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How Much Does It Cost To Build A Modular Home?

Typical Range: $180,000 - $360,000

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Reviewed & approved on June 11, 2020 by Cati O'Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Cost of Modular Homes

An 1,800-square-foot modular home costs around $180,000 to $360,000, or $270,000 on average. This breaks down to a price of $100 to $200 per square foot and does not include purchasing the land or additional fees. The expense for the unit ranges from $40 to $80 per square foot, with an extra 20% to 50% for custom features. By comparison, the cost to build a custom home runs from $350,000 to more than $1 million.

the average cost to build a modular home is $240,000, or $180,000 to $360,000.

A modular home is constructed off site in a manufacturing plant. It is built in sections, or modules, which are transported to a prepared home site by truck. Once on site, the modules are craned on top of a permanent foundation. Then, a builder completes the construction. Homeowners choose these types of houses because they are easy to customize, are built in a factory with quality control measures, and can be move-in ready within four to six months after the order is placed with the modular home manufacturer.

Average Cost of a Modular Home

Average Cost$240,000
High Cost$360,000
Low Cost$180,000

Modular Home Prices

Modular home units are priced between $30 and $80 per square foot.

A modular home that is 1,800 square feet will cost about $72,000 to $144,000 without any customization, such as flooring or siding upgrades. The price of the base model is the largest single expense of the total cost for a finished home. However, when you look at base prices for these units, keep in mind that it is only one part of the total expense.

Modular Home Cost Per Square Foot

Home buyers pay about $40 to $80 per square foot for the base price of a modular home. When you request a quote from a builder, you need to confirm what the total includes. The base price covers the cost of the sections, but not customization, delivery or installation. Many buyers finance the purchase with a short-term construction loan through a lender that they can later convert to a conventional mortgage. People who pay cash should ask the builder for a draw, or payment, schedule.

Modular Home Price List Per Square Foot
Square FootageBase
+ Customization
+ Delivery
Total Finished Cost with Installation
1
  • $40 - $80
  • $50 - $120
  • $55 - $125
$100 - $200
1,000
  • $40,000 - $80,000
  • $50,000 - $120,000
  • $55,000 - $125,000
$100,000 - $200,000
1,500
  • $60,000 - $120,000
  • $75,000 - $180,000
  • $82,500 - $187,500
$150,000 - $300,000
2,000
  • $80,000 - $160,000
  • $100,000 - $240,000
  • $110,000 - $250,000
$200,000 - $400,000

Prefab Home Price List Per Size

Average Modular Home Plans and Prices
Home Type (Square Footage)Average Cost
2-Story (2,100)$84,000 - $168,000
1-Story Ranch (1,600)$64,000 - $128,000
4 Bedroom/3 Bathroom (2,200)$88,000 - $176,000
3 Bedroom/3 Bathroom (1,700)$68,000 - $136,000
3 Bedroom/2 Bathroom (1,500)$60,000 - $120,000
5 Bedroom/3 Bathroom (2,600)$104,000 - $208,000
2 Bedroom/1 Bathroom (1,000)$40,000 - $80,000

Modular Duplex Cost Estimator

The price of a modular duplex may not differ significantly from the $40 to $80 per square foot for a single-family home of a similar size, but not all builders offer duplex floorplans. Search for professional contractors who specialize in multi-family construction or ask a manufacturer if they can convert a floorplan from one to two units.

Custom Design Prefabricated Home Prices

"If you find custom changes push you over budget, ask your builder to steer you toward a plan that meets your needs. You shouldn't be reworking large portions of the floor plan. Use your dollars for details like bumpouts or window placement changes."Cati O'Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor.

For a custom modular house, you should plan to pay at least $200,000 to $400,000. Many builders are willing to customize a design beyond finishes like flooring or countertops. Some are able to adapt an existing design or even create a brand-new design. When choosing your modular home builder, ask about the level of design customization offered. If you add a lot of customization, be prepared to exceed the average price per square foot quoted here.

Prefab House Kit Pricing

Kit homes (today’s version of the Sears mail-order houses that were popular in the early 1900s) are shipped in flatpacks with precut materials you assemble. Paying for a base-model home kit can cost as low as $30, but typically ranges from $40 to $80 per square foot. Some builders are willing to sell and deliver a pre-built house to a homeowner who will complete the rest of the work. Others arrange the construction and finishing through their own subcontractors. Decide which approach you prefer before talking to builders to make sure you are contracting with a partner who is aligned with your goals.

