Are Modular Homes a Good Investment? | Ask an Expert
Building a home is a big expenditure, so it’s natural to wonder if a modular home represents a good investment. In terms of a home's market value, there's nothing inherently different about a modular home that would cause it to appreciate or depreciate differently than a traditionally built home. But some modular homes are inherently more efficient to run and require less maintenance over the long run, which can make them a better investment in both the short term and the long run.
For many families, modular homes are a step above the rest. They combine faster, more reliable production times, high-quality surfaces, and durability into one unique package, and their return on investment extends beyond mere financial terms. In addition to the long-term financial savings, a prefab modular home, built with high-quality materials, offers dividends in enhanced quality of life, minimized environmental impact, and overall positive effects on your family’s health.
Understanding the techniques underlying modern prefab and modular construction methods is central to deciding if the investment value of a modular home vs a traditional home is right for you. High-design modular home builders incorporate energy efficiency and renewable energy into the home’s design. Features that traditional builders and homeowners may consider luxuries, are built into the home’s upfront cost, creating value not just for the home’s owner, but to the community and environment long into the future. Let's take a look at some of the financial and quality of life benefits that a modular home investment can provide you, the environment, and the greater community.
Investing in Your Family and Your Health
Modular homes are a good investment for several reasons, from the reduced cost of daily living to the positive effects on your family’s health. A high-quality prefabricated modular home is a unique design with the following benefits:
- The building process keeps a home’s internal framing, insulation, and surfaces isolated from the elements. Modular homes are built in a climate-controlled factory. They also ship to the site with wall sheeting, waterproofing, and a water resistant barrier in place. As such, they can be installed without exposure to rain, snow, or other environmental hazards. This unique building process prevents the introduction of moisture and untimely decay, keeping the home strong and durable and its internal environment sealed and fresh.
- Prefabricated modules are shipped to the site and craned into place. The home’s framing must be built ruggedly for this process, with thicker timber and bracing. The stronger frame means more space within the walls and greater seismic resilience in the finished home.
- A robust frame provides room for thicker insulation. Thicker insulation means a more energy-efficient home that uses less electricity for heating and cooling, allowing the owner to enjoy the modern comforts of climate control for a lower cost.
- The thicker insulation makes solar power and other renewable energy sources more effective. Quality prefab modular homes, like Dvele, ship “solar ready” with everything that is needed for the later installation of a solar roof.
- Forward-thinking designs and contemporary styling. New technology is constantly changing how we live healthy, happy lives. Modular homes are adaptable, capable of accounting for new technology, current home trends, and emerging ideas.
These are some compelling benefits, but keep in mind that not all prefab homes are created equal. The materials your modular home builder selects can enhance the quality of life a prefab home offers and magnify the value of your investment.
A Good Investment Lasts—and Reduces Expenses
The choice of materials goes deeper than your home’s aesthetics. High-quality materials can have an outsized impact on a home’s quality of construction and your family’s quality of living. Choosing the right materials, from insulation to framing lumber, can also make a more efficient home with lower energy costs.
Reputable prefab home manufacturers build modules to a nearly complete state in the controlled environment of a factory. The manufacturer serves as the general contractor and every subcontractor needed to build your home. As a result, the manufacturer can select the highest-quality roofing support structure, exterior and interior surfaces, and everything in between—and make sure they are used correctly. Building in the factory prevents environmental degradation of materials, and the attention to high-quality materials ensures the home will be stronger.
The best modular home builders pay special attention to the types of insulation offered because of its impact on a home’s livability. Fiberglass insulation is the most widely used insulation option. Odds are, the building you’re in right now is insulated with fiberglass. However, mineral wool has a higher insulation value per inch of thickness and does a better job of insulating a building, keeping cooling and heating costs down. And while fiberglass is absorbent, mineral wool is hydrophobic. Since insulation is located directly next to a home’s framing and drywall, the hydrophobic properties of mineral wool help keep the wall structure dry, structurally sound, and long-lasting, making it the better choice for homeowners looking to preserve their investment and reap the financial savings of higher-performing materials.
Structural adaptations like the builder’s choice of lumber can improve the home’s resistance to external forces and enhance its energy efficiency. Traditional builders typically use 2x4 inch dimensional lumber for wall studs and rafters—primarily to save on costs. By contrast, larger 2x6 lumber is far more durable and makes for a stronger, thicker wall. Homes with 2x6 framing have an improved ability to resist seismic events and other disasters. It also increases a home’s insulation value because the extra two inches makes space to utilize higher value insulation, like mineral wool. Unlike traditional builds, prefabricated modular home builders don’t have to worry about additional costs needed to transport thicker, heavier lumber to a remote site. From framing to insulation and beyond, prefab modular homes can help you invest in lasting resilience, quality of life, and reduced utility bills.
Investing in the Environment and Your Community
Modular homes aren’t just good for you and your family; they benefit the entire community and make greener energy options more sustainable. For example, with high-quality building materials and thick mineral wool insulation, modern prefab homes can essentially turn your home into a thermal battery. The air inside the home stays at a more consistent temperature throughout the day and night, so very little energy is needed to heat or cool the home. In a home that relies on a grid connection, this means dramatically less power consumption, resulting in lower utility costs.
In addition, if your modular home incorporates a solar array, your home can be powered independently of the grid. Of course, solar energy production is at its highest during the day. Unfortunately, peak hours of energy use tend to occur in the early evening to just before midnight. The result is a distinctive duck-shaped curve when each peak is graphed on a chart. Efficient modular homes equipped with solar panels and a battery can store far more electricity than what the home needs to get through peak energy demand hours. The excess power can be off-loaded to the grid to help meet the demand of the neighborhood as a whole. As a result of efficiencies like these, well-designed modular homes can better use renewable power and help make solar energy an energy-positive grid contributor. That’s a win for the environment, your community, and your wallet.
Making the Best Investment in a Modular Home
If you want a modular home that’s a good investment for your family and your community, choose a prefab modular home builder that is dedicated to building efficient, high-quality homes that are meant to be livable now and a century into the future.
Look for a company that specializes in factory-built homes offering contemporary style, durable construction, and unmatched efficiency. Choose a prefab modular home that uses 2x6 wall studs designed to not only survive earthquakes but to remain a livable home afterward. Settle for nothing less than walls that come equipped with mineral wool insulation and two layers of water resistance barriers for unparalleled efficiency and moisture resistance. If you want to make an even bigger impact, ensure the home includes a solar array and battery storage or is at least solar-ready for an easy, future solar addition. Make the right choice for you and your family, and choose a modular home that represents a good investment for your future.
Dvele is dedicated to building modular homes that are fully equipped to withstand the elements, survive disasters, and meet the world’s changing energy needs. A Dvele modular home is a good investment in your family’s health and well-being - customize your unique module today. Contact us and learn more about why you should choose Dvele.