Some myths don’t seem to die in the modular home community, no matter how many times exposed to the facts.
The truth is, Tiny Home living has been around for quite some time, and the pandemic has only helped to increase the popularity of the lifestyle. With growing desires for financial freedom, the rise of remote work, and the increased demand for eco-friendly building solutions, many people are moving towards a tiny or modular home.
Yet, so much remains misunderstood about the tiny home movement. Why would anyone want to give up their house, an essential part of the American Dream, to live in a tiny home? Aren’t modular homes trailers? Are modulars for people who can’t afford a regular house? Don’t all tiny homes look the same?
This piece will debunk some of the most common myths permeating tiny homes. Allow us to bring some truth to the ten most common modular home myths.
Myth #1: They’re essentially just Trailers/Mobile Homes
One of the top modular home myths is that ‘modular home’ is a fancy way to say ‘trailer/mobile home.’ A modular home is most often secured to a permanent foundation. Trailers and mobile homes do not have a permanent foundation. Instead, they are built on a steel chassis with wheels attached so they can be moved.
Another significant difference between modular and manufactured homes is the codes they are built to. Manufactured homes are built to the national HUD code, while modular homes are made to the state and local building codes so that standards vary widely. For more information on their differences, check out this article, where we went into further details.
Myth #2: All Modulars have Wheels
Close your eyes. Picture a tiny home. Does it have wheels? If you’re like most of the population, the answer is yes.
The truth is, not all modular homes have wheels. When arriving at their final destination, many are attached to permanent foundations. A buyer can choose between an on-frame or off-frame install. An on-frame install means that the home keeps a steel frame once placed on the permanent foundation.
If a buyer wants to be able to move their modular home, then there is, of course, the ‘with wheels’ option. A modular with wheels is often seen as a tiny home (which aren’t always so tiny, something we will touch on later).
Myth #3: Modulars all look the same
At Turn Key Fabrication, all of our builds are entirely customizable. We can make them in virtually any design, suit any lot, and fulfill any intended use. Many different designs are available with a wide variety of services, from a home to a workshop or even a guest house.
It is essential to look beyond aesthetics and see how the homes are made to withstand different environmental factors. We make sure that our homes are built to persevere in the face of natural disasters, based on the unique needs of their location.
Myth #4: They’re all ‘Tiny”
Since modular homes are prefabricated and assembled on-site, they can be any size! If desired, we have smaller options (like our turn key rooms), modulars as massive as a mansion.
Your lot size and imagination are the only restrictions on how large your modular home can be!
From large (full-on home), to tiny (typical tiny home), to single rooms (our Turn Key rooms), we have an option for everyone!
Myth #5: Modulars are For People Who Can’t Afford a Traditional Home
There are several reasons why someone would choose a modular home over a “traditional” built home. One reason is that they can generally be built faster than a site-built home. Since they are made inside a temperature-controlled room, they aren’t subject to the outdoor elements, which speeds up the process. Modular homes are generally more affordable, but many people also choose them for the speed they can be built or their energy efficiency.
Another attractive feature of modulars is that you can customize the home entirely. A modular home is an excellent option for anyone who wants more say in how their home is built!
Myth #6: They’re Made With Cheap Materials
Modular homes can be built with a variety of materials. Some choose to build with steel, wood, or even concrete. Depending on your home’s environment, the look you like will help you decide which building material to go with. The limit is virtually endless.
Here at Turn Key Fabrication, we commonly use Structural Insulated Panels (SIP Panels). These panels are an advanced method of construction offering an energy-efficient, lightweight, self-supporting solution over traditional structures. These panels consist of an insulated foam core sandwiched between two structural facings. SIPS are powerful and can be altered to the environment that your home will be in. For more information on SIP Paneling, please visit this article, where we go more in-depth.
Myth #7: Modulars Don’t Withstand the Test of Time
Just like with any home, modular homes do need maintenance and upkeep. As long as the owner maintains the exterior against conditions and the home is initially built for those environmental conditions, the house can last just as long as a stick-built home. Modular homes that are correctly constructed and maintained can easily last 50-60 years or more.
During the home buying process, you will notice that most types of homes will need new doors and windows. Turn Key solves this problem by sending all the trim with purchase.
As with any home, it is essential to research the builder. Consumers can do this by assessing reviews, service levels, and comments by prior customers who have first-hand experience with the company. A critical aspect of a modular investment is understanding common issues with the builder, what materials they use, and what types of warranties they may have.
Myth #8: Modulars are best suited for living off-grid
Whether you want to live in a neighborhood, on acreage, in a tiny home community, or off-grid, there is an option for everyone when it comes to modular homes. It is a form of building, not a lifestyle. Check out more commonly asked questions on our FAQ page.
Myth #9: You need special tools & Equipment to Assemble a Modular
The equipment required to assemble will depend on the size of the modular home that you order. If the home is large and the modules are heavy, it might require some large equipment. Your builder will work with you to ensure that you have everything you need to build your house.
Turn Key prides itself in delivering a home that can be built in 24 hours by the average person with no special tools needed. This, of course, depends on the size of the modular home; a more prominent home would take longer. We send our modulars completely pre-wired for plumbing and electricity (this is an important question to ask your builder).
Myth #10: Modulars can’t be financed
For our final modular home myth, let’s talk about The Big F: Financing.
With the rise in modular homes over the last several years, financing is becoming easier than it once was. Once a modular home is assembled, it’s treated like a site-built home so it can be financed through a regular mortgage.
Buyers can typically get a conventional construction loan (a lot of paperwork, but worth the effort). Some handy government-backed loan options are available today via USDA, VA, or FHA loans.
Turn Key Fabrication has specific partners that we trust to finance for our buyers; visit our contact page to request more information.
Bonus: Myth #11: Getting started is difficult
We trust that we’ve shed some light on these common modular home myths. For more specific questions, or if you’d like more information about our models, please contact us and let us know how we can help! Our one-of-a-kind, innovative building solutions can solve any problem, big or small. Visit our FAQ page for more information.