Beyond Typical Double-Wides
Usually when someone thinks of modular house plans that are thinking of what is normally called a double-wide house. These are the types that you see on semi truck's going down the highway with half of the house on one truck and the second half following closely behind. One might say they are simply glorified trailers. However, those are not the modular houses styles I'm talking about. Modular house floor plans involve something entirely different.
Modular homes are still assembled in factories. I would venture to guess that the majority of them are actually double-wides. Do not be fooled, modular homes are anything but the boxy looking long and narrow homes they used to be. Any floor plan can be turned into a modular house floor plan. In fact, the design ingenuity and engineering that goes into a modern modular home makes it very difficult to tell whether it was site built or factory built.
(For the best of both worlds don't miss the video at the bottom!)
Increased Module Flexibility
The term "modular" is actually based on the root word "module." The genuine modular homes that are built off of modular floor plans have one thing in common. The design will be assembled in as few modules as possible. Think of a module as a box. Each module of the house will be part of a big jigsaw puzzle that will be assembled on-site. Each module will be set on the existing foundation with a crane and the entire home can be assembled within a matter of days. Larger, extravagant residences will take longer.
Depending on the actual design of the modular house plan, a construction cost savings of about 30% can be realized. No, that is not a misprint.
The reason that is not a misprint is simple. The modular home factories buy their materials in bulk or mass volumes, and that allows them to get a discount from the main supplier. They then pass the savings on to the homeowner. So, not only are modular houses less expensive, their construction time is much faster as well.
Special Note: Most of these savings are realized on the structure and not necessarily on the final cost of the home.
Modular home floor plans' wall structure is actually built stronger than if your house was built on site. During the shipping process, it will endure structural strains that it will not encounter on the job site after it is installed on the foundation. The modules need to withstand all of these stresses and arrive on the job site undamaged.
Some modular home factories also include roof modules which allow you to have your home in the dry in a very short amount of time. Various manufacturers also apply drywall and exterior finish materials on their modules. Some site work will be required to cover up the joints between modules.
Some of you may be asking the question, "What if I am looking for a modular log home floor plan?" That is an easy one. The floor plan could be almost any style you want, it is simply the wall finish material that will be different. The modules will be assembled in the factory the same way they would for any other home, then log siding, with or without log corners, will be applied to the exterior. Tongue and groove pine boards are also applied to the interior to replicate the flat side of machined log wall. If you don't tell anybody it is not a genuine log home, no one will know the difference.
There is a fantastic alternative to modular house plans construction. It is called the Structural Insulated Panel, or SIPS as I will refer to it, and they have a fantastic track record for being energy efficient and user friendly during construction. Unlike the modular house plans modules, the SIPS come in wall panel lengths up to 24' long and have everything ready to install on your floor system.
(See why this couple wouldn't do it any other way...)
SIPS have the window and door openings already precut. The electric conduit and outlet boxes are pre-installed, ready for your electrician to start pulling wires. If beams are required to carry your second floor system, the exact size beam pockets will be cut into the SIPS wall. Just drop the beam in and fasten it in place.
SIPS do have more pieces to assemble on site, but that is not all bad. I feel they offer even more flexibility than pre-made modules. SIPS can be instantly adapted to any modular house plans that catch your interest. Just imagine the headache of having big, square modules delivered to your job site only to find that your foundation is not-so-square.
With SIPS, you have the flexibility to shave off panel ends or add an extra stud or two.