In the beginning of 2020, we made the decision to build our new dream home on a piece of land that we were already building a shed on. We locked in a builder and designed what we thought was the perfect home for our family. It was a 3,100 square foot 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath, ranch with a three car garage.

Little did we know, the entire world was about to be turned upside down. Lumber prices were going to skyrocket, the lead time for supply chains would be extended, and more.

Exterior of Dream Home

We had already sold the home we were living in so we focused on finishing our shed that we were in the process of building. Then came the news that our build was being delayed until spring/summer 2021 and that the cost had increased by almost $85,000.

Our previous modular home

It was at that point, that I started researching whether we could make changes to lower the cost or if we should go another route. One option was building a modular home.

While our home we had just sold was a modular (we didn’t know when we bought it), we had been mostly happy with it and it was very energy efficient. I looked at so many floor plans, but couldn’t find what I was looking for. We had decided to still go the traditional route when we came across a local company that could customize a modular home for us.

We met with the modular company in November 2021 and this is what we learned:

Timeframe

The first thing we learned was how quickly a modular home could be built. Because it is built inside a climate controlled warehouse, there arent weather delays and they can control the humidity for drying times. We were told that our new home could be built in about 6 months based on the amount of other homes ahead of us.

New Modular Home Exterior

Price

With prices steadily climbing, we were surprised to discover that building a modular home was quite cost effective. Because of the number of houses they built each year, they received and passed on savings on materials, etc.

Some of the upgrades we decided on were:

  • 9 ft ceilings instead of the standard 8ft
  • Adding more windows throughout the house
  • Building a 6’x32′ front porch with a dormer
  • Adding in-floor heat to the basement, garage, and approach
  • Quartz countertops and an oversized kitchen island
  • 8 ft ceilings in the full basement
  • Oversized dormered 32’x32′ garage with 10′ doors

The price of our stick-built design was over $100,000 more than our new modular dream home.

Layout Customization

While designing the stick build floorplan, I had to be constantly aware of what a change would do structurally. With the modular floorplan, I was able to move things around easily based on how the home is constructed. We did have one wall that we had to be conscience of as it is the seam of the home where the pieces attach during assembly.

Original Floor Plan – Saxony Ritz-Craft

When I say we customized the layout, that may be an understatement. We basically moved everything around to fit our needs. A few must haves were:

  • Great Room facing the backyard – We have small kids that love to be outside and this allows us to keep an eye on them from our main spaces
  • Split layout – The 3 kid bedrooms are on one end of the house and ours is on the other
  • Dedicated Office – The original floor plan called for a Owner’s Retreat, but we decided an office for my business would be better utilized
  • Owner’s Suite with Dual Closets – I’m so excited to have my own closet area as I’m weird and color coordinate all my clothes by type and my husband definitely does not
  • Half Bath -We wanted a half bath for guests so that they wouldn’t have to use the kids’ bathroom
  • Mudroom with Garage and Backyard Access – I’m hoping if they have a space for muddy shoes and coats that they won’t be throughout the house
Custom Layout

Is a modular home right for you?

This will depend on your expectations and the builder that you choose. Our builder has been very flexible in allowing me to put my own spin on things, however, there have been a few things that I couldn’t change. You need to make sure both you and the builder are on the same page and that they can accomodate your wants and needs.

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