Houses - modular -vs- stick built

  1. [font=franklin gothic medium]anybody have a modular home? how was that experience having it set up, etc.? are you happy with it? was the cost close to what you thought when all was said and done?
    [font=franklin gothic medium]anyone have a home built for them? same questions......
    [font=franklin gothic medium]were the costs about what you expected? are you happy with it?

    [font=franklin gothic medium]we currently have a a home we purchased as the third owners. it is very lovely and nice, but we want to sell and either get a modular or build a small house on a piece of land.

    [font=franklin gothic medium]thanks.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    You'd be far better off with a stick-built house, trust me.

    In 1998 we bought a manufactured home for $82,000 with all the amenities......large master bedroom, huge soaking tub, fully appointed kitchen with an island and all appliances, and GFA heating. It began to fall apart on us almost immediately.....first there was a huge crack in the ceiling that the builders told us was "normal for a house that's settling". Then rain started coming in through the window frames and the roof where the furnace came out, causing us to have to replace both the furnace and the windows the first winter we lived there. THen the kitchen floor began to sink, then the living room floor in several places........more cracks appeared in the corners and on the ceiling in other rooms......and finally my big garden tub began to sink, rendering it too dangerous to use.

    After five years of struggling to pay the mortgage ($1050 a month plus space rent), we gave up and walked away, still owing $77,000 on the place which the finance company still wants, despite the fact that it's worth about $15,000 on the market now. As far as I'm concerned, they can whistle for the money......that house was so poorly constructed it might as well have been made from cardboard and library paste. Nor were we the only ones who got "taken" during the manufactured-home boom of the late '90s: many people throughout the country who thought they were getting a good deal on brand-new homes were snookered into cheaply built housing that fell apart within a couple of years and left the owners with not only the repair bills, but aggressive collectors who wanted the entire amount they were owed when the homeowners moved out of the homes.

    Anyway, enough of THAT sad story.........definitely go with stick-built, or if you must have a modular, research different companies BEFORE you decide to buy and make sure you trust the contractor who sets it up on your property. Good luck to you.
  4. by   Rustyhammer
    We bought a manufactured home 4 years ago and couldn't be happier with our decision. 2400 sq ft home, vaulted ceilings, berber carpet and hardwood floors.
    2x6 walls and thermopane windows. It's very energy effecient, not drafty and has a nice open floorplan. We set it on a permanent foundation and we have no creaks or cracks.
    I don't like the baseboards as they are not to my liking so I'll replace them one of these days. This winter one of the toilets developed a leak but so far thats the only flaw. The good news is that it was less than $90k and when we refinanced last summer it was appraised (with land) at $249k. The land after utilities installed was $35,000. We have 12 more years to pay on it and fully expect it to last us a lifetime.
    -Russell
  5. by   NursesRmofun
    Quote from mjlrn97
    you'd be far better off with a stick-built house, trust me.

    in 1998 we bought a manufactured home for $82,000 with all the amenities......large master bedroom, huge soaking tub, fully appointed kitchen with an island and all appliances, and gfa heating. it began to fall apart on us almost immediately.....first there was a huge crack in the ceiling that the builders told us was "normal for a house that's settling". then rain started coming in through the window frames and the roof where the furnace came out, causing us to have to replace both the furnace and the windows the first winter we lived there. then the kitchen floor began to sink, then the living room floor in several places........more cracks appeared in the corners and on the ceiling in other rooms......and finally my big garden tub began to sink, rendering it too dangerous to use.

    after five years of struggling to pay the mortgage ($1050 a month plus space rent), we gave up and walked away, still owing $77,000 on the place which the finance company still wants, despite the fact that it's worth about $15,000 on the market now. as far as i'm concerned, they can whistle for the money......that house was so poorly constructed it might as well have been made from cardboard and library paste. nor were we the only ones who got "taken" during the manufactured-home boom of the late '90s: many people throughout the country who thought they were getting a good deal on brand-new homes were snookered into cheaply built housing that fell apart within a couple of years and left the owners with not only the repair bills, but aggressive collectors who wanted the entire amount they were owed when the homeowners moved out of the homes.

