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Styles of Modular Homes

When you are in the market for a home, you have many choices. You can purchase a pre-existing house, or you can design and build a custom home from scratch. If you decide to build a new home, you have even more options, such as having the house built on-site or purchasing a modular home.

There are a few misconceptions out there about what a modular home is and what your options are if you decide to purchase a modular house. Learn more about the styles of modular home available and the benefits of going modular when you're buying your next home.

Why Modular?

     Why pick modular

To understand the benefits of a modular home, it helps to know how it is different from other options and what a modular home is not. People often confuse modular homes with manufactured homes or mobile homes, but the truth is, the two are very different. A modular home has a permanent foundation, but a manufactured home does not.

The key thing that sets a modular home apart from other permanent homes is the location of its construction. Modular homes are built indoors, in climate-controlled facilities. The pieces of the home are then transported to the property, where the house is assembled by a team of professional builders. Often, a company will fabricate the pieces and components of the modular home, and then a separate building company will assemble the home at the property.

Modular construction offers several benefits compared to building a house from the ground up on-site. One major benefit is that the construction of a modular home is less likely to be delayed by weather. When builders are working on a house on-site, they usually aren't able to work when it's raining, when it's freezing or when it's very hot. That can mean that the construction of a house can be delayed by many months. If you need to move into your new home quickly, you don't have time for ongoing delays. Often, it can take half as long - anywhere from three to six months - for a modular home to be constructed compared to a site-built home.

Since modular homes are initially constructed in an indoor facility and aren't exposed to weather conditions such as rain, wind or humidity, there is a considerably lower risk that the home will be damaged during the construction process. In contrast, the materials of a home that's built on-site can be easily damaged by water, wind or other weather-related elements. That weather damage can affect the overall quality of the home before construction is even finished.

It's also worth noting that a modular home can often be a more budget-friendly choice compared to a site-built home. Since there are more variables involved in building on-site, it can be difficult to control the costs. If the project takes longer than expected, it is likely to cost more. If you end up needing to replace materials because they've been damaged by rain or snow, your project cost will also go up.

Additionally, it's important to note that once a modular home is built, it will appreciate just like a site-built home. Since a modular home is attached to a foundation, it's going to be valued like any other type of real property. Depending on how the housing market in your area performs, when it's time to sell your house, you might be able to ask for - and receive - a higher price than what you paid for it.

One additional reason to choose a modular home - you have the option of customizing the house to suit your tastes and meet your needs. Modular homes can be single or multi-story. Specific details of the home, such as the placement or number of windows or whether there are stairs or ramps can be adjusted and designed based on your specifications. You don't have to live in a cookie-cutter house that looks the same as everyone else's if you don't want to.

Styles of Modular Home

Although you do have the option of requesting customization when designing your modular home, the houses are available in several popular styles. Learn more about the six most popular floor plans and styles of modular homes.

1. Colonials      colonial homes

As you might guess from the name, the colonial style dates back to the early days of the American colonies. Many traditional colonial homes are located in New England and are hundreds of years old, with some houses dating back to the 1600s. When people built those early colonial homes, they were modeling them off of the homes they lived in back in Europe, particularly in England.

Colonial homes remain popular today, in part because of their simplicity and in part because they can easily be customized based on a homeowner's taste and preferences. Traditionally, colonial homes were symmetrical. They would have two windows on each floor on each side of a central door, for example. They would often be rectangular or square-shaped.

Modern modular colonial homes don't necessarily have symmetry as a key design feature. What they do have in common with the traditional colonial home styles are:

  • Peaked roofs
  • Chimneys, usually at the end of the roof, but sometimes in the middle
  • No or minimal roof overhang
  • Multiple windows
  • Dormer windows
  • Front door in or near the center of the facade
  • Pillars, though these are not always part of the home

Colonial homes aren't one-size-fits-all. Some homes might have three bedrooms and 1.5 baths. Some models might have five bedrooms and 4.5 baths. The exterior of a modern colonial home might be made from brick, vinyl or a combination of materials, depending on the tastes and budget of the homeowner. Modular colonial homes can also include features you wouldn't find on homes built in the 18th century, such as a garage.

2. Craftsman Ranches

Sometimes called bungalows, traditional Craftsman style homes date to the later part of the 19th century, with many models built in the early part of the 20th century. While you're likely to find colonial homes along the east coast of the U.S., Craftsman ranches or bungalows are much more popular on the west coast. With a modular Craftsman home, you can live on the east coast and still enjoy a style that's commonly found out west.

Craftsman style homes were initially built as part of the Arts and Crafts movement, which came about as a reaction against the Industrial Revolution. The style was also a reaction against Victorian design, which seemed to dictate cramming homes full of stuff.

Modern Craftsman modular homes have several things in common with their early 20th century predecessors. In a modern Craftsman home, you're likely to see:

  • Front porch
  • Low, pitched roof
  • Four columns supporting the roof over the porch
  • Decorative stone
  • Exposed woodwork
  • Front doors with glass windows in the upper portion
  • Double hung windows
  • Dormer windows

Although many modular Craftsman homes are a single story, two-story models are also available. The homes usually have at least three bedrooms and two or more baths.

