Modular vs. Site Built Homes

Modular homes (System-built homes) are constructed to the same state, local or regional building codes as site-built homes. Other types of system built homes include panelized wall system, log home, structural insulated panel, and insulated concrete form.

  On-Site Built
Modular Home
Foundation Masonry foundation, crawl space, basement, or slab Same (slab not available)
Strength Structure secured or anchor bolted sill plate Same
Floors 2x10 Floor joists Same
Walls 2x6 Exterior walls Same
Cabinets Box cabinet construction Same
Interior Wall Finish ½” Drywall with taped and mudded joints Same
Interior Trim Residential mouldings Same
Personalization Custom floorplans and features Same
Financing Traditional mortgage financing products Same
Insuring Traditional homeowners insurance products Same

(Not all on-site builders or modular builders use the same materials as above. These are the general building industry standards.)

If the building requirements, materials, and financial products are the same, then why does traditional on-site building cost you more than building a modular home?

  • Regardless of your building site location, the cost of building a Pennwest modular home is fixed, based on the plan and features that you select.  An on-site builder’s costs will vary, due to each tradesman’s daily travel to your site and elements of weather delays.

  • On-site builders purchase materials from building supply stores, purchasing materials as needed.  Pennwest modular homes take advantage of purchasing materials in bulk, directly from the manufacturer, thereby reducing costs for the same products.

  • When on-site building a home, labor costs typically amount to about half of the total home cost.  Building homes more efficiently, by using an assembly line process and long term employees, greatly reduces labor costs.

  • On-site builders need to factor in additional costs based on history; such as theft, weather damage, and unforeseen cost overruns.  Since modular materials are stored indoors, built in a controlled environment, and delivered to you nearly complete, these costs are eliminated.


Need more information? Call North Shore Homes today at: (800) 826-5654.