    anyway, enough of that sad story.........definitely go with stick-built, or if you must have a modular, research different companies before you decide to buy and make sure you trust the contractor who sets it up on your property. good luck to you.
    [font=franklin gothic medium]ouch! so sorry that happened to you! that was devastating, i am sure.
    [font=franklin gothic medium]i will definitely be careful. i believe we do have some good companies around here, *if* we do decide to go that route. thanks for telling your story. i hope things are looking up for you now.
  6. by   NursesRmofun
    Quote from rustyhammer
    we bought a manufactured home 4 years ago and couldn't be happier with our decision. 2400 sq ft home, vaulted ceilings, berber carpet and hardwood floors.
    2x6 walls and thermopane windows. it's very energy effecient, not drafty and has a nice open floorplan. we set it on a permanent foundation and we have no creaks or cracks.
    i don't like the baseboards as they are not to my liking so i'll replace them one of these days. this winter one of the toilets developed a leak but so far thats the only flaw. the good news is that it was less than $90k and when we refinanced last summer it was appraised (with land) at $249k. the land after utilities installed was $35,000. we have 12 more years to pay on it and fully expect it to last us a lifetime.
    -russell
    [font=franklin gothic medium]i know the savings with modular homes seem to be pretty good. i am glad you are happy with yours'. it sounds great. a family member also had a good experience with hers' and also someone we recently met told us his story, which was very positive. i hope i have the same good fortune, *if* we decide on a modular home. thanks.
  7. by   phn92
    We have been debating the same subject in our house lately. I think we have finally decided NOT to remodel our old farmhouse. I just found out it's 102 years old! We had one estimate and figured it would be better to go new. I have been checking out the modulars. Does anyone have any experience with All American homes? I have talked to several people in my area who seem to be very satisfied with All American. I like the fact that you can make some changes more easily than some other models. We went and looked at one dealer and figured out real quick the difference in modulars. I also found another company, called Pinnacle. Does anyone have any experince with this one?
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    So can SOMEONE name the "quality" modulars???????????

    Russell???? I am interested.
  9. by   Rustyhammer
    We looked for our home for over a year and finally found a manufacturer that focused on quality. Schult homes is the maker of our home. They were up front, before and after the sale. I recommend them.
    -R
  10. by   longtermcarern
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    So can SOMEONE name the "quality" modulars???????????

    Russell???? I am interested.

    I am also interested. We bought land last fall and now we are looking at modulars. one thing to keep in mind, there is a difference between modular and manufactured. the modular is meant to be a permanant structure and the manufactured or double wides are able to be jacked up and moved to a new location. At least that is what the dealers around here say. We are talking with both Ritz-Craft and All American right now. Leaning towards Ritz-Craft. They are willing to make the changes I want and make the outside look like what I want. The qaulity of the cabinets was nice, all hard wood, not particle board. And an upgrade to corian countertops instead of laminate.
  11. by   mattsmom81
    Quote from Rustyhammer
    We looked for our home for over a year and finally found a manufacturer that focused on quality. Schult homes is the maker of our home. They were up front, before and after the sale. I recommend them.
    -R
    Thanks for the info Rusty....my hubby and I are thinking of doing just what you and your family did... to get out of the city and out in the country a bit.

