The two main kinds of houses we’ll be discussing are stick-built and modular homes. A stick built home is a home built using the conventional method that comes to mind when you think of home building: a group of sub-contractors comes to a site with tools and supplies and builds a home on that site. A modular home, on the other hand, is built in pieces (or modules) in a factory, and then these modules are assembled on the site of the home to make a completed home. Modular homes should not be confused with manufactured homes or prefabricated homes; modular homes are a small subset of prefabricated homes that come in many different designs. While stick-built homes are currently much more popular than modular homes, each construction method comes with its own advantages and drawbacks.
Because this method is so popular and has been for a long time, you’re likely fairly familiar with how it works and its advantages. Stick-built homes allow for a great deal of customization and freedom in design. They aren’t built exceptionally quickly, but if you find the right sub-contractors, you’ll likely end up with a very high-quality house. However, one problem with stick-built homes that is very noticeable when they are compared to modular homes is that, due to their being constructed by many different teams of workers that do not necessarily communicate with each other very much, the different systems within the home might not be integrated well with one another. Additionally, the fact that each stick-built home is built separately leads to more waste of materials than might occur in a factory setting.
Modular construction occurs in an external location, usually a factory, where every aspect of the building process is controlled. The construction process for modular homes is very efficient– very little building material is wasted and every aspect of the building is integrated. This means that not only are modular home construction methods efficient, but modular homes themselves have the potential to be extremely energy efficient. That’s not to say that every modular home is efficient and environmentally friendly, but they have the potential to be more efficient than stick-built homes due to the way that they’re constructed.
So, modular homes have some distinct advantages over stick-built homes, though it certainly depends on the homes that you’re comparing. There is no general rule, but it’s definitely a good idea to look into modular construction as an option before you decide on a your new home’s design.