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What to Consider Before Making the Decision to Build Modular or Stick Built “Custom”


There are many things to consider when making a decision to build modular or build stick built, but the largest decision one needs to make is how much involvement does the consumer want to be involved with and what are their resources. A conventional built home, or stick built on site home, is typically built by a General Contractor who is licensed in the state of Pennsylvania. Most times the General Contractor has been building homes for many years, such as Welbilt Homes circa 1986, and is approved at most lending institutions in our building area. The General Contractor is also responsible for arranging all inspections, site work, foundation installation, arranging all services and utility installation.

Modular Homes

When a modular home is delivered to the site it is only semi-complete upon arrival. Much more needs to be done and this is something that the homeowner needs to recognize and identify who will be responsible for completing the home and at whose cost. The base price is always where any wise consumer needs to start. It’s very easy for a General Contractor or Modular Home Builder to devise their own pricing structures. However, it is the responsibility of the consumer to be able to identify exactly what is and what is not included in the base price of the home.

Over the years we have seen many quotes from Modular Home Builders and the simple things that are not included possibly go undetected, such as gutters and downspouts, foundation and many other items. There are permit fees for the home to travel across the roads, the cost of a crane to put the home that is delivered on-site on top of the foundation if a foundation is elected in lieu of a crawl space.

Utilities to Consider

Other items to consider are the placement of utilities for your new home. Most cases a modular home builder situates the furnace in a utility room on the main floor of the home opposed to the basement. The utility room needs to be able to house not only the furnace, but also the manabloc system for the plumbing but also the well pump to operate the water system. In most cases the modular home is going to be situated on a crawl space, which does not allow the utility room to be in the basement. This takes away precious square footage from your living space and is not ideal to have on the main floor of living. It would rather be suited to be in the basement away from everyday living.

Is It Zoned Correctly

Deed Restrictions….have you ever heard the words “no mobiles no modulars?” Most developers understand that when conventional home building (custom stick built on the lot) is not implemented that lower appraisals become an issue. Consumers need to recognize that not all land is zoned for modular and not all land has deed restrictions that allow modulars. It is easier to find land that allows conventional home building opposed to finding land that allows modulars.

Resale on your investment, win, lose or draw! The choice is yours. You may actually invest more on a modular build than on a conventional build out. The reason for all of this is that in most cases when a consumer elects to build a modular home the consumer becomes the General Contractor for the remainder of the build out. Most times the modular builder will give a list of possible tradesmen that the consumer will need to notify to see if they would be willing to finalize the remainder of the HVAC, electric, plumbing, septic and well hookups.

WelBilt Has Better Solutions

As the General Contractor, Welbilt Homes maintains our loyal subcontractors who build each and every one of our homes. We not only maintain quality and integrity with our crews, we maintain the best quality for the best price. It makes sense to use a general contractor like us because we have maintained relationships over the years to bring the best quality for the best economic price.

Bottom line on your investment…..where will you be? There is a preconception about modular homes that they are less valuable and do not have the quality of materials used as an on-site custom home. What that means for resale is when you sell your home that the return on your investment will be less because the investment initially was less and the home does not hold the volume. If the buyer of your modular home passes on the mere fact that the home is a modular home and not a stick built home and that future financing may become a problem that the modular home has dated itself and the value just isn’t there, it just makes sense to build custom, stick by stick on your lot or one of ours!!!

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