An affordable, custom home combines modular units with on-site construction, shedding light on the strengths and weaknesses of factory-built homes.
Synopsis: With their cookie-cutter approach to construction and limited options for windows, cabinets, and millwork, modular homes rarely illustrate thoughtful design and careful craftsmanship. But associate editor Chris Ermides writes about a “hybrid” house that combines the best features of modular construction — such as less waste, less exposure to the elements, and better control over costs — with on-site construction. This house, in Durham, N.C., is one example of an effort by custom-home builders to capitalize on the modular model without sacrificing design and construction integrity. It was built from three modules delivered by truck and stitched together on site with a roof and two walls.
It isn’t often that the term modular is used to describe a custom-built home. And why would it? Modular homes are designed from stock plans and made of factory-built modules finished with limited options for windows, cabinets, and millwork. What’s more, they rarely illustrate…