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5 Reasons Why the Cost of a Manufactured Home is Half the Price of a Stick Built Home

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5 Reasons Why the Cost of a Manufactured Home is Half the Price of a Stick Built Home

Justin Becker

Updated: August 3, 2020

If you have been considering a manufactured home recently, you may have noticed how reasonably priced they are. Manufactured houses are not just affordable, they are actually the more cost-effective choice when you compare them to stick-built or traditional homes.

Nevertheless, if you have had the pleasure of checking out some of these modern-day manufactured houses, then you already know what they offer—amazing contemporary layouts, full-size kitchens, multiple bedrooms, custom bathrooms, and more.

With that said, you may be wondering why these incredible homes cost half the price of stick-built/traditional houses? Well, that is a great question that we can definitely answer. There are five reasons, in particular, that manufactured homes are the more cost-effective option. So, without further ado, let’s go over those reasons.

The Major Difference

Before going into detail about why manufactured homes are half the price, it helps to know the major difference between these two types of housing.

A manufactured home is pretty much what it sounds like—a home that was made in a factory and not one that was constructed onsite. In other words, a modular house is one that was completely assembled in a factory and then transported to its intended homesite. Manufactured homes are often customized to the buyers’ specifications and offer roughly half as much square footage or living space as a stick-built house.

In contrast, a stick-built or traditional house is one that is built entirely onsite. Here, builders lay the foundation for a conventional house and then proceed to construct the buyers’ dream home.

Building Process

Now that you are aware of the major difference between these two homes, it should be evident that one of the reasons manufactured homes are more affordable is because of the overall building process.

As briefly mentioned, manufactured homes are built in an assembly-line fashion and a climate-controlled factory. As a result, manufactured homes are constructed quickly and without any interruption from the weather. Plus, manufactured houses arrive at their homesites with complete wiring, plumbing, windows, and more. Thus, there is really not much to do once the home is transported to the site.

On the other hand, stick-built houses are constructed from scratch onsite. Thus, weather conditions play a major role in the building process and affect the overall quality of your future home. Think about it, if it is raining, snowing, or even too windy, then construction will more than likely be delayed until weather conditions are more favorable. Moreover, traditional homes are not efficiently built all at once like manufactured homes are, rather they are built in stages.

Materials Used

Furthermore, stick-built houses require ample building materials, thanks to their overall size; but, also just in case any unexpected problems should arise. Thus, you have to purchase all the necessary materials upfront and then essentially find a way to store them until they are needed. Remember, you cannot leave shingles, lumber, windows, and insulation lying around. Likewise, you do not want these vital materials exposed to the elements for too long. Unprotected building materials left out in the open are often vandalized, stolen, or damaged. Therefore, all of these things need to be accounted for monetarily when building a traditional house. What’s more, any unused materials need to be properly disposed of or removed from your homesite, and this generally does not happen for free.

With manufactured homes, these potential problems simply do not exist. Consequently, there is no real need to order more building materials than you might need. The reality is that manufactured home factories have building homes down to a science, which means your future home is built without hardly any material waste, in record time.

Time Frame to Construct

As briefly touched upon, there are a variety of factors that affect the time frame for constructing both types of housing. Manufactured homes are typically completed in a matter of months—three to five months, to be exact. Stick-built/traditional dwellings, however, may take up to six months to build, or it could very well take years to complete for several reasons.

For starters, bad weather can literally undo any progress that has been made with your traditional home. Similarly, days that do not have the right weather conditions are days that no one is working on completing your house. Moreover, stick-built homes are larger and thus can take even longer to build.

Ultimately, these are only a few reasons that affect the final price of your home. Note, many people save money with manufactured homes by having the foundation laid simultaneously to in-factory construction, which you cannot do with traditional houses.

Design and Overall Scale

Another reason manufactured homes cost less than stick-built residences is because of their design and overall scale. In the past, manufactured homes were, for lack of a better term, very cookie-cutter; thus, this was a turnoff for many people. However, today’s manufactured homes rival that of even the most intricately designed and customized traditional houses.

Plus, due to the sheer size of manufactured homes, customizing them is very inexpensive. For instance, an upscale kitchen that needs granite countertops, custom cabinetry, and more, is still less labor-intensive and involves fewer materials when it is a manufactured home. Furthermore, manufactured homes are designed to be more efficient, which generally includes smaller, more energy-efficient appliances and fixtures. Smaller, energy-efficient appliances and fixtures inevitably cut down on labor costs since they are typically easier to install and transport.

Finally, homes with less square footage do not require a wealth of materials or take forever to put together, which just equals even more savings.

Price of Land

Lastly, the price of your homesite is another reason manufactured houses cost less than stick-built homes. People often overlook the price they paid for their homesite when cost comparing manufactured and traditional homes; however, it is still very much a factor in the total price (depending on location, your homesite can account for more than half of your construction budget).

Typically, traditional houses are built on purchased property; thus, the cost of a sizable land lot will absolutely be included in the price of your home when you think about it. Plus, let’s not forget the property taxes and other expenses that pop up when you buy the land your home sits on.

With manufactured homes, you can also purchase property to place your house on, but if you choose to do so, it will likely cost you less because you will not need a ton of acreage for a smaller home.

That said, most people nowadays place their manufactured homes in manufactured home communities. So, they are not spending thousands of dollars on the property for their house. Likewise, manufactured homeowners generally pay less in property taxes if they are required to pay them at all. The cost to rent a manufactured home lot is minimal at best.  Therefore, this is something to keep in mind if you are still unsure about which type of housing is best for your budget.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, manufactured homes tend to be the more sensible option, especially if you are looking for affordable luxury housing. Not only do they cost less than traditional houses, but you also tend to get more bang for your buck.

So, if you are ready to start building your future home, why not do your budget a favor and check out the manufactured home communities and factories in your area—there are at least five reasons you won’t regret it.

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About The Author

Justin Becker

Justin Becker is a property owner in the state of Michigan and has a passion for managing communities. He owns both apartment complexes and mobile home communities and has been writing his own blogs for his properties for several years.

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