Consult with a Modular Home Builder

Average Cost to Build a Modular Home

In addition to the cost to purchase the modular home, you’ll pay about $52,000 to $167,000 to have it delivered and installed. Generally, the company providing the structure prefers to handle all of these tasks, giving you one grand total for the finished home. This estimate from an experienced builder should be highly accurate. Consult the sales contract for procedures concerning delays or damage prior to completion as they may differ between companies. Problems that come up after you take ownership will be a matter of warranty coverage.

Modular Home Construction Cost Calculator
Freight$5,000 - $15,000
Land Preparation$1,250 - $4,000
Foundation$4,000 - $13,000
Installation$25,000 - $50,000
Utility construction$3,000 - $20,000
Taxes$5,000 - $10,000
Permits & Fees$500 - $5,000
Additions (Decks, Garages)$7,500 - $50,000
Sub-Total$51,250 - $167,000
1,800 square-foot model$72,000 - $144,000
Total$123,500 - $311,000

Cost to Move a Modular Home

Transporting the sections from the warehouse to the property costs about $5 per square foot. Delivery charges often relate to the number of sections for the home. Floorplans under about 1,200 square feet may be built as one unit. Larger houses usually come in multiple shipments.

Cost to Prepare Land for a Pre-Manufactured House

Clearing land costs about $2,700. This process involves the following tasks:

  • inspecting the property
  • removing or relocating trees, plants or rocks
  • leveling the ground
  • establishing the proper grade

While you are addressing land prep, check with your builder to see if it is possible to excavate the foundation or do other site work at the same time to save money.

When addressing the land portion of your build, keep an eye out for potential cost overruns, including but not limited to the following:

  • Dirt Removal: $1,500-$5,100. The average cost for dirt removal is about $3,100. This cost could be much higher if you are building into a steep slope or have to excavate for a retaining wall.
  • Removal of Existing Structures: $3,000-$25,000.Demolishing a house costs an average of $18,000 and requires a permit. EPA guidance could require special remediation efforts if asbestos is found.
  • Well or Cistern Hole Filling: $2,500. You can’t build over a well or cistern without digging it up or filling it with gravel.

Ask your builder to review your site carefully to get the most accurate estimate about how much you should budget for the land portion of your build.

Hire a General Contractor to Build and Install a House

Modular Home Foundation Costs

The price to install a foundation averages about $8,500.

  • Monolithic Concrete Slab: $4,500-$12,000.
  • Crawlspace: $8,000-$21,000.
  • Basement Foundation: $18,000-$30,000.

The size of your home’s footprint will impact these expenses. A one-story house typically has a larger footprint than a two-story house, so its foundation will cost more.

Modular Home Installation Labor Costs

After delivery, installing the modular home costs about $25,000 to $50,000. The wide range accounts for variations in the land and the size of the home. Once the completed sections arrive, installers perform a series of tasks known as buttoning-up.

Buttoning-up includes:

  • attaching the sections together
  • installing exterior finishes like siding or stairs
  • completing interior finishes like drywall
  • installing and hooking up appliances
  • testing windows and doors

Utility Construction Costs

Installing new utility lines costs about $3,000 to $20,000, depending on the complication of the project and how far your house is sited from existing public utilities. On average, most home buyers will need to pay for the following:

Many modular home builders prefer to select contractors for these services instead of having the homeowner find a pro. It is more efficient to let the builder contract directly with service providers and be the single point of contact.

Unfortunately, surprise costs and hassles related to utilities can arise. For example, you might have to pay for the relocation of a utility pole to accommodate your driveway, or you may need to request easements from neighbors or the city to run utilities onto your property. Your builder or the city building department can help you navigate these issues.

Sales Tax

Homeowners may need to pay sales tax on the modular home components, which average about $5,000 to $10,000. Taxes are usually specific to the state but may also vary by city. The manufacturer of your modular home should be able to answer sales tax questions or contact your local tax office.

Permits & Fees

The cost of permits and fees ranges from $500 to $5,000. The permits required for preparing the land and installation usually cost the most. Some municipalities may require impact fees for parks, roads or schools. Homeowners may need to obtain permission for:

  • Building
  • Utility Connection
  • Soil Testing
  • Construction of Additional Features

Ask your contractor which permits you need or consult your city's building department.

