The Biggest Problems with Modular Homes - Fine Line Homes


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The Biggest Problems with Modular Homes

The Biggest Problems with Modular Homes

Modular homes have certain disadvantages compared to stick built homes.

Building a new home is a milestone in your life. It’s important to have a reliable builder guide you from one step to the next—and make the process fun, too.

First, you need to decide which building method is best for your new custom home.

Homes are traditionally stick built entirely, or in large part, on the site they are intended to remain forever. Stick building is the time-tested method of home construction that’s understood and accepted by everyone in the new home business from builders to lenders.

While most new homes in the U.S. are stick built, there are other ways to build a new home including modular.


Modular homes are built in an assembly line process in a factory, trucked to the site in sections, set in place with a crane, and then joined together. Modular builders make some seemingly attractive claims such as less expensive, faster construction, and energy-efficient.

However, when you compare modular versus stick built, you’ll find modular homes often fall short of fulfilling their promises.

If you’re considering a modular, you should know the following disadvantages before deciding which building method is right for your brand new home.



Before you can purchase the modular home, first, you must find and buy a suitable plot of land. A real estate agent can help navigate this step, but finding the perfect site for a modular home isn’t always easy.

For example, some areas have zoning laws, restrictive covenants, and hookup regulations prohibiting you from building a modular home on a particular piece of land.


The site needs to be level and cleared of trees and wires to accommodate a large crane. Also, because the modular house is built off-site, your foundation must be perfect.

Modular homes may appear ideal in theory, but they lack a personal touch. By creating modules in a factory, there’s a real disconnect between the homeowner, the house plan, and the land itself.


The modular home’s price does not include important items such as foundation, concrete floor, steps to the basement, or utility hookups. Unfortunately, this forces you, the homeowner, to become your own general contractor. Talk about a stressful situation!

In contrast, Fine Line Homes’ stick built homes come as a complete turn-key package. The base price includes items like the basement, heating and cooling system, water heater, major appliances, and much more.


The payment process for a modular home is different than a traditional stick built home.

Modular builders require payment in full before the home is complete. Some lenders are unwilling to finance modular home construction. Therefore, if you don’t have the cash available, you’ll need to find other options to cover the costs.


Since the majority of the modular home’s components are built quickly, off-site, you must trust that the modular builder will produce what is needed. Unfortunately, one error can put the entire home in danger, and it may be too late when the homeowner discovers the mistake.


Because they are made in an assembly line process, modular homes are not as easy to customize as a stick built home.

Your custom home builder should be able to design your home around your lifestyle and needs. A reputable builder will customize your floor plan to make your dreams a reality.


One of the main advantages modular builders claim is faster construction. But a more rapid building process might be a disadvantage.

For example, it’s difficult to make changes once fabrication has started. Changes disrupt the flow and timing of construction. Also, most modular companies aren’t willing or able to make floor plan modifications.


The individual modules must be transported from the factory to your building site. Careful handling of the modular components while in transit is required. However, sheetrock stress cracks are common.

In addition, here’s something to consider: Transportation costs may be higher for the modules than for the materials from which they’re made, which can often be packed and shipped more efficiently to the building site.


Many people perceive modular homes as less desirable and lower quality than stick built homes. And you should never underestimate the power of public opinion. Modular home’s negative image could make it harder to resell someday.

In conclusion

When it comes to your new home, not just any builder will do. Selecting the custom home builder that’s best for your needs and situation is a critical step to achieving your life goal.

When you choose a reliable stick builder, you won’t be compromising on your home’s cost, custom floorplan, or the sense of pride you’ll feel when you move into your dream home.

Finally, with any builder you consider, we recommend you ask a lot of questions, get references, and scrutinize the estimate looking for red flags such as allowance pricing. When in doubt, get a second opinion. Trust us. You’re not just building a house; you’re fulfilling your dream. And that’s much too important to take any chances.

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(17) Comments

    • Modular homes are built to IRC 2009 just like site built homes. The homes are identical to site built homes but are built stronger with 2×6 exterior walls for apx 30pct less than a site built home.

    • james m.

      on   said 

      Chad you leave no reason whatsoever as to why you claim “stick built” homes are better. You really mean “site built” homes, as modular homes are stick built, same code compliance, just built in a controlled environment so quality is better than a site built home.

  1. Pingback:Everything You Should Know About Modular Homes Before Buying One | Buffalo Modular Homes

  2. many of the issues explained is not true . Modular homes are selling same or in higher resale value because they are better quality than stick built. Transaportion cost is much less in modular homes than you would ransfering every single utems seperatly, final base price are lower in modular than stick built in most cases. there are many financial institution that provide financing since it is same codes applies to these homes than stick this article obviously is about 20 years behind the curve , many htings has changed by today 2019. Modular homes without questin are bullt with higher quality material and precision and with out mold and low quality craftmanship since all controled in factor. Plus this article doesnot talk about many many other advatnages of modular homes. obviously article is written by custom built home company and one sided story teller and not so much reliable source.

  3. To be totally honest a local big house building contractor has slew of consumer complaints against them including where it took over a year to complete a home! Top it off with it wasn’t right. You will be best served by research upon the builder and their product by reviews or the better business bureau.

  4. This is so interesting and useful blog. This is really a informative for all peoples who wants to know about Biggest Problems with Modular Homes. Thanks for sharing with us.

  5. Yvonne Gerald

    on   said 

    Hi my name is Yvonne,
    I would very much like to have a modular home built but im having a very hard time trying to figure out where to put one. I live in VA originally from NYC. I would love to have some sort of pamphlet or info. on area to put a Modular home. Closer to NYC I think I would prefer.

  6. LoriD

    on   said 

    I have to disagree with a lot of your claims. We built a modular home. We were able to customize everything we wanted inside and out. Financing and insurance were no problems with any bank or agency we contacted. The construction is top quality. Our total,cost with land wad $240. The appraisal is $370. No complaints whatsoever!

  7. Steve

    on   said 

    Thanks for the advice. There’s a lot of positive info out there when searching about modulars, but few mention the drawbacks. I had to specifically search for the negative points to find this post.

  8. Tom Tucker

    on   said 

    The bitterness of poor quality and service, are remembered long after the sweetness of a cheap price and empty promises are remembered!
    When it is to good to be true, that is your truth!

  9. mary

    on   said 

    I am curious as to the soundproof quality of modular homes. Can you hear your next door neighbors’ conversations?

  10. Nicki Hemby

    on   said 

    I love my Modular. Beracah homes in DE did an amazing job. This is not a plug for them, but for the homes in general

  11. Keith Casey

    on   said 

    Thanks for info can you recommend someone in central nj. I have a lot but not the hookups yet. I would need about an 1800 sq ft house. Thank you. Keith Casey 6094399097

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