If you want to build your own home, there are several great options that you can select from. One construction method that has proven to be popular in recent years involves building a modular home, which is a home that’s built in pieces within a factory. Instead of constructing the home on-site, it would be delivered in large pieces to the construction site after being built, which makes it easy for the home to be put together.
The time it takes to build a modular home can vary and mainly depends on how large the home is and if any delays occur during the construction process. However, it typically takes around 16-31 weeks for one of these homes to be built. Some of the additional time factors that might play a part in the duration of this process include everything from site prep and post-construction touchups to the installation of appliances and hookups.
Building a modular home comes with its share of advantages. You’ll benefit from lower construction costs, which is helpful if you have a relatively strict budget. Once built, these homes are move-in ready, which means that you can immediately move into the home without needing to worry about a lengthy closing or clean-up process. This article takes a closer look at the amount of time needed to construct a modular home.
What is a Modular Home?
Modular homes are built with structural pieces that have been fashioned in a factory. While most homes are built directly on the construction site, modular homes come with a structural foundation that’s sent directly to the construction site before being molded together.
If there’s a preset design for a home that you’re interested in, you can use this design when creating a modular home. Because of how streamlined the modular home construction process is, you don’t need to hire an architect to create the design for you, which is something that can lead to a lengthier construction process.
How Long Does it Take to Build a Modular Home?
If you want to construct a modular home, you can expect the entire process to take around 16-31 weeks. This range of time is based on numerous factors, which include:
- Whether you use a template home plan or a designed custom home
- Timeline to apply for and obtain the necessary building permits
- Site preparation
- Size of your home
- How long it takes for the foundation and modules to be created
If you use preset plans, the process should take closer to 16 weeks to be completed. On the other hand, custom options allow you to personalize the home to suit your needs. Even though using a custom design can take a long time, constructing a site-building home usually takes longer at an average of 28-37 weeks. Here’s a closer look at the timeline you should expect for the modular home construction process.
Purchasing Land and Receiving Permits: 6-9 Weeks
First, you’ll need to purchase land and obtain the necessary permits. The duration of this process can be anywhere from 6-9 weeks depending on how long it takes for you to find a piece of land to buy. Make sure that you have the necessary building permits as well, which ensures that you can legally construct a home on the site.
The time it takes for a permit application to be approved typically depends on how large your home is set to be. For standard residential homes, the loan application process can take around 2-3 weeks to be completed. Consider hiring a permit expediter if you want to speed up the process.
Designing the Modular Home: 0-12 Weeks
Designing the modular home can take anywhere from 0-12 weeks depending on the process you use to design the home. If you opt for a preset design, this process can be completed in less than a day since the design is already available to you.
On the other hand, designing your modular home with the help of an architect can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks depending on how quickly the architect is able to translate your ideas to a design you’re satisfied with.
Preparation of Land/Site: 1 Week
Preparing the land or site for construction should only take around one week. Make sure that land boundaries are clearly marked and that the land is cleared of anything that could interfere with the construction project.
Building Foundation: 4 Weeks
Among the most important stages of the modular home building process involves building the foundation. To perform this process, it’s important that the lot is leveled and well-drained. Once the land has been cleared, a hole must be dug for the foundation, after which concrete can be poured. In the event that the home is set to have a raised basement, it can take some time to pour the concrete.
The area may need to be reinforced with steel or rebar before pouring the concrete. If the foundation isn’t raised, you should be able to pour the concrete in a few days. Some of the factors that can impact the foundation laying process include the need for inspection, plumbing, and basement waterproofing. Since the land needs to be prepped for the foundation, it can take as much as four weeks to finish this process, after which you should be ready to start building the modules.
Building Modules: 1 Week
Once your site has been prepared, your foundation has been laid, and the necessary building permits have been obtained, the modular home can start being constructed. The duration of this phase mainly depends on the size of your home. Larger homes will take a longer time to be built at the factory. However, you should expect this process to take around one week. Some variables that could lengthen the construction time include availability of raw materials, time of year, and number of orders that the factory must deal with.
Installing/Setting Modules: 4 Weeks
When the modules have been made and are ready for the final construction process, they will be sent to the construction site. At this point in the process, the general contractor you’ve hired for the job will be tasked with installing the modules and making sure that the modular home building process is completing without issue.
In the event that the foundation is permanent, on-grade, or semi-permanent, the construction crew needs to place these modules with the assistance of a crane. When a raised foundation has been built, the modules are able to be set with more convenient methods.
Make sure that the site of the home is fully prepared for the crane to be used during construction. The crane must have full access to certain sections of the property, the primary of which is the foundation. If the site doesn’t have numerous rooms, a staging area must be set aside where the various sections of the home can be stored until they are ready to be installed. Make sure that you have someone on hand who can move the pieces to the site of the modular home.
Once you’re certain that the crane is able to access different areas of the home from a convenient location, the installation process can begin. Putting the pieces into place should only take 1-2 days for a two-section home. If the home consists of 6-8 separate sections, the building process can take three days. After the installation of these pieces if finished, you can add exterior siding and stairs.
Additional Time Factors to Consider
The time is takes for a modular home to be built depends on numerous factors, the primary of which include:
- How much site prep is needed
- Any post-building touchups you want to perform
- The installation of appliances and hookups
- Any heavy customization you require
- The size of the building
Other Benefits of Building a Modular Home
Building a modular home as opposed to a stationary home can be advantageous for any prospective homeowner. Along with having a shorter construction process, there are several additional benefits that make a modular home a wise investment.
Fewer Wasted Materials
All modular homes are constructed in a factory setting, which means that materials aren’t wasted as much. Contractors are able to use the exact amount of materials that they need before recycling any excess materials. Since less materials are wasted, modular construction is more sustainable and friendlier to the environment when compared to other construction techniques.
Lower Building Cost
Modular homes deliver a more affordable form of home construction compared to the traditional method since less materials are needed. The lack of construction delays also contributes to a less costly build process.
Move-in Ready Home
Modular homes are automatically considered to be move-in ready since the entire process is finished once the pieces are put together. Once the 3-4 month timeline has passed, you can immediately move into your new home.
Ability to Personalize
Personalizing a modular home is simple and straightforward. While you don’t need to customize this home, you can choose to do so with the help of a professional designer or architect who can create a design that matches your exact specifications and desires.
While there are several ways to buy and construct a home, building a modular home allows you to reduce construction costs, personalize your home, waste fewer materials, and move in immediately after the modular sections are put together. The entire process takes an average of 16-31 weeks to be completed, which is a considerably shorter timeline when compared to how long it takes to build a traditional home.
Jason Somers, President & Founder of Crest Real Estate
With over 15 years of professional experience in the Los Angeles luxury real estate market, Jason Somers has the background, judgement and track record to provide an unparalleled level of real estate services. His widespread knowledge helps clients identify and acquire income producing properties and value-ad development opportunities.