Decks, Garages & Other Additions

Regional Size & Design Differences

Although prices per square foot tend to be fairly standard nationwide, homeowners may notice regional differences in the size and design of homes available. Companies located in areas with bigger lot sizes may offer modular homes with larger footprints, particularly one-story ranch styles. Home manufacturers that serve urban clientele will most likely have a suite of compact two- and three-story designs that are appropriate for narrow lots.

Get an Estimate from a Home Builder

Factory-Build Prefab Home Prices

$40 - $50
Prefab Home Costs Per Square Foot
Modular$40 - $80
Manufactured

The term “prefabricated home” includes modular and manufactured options. All prices listed in this article relate only to modular homes.

Price Difference Between Modular and Manufactured Homes

Manufactured homes cost around $40 to $50 per square foot compared to $40 to $80 per square foot for modular home construction. The two types may look similar, especially for smaller sizes, but they have one main difference: Manufactured homes are built on a chassis to the national HUD standard. They are considered a vehicle for tax and zoning purposes and can be relocated. In contrast, modular homes are installed on a permanent foundation.

Pre-Built Home Prices by Brand

Clayton Homes Pricing

Clayton is a national manufactured home company offering a variety of floorplans, ranging from $75,000 to $150,000 as a base price. As a rule, Clayton handles delivery, installation and finishes as part of the unit’s total cost. Contact the company directly for warranty information.

Other National or Regional Manufacturers

To keep delivery costs down, look for national or local builders with locations near you. There are many popular brands, such as:

Champion

  • Available in the United States and Western Canada
  • Tiny Homes, 1- and 2-story
  • Between 400 and 2,700 square feet
  • Features 7-year factory warranty.

Homeway

  • Available in Southern Illinois
  • Finished price of $120 - $180 per square foot.
  • Customizes to suit any design.
  • Features 1-year warranty on construction.

Pratt

  • Available in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas
  • Base: $65 - $85 per square foot.
  • Provides a7-year warranty on structure and appliances.

Heckaman

  • Available in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky
  • 1- and 2-story houses
  • Homes between 1,400 and 2,800 square feet

Kent

  • Available in Maine and Atlantic Canada
  • Tiny Homes, 1- and 2-story
  • Homes between 200 and 2,500 square feet

FAQ

What is an average small modular home price?

Smaller modular homes that do not qualify as “tiny” cost about $36,000 to $88,000. On average, options available range from about 900 to 1,100 square feet.

How much does it cost for a multi-family prebuilt home?

A two-story prefab home ranges from $84,000 to $168,000. Builders suggest separate floors for multiple generations living in a single house. Homeowners can also consider paying an additional $18,000 to $30,000 to install a walkout basement with a separate entrance.

What are the cheapest prefab homes for sale?

Kit homes are priced as low as $30 per square foot, but they need to be assembled completely on site. Pre-built homes, such as modular or manufactured, price closer to $40 per square foot. Prefab homes can lose some aesthetic appeal at the lower price points because manufacturers take off details such as trim or shutters to shave costs.

Can you install a modular home on a basement?

Yes. Modular home installers know how to place the modules on top of a basement. When you are doing your research on potential builders ask them for information about including a basement.

What does it cost for a modular home vs. building a custom house?

StylePrice Per Square FootPros & Cons
Modular$100 - $200
  • Usually cheaper
  • Finished more quickly
  • Fewer choices
Custom$100 - $400
  • Costs more
  • Takes longer to complete
  • Most freedom in design

Are modular homes a good investment?

Yes. According to the Appraisal Institute, modular homes and stick-built homes are appraised and valued using the same metrics. Modular homes have risen in quality in the past few decades, offering many features buyers want, such as:

  • high-end finishes
  • quality exterior materials
  • 9-foot-plus ceilings
  • open floor plans
  • energy efficiency

If you are thinking about buying new construction, going with this type of house may help you save some money and finish the building process more quickly.

How long does it take to set up a modular home?

It takes about 4 to 6 weeks to complete the home from the time the sections are delivered to the final walk-through. Builders often quote around 4 to 6 months from the moment they receive a signed contract to a finished installation.

How to find and hire a reputable home builder?

Ready to find a good home builder? Think about what you want, and settle on a budget. Be sure to look at the finished price for every bid. To request a detailed quote, search for a qualified modular home builder near you.

Hire a Modular Home Builder
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