History of the Modular Home

In our previous blog post, we discussed some of the misconceptions around modular homes and loan options. In that post, we briefly went over the difference between manufactured homes and modular homes. We went over why, unlike manufactured homes, modular homes remain a safe option for lenders and are held up to the standards of on-site stick-built homes. To better understand the differences, it’s now time to do a dive into the history of the modular home.

What is a Modular Home?

Modular homes are called such because they are made of sections, or “modules” which are built away from the construction zone and then transported to where they need to be. How these modules are transported impact whether or not they technically qualify as modular homes (but more on that in a minute). Once on site, the installation can begin. As mentioned in previous posts, modular homes can offer a range of benefits, from speedy installation to energy efficiency and value appreciation.


Where did the Modular Home Come From?

Both modular and mobile homes were originally conceived as ways to market more affordable housing to the masses. In the early 20th-century, manufacturers such as Sears Roebuck decided to sell a precursor to modular homes called ‘Kit Houses.’ These were considered a more affordable and interactive way to own a home. Like a piece of IKEA furniture, the pieces and directions were sold as a whole, and then the rest was up to the customer.

After the rise of the assembly line, however, the technology for prefabricated homes really took off. When veterans started to come home from WWII, they were finding a lack of jobs and affordable housing. This drove the demand for manufactured housing. Finally, the advances in assembly line technology along with the beginnings of the Baby Boomer generation caused a rising need for bigger family homes that could accommodate larger appliances and more space. Enter the dawn of the modular home.

Modular Homes Then and Now

Modular homes became better and better as the technology advanced. Computer technology only accelerated the quality of modular homes, allowing for a higher level of planning and precision. Due to all of these advances, the look and feel of modular homes is largely indistinguishable from on-site stick-built homes. The high-level quality of modular homes is also driven by the fact that they are held to higher standards than other manufactured homes. Manufactured homes can have metal under framing and can be transported in such a way that increases the odds of damage. Modular homes, on the other hand, do not come with metal frames and are axle-less, allowing them to be safely transported on a flat-bed truck. Importantly, modular homes are also held up to all relevant local codes and standards.

We’ve come a long way from the ‘kit homes’ of a century ago. Today, modular homes are a fantastic option for those looking for a home or a building. Cannon Homes Inc. is here to help you find the perfect modular home in the Southern Illinois region. Contact us today to find out more!