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Modular vs. Stick-Built: Which Home is for You?

A Modular Home May Be What You’re Looking For

One of the most basic needs of every human being is having proper shelter. While some can be contented with simply renting their entire life, many would rather have a home they can call their own. For those who are determined enough to realize their dream of having their own house, the choice is increasingly becoming a tussle between having a traditionally built home, or opting for a modular home.

Modular vs. Stick-Built

A traditional stick-built (or site-built) home refers to a home that is constructed entirely on site. A modular home refers to a home that is pre-assembled and built in a factory, then transported to the building site in sections. Aside from this basic differentiation, here are other comparable features of stick-built and modular homes which aspiring homeowners will do well to consider helping them decide which type will be best for them.



When it comes to exterior and interior appearance, modular homes are highly customizable while traditional stick-built homes are fully customizable. Although customization choices may be slightly limited for modular homes, it is almost impossible to tell at a glance if a home is modular or site-built because a homeowner can practically dictate its overall style and design.


Construction Time

Because modular homes are constructed in factories, completion is almost always done according to schedule, regardless of whatever weather there is, and minus any chances of having labor shortage (because factory workers are year-round employees). In contrast, site-built homes are highly dependent on weather conditions and vulnerable to manpower problems, which means scheduled work is susceptible to disruptions. Generally then, modular homes are built faster (around 3 – 4 months) than site-built homes (at least 6 months).


Cost Comparison

Modular home saves moneyA modular home is more affordable than a stick-built home due to 4 main reasons: building materials are bought by bulk and in bigger quantities so the cost is lower; assembly line efficiencies make the construction process much faster; factory workers are permanently employed so their salaries are often lower than those of seasonal contractors; and there is less waste because what’s left can easily be used on other modulars being built.


Structural Integrity

Since modular homes are built within a climate-controlled environment where inspection by experts is done every step of the way, the materials used are able to retain their quality — unwanted growths (like molds and mildew) are avoided, unexpected damage due to weather is averted, and loss or theft is minimized. Also, modular homes are built with more lumber, screws, adhesives, and steel strapping to ensure stability when transported, thus, each module is structurally stable on its own. A stick-built home, on the other hand, is susceptible to most kinds of threats, both manmade and natural, and highly dependent on the expertise and individual skills of the workers involved.


Degree of “green-ness”

Green Energy in Modular HomesModular homes are typically greener than site-built homes because factory conditions and working protocols result in lesser raw materials used and minimal waste produced. Not to mention their energy efficiency.



Due to stricter building practices and the intent to meet higher (rather than just the minimum) industry standards, modular homes are built with better insulation, which means higher energy savings for the homeowner (and potential tax credits).



Expansion or additions to a modular home is less invasive and inconvenient because the additional module is brought to the site almost complete. On the other hand, a homeowner will have to experience everything that comes with a construction process (the noise and all that dust) when adding to a stick-built home.


Resale Value

Modular homes are considered permanent property. This means that their value appreciates with time (as opposed to mobile homes that tend to depreciate). When it comes time to sell a modular home, the homeowner should be able to sell the property for more than they paid.


Come to Big Sky Homes for Your Next Home

Affordable housing doesn’t mean government housing. It also doesn’t mean living in a less-than-desirable apartment. You can get into the house of your dreams, for far less than you thought! Come to Big Sky Homes, at 750 Parkway Lane, to see what we have on our lot. Or give us a call at 406-256-0240 to learn more about affordable housing in Billings.