Modular Homes - other costs?

After unsuccessfully house-hunting for greater than 3 months we’ve started researching modular homes. If you’re not familiar, modular homes are built in part in a factory and shipped onsite to be assembled. They’re not mobile homes and end up looking like traditionally built homes supposedly with better quality and for less money. The various manufacturers we’ve looked at do not include estimates for the other costs we will accrue such as:

  1. excavating and pouring a foundation
  2. installing a well
  3. installing a septic system

I know that there is a WIDE range of pricing in each of these categories but I’m looking for a ballpark figure for each - we don’t even know about what they cost having never installed any before. Local resources have not been cooperative, possibly due to being held to a quote before? Any info would be appreciated.
BTW - we’re building in either PA or MD if that helps at all.
Also, does anyone have experience with modular homes? Likes/dislikes, benefits/drawbacks, recommendations?

I looked at modular housing 30+ years ago - I see it still hasn’t caught on…

For estimates, do NOT use general contractors - they HATE modular - they get paid (basically) by the hour, and modular cuts labor big time.

First - check local building codes - I wouldn’t be surprised if some localities have banned modular outright.

Then - contact small, task-specific operations (foundation, septic, water) - small operations are more dependant on cash-flow than the larger outfits.

Remember - you will need a building permit - I have no idea how many hoops you’ll have to go through, but generally, they are issued only to licensed contractors - see the problem?

When I did my modular we already had the land and a permit was no problem. But to answer your question in ballpark numbers this is approximately what it cost me in Upstate NY in the summer of 1997
Modular Home $65,000
12 course block foundation 10 inch block $12,000 27.5x44
Well $2500
Septic with1000gal concrete tank $1700
Various electrical and plumbing work $5000
Heating sysyem $1850
I probably did $3000 worth of labor myself

All in all I am very happy with my home and am confident in its quality.

Try to find a lot with city water and sewer. A well costs by the foot, you might buy a dry hole.

MarkD - some very good information, thank you, and exactly what I was looking for. I realize prices will have gone up a bit since then and are probably very area-dependent.
herman_and_bill - unfortunately, the secluded areas with nice views we are looking at do not have city water and sewer, although we would definitely prefer that.

More info:

They have 105 models to choose from :slight_smile:

You will have to hire a crane to set the house in most cases. This is seldom provided by the modular home builder. All the other extra costs you mentioned (septic, foundation, connecting electrical service, etc.) will be close to the same with a stick built home or a mobile home for that matter.

We have a modular (Cardinal Homes of Wyliesburg, VA) and we are pleased as punch with everything! I cleared the lot myself and supervised all the excavating and foundation work. After the house was set, I did all the finish work including designing and finishing the full basement (which we rent out) and the 10’ by 64’ covered porches on the front and back. The rocking chairs from Cracker Barrel and the ceiling fans on the porches are a nice added touch.

When we closed out the construction loan and started the mortgage, we already had 71k of equity and managed to avoid paying private mortgage insurance. (We live in Granville Co. NC.)

All that said… I’d burn in hell before doing it again!