How Much Does It Cost to Build a Modular Home?
$180,000 - $360,000
$180,000 - $360,000
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Updated May 19, 2022Reviewed by Cati O'Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor.
Building a modular home costs $100 to $200 per square foot plus the cost of land and any additional fees. An 1,800-square-foot modular home typically costs between $180,000 and $360,000 or $270,000 on average. By comparison, the cost to build a custom home runs from $350,000 to more than $1 million.
|Freight||$5,000 - $15,000|
|Land Preparation||$1,250 - $4,000|
|Foundation||$4,000 - $13,000|
|Installation||$25,000 - $50,000|
|Utility construction||$3,000 - $20,000|
|Taxes||$5,000 - $10,000|
|Permits & Fees||$500 - $5,000|
|Additions (Decks, Garages)||$7,500 - $50,000|
|Sub-Total||$51,250 - $167,000|
|1,800 square-foot model||$72,000 - $144,000|
|Total||$123,500 - $311,000|
A modular home that is 1,800 square feet will cost about $72,000 to $144,000 for the materials alone without any customization, such as flooring or siding upgrades. The base model's price is the largest single expense of the total cost for a finished home. However, when looking at base prices for these units, keep in mind that it is only one part of the total expense.
Home buyers pay about $40 to $80 per square foot for the base price of a modular home. When you request a quote from a builder, you need to confirm what the total includes. The base price covers the cost of the section but not customization, delivery, or installation.
|Square Footage||Base Model Costs*||Total Finished Cost with Installation|
|1||$40 - $80||$100 - $200|
|1,000||$40,000 - $80,000||$100,000 - $200,000|
|1,500||Base: $60,000 - $120,000||$150,000 - $300,000|
|2,000||Base: $80,000 - $160,000||$200,000 - $400,000|
*Add an additional $10 to $40 per square foot if you plan to customize your home.
|Home Type (Square Footage)||Average Cost|
|2 Bedroom/1 Bathroom (1,000)||$40,000 - $80,000|
|3 Bedroom/2 Bathroom (1,500)||$60,000 - $120,000|
|1-Story Ranch (1,600)||$64,000 - $128,000|
|3 Bedroom/3 Bathroom (1,700)||$68,000 - $136,000|
|2-Story (2,100)||$84,000 - $168,000|
|4 Bedroom/3 Bathroom (2,200)||$88,000 - $176,000|
|5 Bedroom/3 Bathroom (2,600)||$104,000 - $208,000|
Paying for a base-model home kit can cost as low as $30 per square foot, but typically ranges from $40 to $80 per square foot. Some builders are willing to sell and deliver a pre-built house to a homeowner who will complete the rest of the work. Others arrange the construction and finishing through their own subcontractors. Decide which approach you prefer before talking to builders to make sure you are contracting with a partner who is aligned with your goals.
Transporting the sections from the warehouse to the property costs about $5 per square foot. Delivery charges often relate to the number of sections for the home. Floorplans under about 1,200 square feet may be built as one unit. Larger houses usually come in multiple shipments.
Modular homes can be more than a single story. In fact, many modular homes cover three stories in high-population locations where home footprint space is at a premium. The main difference, aside from cost, is that larger, multi-story homes are delivered and constructed in pieces rather than as single or two-piece units.
The more units that the contractors have to assemble on-site, the more time it takes—adding up to higher costs.
A single-story, prefabricated modular home costs an average of $76,500, but could cost anywhere from $40,000 to $113,000 for a home of between 800 and 1,500 square feet. For a single-story custom modular home, expect to pay around $186,000. Costs for this type of home could run from $96,000 to $276,000.
While it's true that you can build larger homes over a single story, beyond 1,500 square feet, it becomes significantly more expensive than adding a second story. The foundation and the cost of the roof are the two most expensive elements of a modular home build.
For a two-story prefab modular home, you'll typically pay approximately $131,500. Costs for this type of home could run from $75,000 to $188,000 for a home of between 1,500 and 2,500 square feet. A custom modular home of the same size costs around $377,500. You may pay as little as $180,000 or as much as $575,000.
