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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1

    Question Modular, Pre-fab, or Custom home???

    I'm looking at potentially buying a "modular", "pre-fab", or building a "custom" home. I'm going to inherit a small old house on 2 acres in the country soon. I may just fix it up but it's in pretty bad shape and VERY small. I'm toying with the idea of putting a new home up.

    Does anyone know of the best bang for my buck for each option? Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,751

    Default Re: Modular, Pre-fab, or Custom home???

    What to build on your lot is a big decision, one that will affect you in years to come, whether you want to live there or sell it.

    Let me suggest that you do your own research and reading on this subject, on line or in a library. There are many articles that will outline the benefits and shortcomings of each style of building. Doing your homework before you start may save you from saying "I should have known" later.

    Besides what you want to do, there are factors that you have no control over, like: location, codes, tax situations, and others. They must be considered.

    If I were in your position, and if I were going to live there a long time, I would build a custom home, after removing the existing structure. Not a crazy custom home, but a functional one. No prefab, no modular. But your desires may be different.

    Keep us informed!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Modular, Pre-fab, or Custom home???

    We have a stick-built modular built in 1977. We've make some changes to the interior over the years but are very happy with it. When we had a mortgage, it was a regular home loan like any other house.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Modular, Pre-fab, or Custom home???

    Quote Originally Posted by dlake76 View Post
    I'm looking at potentially buying a "modular", "pre-fab", or building a "custom" home. I'm going to inherit a small old house on 2 acres in the country soon. I may just fix it up but it's in pretty bad shape and VERY small. I'm toying with the idea of putting a new home up.

    Does anyone know of the best bang for my buck for each option? Thanks for any advice.
    Hi, If you are going to have a new home built or fix up an old house, make sure you have the builder use platform(plus) framing. If you don't know what platform(plus) framing is, it puts an attic platform in-between the top of the walls and the roof. This attic platform needs to be flush with outside of the walls and the full depth of the insolation wanted. Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,203

    Default Re: Modular, Pre-fab, or Custom home???

    I'd build my own, but that's not an option for most who visit here My preference is for a stick-built home, but you will only get as good as your Contractor provides so choosing them becomes a big matter. There are many acceptable practices which can be improved upon, but usually are not due to cost. What you want is someone who doesn't 'build to code', but who makes every effort to give you the best job possible. They're going to cost more, but cost alone isn't a guarantee of getting someone like that- the only certainty is that they won't ever be the low bidder.

    Having dealt with several of them, I detest modular homes as I find them to be at best reaching the 'built to code' level of craftsmanship with many being poorly constructed with ill-fitting parts, and by their own nature cannot be constructed with 'best practices' because of how they are sectioned. Worse is that most of the crews who erect these are under-paid subs who cannot afford to spend extra time working out any issues that the factory sends them, and if you encounter a problem you will end up being like a ping-pong ball between factory and Sub, each blaming the other for the problem. With a contractor and a stick-built, you have just one person to deal witrh and they control the whole thing so whatever the problem is, they can fix it right on the spot. IMHO, modular homes are just a step above a house trailer.

    These days almost all Contractors subcontract almost all the work, so you've got to also check out the Subs they're using. Look for Contractors who have been using the same subs for many years- they keep them around for a reason- and be sure that reason is quality, not cost, because every dime a Contractor doesn't pay out is profit for him. Sadly, many Contractors care about nothing else and use the cheapest Subs they can find and you end up with a lower quality result because of that. Make it clear from the start that you want better than normal and that you have no qualms about stopping the work to resolve any issues you find before they get covered up. Allow the Contractor a bit of extra time to do the job well- a rushed job is never a good job. And make sure that your plan for today will easily integrate with what you might do later on. 'Tacking on' an addition later without allowing for it now leaves you with something akin to modular construction. And if your Contractor advises against something then highly consider what they are saying, for a good Contractor will see potential problems you're unaware of and try to steer you away from trouble.

    It's your money and your choice, and your end results will be largely determined by how well you've done your 'homework' on learning all you can about building and researching what kind of people are going to be doing the work. You can never be too well armed with knowledge but you can fall short of that quite easily.

    Phil

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