Small Modular Homes Basic Knowledge 101

A modular home is a home that is primarily build section by section (or in ‘modules’) in a factory setting, where it is sheltered from bad weather conditions and away from the future site of its foundation. After the initial modular home is completed, it is transported to the property, placed on a foundation, and then finally finished by a builder.

Modular homes, unlike mobile homes, can be customizable depending on the construction codes of your area and your personal wants or needs for your home. Modular home designers can add, remove or alter the design of the home before it is sent through the factory to be building. In fact, with the right design, modular homes can be indistinguishable from regular homes.

small modular home

Many people choose modular homes because they are often less expensive than many traditional homes, but are more ‘traditional’ in size and appearance than less expensive mobile homes; modular homes can also be completed much faster than homes which are built outdoors, on-site. Most modular homes can be completed in just a matter of weeks, as opposed to the months—or even years—required for a traditional home built on-site.

What are the basic modules for a small modular home?

Small modular homes are typically comprised of basic modules, which are also known as the “essential” modules. The four basic modules typically available are: kitchens, living/dining room combinations, bedrooms, and bathrooms. The floor plans available for these modules will vary from company to company.

kitchen in small modular home

Typically, however, kitchens will include basic appliances: stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators, and microwaves; as well as storage cabinets and counter space.

small modular home living room

Living room/dining room combinations usually have an open floor design, but will have enough space for a dining room table as well as some basic living room furniture; room for at least one sofa, entertainment center, and small table is provided.

bedroom in small modular home

Bedrooms can vary, but their modules will almost always include closet space and occasionally some built-in storage space, such as built-in cabinets or shelving.

bathroom in modular home

Bathrooms in modular homes are very similar to bathrooms in traditional homes. Unless the homeowner wants something unusual, bathroom modules will always include a sink, a bathtub/shower combination, a toilet, a wall mirror, and some storage space.

How to choose modular homes design?

Choosing the design of your modular home can be difficult, especially since there are many different designs available, endless customizations or special requests to consider, and a number of different factors which can affect what you are looking for. Typically, however, there are five different factors you need to consider when you are choosing the design of your modular home.

The size of the modular home is the biggest factor in determining the price; homes with fewer modules will naturally have a lower price than a home with many different modules. Before you pick the size of your future home, remember to consider the following questions. How big do you want your modular home? How big can your home be, if the area you will be moving it to has certain regulations? You will also want to consider the size of your home as it pertains do the future—do you anticipate starting a family, or adding to your family? Do you frequently entertain a large number of guests? What types of rooms do you need in addition to basic modules—an exercise room? Work room? Storage room? Can any of these rooms be ‘doubled’ to save space and money?—i.e., a guest room can also be used to store workout equipment.

traditional one floor small modular home

Floor Plan Type
You can also choose your module home based on different types of floor plans. You may want an open, modern style floor plan–or a more traditional floor plan with more closed rooms. You could even find modular homes with a combination of different floor plan types! There are an endless number of modular home floor plans, and many of them can even be customized even further to suit your particular needs. When in doubt, ask the company you are ordering the modular home from exactly what types of customizations, extras or changes are available for each floor plan. Some companies may be more willing, and more experienced, with these types of floor plan alterations than others; make sure that the company you’re using isn’t just open to customization, but experienced with it.

two stories small modular home

Contrary to popular perception, not all modular homes look exactly alike! Modular homes can come in just about any design style, from a traditional-looking mid-century brick house to a very contemporary circular home or even in a classic Victorian-style house, and everything in between. However, not all modular home companies can provide unusual or complex styles–always do plenty of research to find a company that can fulfil your needs.

Number of Bedrooms
One of the best parts about modular homes is that you can add as many bedrooms as you would like to your floor plan or home design. This is especially beneficial if you have a larger family, or plan to expand your family in the future—or even if you simply enjoy inviting over guests. Guest bedrooms are particularly popular modular home additions, because they come in handy during many different situations. Most modular plans offer standard, small, and master bedrooms.

multi bedrooms small modular house

Number of Bathrooms
You can also add as many bathrooms as you need or want to your modular home floor plan design. The number of bathrooms you have a home is usually up to personal preference—you may want one bathroom per person in order to ensure privacy and reduce bathroom related conflict (especially among children and siblings!) or you may simply want to make sure you have a “family/resident” bathroom and a “guest” bathroom. You can even choose between different types of bathrooms in modular homes! You may want a simple bathroom with only the bare necessities for your guests, while you would rather enjoy a ‘master suite’ style bathroom with a large tub, double sinks, and so on.


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