what is the difference between modular, manufactured, kit and prefab homes?

Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably, but they are all quite different. 

Manufactured homes refers to homes built on a trailer frame and considered portable and are regulated by The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Manufactured homes are driven to the site and remain on the trailer chassis and are commonly referred to as mobile homes. 

Modular homes are design and built as modules and are either assembled in the factory or onsite.  Prefab homes are prefabricated in a factory and then delivered almost 100% complete. 

Prefab homes are regulated by local and state building regulations.  They have the look and feel of a site built home except that the home was delivered as module, craned and then set on a permanent foundation.

Kit housing is an assemblage of precut and itemized materials that are shipped to the site and then the pieces of the kit area assembled on site to build the home.

what are the advantages of prefab construction?

Shorter Time –

  • The prefab approach enables homes to be built in the factory while site work is being completed.  The average completion time from start of construction to move-in is roughly six months, compared to an average completion time of about 12 to 18 months for a custom site-built home.

  • The schedule is also more predictable because of the elimination of weather delays, reliable labor force and the use of inventory management systems.
  • Homes are inspected at the factory which reduces the potential for inspection delays.

Higher Quality –

  • The factory process follows strict quality control measures and eliminates weather related material damage.
  • Quality control measures are continuously monitored during factory construction.
  • All material requirements are cut and assemble to precision.
  • Homes are over engineered in order that they can be transported and thus are structurally superior.

Lower Costs –

  • Labor costs are 5-15% lower because the homes are built in an efficient factory environment with tools and equipment readily available, as well as often being located in less expensive labor markets. 
  • By design, a sagemodern home will be less expensive to build and operate then a comparable site built home.  We ensure that the systems selected are appropriately sized for the home and climate and design homes to minimize their environmental impact.
  • Reduction of waste.  The assembly process enables modular homes to reduce construction waste by up to 70%.  This saves both costs and is better for the environment.
  • Large manufacturing facilities are able to reduce costs by purchasing material in bulk.
  • Costs are more predictable because up to 70% of the construction is completed in the factory.
  • Financing costs during construction are reduced by 25-40% because the time you pay interest during construction has been cut in half.

Sustainable –

  • We utilize design, materials and systems that reduce our impact on the environment.
  • Passive design strategies reduce energy usage by appropriate use of natural light, shading, and passive heating and cooling.
  • Materials are chosen for their durability, manufacturing impact and location, as well as their beauty and classic design sensibility.
  • We utilize renewable energy systems when possible, and choose efficient and properly sized mechanical systems to heat and cool your home.
  • We utilize low flow fixtures, on-demand recirculating hot water systems, and can incorporate graywater and rainwater catchment systems.

Low Impact -

  • Prefab construction minimizes the impact to the site and its surroundings.  Since the majority of the home is constructed off-site there is less erosion and storm water pollution.
  • On site construction activity is reduced to just a few weeks compared to months or years for a traditional site built home.  This is great for you and your neighbors!

what is the process from start to finish to build a prefab home?

The process is described in detail on our process page.

what will my home look like when the trucks deliver it to my site?

Your home will look like a big white shrink-wrapped present. Seriously, your home will be virtually complete with all electric, HVAC and plumbing systems installed and just ready to be connected.  Your home will have all the tile, flooring, cabinets, lighting and appliances installed.  Most of the exterior will be complete.  Once delivered the stitch crew will only need to make the necessary utility connections, finish the exterior where the modules joined and make any interior drywall finishing touches.

is there a sagemodern home that I can tour?

Yes, please contact us and we can arrange.

is it difficult to obtain a building permit for my sagemodern home?

No, in fact in some cases the process can be faster.  Your home will be governed by your local planning jurisdiction and all the same planning requirements for a site built home apply to a factory built home.  The building permits for the core of the home will be approved by the State and the local jurisdiction will review the plans for all the site, foundation, and stitch work.  sagemodern will be responsible for all the necessary permits and reviews required to have your home built.

what type of warranty does sagemodern offer?

The warranty will be provided directly by the factory that builds the home.  Our factory partners adhere to the following typical industry standard warranty:

  • One year of coverage on workmanship
  • Two years of coverage on mechanical systems
  • 10 years of coverage on major structural components
  • All original manufacture product warranties will also be provided

who governs the design and permitting of a sagemodern home?

Prefab homes our governed by the same building code and planning regulations as a site built home.  However, in most states the state has the responsibility for review and approval of the factory built components and the local jurisdiction has the responsibility to review and approval the site components.  sagemodern will be responsible for submitting and procuring the permits for your project from the respective agencies.

who inspects the home?

An inspector representing the state is responsible for inspecting the home in the factory and will provide a final inspection of the home before it is shipped to your site.  Once the home has arrived the local inspector will take over the inspection of the site related components and provide the final inspection and deliver the certificate of occupancy.

why would I choose sagemodern over other prefab design companies?

sagemodern has extensive experience in designing and building modern prefab homes and thus ensures that your new home building experience will be fun, exciting and rewarding.  We focus on designing custom homes that meet your specific needs and a home that is well designed for your site, the environment and your requirements.

will sagemodern build additions to existing homes?

Not generally.  It is hard to successfully integrate a prefab structure with an existing home.  If the addition is a stand-alone unit, then this is certainly possible.  Please contact us to review your proposed project.