Some insist upon stick-built, while others say modular is best. But when the end product looks and feels the same, what’s the difference? Explore the differences between modular and stick-built construction and make a better informed choice.
Stick-built homes, also called site-built, are constructed entirely at the building site and conform to all applicable building codes. Modular homes also conform to all applicable building codes, but instead of being constructed “stick by stick” on site, builders construct sections in a factory setting. Following completion, the modular homes manufacturer ships the sections to the site, where they’re joined together.
Manufactured homes are also built in a factory and assembled on-site but only conform to federal building codes, not local ones. Because they’re not always placed on permanent foundations, refinancing a manufactured home loan is sometimes difficult. They are less expensive than both stick-built and modular homes.
Modular, Manufactured and Stick-Built Pros
Because stick-built and modular homes meet local building codes, communities usually don’t restrict them. Because modular homes are built in climate-controlled factories, there is little or no risk that weather damaged materials have been used.
And modular construction also eliminates weather-related construction delays – even modular homes in CT, a state home to week-long power outages from both hurricanes and freak October snowstorms. Modular construction is fast – averaging about two-thirds less time than stick-built construction – and may be sturdier, according to a FEMA report after Hurricane Andrew.
Despite these advantages, stick built construction still remains popular. It’s easier to find high quality professionals for stick-built than for modular construction. And since people are more familiar with it, it enjoys its current perch at the top of the residential construction heap.
Modular, Manufactured and Stick-Built Cons
The disadvantages to manufactured homes are plenty. They don’t conform to local building codes and many times aren’t permitted in certain communities. Financing can be difficult, because they aren’t always placed on permanent foundations. Design options are limited as well.
Stick-built homes frequently cost more than estimated and are usually beset by weather, materials or labor-related delays. If wet materials are used during construction, mold may develop – a hazardous condition requiring immediate remediation. These projects also create a great deal of waste, unlike modular construction facilities that choose to recycle.
Modular homes, although solidly constructed, conforming and environmentally friendly, suffers from an unfair stigma. Until homeowners understand the differences between modular and manufactured housing, biases may persist. Nevertheless, modular and stick-built housing remain the standards to which home construction are held.
After reading about home construction, you’re probably interested in learning more about modular homes manufacturers. Guest post written by Shane.