Modular vs. Custom Homes: What’s the Difference?


Modular Homes vs. Custom Homes: Detailing the Differences

It goes without saying that building a new home is a major undertaking. For most people, it’s likely the most important investment they’ll ever make. For that reason, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of every type of house available to you, as well as the processes that go along with designing and building those houses.

Here, we’ll break down the modular home construction process and then compare it to the custom home construction process.

What’s the Difference Between a Modular Home and a Custom Home?

While custom homes are generally built directly on the site where they’re intended to stay, modular homes are constructed primarily off-site, usually in a factory or warehouse. They are then delivered piece-by-piece to the construction lot, where the various pieces are put together and the modular home is assembled.

Modular House Construction: An Overview

As mentioned above, the modular home construction process always takes place off-site in some sort of controlled building facility, factory, or warehouse. The parts are built piece by piece, then shipped off to the designated lot to be put together by a construction team. This includes all the wiring, cabinets, walls, and even the plumbing; it’s all completed before leaving the warehouse.

Metal door of a warehouse

While this may seem like a stark contrast to the typical on-site home construction processes that most people are familiar with, a modular house still has to stand up to the same rigorous state and local codes as any on-site custom home would. However, that’s not to say that modular homes don’t come with their share of unique hurdles.

For example, some of the more well-known disadvantages of modular homes include:

  • Finding a suitable plot of land before purchasing the modular home is a necessity, but not always an easy one. Typically, a real estate agent will need to be contacted to help you find a suitable site. However, when working with a custom home builder such as Sleeping Dog Properties, this part of the engagement is almost always handled by the service provider, freeing you from the additional burden.
  • Sometimes, the modular home’s base price doesn’t include other essential items, which could entail everything from stairwell steps to utility hookups. Conversely, when working with a custom home builder or even a general contractor, all these components are estimated beforehand, giving you a complete picture of the final asking price as early as possible.
  • If you’re comparing options between a modular house and a custom home, then you’re likely very concerned with the customization potential of each. When it comes to building a house that’s uniquely tailored to your family’s specific lifestyle, nothing can compare to working with a general home builder from point A to Z to make sure your vision doesn’t become their vision.
  • Perceived quality issues associated with prefabricated homes have always hung a dark cloud over these properties, and that isn’t likely to change any time in the near future. Even though the manufacturing processes associated with building modular houses have improved significantly, the negative public perception still lingers – and this can drastically affect the property’s resale value.


The Custom Home Process: A Comparison

After hiring a custom home builder, you’ll likely find that the entire home building process is much more intimate and generally leads to a much better understanding of your wants and needs. That’s because custom home builders have extensive experience working with general contractors, architects, and any number of other specialists who need to be contacted to accommodate your requests. Clients are allowed much more input from the earliest stages of the engagement through to the construction of the home. This means you end up with the greatest freedom in terms of providing feedback on design choices and other critical decisions.

Due to the heightened level of service and obligation to satisfy and adapt to changing customer demands – sometimes even during the construction process – hiring a custom home builder is generally more expensive than purchasing a prefabricated home. As you can imagine, it’s also more time-consuming. However, if what you’re looking for is a truly customized home with impeccable attention to detail, then that time is well spent.

Want to Learn More About Sleeping Dog’s Custom Home Builders?

If you’d like to learn more about the intricacies and advantages of the design-build and custom home build processes, dive into the extent of our capabilities in our Portfolio. Or, if you’d like to receive a quote or simply chat with a Sleeping Dog representative about your next big project idea, contact us today!


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