manufactured homes vs. site-built homes

There is a myriad of reasons why an individual or family should choose to buy a manufactured home or modular home over a site-built home. Below are Craftsman Homes’ top 10 reasons to choose a factory-built home over a site-built home. Whether you’re a millennial looking for your first home, a baby boomer looking to downsize, or anyone in between, manufactured homes are the future of housing. Shop all floor plans today! If you have any general questions about manufactured housing, feel free to give us a call, or submit a contact form! Our staff is standing by, and ready to help!


top 10 reasons manufactured homes beat site-built

Superior materials

The quality modular home manufacturer does not use green lumber and protects all building materials from the weather; otherwise, materials would be too warped or bent to fit into their precise jigs for wall panels or trusses. In many on-site building locations either green lumber is still used or building materials are not protected from the weather; as a result, for decades the ultimate homeowner inherits problems after the building is finished.


The modular unit uses the strongest of all construction methods based on the 2×6 platform framing system. Traditionally, modular units are over-built so they can be hauled on wheels over roads to get to the site and so that a crane can lift them off the wheels and place them on a foundation. Only modular construction is sturdy enough to withstand such forces which are the equivalent to that of a healthy earthquake.

Ease of FInancing

Factory-built homes are very easy to finance because they have a positive track record. When the homeowner wants, for instance, the Acme Plan 3A from a factory with some variations, chances are the local banker has seen it before and knows the value. Bankers also like the idea that factory-built homes are well insulated which means the ultimate buyer won’t go broke paying utility bills. Bankers also like the simplicity of the construction process compared to on-site construction.

One-Stop Shop

A "One-Stop Shop" for manufactured home sales, financing, and construction. For the customer's convenience, the aspect of the one-stop shopping experience revolves around the accommodation of the customer's needs. Craftsman Homes Development employs a full-service, in-house construction team that handles all of the onsite preparations and requirements; including, foundations, utilities, garages, carports, and home installations.

Value Appreciation

Other things being equal (primarily location), factory-built homes appreciate in value in lock step with site-built homes. When a manufactured home is looked after with the level of care that a homeowner puts into a site-built home, factory-built housing appreciates approximately 3.5% per year on average, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute. The notion that factory-built housing cannot appreciate is purely a misconception.


Modular construction technology of glue-nailed sheathing and decking with redundant framing members creates a safe place to reside if you live in earthquake or tornado country. Modular homes are built to survive nature’s onslaught. The framework of today's factory-built housing matches, or exceeds, site-built homes because prefab homes are engineered for safe use in the specific geographic region where they are sold. Prefab homes may be the safest on the market because of the federal laws requiring smoke detectors, escape windows and incombustible materials around furnaces and kitchen ranges.


There are endless examples of factory-built homes that have been in continuous service for 50, 60 and 70 years. One example: the homes built by National Homes through the midwest 50 years ago which originally sold for $7,000, $8,000 and $9,000 complete. These homes today are still in use, the major change has been that they have increased ten-fold in value.

easy on the eye

Over 90% of all panelized homes today are customized to meet the buyer’s needs. They look as good, and in many cases, better than anything that can be built on-site. Some manufacturers are producing spectacular mansions of over 10,000 sq. ft. Modular units are routinely stacked to resemble any type of architecture the buyer may want from a New England Salt Box to an Ante Belle mansion. Modular units can be finished with stucco walls, tile roofs, and exterior design features so that they become indistinguishable from on-site designs.

a step into the future

America is the nation that invented factory fabrication. When we buy a washing machine, a microwave oven, a VCR or a car, we don’t expect it to be dumped in parts in our backyard for us to assemble. We expect these products to come factory-made, factory-inspected and ready for instant use. It is unlikely that the home building industry will cling to the idea of costly, error prone piece-by-piece fabrication of homes at job sites. For both economic and quality reasons, on-site home building can’t last; factory home building can’t miss.

quality control

In-plant construction quality is invariably superior to what can be done on a job site. Parts cut with a hand saw or a hand-held power circular saw at a job site cannot possibly be as precise as those cut with a $10,000 radial arm saw or $100,000 component cutter in a factory. Factory fastening methods are also demonstrably superior because they use pneumatic tools, which drive fasteners to precise depths. What’s more, factory inspections cover every construction detail from floor framing to final paint, and trained factory inspectors or independent third party inspectors perform more than one-dozen unannounced inspections per house. Your home, built in a factory, is held to higher standards in quality control procedures.


top 5 Homeowner savings obtained from the manufactured home production process vs. site-built

Efficiencies of the factory building process

The affordability gap in comparison to tradition site-built homes id due to the efficiencies of the factory building process. Manufactured homes are constructed with standard building materials, (same as site-built), and are built almost entirely off-site in a factory.

Controlled environment and assembly line techniques

The controlled construction environment and assembly-line techniques remove many of the problems encountered during traditional home construction, such as weather, theft, vandalism, damage to building products and materials, and unskilled labor.

Benefits from the economies of scale

Much like other assembly-line operations, manufactured homes benefit from the economies of scale, resulting from purchasing large quantities of materials, products, and appliances. Manufactured home builders can negotiate savings on many components used in building a home, with these savings passed on directly to the manufactured homebuyer.

Evolution in factory-built technology

Technology advances allow manufactured home builders to offer a variety of architectural styles and exterior finishes that heretofore where not available off-site, that will suit most any buyer's dreams white allowing the home to blend seamlessly into most any neighborhood.

Measurable savings in reduced completion expediency

"Time is money". Greater flexibility and efficiency of the manufacturing process allows for customization of each home to meet a buyer's lifestyle and needs and are pre-planned before the home begins the construction phase and does not delay completion.

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