home.
Houses with calm waters
- Signature Series Base Unit:US$ 200 a US$ 300/m²
- Total cost of the Signature series:US$ 475 a US$ 650/m²
- Base unit connection series:US$ 225 a US$ 325/m²
- Total cost of connection series:US$ 500 a US$ 700/m²
Houses with calm watersis a luxury modular home builder. Their homes start at $200 per square foot and go up to $500.
The company offers two different product lines:
- Hecompany seriesis more affordable, with prices starting at$475 per square meter.
- Heconnection seriesis the high-end line, with prices starting at$500 per square meter.
Cost of modular homes by number of bedrooms
Modular home prices generally increase with the number of bedrooms. One-bedroom units start at $40,000, while five-bedroom units can cost as much as $805,000. This price difference is to be expected, as larger homes have more square footage and therefore cost more to build.
This table summarizes theAverage costs of modular homesby number of rooms:
|Number of bedrooms||Average price|
|1||$ 40.000 - $ 230.000|
|2||$ 50.000 - $ 276.000|
|3||$ 75.000 - $ 460.000|
|4||US$ 85.000 – US$ 495.000|
|5||$ 187.500 - $ 805.000|
Here is a summary of average modular home prices by number of bedrooms.:
A one-bedroom unit costs between $40,000 and $230,000
The average price of a one-bedroom modular home is betweenUS$ 40.000 a US$ 230.000. Basic homes typically cost between $40,000 and $75,000.
On the other hand, custom homes cost between $96,000 and $230,000. These units feature more amenities, better finishes and larger square footage. In addition, they take longer to build, as every detail is planned according to the buyer's specifications.
Pro tip:If you want to save money on your one-bedroom modular home, it's best to choose a basic model. You can always upgrade finishes and add more features later.
A two-bedroom unit costs between $50,000 and $276,000
The average cost of a two-bedroom modular unit ranges from $50,000 to $276,000. Basic prefab homes range from $50,000 to $110,000, while a custom home ranges from $120,000 to $276,000.
Modular two-bedroom homes generally offer more space and amenities than prefab one-bedroom homes, including more bathrooms and closets. However, they also tend to be priced higher, being 200 to 400 square feet (19 to 37 square meters) larger than their one-bedroom equivalents.
Pro tip:If you're considering a two-bedroom unit, it's essential to consider the cost of the land. After all, you'll need enough space to accommodate both the house and any additional outdoor space, such as decks or patios.
A three-bedroom unit costs between $75,000 and $460,000
A three-bedroom modular home averages between $75,000 and $460,000. Again, the price of a base unit ranges from $75,000 to $150,000 while a custom job ranges from $180,000 to $460,000.
Modular three-bedroom homes are usually at least 2,000 square feet (186 square meters) and can go as high as 2,400 square feet (223 square meters). They usually have several bathrooms, a spacious kitchen and a spacious living room.
A four-bedroom unit costs between $85,000 and $495,000
The average cost of a four bedroom section ranges from $150,000 to $575,000. A basic model ranges from US$150,000 to US$187,500, while the price of a luxury home ranges from US$300,000 to US$575,000.
Modular four-bedroom homes are typically 2,500 square feet (232 square meters) and can reach 3,000 square feet (279 square meters). They usually have four bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room and a dining room.
A five-bedroom unit costs between $187,500 and $805,000
A five-bedroom modular home typically costs between $187,500 and $805,000. A base unit costs between $262,500 and $375,000, while a custom one costs between $375,000 and $805,000.
Five-bedroom modular homes are typically between 2,500 and 3,000 square feet (232-279 square meters). Price per square foot ranges from $75 to $265.
Factors that affect the cost of modular homes
When it comes to the cost of prefab homes, there are many factors to consider. From the home's size and style to the features and finishes you choose, your final price will vary greatly.
Here are some things that can affect the cost of modular homes:
As you can see from the prices above, the larger modular homes cost more to build. If you want a spacious home with lots of bedrooms and bathrooms, you can expect to pay a higher price.
That's a no-brainer, right?
Well, it is important to note that the cost of land will also increase as your home size increases. So if you're considering a larger prefab home, make sure you have enough space and budget to accommodate it.
Custom homes cost more than stock models
If you want a truly unique home, you'll have to pay for the privilege. Custom modular homes cost more than standard units because they are built to specific specifications. You will need to work closely with the builder to design a home that fits your needs, wants and budget.
Additional features like custom finishes and accessories will add to the cost as well.
Variable cost by region
Generally, homes built in cities and metropolitan areas cost more than homes in rural areas.
