Modular home construction is much like traditional stick construction, except that most of the building process happens offsite. Boxes, or modules are constructed in a factory, then transported to the home site for assembly and finishing. Construction quality, methods and standards for modular homes generally meet or exceed those of stick construction. Modular homes should not be confused with mobile homes or trailers.
Modular home boxes are manufactured in a factory where quality control standards and practices are closely monitored. Rather than rely on subcontractors or independent tradesmen, modular manufacturers hire and train a construction workforce to meet their needs. Construction supervisors may only be responsible for a particular section of the overall project, allowing them to focus on quality. On a typical home construction site, a single general contractor may be responsible for the entire project and workforce.
On a traditional construction site, different people may order various building materials. This can result in an inconsistent quality level for the entire project. Construction materials may also be stored outside, exposed to the elements. In a modular construction environment, a single purchasing manager or department is responsible for ordering all materials and ensuring their quality. These materials can be stored inside to prevent water damage or damaging exposure to the sun, wind or other elements.
Modular home manufacturers generally offer homeowners a choice of several stock plans and variable options or features. This helps to reduce the possibility of surprises during construction. Working in a controlled environment also reduces the possibility of alterations or changes by a builder that can affect the quality of the entire project. By repetition, the factory workforce becomes skilled at their job and produces a consistent product.
Modular home manufacturers are generally held to the same standards and regulations as stick construction. Plans for modular homes require approval prior to construction start. Some states have an inspection department dedicated to factory-produced construction. As with traditional construction, permits are required and inspections are conducted during the construction process. This process continues after the modules are delivered to the home site and final assembly is complete to ensure a well-built home.
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