3. Ranches      ranch houses

The first ranch-style homes started appearing in the U.S. in the 1930s. Today, the style remains popular because of their size and shape. A key feature of most ranch-style houses is that they are a single story. Some early models were built on concrete slabs, but some did have basements or small crawl spaces beneath the central living area of the house.

When they first came out, ranch-style houses were pretty ground-breaking and cutting-edge. They did away with elaborate ornamentation and instead featured a simple, straightforward design. Their roofs were relatively flat, although some did have a slight pitch. The houses didn't have dormer windows or complicated porches. Many did have garages. A large picture window on the front of the house was a standard feature.

Since ranch-style homes tended to be long and flat, they were sometimes called ramblers. Traditional ranch homes often had brick facades, but it's now more common to find ranch-style homes with vinyl fronts.

Although a relatively flat roof was a typical feature on traditional ranch homes, a flat roof isn't ideal in areas that see a fair amount of snow or rain. For that reason, you can choose ranch-style modular homes that have pitched roofs. Modular ranch homes also offer more style and design choices compared to traditional ranch homes. For example, some styles have dormer windows and front porches. A few modular ranch homes also offer two stories instead of just one. Westchester Modular Homes offers ranch-style houses with two or three bedrooms and one or more baths.

4. Capes     

When children are first learning to draw and are asked to draw a house, the style of house they usually create is that of a Cape Cod. With its steep, pitched roof, front door and chimney in the center of the roof, the Cape Cod style is probably what people think of the most when they picture a home. Like colonial homes, the Cape Cod style dates back the early days of the American colonies, around the 1700s. Unlike the Colonial style, the earliest Cape Cods were typically a single story. In fact, the earliest Cape Cods contained just two rooms - the parlor for sleeping and the hall for everything else.

Fortunately, the Capes available today offer a few more options compared to the earliest models. Although many are a single story, some do feature two stories. Some models feature a finished first floor and an unfinished second floor. You also have more size options with today's modular Capes. If you're looking for a "tiny house," you can choose a style that has one bedroom and one bath and an unfinished second story. Other models feature three bedrooms and 2.5 baths, plus a large porch or deck on the exterior.

5. Vacation Homes — Beach Houses and Cabins      vacation homes

If you are looking to build a second home to serve as your vacation home on a lake or by the shore, you can choose a modular home. Modular vacation homes can also be ideal for landlords who want to rent out properties on the beach or by a lake for the summer.

Coastal modular home styles often feature a ground floor that is elevated to reduce the risk of damage during storms. Windows on a coastal home are often designed to withstand strong winds produced by coastal storms.

If you're not a beach person, you can choose a cabin style modular home, such as a chalet. A key feature of a chalet is a tall, cathedral ceiling. Chalets also typically have a rustic look, as their exteriors are made from wood panels with a stone facade. Inspired by ski resorts in the Swiss Alps, chalets often have large windows that let in plenty of natural light. Some models include the option of adding a fireplace if you want to maximize the cozy feel and ski-resort atmosphere of your vacation cabin.

6. Multi-Family and More

Modular homes aren't only meant for residential homeowners. If you are a real-estate investor or are looking to build a multi-family unit to rent out, there are several multi-family modular home styles available. Options include townhouses, duplexes and triplexes. You can also invest in apartment buildings with retail space on the ground floor. Additionally, homes aren't the only type of structure that can benefit from modular construction. Westchester Modular Homes offers designs for light commercial use buildings, such as daycare centers, stores and hotels.

Modular Home Benefits - Smarter, Greener, Faster

benefits of modular

If you're still on the fence about choosing a modular home or other building for your next real estate project, here are three more reasons why modular is the way to go.

  • It's green. Modular is usually much more efficient than building on-site. That increased efficiency typically translates into a reduction in the amount of waste produced during the building process. All told, modular building can reduce waste by at least five percent. During the construction of a 10,000-square-foot building, more than a ton of waste can be saved.
  • It's smart. Doing what you can to reduce delays caused by weather and other factors that are out of your control just makes good business sense. That good sense can also translate into money savings, with 65 percent of companies reporting a drop in construction expenses. More than 40 percent of companies saw a six percent reduction in their budget costs when they used modular building practices.
  • It's fast. You know what they say - time is money. The more time you spend on one project, the less time you have to spend another. Since many modular building projects can be finished in half the time of on-site building projects, you can move on to your next investment or next real estate project more quickly when you go modular. If you're building a house to live in, you can move in and get settled into your new home much more quickly with a modular project.

Contact Westchester Modular Homes, Inc. Today


Your dream home or next real estate project is waiting for you. To learn more about the benefits of modular homes and buildings and to explore your options when it comes to style, contact Westchester Modular Homes, Inc. today. We can discuss your style preferences with you and help you choose the house design and features that will best meet your needs. We can also put you in touch with one of our independent Westchester modular home builders, who can get started preparing the site for your new home while the components of it are being built.