Frequently Asked Questions about Modular Construction
What is modular construction?
Modular construction is a construction method by which pieces of the home are built in a factory (think walls with the windows already installed or a roof that flips up in minutes with most of the shingles attached), shipped to project site, and then lifted off a trailer with a crane and placed onsite to finalize the construction of the home.
A great analogy for modular construction is building a gingerbread house. One would bake the walls and roof of the house in the oven, then transport them to the kitchen table, where the gingerbread walls and roof would be connected together using icing to form a house. With a few final details like adding some candy on top, voilá, the gingerbread house is complete. Modular construction is a similar process.
What is the process of building a modular home?
Like any home construction project, there are many important steps to follow in the modular home building process from planning, preparing, constructing and finishing. It is an exhilarating process that may seem overwhelming at times, but don’t worry, we can help you every step of the way!
Can modular homes be customized?
Yes, modular homes can be customized! Our team of design experts will work with you to customize your dream home to fit your every need. Check out our before and after photo gallery to see how we’ve helped these homeowners transform their existing residence into their dream home, and see modular homes we’ve built from the ground up.
How much will my modular home or addition cost?
The cost of your project will depend on your design, finishes and site access. How big of a floor plan do you want to build? What types of interior finishes do you want? With that said, in most cases, modular construction costs less than site-built homes and additions.
Can my modular project be financed? What financing options are there?
Yes, your project can be financed. Modular home projects can be financed the same way site-built homes can be financed, through personal banks and mortgage companies (typically a construction to permanent loan type).
Can I stay in my house during construction of a modular addition?
If it is a second story addition, you will need to leave your residence while we remove the existing roof, prep the house and set the addition. However, once the addition is set, you can move back in while we put the final touches on the house.
Yes, you can stay in your house during the construction of an addition! In most cases, you never have to leave, other than when the modular pieces are being lifted by the crane and set in place. This is an advantage to modular construction.
What are the requirements for a modular addition?
First, the modular addition design will need to meet all local building and zoning code regulations.
Second, the foundation will need to be able to support the new addition, thus if the existing foundation is unstable and/or failing then additional work will be needed. Foundation changes to support the new addition typically involves enlarging current mid-point bearing points in basement or crawl space.
Lastly, the land must be accessible by crane and crew in order for the addition to be set.
How is modular construction different from traditional construction?
With modular construction, the elements of the house are prefabricated in a factory, then transported by truck to your address, and connected onsite to complete the construction.
With traditional or stick-built construction, all the wood, windows, shingles and siding will be brought to the site individually, and the house elements will be constructed onsite.
What are the benefits of modular construction?
There are three major benefits to modular construction: financial, time and quality.
Financially, modular construction will save the homeowner money as it can cost 10-30 percent less than traditional construction. If it’s an addition, you don’t have to move your belongings and pay rent to live elsewhere during construction.
Second, modular construction reduces the time the homeowner is displaced during construction of an addition. Because the house elements are prefabricated in a factory, homeowners are only displaced during the time of setting. Once the addition is set, the homeowners can move back in as we complete the work not done at the factory.
Finally, because the home is built in an indoor and controlled environment, mother nature cannot affect the construction materials and thus the construction quality of the home is better.
What are the drawbacks of modular construction?
The main disadvantage to modular construction is the need for transporting the modules from the factory to the construction site.
The module box size has limits in width, height and length based on what the truck transporting the module boxes can legally transport. When the above gets in the way of design, we typically use multiple module boxes so they can fit on the truck. If too many trucks or too many module boxes are required to deliver the modules to the site, then the cost benefit of modular construction may be diminished.
If you have additional questions about modular construction in the northern Virginia area, don’t hesitate to contact us.