Two-story modular homes are the most common type. Their larger overall square footage with a comparatively small roof and foundation make them cost-effective and suitable for large families. There's more room for bedrooms above and family space, an office, or a large kitchen downstairs. Even with the extra space and potential additions, homeowners can make significant savings because of the reduced costs of the foundation and roof size.
Prefab modular homes of three stories cost around $206,500. For a 2,000 to 3,500 square feet home, you could pay anywhere from $150,000 to $263,000. A custom modular home of this size and type costs $587,500 but can run from $375,000 to $800,000.
Three-story modular homes are less common due to the complexity and logistics of transporting and constructing the pieces. They're most commonly chosen where the footprint has to be small, but the homeowner still needs a lot of square footage, such as when building a large family home in a city or somewhere with a comparatively small lot.
These homes cost more per square foot than one- and two-story models because they're more challenging and time-consuming to deliver, construct, and finish.
Just like stick-built homes, modular properties can have anywhere from one to five bedrooms (or more). The larger the home and the more bedrooms it has, the longer it takes to finish, the more space it takes up, and the more it costs. Take a look at the typical costs of prefab and custom modular homes by the number of bedrooms.
|Number of Bedrooms||Typical Prefab Modular Home Cost (All-in)||Typical Custom Modular Home Cost (All-in)|
|1 Bedroom||$40,000 – $75,000||$96,000 – $230,000|
|2 Bedrooms||$50,000 – $90,000||$120,000 – $276,000|
|3 Bedrooms||$75,000 – $150,000||$180,000 – $460,000|
|4 Bedrooms||$150,000 – $188,000||$300,000 – $575,000|
|5 Bedrooms||$188,000 – $263,000||$375,000 – $805,000|
A one-bedroom prefab modular home of between 800 and 1,000 square feet costs around $57,500, while a custom model of the same size typically costs $163,000. A small prefab using budget materials and finishes with no extras can cost as little as $40,000. However, a custom property of the larger end of the range that uses high-end materials has a top-quality finish, and plenty of extras can run you up to $230,000.
Two-bedroom, prefab modular homes cost, on average, $70,000, assuming a size of between 1,000 and 1,200 square feet. These can be built over one or two stories and can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000. A custom home of the same size costs an average of $198,000 and could run you from $120,000 to $276,000.
A prefab modular home with three or more bedrooms costs an average of $169,000. A budget-friendly three-bedroom, two-story home can cost as little as $75,000, while a high-end, five-bedroom luxury prefab can cost up to $263,000. Custom homes of the same size cost an average of $500,000. For these homes, a three-bedroom, budget property could set you back $180,000, while a luxury five-bedroom may be priced at $800,000.
Modular homes are available in almost any design or architectural style, just like stick-built homes. The cost per square foot is similar, regardless of design style. The biggest influences on cost based on home type is the typical square footage and the number of stories. For example, per square foot, the cost to build a tiny home is similar to that of a two-story duplex. The difference is the size of the duplex in comparison to the tiny home.
Take a look at the typical costs associated with some of the most popular modular home design types.
|Type of Modular Home||Prefab Average Range (All-in)||Prefab Average Cost (All-in)|
|Tiny Home||$20,000 – $50,000||$35,000|
|Townhouse||$45,000 – $113,000||$79,000|
|Cottage||$50,000 – $150,000||$100,000|
|Log Cabin||$25,000 – $250,000||$138,000|
|Duplex||$90,000 – $225,000||$158,000|
In addition to the cost to purchase the modular home, you’ll pay about $52,000 to $167,000 to have it delivered and installed. The wide range accounts for variations in the land and the size of the home. Generally, the company providing the structure prefers to handle all of these tasks, giving you one grand total for the finished home. This estimate from an experienced builder should be highly accurate.
Consult the sales contract for procedures concerning delays or damage prior to completion as they may differ between companies. Problems that come up after you take ownership will be a matter of warranty coverage.
Some factors and additional fees that may impact your final cost include:
Clearing land costs about $3,200. This involves removing trees, plants or rocks, leveling the ground, and establishing the proper grade.
Installing a foundation costs about $8,500 on average. A monolithic slab costs the least while a basement foundation can reach as high as $44,500, depending on the size.
Running a natural gas line costs $550 per line.
