So you’re looking into building a home. Great choice! There are many benefits of choosing to build over buy, including total control over customization, special features, low maintenance costs, warranties, amenities, home-site selection, energy efficiency, and more. However, before you begin the actual building process, it is important to understand a few construction terms. The first thing you’ll need to understand is the differences between manufactured, hybrid, stick built, and modular homes so you can choose the best option that suits your home’s needs. Let’s break it down:
The main points of differentiation you should note when it comes to manufactured, modular, stick-built, and hybrid homes are the locations in which home construction occurs. Other differences include guidelines, price, materials, as well as time to build. Take a deeper look into each below:
Stick-Built Home: A stick-built home is the most common & traditional building method of home construction in America, and refers to a home that is built 100% on-site from the ground up in complete accordance to all local, state, and regional guidelines. All materials are delivered to the job site, and the building happens through various subcontractors and 3rd party vendors. All of the work happens on-site as opposed from in a factory. While Stick-Built homes may be the most popular due to the option of complete customization, they normally take a little longer to construct due to weather delays, high moisture content in lumber, coordination issues, inspection delays/rework due to failed inspections, and typically cost more as well. However, Stick-Built homes tend to appreciate in value.
Manufactured Home: Also known as a “Mobile Home,” the manufactured home is built entirely in a factory. These homes are built according to specialized guidelines set out by the HUD instead of building codes at the desired location, and ensure that all areas of the manufactured homes meet strict guidelines. A big difference between manufactured homes opposed to other options is that they are transported by a vehicle and once at the desired location, the wheels are removed, setting the home in place. They are permanently attached to a black, steel chassis, which acts as floor system support. They are generally less expensive and take exponentially less time to build than Stick-Built or Modular Homes, however some communities do not allow manufactured homes in their area and tend to depreciate over time.
Modular Home: There is no true “definition” of a basic modular home since they can range in size, complexity, and price. However, one main point of distinction is that modular homes are built in sections in a factory setting, and are then transported and put together by a builder or contractor on your building site. Modular homes are built according to local, state, and regional building codes for the destination site. Modular homes have been gaining popularity due to their inexpensiveness, construction time, and tendency to appreciate in value, paired with the many options to customize and that they don’t “look” like they were made in a factory setting.
Hybrid: Hybrid homes are also known as “on-frame” modular homes. They aren’t exactly a true manufactured home or a true modular home, but a blend of the two. They’re typically built to the minimum requirements of state, local, and regional guidelines like a modular home, with the black steel frames like in a manufactured home. They are considered real property; however, they’re typically built with lower quality materials. They cannot be two stories, but they can come in one to three section ranch style houses.