This divergence occurs because land is more expensive in densely populated areas. And since modular homes are typically built on a foundation, the land price will factor into the final cost.
Also, if you are building in an area with a high cost of living, expect to pay more for your prefab home than someone building in a more affordable region.
Variable cost per builder
Some companies charge more than others for their homes because they offer high quality products. Others charge more because they are simply trying to make a bigger profit.
So it's best to do your research before choosing a modular home builder. Read online reviews, compare prices, and ask trusted people for referrals.
the number of floors
While most modular homes are single-story homes, some manufacturers offer homes with two or more floors. However, these houses cost more to build because they require more materials and labor.
To use:If you're considering a two-story prefab home, make sure your lot is big enough to accommodate it. You'll also need to factor in the cost of the stairs, which can add several thousand dollars to the final price.
Shipping fees increase with distance
Another thing to remember is that the further away from the builder your home has to travel, the more it will cost to ship. So if you're building in a remote location, expect to pay more for shipping than someone building close to the factory.
However, even if you have to pay more for shipping, you will likely save money by building a modular home. This benefit is because they are typically built more quickly and with less labor than homes built on site.
Tips to save money on modular home costs
Now that you know everything about the cost of modular homes, you might be wondering how you can save money on building them. After all, prefab homes are a big investment, and you want to make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck.
Here are some tips to help you save money on the cost of modular homes:
Compare prices to get the best deal
Don't just pick the first builder you come across. Instead, take the time to research your options and compare prices.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when you're shopping:
- What is the price per square meter?
- What is included in the base price?
- What are the additional costs?
- How long will it take to build my house?
Compare apples to apples
When comparing prices from different companies, be sure to compare apples to apples. In other words, make sure the houses are similar in size, style and features.
It's also important to compare the total cost, not just the price per square foot. Some builders charge more per square foot, but include more in the base price. Others charge less per square foot but charge five cents with additional fees.
build a smaller house
If you are trying to save money, one of the best ways is to build a smaller house because it costs less due to less materials and labor. But of course you have to make sure your home is big enough to suit your needs.
If you can live with a smaller house, you will save a lot of money in the long run.
Choose an accessible location
As mentioned, land costs can vary significantly from location to location. Choosing an affordable location is best if you are trying to save money on your modular home. Rural areas are often the cheapest, but you can find a deal in an urban area if you're willing to look around.
Bet on quality, not quantity
When choosing features and finishes for your home, choose quality over quantity. It's better to have a few high-quality items than a bunch of cheap, low-quality components.
Not only will this save you money in the long run, as higher quality items last longer, but it will also make your home look better.
Do some of the work yourself
If you're crafty, you can save money by doing everything from painting to landscaping. Of course, you'll want to know what you're doing before starting any project. Otherwise, you could spend more money in the long run to correct your mistakes.
Notice:Sometimes your prefab builder may not allow you to do any work yourself. Make sure you ask about this before signing any contracts.
Work with an experienced contractor
If you are not comfortable doing the work yourself, hire an experienced contractor. A good contractor will get the job done quickly and efficiently, saving you money in the long run.
Here are some things to look for when you're hiring a contractor:
- a good reputation– ask around or check reviews online to see what other people have said about the contractor.
- much experience– make sure the contractor has a lot of experience in modular construction. The last thing you want is someone who has never built a modular home before.
- a fair price– don't overpay your contractor. Get quotes from a few different companies to compare prices.
For more home buying tips, readThe Brilliant Home Buyer: 101 Tips for Buying a Home in the New EconomyKatie's Breakup.
The author, a veteran realtor, explains what you need to know to buy a home in today's market, including how to get the best possible deal and tips for getting the right financing.
Modular home prices start around $40,000 but can go as high as $805,000 for a fully custom unit. Still, the cost of modular homes can vary wildly depending on the manufacturer, size, number of bedrooms, and whether or not you want custom work.
If you're looking for a modular home builder, do your research and compare prices before committing to just one company. This will help you get the best deal on your new home.
- HomeAdvisor: How much does it cost to build a modular home?
- Forbes: The future of real estate is modular
- Wisconsin Department of Revenue: Sales and Use of Modular and Manufactured Real Estate Tax Treatment
- Fixr: How much does it cost to build a modular home?
- Stillwater Homes: Connection Series Pricing
- Deltec Pricing: Pricing
- Home Method: Prices
- Clayton Homes: Selected Collections
- Blu Houses: Origin 1000
Netzero founder and home experimenter