A Brief History of Modular Homes

Contrary to popular belief, modular homes have been around for over a century.

Some even claim the first modular construction was brought to America from England in the 1600s, but we’ll focus mainly on the 1900s.

Over the past one hundred or so years, home building technology has advanced, allowing us to build homes in various ways.

Manufactured and modular homes are fully constructed in a factory and then transported onto your land or lot. 

Traditional site-built homes significantly differ in that they are constructed on-site from the foundation up.

Modular home construction changes with the trends and uses the latest technology.

Because of this, they’re much more energy-efficient, which in turn, means lower monthly energy costs.

And for the homeowner, that means getting your dream home, while remaining within your budget.

Mojave Series Adventure Homes Model

A Look Back to the Early 1900s

Modular home construction first gained popularity in the early 20th century and growth hasn’t slowed since!  

Between 1910 and 1940, Sears, Roebuck and Co. sold over 500,000 prefabricated homes.

Founder of Baird Mobile Homes, Cliff Baird saw the demand and jumped at the opportunity. 

Baird Mobile Homes was born in 1947 and has been providing quality homes ever since.

The Post World War II Building Boom

Modular home construction exploded and greatly evolved at the end of World War II.

Veterans returned home after the war looking to embrace the American Dream of starting a family and becoming a homeowner.

The demand for inventory was so great that traditional home builders couldn’t keep up. 

This led people to look for more efficient, lower-cost alternatives outside of traditional construction.

Because of the increase in demand, manufacturers did double time to make their craft more efficient and effective. 

This not only sped up construction time but led to homes that were safer, larger, and more customizable.

What people found was that modular homes are often more affordable than site-built homes as their shorter build time will save money on construction costs.

The Evolution of Modular Construction

The last twenty years or so, we have seen tremendous evolution in modular home construction.

Unlike a traditionally site-built home, which require inspections throughout the construction process, modular home inspections are typically done in the factory before they ship, with a final on-site inspection to assure that all finished work was safely completed to code. 

Modular homes are constructed to the same code as site-built homes with requirements set forth by state and local government. 

The primary difference between the two is that manufactured home requirements are implemented in a controlled factory.

Overhead cranes that have a lift capacity of 100 tons or more have allowed for the construction of larger home modules which can then be shipped cross-country. 

The only limitation is the size of each individual module due to the width of the road from the factory to the building site. 

Today, a typical modular home can consist of anywhere from 2 to 6 modules.

As the size of homes has increased since the 1980s, the customization options for modular construction have kept pace. 

Now you can find models ranging from 500 to 2400 square feet with a variety of cosmetic options to fit various tastes and styles.

If you’re interested in learning more about modular homes and where they’re at today, check out this post!

Have Questions About Modular Homes?

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