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How to Prepare you Lot for a Modular Home

December 28, 2023

Prospective homeowners choose modular homes instead of traditional houses for a variety of reasons. You might have already heard that "modular means more," but what does that mean?

  1. Modular homes are more resilient than HUD code and IRC site-built homes
  2. Modular homes are constructed in offsite factory settings; their production is under strict quality control regulations
  3. Modular homes are eco-friendly-- they minimize construction waste

With a little research, it quickly becomes clear that modular homes present an ideal solution to lots of common home-buying problems.

I've decided I want a prefab house. What now?

One of the most crucial steps of bringing a prefab house onto your property involves preparing that property. There are several steps that property owners should take before moving a prefab house on-site.

The Quick Guide to Prepping Your Property for a Modular House
Lot Location

Let's address the basics of lot location before we bother going much further. If you have the luxury of selecting a property with the knowledge that you want a prefabricated home, make sure you consider:

  • The route to the site (which can occasionally make delivery tricky)
  • Easements, deed restrictions, or other legal factors that restrict your ability to build a prefabricated home on-site
  • Lot price (you'll need enough left over to actually purchase your home)
Home Location

Your home will obviously go in a specific space on your property. Some factors to consider outside of the obvious (like how far back you want to be from the street or which direction you want the house to face) include:

  • Slopes
  • Trees
  • Open spaces
  • Streams
  • Driveways
The Clearing, Leveling, Trenching, and General Digging Phase

We like to joke and call it the general digging phase because that's what it's about-- clearing stuff out and digging new spaces.

Some lots need to be cleared of trees before a prefabricated home can be moved in. Others need work to move away rocks and logs or trim down heavy brush.

You'll also need to work with some industry experts to:

  • Excavate a hole (for the home's foundation)
    This process varies considerably from home to home, so you need to work with a professional to help keep your property safe
    Some lots require expensive and dangerous work; some don't
  • Excavate in order to connect to a well and septic system or municipal sewer and water lines
  • Create optimal grades on the lot to cut down on water risk
Handle Sewer and Water

In some cases, homebuyers get lucky and score lots that already have municipal sewer and water lines available. Some only have one. Most have none.

This step is, by far, the one that homebuyers underestimate the most. It can take quite a bite of time, money, and effort to hook up to public water and sewer.

You'll also need to install a private septic system if you don't have access to public sewage services. If you need to drill a well, it can be difficult to predict exactly how far even an experienced driller will need to go.

None of these things needs to be a problem in your prefabricated home buying journey; but it's important to plan for them and understand that, sometimes, the process is slow.

Your Chosen Modular Home Builder Can (and Will) Help

The best thing a modular homebuyer can do to prepare their property is contact their chosen modular home builder. The modular home builder can help ensure that the property is prepared for its unique approach to home delivery. This way, everything comes together and the property is ready for the actual construction team that will be on it.