    Good to know there are good manufactured homes out there that keep some of their value.
  12. by   flowerchild
    The modular homes here are much different than manufactured homes. The later has wheels under it. The modulars are houses, albiet not as well contructed as a frame house, but better than most mobile homes. I've watched them bring the modulars out and set them up. They are built in sections off site, then the parts, the ones I watched were four sections put together on site, each section bolted to the others. In the end the modulars look like frame homes. They go up quick and are less expensive than frame homes. The manufactured mobile homes are also now looking more like real houses but still feel the same inside, and are NOT as well constructed as a "stick home". In my area, all manufactured home residents must evacuate during a storm, a stick home-you can stay in. This is enough to tell me which is better constructed. The modulars are also not evacuated unless in flood zone, same as a frame home. The manufactured mobile homes here in my area are lovely to see. All shiney and new. Loads of amenities. The fixtures are top of the line but what's underneath is thin wall boards and sidings with insulation between. It looks good, but is not the quality of a frame house, not even close. My freinds put one on there property and even though it is newer, it still feels and looks like a trailer to me. I reccommend, spending the extra money to build a frame home, it will last a lifetime, have a better resale value, will appreciate better rather then depreciate. I have heard complaints about the modulars they built during the '80's but all the construction around here in the 80's was sub par compaired to what they are doing now. The modulars are having problems with settling in that the peices shift and then you have cracks between the parts. Of course in Florida, the ground is sand, and sink holes are common, so I guess it depends on what kind of soil is under the home as to how much settling will occur.
    I was going to build a home on the 3 acres we owned and was seriously considering a dome home. Very economical, easy to build, environmentally freindly, and extremly energy efficient. We ended up buying another peice of property with a house already on it, so we sold the 3 acres and now don't have to worry about it. Mother Earth has lots of articles on building homes. There are so many options out there, like homes built from hay bales, homes built in trees, homes built from scratch. Good Luck in whatever you decide and have fun with this endevour!
  13. by   NursesRmofun
    Quote from flowerchild
    the modular homes here are much different than manufactured homes. the later has wheels under it. the modulars are houses, albiet not as well contructed as a frame house, but better than most mobile homes. i've watched them bring the modulars out and set them up. they are built in sections off site, then the parts, the ones i watched were four sections put together on site, each section bolted to the others. in the end the modulars look like frame homes. they go up quick and are less expensive than frame homes. the manufactured mobile homes are also now looking more like real houses but still feel the same inside, and are not as well constructed as a "stick home". in my area, all manufactured home residents must evacuate during a storm, a stick home-you can stay in. this is enough to tell me which is better constructed. the modulars are also not evacuated unless in flood zone, same as a frame home. the manufactured mobile homes here in my area are lovely to see. all shiney and new. loads of amenities. the fixtures are top of the line but what's underneath is thin wall boards and sidings with insulation between. it looks good, but is not the quality of a frame house, not even close. my freinds put one on there property and even though it is newer, it still feels and looks like a trailer to me. i reccommend, spending the extra money to build a frame home, it will last a lifetime, have a better resale value, will appreciate better rather then depreciate. i have heard complaints about the modulars they built during the '80's but all the construction around here in the 80's was sub par compaired to what they are doing now. the modulars are having problems with settling in that the peices shift and then you have cracks between the parts. of course in florida, the ground is sand, and sink holes are common, so i guess it depends on what kind of soil is under the home as to how much settling will occur.
    i was going to build a home on the 3 acres we owned and was seriously considering a dome home. very economical, easy to build, environmentally freindly, and extremly energy efficient. we ended up buying another peice of property with a house already on it, so we sold the 3 acres and now don't have to worry about it. mother earth has lots of articles on building homes. there are so many options out there, like homes built from hay bales, homes built in trees, homes built from scratch. good luck in whatever you decide and have fun with this endevour!
    [font=franklin gothic medium]i too was talking about modular (not a double wide, etc.) my husband believes that the modular should be at least the same quality as a stick built because they are built in temperature controlled environments, indoors....at least some of them here in ny. i think modulars are mostly pretty localized. we are looking at one company out of canada that does come into ny and some very northern states. also, my husband has said that the cracks have something to do with how they are set on the foundation or not set on foundation....i am not sure of the particulars.
    Last edit by NursesRmofun on Apr 17, '04
  14. by   flowerchild
    Can you visit the factory where the mods are built? That would be a great way to see how they are constructed and what grade of materials they are using before making the major purchase.

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