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The Most Frequently Asked Questions & Answers about Modular Homes

Provided by The National Association of Home Builders of the United States

1. What is a Building System?

     Simply put, a building system is a highly engineered method of producing buildings or building components in an efficient and cost effective manner.  The use of building systems is common in many different types of residential and commercial construction. 

     A modular home is the culmination of one type of building system.  Modular homes actually begin as components; designed, engineered and assembled in the controlled environment of a modern factory sometimes hundreds of miles away from their final destination.  It is when these components come together on your building site and the final finish is completed by your builder, that the components become a home for you and your family.

2. Tell Me More About The Modular Home Construction Process.

     Today's modular systems are models of efficiently and quality assurance.  The building process begins at the design phase.  Most modular producers use state of the art computer assisted design stations which aid them in customizing floor plans and producing drawings and material requirement list.  Once designed, the building process begins.  This process is similar to what you've seen during the constriction of houses in your neighborhood.  The quality materials and care for detail, and the same building codes and standards are observed.  So what's different? Efficiency and quality control!

     Efficiency begins with modern factory assembly line techniques.  Your home travels to workstations, with all the building trades represented.  Work is never delayed by weather, subcontractor no-shows or missing material.  Quality engineering and modular construction techniques significantly increase the energy efficiently of your modular home.  A quality control process provides 100% assurance that your home has been inspected for code compliance and workmanship.  In-plant inspectors as well as independent inspections agencies inspect the home on behalf of your state & local government.

3. How Long Does It Take To Build A Modular Home?

     Speed and consistent quality are two of the many advantages for choosing modular components for your new home.  On the average, a home consisting of two modules will be factory produced in six or seven days.  Once the manufacturing process is complete, typically with interior finished right down to carpets and wall finish, the unit must be transferred to the building site and placed on its foundation.  Final completion is usually handled by a local builder or general contractor and includes connection of utilities to the home, and a short list of finish work.  Normally the home is completed in two or three weeks.

4. I Get Confused When I See The Term "Manufactured Home" and "Modular Home".  What's The Difference?

    Manufactured homes, sometimes referred to as mobile homes, are another type of building system and are constructed to a different building standard.  This standard, the Federal Construction Safety Standards Act (HUD/CODE), unlike conventional building codes, requires manufactured homes to be constructed on a non-removable steel chassis.  Many communities have restrictions on where manufactured homes can be located. 

     Modular and site-built homes on the other hand, are constructed to the same building code required by your state, county and specific locality and therefore are not restricted by building or zoning regulations.  Your new modular home is inspected at the assembly plant during each phase of construction.  Evidence of this inspection is normally shown by the application of a State or inspection agency label of approval.

5. What Do Modular Homes Look Like?

     Modular homes look like any other home.  Today's building technology has allowed modular manufacturers to build most any style of home from a simple ranch to a highly customized contemporary.  And, it doesn't stop with houses.  Modular producers are busy building banks, schools, office buildings, motels and hotels.  Chances are you've been in many modular structures and probably never realized it. 

6. Can I Design My Own Home Instead Of Using A Modular Manufactures Standard Plan?

     Yes.  Most modular companies allow the customer complete design flexibility.  But remember, every manufacturer is different.  Engineering capabilities and product specifications will vary from company to company.

7. I Know That Modular Homes Are Built To The Same Codes As Site-Built Homes, But Is Financing Any Different?

     There is no distinction between modular and site built homes as far as appraisal or financing.  Banks and Lending Institutions treat both types of construction the same.  Likewise, there is no difference in insuring the modular property.

One Last Time, Review The Benefits Of Modular Construction For Me.

  • Highly engineered
  • Constructed in a Climate Controlled Environment
  • Efficient Building Process & Material Usage
  • Energy Efficient
  • In-Plant Inspections
  • Consistent Quality
  • Speed of Construction
  • Design Flexibility
  • Constructed to Meet or Exceed Local Building Codes

And One Last Item We Haven't Covered - COST!

     When you add up all the labor, material and time saving inherent in the modular building process, you will find that the price of a modular home is generally lower than a traditionally built home of comparable size.  And you will keep saving money year after year, as the energy efficiency of your home keeps your heating and cooling bills low.  But don't take our work for it, contact one of our homeowners and compare.


What is a manufactured (or HUD) home?

These are homes built entirely in the factory under a federal building code administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (commonly known as the HUD Code) went into effect June 15, 1976. Manufactured homes may be single- or multi-section and are transported to the site and installed. The federal standards regulate manufactured housing design and construction, strength and durability, transportability, fire resistance, energy efficiency and quality. The HUD Code also sets performance standards for the heating, plumbing, air conditioning, thermal and electrical systems. It is the only federally-regulated national building code. On-site additions, such as garages, decks and porches, often add to the attractiveness of manufactured homes and must be built to local, state or regional building codes. (Courtesy of the Manufactured Housing Institute)


What is the difference between a modular home, manufactured home, and a mobile home?

The term ‘mobile home’ refers to factory homes built prior to 1976. Manufactured or “HUD” homes are homes built after the 1976 federal standard was created. Modular homes are built to the same stringent codes as conventional stick-built homes.


Is a manufactured or modular home better than a conventionally built home?

We think so! Most estimates suggest between 20-40% more lumber and fasteners are used in factory-built homes compared to similar site-built homes. All our homes are inspected by our own highly-trained quality control, and by independent third-party agencies.

Can I customize my home?

Most modular products can be customized, and many of our manufactured homes can be as well. Sparta Home Center will work with you to determine what you can do to customize your home.

Can your homes be placed on a basement?

Yes, most of our homes can be built on a basement. Please us for specifics.

Can your homes be built so garages and decks can be added?

Yes. If you already know you will be adding a garage or deck, Sparta Home Center will help make sure the home is built to accommodate the garage or deck.

What is the price of your homes? How much do they cost?

The price of your home will be based on many factors. Please contact us. We do offer multiple series of homes to fit in most price ranges – whether you are buying your first home, looking to move into a bigger house, or searching for a smaller home after the family has left.

I’m a builder. How can your homes help my business and customers?

Modular homes offer substantial value to builders and developers. Simply put, our homes are built ‘inside’ rather than ‘outside.’ We follow the same building codes and use the same graded lumber. Issues such as weather delays, theft and vandalism, wet lumber, and multiple subcontractors are eliminated or reduced. Homes can be built to your schedule, allowing builders to better manage their cash flow. The benefits continue – please contact Sparta Home Center to speak with one of our representatives to learn more.

How Long Is The Warranty Period On Your Homes?

Our manufacturer's warranty is for a period of one year from the original purchase date. We can supply you with detailed information on all warranties available on the home of your choice.