Installing a sewer main costs $2,900 on average.
Adding a water main costs around $1,600.
Wiring for electricity costs about $1,400.
Adding a fence costs around $3,000.
Landscaping your home costs on average $3,200.
Adding a pool costs about $33,000, depending on the type of pool.
Depending on the model you select, you may want to opt for some customizations or add-ons. Common options include:
Building a two-car garage costs: $28,000
Installing a deck costs: $7,800
Build a basement: $24,000–$44,500
Constructing a shed costs: $2,500
Additional cost factors may vary depending on your local ordinances and options. When planning your budget, be sure to consider:
Permits and fees
Regional size and design differences
The cost of permits and fees ranges from $500 to $5,000. The permits required for preparing the land and installation usually cost the most. Some municipalities may require impact fees for parks, roads or schools. Homeowners may need to obtain permission for:
Construction of additional features
Ask your contractor which permits you need or consult your city's building department.
Although prices per square foot tend to be fairly standard nationwide, homeowners may notice regional differences in the size and design of homes available. Companies located in areas with bigger lot sizes may offer modular homes with larger footprints, particularly one-story ranch styles. Home manufacturers that serve urban clientele will most likely have a suite of compact two- and three-story designs that are appropriate for narrow lots.
Homeowners may need to pay sales tax on the modular home components, which average about $5,000 to $10,000. Taxes are usually specific to the state but may also vary by city. The manufacturer of your modular home should be able to answer sales tax questions or contact your local tax office.
"If you find custom changes push you over budget, ask your builder to steer you toward a plan that meets your needs. You shouldn't be reworking large portions of the floor plan. Use your dollars for details like bumpouts or window placement changes."
Cati O'Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor.
For a custom modular house, you should plan to pay at least $200,000 to $400,000. Many builders are willing to customize a design beyond finishes like flooring or countertops. Some are able to adapt an existing design or even create a brand-new design. When choosing your modular home builder, ask about the level of design customization offered. If you add a lot of customization, be prepared to exceed the average price per square foot quoted here.
|Style||Price Per Square Foot||Pros & Cons|
|Modular||$100 - $200|
|Custom||$100 - $400|
Manufactured homes cost around $40 to $50 per square foot compared to $40 to $80 per square foot for modular home construction. The two types may look similar, especially for smaller sizes, but they have one main difference: Manufactured homes are built on a chassis to the national HUD standard. They are considered a vehicle for tax and zoning purposes and can be relocated. In contrast, modular homes are installed on a permanent foundation.
A two-story prefab home ranges from $84,000 to $168,000. Builders suggest separate floors for multiple generations living in a single house. Homeowners can also consider paying an additional $18,000 to $30,000 to install a walkout basement with a separate entrance to give those living in the basement easier and private access outdoors.
Yes. According to the Appraisal Institute, modular homes and stick-built homes are appraised and valued using the same metrics. Modular homes have risen in quality in the past few decades, offering many features buyers want, such as:
Quality exterior materials
9-foot and greater ceiling height
Open floor plans
If you are thinking about buying new construction, going with this type of house may help you save some money and finish the building process more quickly.
It takes about 4 to 6 weeks to complete the modular home from the time the sections are delivered to the final walk-through. Builders often quote around 4 to 6 months from the moment they receive a signed contract to a finished installation. However, materials shortages, shipping delays, and other errors may push out the timeframe. Be sure to keep in routine communication with your builder.
Available in the United States
Variety of options from $75,000–$150,000 as a base price
Contact the company directly for warranty information
Available in the United States and Western Canada
Finished price of $90–$140 per square foot
Tiny homes, 1- and 2-story
Between 400 and 2,700 square feet
Features 7-year factory warranty
Available in Southern Illinois
Finished price of $120–$180 per square foot
Customizes to suit any design
Features 1-year warranty on construction
Available in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas
Base: $65–$85 per square foot
Provides a 7-year warranty on structure and appliances
Available in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky
Finished price of $75–$100 per square foot
1- and 2-story houses
Homes between 1,400 and 2,800 square feet
Available in Maine and Atlantic Canada
Finished price of $120–$175 per square foot
Tiny homes, 1- and 2-story
Homes between 200 and 2,500 square feet