Opinon of Prefab, Modular Homes

I’m researching prefab homes because we’re brainstorming having some nice, custom modular homes. Some are being built and marketed as retro or modern. My investor was going to have an “IKEA” decor, especially in kitchens and baths.

Anyone doing this already or have an opinion? It seems like there is a market for this, but we are still gauging interest.

Any examples, not exactly sure what you’re referring to. What are the associated costs? How does the cost differ from building something onsite?

Modular homes are built at the factory and assembled onsite. There are some limits, but they’ve come a long way. Costs are average $50-60/sqft, but construction time is pretty short since they’re already put together. A lender said loans are tough to get on them.

I googled really quick so you can see what I mean.


Prefab or modular housing often gets a bad rap. People sometimes think “mobile homes” or “not a REAL house”. They assume that they are constructed cheaply.

In many cases, I would say that the opposite is probably true. For example, the sections are usually built in a dry, temperature controlled warehouse, which provides an opportunity for a higher degree of quality control.

A bunch of 2x4’s nailed together is a wall whether it’s constructed in a warehouse or on the job site. As long as all of the components in the house systems are the same quality (truss systems, sub-floor, drywall thickness, insulation, etc.), I don’t see much difference between a modular home or a “stick-built” home. After all, they are both actually “stick-built”. Just at different locals.

We have had 3 custom “stick-built” homes built “on site”. I never liked seeing rain on my subfloor, or stacks of lumber with a pile of snow on top. So, I can understand the allure of prefabs. A couple of houses ago, we alsmost went with one. The company was even going to build it per our design, but we decided to go with a local builder instead because he did offer a little more flexibility.

I say if you take the time to research and select a reputable “builder” that is quality and customer satisfaction driven, you’ll be pleased with the results. One negative I’ll note, however, is that they sometimes don’t offer much flexibility if you want to customize. If they do, you’ll PAY for it.

Hey Guys…

I agree with LandBaron. If you aren’t looking for anything custom, then a modular house really makes a lot of sense.

What he said, plus I have heard that they might be built even a bit better than your standard stickbuilt house because they are engineered and built to withstand the “road trip” to the site.

Usually, they are completely wired, plumbed, painted, tiled, cabineted (is that a word), roofed, sided and ready to assemble. You plop the two sides down on your foundation, they are bolted together and to the foundation, the utilities are hooked up and there is a small amount of drywall & paint and roofing to do and you’re done. The house could be ready in as little as a week or two.

I don’t think there is too much variance from a standard floorplan for obvious reasons…but for a down and dirty house, one might be attractive.


I definitely like the idea because it’s tough getting anything done in the City of Austin. If we go to the suburbs, we think we can build a nice, affordable, good-looking community pretty quickly with some level of customization.

The National Association of Home Builders had a really good brochure on their site about modular homes and how the designs are getting pretty nice. The numbers definitely work when you compare the holding costs and time of stick-built.


First Horizon does loans on modular homes. They are not that difficult to do.