Modular vs. Traditional – which is the more cost-effective way to build?
By Bob Schieler
It’s an ongoing debate in the construction industry – is modular construction actually more cost-effective than traditional construction? The answer is yes – if you are working with the right modular builder for your project. Every construction project is different, but at Homeway Commercial, our approach to modular building can be adapted to fit almost any commercial project.
There are a lot of factors that come into play when defining the overall costs of modular building. But the most important one is to have a preconstruction team that understands the modular process from start to finish. It’s also critical that the company has the right type of factory for the product you are building.
Our construction facility was built specifically for the needs of modern commercial construction. Our workflow and custom-made jigs allow us to build efficiently and cost effectively. This results in substantial saving in construction time, costs, and faster occupancy compared to traditional construction.
It’s well known that modular’s success comes from repeatability of construction. This results in greater cost savings on initial design which, when applied properly, means there is little need for any redesign and saves on hard costs. Because we have been building for decades, we have refined the design process and duplicate building systems whenever possible.
One of the key element of modular’s success is speed of construction – up to 40% quicker than traditional, site-built construction. This means the general contractor can reduce the line items associated with general construction, interest costs, and other contingencies 40% faster. Additionally, this allows the owner to receive rental income 40% sooner, with the profits going directly to the bottom line.
There are other cost savings over the construction process which might not be obvious up front. That’s where modular has another advantage over traditional building.
“The big savings in modulars comes back to having a general contractor who understands modular and communicate with the factory and shop drawings,” said Audree Grubesic, Owner of Modular Construction Consultant. “They all have to work together at beginning and that will lead to savings when you’re finishing the project.”
While modular requires transportation and setting, the costs are offset by the overall efficiency of the project – but only if you are working with an experienced team like Homeway Commercial.
Because we fully understand the scope of work that goes into modular building, there are no surprise costs or delays, Transportation and setting costs are built into the process from day one.
“There are so many people that are naysayers about modular because of stories they’ve heard, but I’ve seen plenty of bad examples of traditional construction,” said Grubesic. “What’s great about Homeway Commercial is that they’ve nearly perfected the process. They really are experts who can help you through the process.”
Sometimes the cost of modular and traditional are almost identical, but the savings will come due to the fact that a 24-month traditional construction can oftentimes be completed in just 14 months with modular. And we all know time is money.