Modular and Prefab Homes

Prefabricated homes can be an affordable option for first time homeowners.What’s the difference? For those who want a more affordable way to be a home owner, prefabricated homes are typically offered at lower prices. A prefabricated home is just that, a home that is built, then transported from a factory to a site where it’s parked on a concrete pad, skirted in, and once it’s connected to the necessities of utilities and sewer, is ready to move into. While these mobile homes may have limitations when it comes to floor plan options, they are safety inspected and built to a standardized code. Although there are typically additional pad rental fees to pay, building up your homeowner equity and having an asset that can be resold or rented out as your financial situation becomes more secure can have advantages over renting. The maintenance for these prefabricated homes is important in order to preserve their value.

For those in the industry, the term modular home has a different meaning and they’re careful to explain the difference. While a modular home is also built in a factory, and delivered to a site, the difference is that the assembly process can combine several different modules together to deliver a wide variety of floor plans including open concept designs, and multiple story homes. A custom built modular home provides you with lots of different options, often at a cost that’s comparable or less than traditional construction.

As with any construction, a home is only as valuable as the materials and workmanship that go into it, so if you are considering a modular or prefabricated home, here are some considerations.

  1. When a home is built in a factory, there are some quality controls including environmental conditions that can add reassurance to your purchase.The quality of modular homes is standardized by the industry and you can inquire to make sure that all components adhere to the safety requirements in the local building code.
  2. Inspections for every step in the process is just business as usual for factory built modules. Arranging for building inspections can add to wait times with traditional construction so knowing that everything that arrives is already approved can save some time.
  3. The time it takes for a builder to assemble the modules can be much faster than frame construction, so here in Whitehorse when the building season is a little shorter than other places in Canada, that can be a helpful advantage.
  4. Prefabricated homes can depreciate faster than modular homes and it can be harder to get financing for. It’s good to know that from a financial perspective, a modular home can be expected to retain its value the same as a traditional home because modular homes are built on a foundation.
  5. Energy efficiency and environmental standards for insulation and windows are built in so you know that you can anticipate energy costs comparable to other homes in the area.
  6. Choosing to build a modular home means you can purchase the land separately from the structure. For some, this can mean being able to save up to purchase the land separately, and then adding the building at a later time. It can also mean having different financing sources, which may include the modular home manufacturer.

If you’re considering building in the Whitehorse area, give us a call. We can show you some beautiful building sites that may be the future site of your dream home. We can also show you some prefabricated homes in some great neighbourhoods.