Last week I went on a trip out to the east coast to visit a factory where they build modular homes. Like many others, I really didn't know much about modular homes. Many people think about mobile homes and trailer parks when they hear this term. Let me tell you, these are NOTHING like those. In fact, a modular home is MUCH better than my current stick-built home. These really should be the way of the future and I'm sure you will see more and more of these homes being sold in your neighborhood.
A modular home is built inside a factory. The one I visited rolls out about 2-3 homes per day. It was very impressive. All of the building materials are stored inside so they are not affected by weathering. The home building process sees the home move through various stations in the factory with skilled tradesmen performing their tasks over and over again for each home. There are no delays in the building process due to weather, scheduling conflicts or availability. All of the items being built are being done by experts who have done the work thousands of times. The house moves from station to station a couple of different ways. In some cases it is rolled on a track and then later on it is moved with an air bag system that floats the house from one point to another.
Modular homes are built to your specifications. Working with a reseller, you can modify the floor plan. That design is followed in the factory at each build station. They also have several building code standards that they must adhere to and get checked by their station heads before the building moves to the next station. The quality control is super sharp. They do not all look alike. You can put multiple units together, have multiple floors, and get to choose all of your finishings both inside and out. They look just like any other home but are better built and will cost you less money both in initial cost and maintenance.
Here are a few advantages that modular homes have over traditional built homes. First - they have a much better R factor. The R factor is a rating for how well the house is insulated. They seal every last nook and cranny in the home. I have never seen a window better sealed than the ones I saw in the factory. Their heating/cooling efficiency are much better when properly sealed, especially for Canadian weather. They are also able to quickly and easily run all of the electrical cables and seal the boxes because they have access to the outside of them as the building is built. And perhaps one of the best advantages to these is that they come with a very robust warranty for many aspects of the home. Because the house is being built to the products standards, like the roof properly being melted on, the builder offers the warranty against defects for a good period of time. Try getting ANY warranty from a traditional builder apart from the Tarion warranty.
If you want to learn more about modular homes and how to get started, check out North Shore Quality Homes nsqh.ca here in the Sudbury area. They are a reseller of Maple Leaf Homes and are perhaps the best made homes in the country.