Thursday, October 30, 2014

Stick-built or Factory-built?

by Doug Mills

Living Room You enter your friends’ new home, and you’re amazed at the beautiful kitchen. When you walk into the living room, a cozy fire burns in the fireplace while the view of the sunset through the large windows takes your breath away. You ask, “Who is your contractor??” The host smiles and says, “it’s factory-built.”

You hear them referred to by many names – ‘factory built’, ‘modular’, ‘manufactured’, ‘pre-fab’.  Secretly, you may wonder if there is a difference, and if so, how would you tell?

KitchenThere are very few differences between stick-built and factory-built. Factory-built homes could contain hidden axles, wheels and tow hitches underneath, if it is a Manufactured home, or it could come in sections and be placed with a crane, if it is a Modular home.

Today’s modular and manufactured homes have very little differences from stick-built in terms of convenience, luxury and options. They all have a wide range of floor plans, optional luxury features, high quality construction and a bonus - a fast build time (thanks to being built in a climate controlled environment where workers can continue the build process regardless of the weather). This climate controlled environment protects the framework and interior portions of the home from wind, rain and snow that damage exposed portions of stick-built houses. Because they have to be transported from the factory to the site, they are built using the latest in light-weight, energy-efficient materials that will save you money in energy costs in the long run. Another benefit is the engineering that goes into designing a home strong enough to withstand the stresses and pressures of be transported. This type of engineering helps to prevent movement-related cracking and breaking. Think of house ‘settling’ on a grand scale! More home buyers than ever are choosing to purchase factory-built homes, instead of stick-built, for these very reasons.

 If you are looking to build or purchase a home, be sure to check out ALL of your options. A couple good places to start are the Modular Building Institute or the Manufactured Housing Institute. Doing your due diligence research ahead of time will guarantee you are satisfied with your new home for many years to come! Happy house hunting!

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