Due to housing problems, new building ideas for the production of mass apartments have arisen. One of these was the construction of modular houses, which are prefabricated units that are then delivered to the desired location. What do modular houses cost? It depends on many factors including assembly, shipping, design, etc.
Modular house prices tend to vary between builders, as each piece can contain all the equipment needed for operation without us as a user having to set it up. In addition, not all work with the same parameters to calculate the budget.
We can see the case where the manufacturer tells us that each square foot of a modular house costs $ 35, but does not take into account all the steps necessary to make it habitable.
If you want to buy a modular house, ask a long list of questions about the construction process.
What do modular houses cost? Let’s dive in
The average cost of modular homes
Image source: James Hardie construction products
Due to the nature of the modular houses, the final price is usually 15% lower than that of traditional houses built on site. However, the price can gradually increase depending on the number of changes we make to the modules and the contractor we choose.
What do modular houses cost? When answering this question, consider two important factors in the construction process:
- The manufacturer’s production costs and the final price he will have at the dealer.
- The workforce you need to assemble each of the modules on site.
Because of these two factors alone, it is impossible to give the exact cost of prefabricated houses. The only way to get a quote is to visit the store to get a quote.
Image source: Roots Design Studio
However, based on past experience, we can ensure that the final price of a modular home is reached over $ 100,000, even in the simplest models. The approximate prices are between $ 90 and $ 150 per square foot of modular house (this includes its assembly and additional work) so that you could even find finished houses for $ 300,000.
You can only spend between shipping and assembly $ 52,000 to $ 167,000 depending on size the modules and the shipping distance.
After all, we have the largest and most exotic houses built from modules between $ 500,000 and $ 1 million. Of course, these have a high level of customization and the best finishes and materials, all of which are needed by the customer. So it’s like it was built from scratch.
Additional costs make up a large percentage.
As already mentioned, it is not only the purchase of the various modules of the house that has a price. There are some additional costs that we have to make before our house is habitable. Some can be avoided (like the garage if we don’t need it), others are necessary and must not be missing (electrical, sanitary, etc.).
Image source: Design living studio
The quality of the plot of land on which the house will be located can also affect assembly costs as it is lower in areas suitable for construction.
Since not all countries need the same foundations, these prices can vary depending on the order. These are some of the most common foundations costs (they vary depending on the size of the house):
- Concrete foundation slab (made entirely of concrete, without filler blocks): $ 4,500 to $ 12,000.
- Traditional foundation: $ 8,500
- Basement foundation: $ 18,000 to $ 30,000
- Crawlspace: $ 8,000 to $ 21,000
Installation and labor costs
The process is called “buttoning up” by contractors and is nothing more than the assembly of the individual parts of the modular house to make it a functional home. Depending on the number of sections we purchased or the property, this can cause difficulties, so the price of the contractor can be high between $ 25,000 and $ 50,000.
Building and housing permits
Image source: Beracah Homes
Like all architectural or civil engineering work, modular houses also require a permit for their construction and their habitability. Modular house prices don’t vary much for these documents, but if we don’t want to have any problems we need to keep them up to date.
Permits are a complicated topic in the legal area, as they vary depending on the region in which we are located. Before you carry out real estate construction work, it is best to check the legal requirements in your town hall.
As an example, we provide the list of permits you need to build a house in Bethel:
- Building permit: $ 1,699
- Mechanical permits: $ 273
- Occupancy certificate: 20 USD
- Pre-project inspection fee: $ 20
Septic tank or sewer?
Image source: RBA houses
This dilemma depends on whether your home is within the limits of your city’s sewage system. If you can connect the pipes to the sewage system, the price of the connection depends on the city.
If this is not an option, a swamp and septic tank will have to be built in which waste will accumulate. In general, the structure of these systems between $ 5,000 and $ 8,000.
How much do modular houses cost when building a basement?
Image source: Beracah Homes
A semi-basement (which is not completely covered with dirt) with a ventilation window, 8-foot walls covered with the required insulation and the corresponding stairs can cost between $ 23,000 and $ 29,000 (excluding start-up costs).
Due to the necessary construction work, a basement is a more expensive room than the other modules. If our house is about 1,600 square feet, making a basement is likely a relatively small investment that leaves us with a huge storage space.
HVAC – To withstand all weather conditions
Image source: Modular Home Builders Association
A good HVAC system includes heating, gas pipes, air conditioning, and ventilation ducts. Referring to the size of the previous house (1,600 square feet), the price of these facilities can vary between $ 8,000 and $ 11,000.
Since there are many options for air conditioning and heating systems on the market, it is best to keep the price of this installation separate from the budget of your modular house.
Factors that can change the prices for prefabricated houses
Image source: Millbrook Modular Homes
Whether it’s a modular house, the country is still an influential factor when calculating a budget. The more expensive sectors like Saratoga Bay in California will significantly increase manufacturing costs. This also applies to the most economical suburbs where costs are more easily accessible.
The ease with which the foundations of the house are installed is another important factor. Digging for dirt is not the same as drilling stones.
Also note that each part has to be delivered to the construction site, which costs money depending on the distance of the shipment.
Warehouse or custom design?
Image source: Prefabricated
What do modular houses cost? If it is a production model, the value is drastically reduced.
However, most customers add custom details that increase costs exponentially. This way, a house with custom materials, decorative details, and other unique finishes can cost between $ 200,000 and $ 400,000.
The simpler the structure, the cheaper the construction. A ranch-like house that takes up even more square meters can be cheaper than a house with two or more floors due to structural requirements.
The ratio of size to cost
Image source: Marylou Sobel interior design
Remember to always have the average value per square foot at hand that your modular home will cost to calculate an approximate budget.
For example, if you want to build 2,000 square feet at $ 150 per square foot, you’ll get a base value of $ 300,000. This number must be multiplied by the location factor, depending on what the market dictates.
Reduce future costs with an efficient home
An advantage that almost all modular houses offer is that they have already been built with high energy efficiency, which translates into better conservation of heat or cold in order to reduce our energy consumption in air conditioning or heating systems.
As with conventional houses, installing more efficient elements increases manufacturing costs. Therefore, you should take this into account when planning.
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