Modular homes cost around $130,000, on average. Of course, the exact price depends on the size of the modular house as well as the quality of materials used. The most affordable modular homes will cost around $55-65 a square foot, while luxury modular homes can cost $100-150 or more per square foot. Modular homes are typically cheaper than stick-built homes, but more expensive than manufactured homes.
One of the great things about building a modular home is that you can control your costs by optimizing your space and only purchasing exactly what you need.
Land & Site Prep
First, you’ll have to pick a plot and prepare the land for construction. The cost of the land itself will vary depending on where you decide to build, just like with a regular home. But you can expect site prep to cost anywhere from $1,250 to $4,000. You’ll need to do things like clear the area and dig a foundation so you can begin construction. So be sure to factor these costs into the calculation.
Next, you’ll want to lay a foundation for the home to sit on. Modular homes are often built on a basement or crawlspace foundation, similar to a regular single-family home. So, before the modules arrive from the factory, you’ll want to have the builders lay a foundation. This will typically run you about $4,000 to $13,000.
Delivery & Moving
Once the site is prepared, and the foundation has been laid, you’re ready to receive the individual parts that will become your modular home. However, they’ll have to be transported from the factory where they were built to your site. So, you’ll have to pay for the delivery and moving, which can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the size of the home.
Set-Up and Install
After the individual pieces have been shipped to the site, it’s time to begin the setup and installation. Unless you’re a professional contractor, you’ll likely have to hire someone to set up the home for you, even though the pieces come pre-installed. The construction period for a modular home is usually much shorter than it is for traditional construction. However, it still will likely take about 3-4 months. This will be the most expensive component and will usually run you about $25,000 to $50,000.
HVAC, Electrical & Plumbing
Next, if you want your modular home to be livable year-round, you’ll likely want to install utilities, including plumbing, electrical, heat, and air conditioning. Depending on how far from civilization and municipal facilities you are, this may or may not be a challenge. But expect to spend about $3,000 to $20,000 on utility construction, depending on how much you need done.
Tax & Permits
In addition to the cost of actually constructing the home, you’re also on the hook for sales tax and the cost of obtaining permits to build. The sales tax on a modular home is typically anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 (which is separate from the yearly property taxes you’ll owe). Plus, permits and administrative fees will run you an additional $500 - $5,000 depending on the complexity of the project.
Basements, Garages, Decks
Finally, if you want to add any extra bells and whistles, such as a basement, garage, or deck, it’s also going to require a significant investment. The exact costs will vary depending on what you need done. But expect to pay an additional $10,000 - $50,000 for added structures.
If you suddenly realize you may need more space, you can choose to add an extension to your modular home, just like you could with a standard single-family residence. But it’s going to cost you. Again, the exact amount will vary depending on what you need done but expect to pay an additional $20,000 to $30,000 per room.
Although modular home construction costs tend to be more affordable than the prices for site-built homes, you’ll still need to be prepared to spend a lot. Modular house prices can be as high as $100-150 a square foot, depending on the finishes you choose for the home. And don’t forget that financing a modular home is harder than getting a mortgage for a traditional house.