A Des Moines Custom Home Builder Blog

Why Should I Consider a Customized Modular Home?

Posted by Don Brill on November 01, 2016

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When you think of a modular home, what comes to mind? If you immediately envision a cheap, poorly built structure, you’re not alone—but you’re wrong! You may be confusing “modular” homes with “manufactured” homes. Modular homes have been popular since the early 20th century; Sears Roebuck Co. sold over 500,000 pre-fabricated homes between 1910 and the 1940s. Many of the modular homes from the post-WWII building boom are still inhabited today.

This article belongs to the Construction Process Series  

Modular and manufactured homes are not the same!

Manufactured homes are not placed on permanent foundations, which is why they are sometimes referred to as “mobile” homes. Describing a structure as a modular home, on the other hand, is just an explanation of how the home was originally built. Rather than being fully constructed on-site at the property it will inhabit, a modular building is constructed indoors in a warehouse. Depending on the size and complexity of the final building, it is usually constructed in multiple pieces, like building blocks. These finished pieces are then transported to your property, where they are professionally installed and assembled by a builder on a permanent foundation. Modular homes are also called factory-built, system-built, or prefab (short for prefabricated) homes.

Today’s modular home concepts are a great way to affordably and efficiently make your dreams of owning a high-quality, custom finished home come true. Stratford Homes has been building exceptional quality custom modular homes since 1973, and Homes by Brill is excited to become an official Stratford partner in the Des Moines, Iowa, area. So how do today’s Stratford modular homes compare to an on-site custom home build?


Speed of Construction 

One of the biggest advantages of modular homes is that they can be done from start to finish in 60 days! That’s just two months from beginning the design process to stepping through the front door of your family’s new home. If you need a new home quickly, a customized modular home is a fantastic choice.

Designing and building a custom home is probably faster than you think, though! From getting ideas to getting your keys, the custom home build process can take as little as six months.



Stratford’s mission is to deliver quality and savings to each homebuilder by using construction efficiency. Building modular homes in-house at their factory locations allows them to control costs, prevent delays and extra expenses due to unexpected or uncontrollable factors, order and store materials in bulk to take advantage of quantity discounts, use assembly-line construction methods, retain full-time professional employees, and more. Plus, a faster home build means less time that homebuilders are carrying the cost of two residences.

The costs of an on-site custom home build can spiral out of control if they’re not effectively managed by a professional, experienced build team. Make sure you engage a builder that works with you through the whole design-build process and has long-term relationships with suppliers, contractors, and tradespeople to keep your construction on schedule and on budget. Making prudent choices and planning ahead in the construction process can prevent costly overages and unexpected expenditures.


Build Flexibility

Because modular homes are built inside a factory/warehouse location, the weather or time of year is never a factor. There’s no worry about a shortage of capable, skilled construction workers or tradespeople; no need to avoid the rainy or snowy months; no concern for impending or threatened storms; no difficulty in finding local suppliers of products.

Iowa weather can be unpredictable and sometimes frustrating, but an experienced custom home builder will be able to plan your build any time of the year. While it’s more cost effective and expedient to build in the summer months, a skilled build team can build your custom home any time you’re ready to get started.  



You have as many choices when building a modular home as you do when designing a site-built home! Check out Stratford’s gallery of suggestions and floor plans for some design inspirations. You can choose from one of Stratford Homes’ 60 home plans and designs off-the-rack, or you can modify any of the designs to create your ideal home. You’ll get to work with an architect and design team to customize your home to exactly the floor plan and style that fits your family—multi-level or ranch, contemporary or traditional, and so much more.

Designing your own fully custom home allows you to choose the layout, floor plans, and styles that work perfectly for your needs and lifestyle. An experienced custom home build team like Homes by Brill will help you find home design resources that inspire you (including our gallery of custom-built homes) and connect you with professional designers and architects that will bring your ideas to life.



Each Stratford modular home offers superior value, attractive styling, comfortable living space, and energy efficiency. The company has built nearly 11,000 customized modular buildings throughout the Midwest and parts of Canada, each one carefully crafted for its customers using the latest knowledge, methods, and materials.

The quality of your finished modular home, however, is highly dependent on having a skilled, professional builder to manage the construction process. Your builder will make sure that the detailed finish work is done to the highest standards and that the craftsmanship of your construction is top notch. Homes by Brill will ensure that your Stratford Home is constructed and finished to the same exacting standards as a fully custom home.

Building a quality custom home depends on having an experienced, skilled, professional team of designers, architects, tradespeople, and craftspeople working together effectively. It’s also vital that your team uses the best quality materials from reputable suppliers. Engaging a design and build team you can trust is essential to ensuring that your new custom home is the highest quality for your family.

Homes by Brill has the experience, reputation, and supplier relationships you need to ensure that your Des Moines custom home is built to the highest quality standards.


Whether you choose a customized modular home or a fully custom designed home, Homes by Brill will be responsible for overseeing and managing the entire construction process, including coordinating the on-site aspects of the home building experience, such as permits, excavation, foundation, finish carpentry, HVAC, and garage construction.

We’ll also work with you to find land in the Des Moines metro and surrounding rural areas and arrange financing. If you are ready to start the process of building your own custom home and want to learn more about what Stratford has to offer, or if you want to custom design your new home, contact Homes by Brill home builders in Urbandale, Iowa. We want to help you design and build the perfect home for your family.


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Topics: Home Construction Process