Modular vs Stick-Built Homes: Which is Better?

New Jersey custom home builder stick build traditional homes

When it comes time to build a new home in New Jersey, you have to make a lot of choices including location, style and materials. One of the biggest decisions you will have to make is whether to go with a stick build home or modular home. There are advantages and disadvantages to consider with both options, and it can be difficult to decide which is the best fit for your family. In this article, we will discuss the things you need to think about when choosing between a stick-build home or modular home.

Potential customers often ask us “What is the difference between a stick built and a modular home?” It’s an important distinction to make.

MSC Enterprises, LLC is a proud and dedicated stick builder. This enables us to incorporate the limitless customization choices and advantages that come with this type of tried-and-true structure.

For Sale! New Construction, Stick Built Custom Home at 2 Carmine Way in Howell, New Jersey. View This Listing

Request An Appointment to See This Home

But it’s not enough to say we’re proud stick builders and extol the benefits – we are one of the Jersey Shore’s best custom house builders, we believe it’s important to provide potential clients with a basic understanding of the numerous types of custom home construction alternatives accessible to them.

Let’s take a look at the differences and similarities, starting with the fundamentals of home construction.

What is a Stick Built Home?

A stick-built home is a traditional home that is built on site. They are permanently attached to their foundations. The home is constructed from the ground up, starting with the foundation. Once the foundation is in place, framing is done and then the exterior and interior of the home are finished.

The terms “stick built,” “traditional,” “site-built,” and “conventionally framed” all refer to the same construction method. While the term “stick constructed” may sound juvenile, it refers to the method of constructing a home’s structure on site using only basic lumber and nails. Construction workers assemble the home board by board (or “stick by stick”) from the foundation up, starting with a frame and progressing onward until the home is ready for move-in, according to the home building industry. This is the most traditional method for building a home, and it is the approach used by MSC Enterprises to construct all of our custom homes.

What is a Modular Home?

Modular construction homes are homes that are built in a factory setting, then transported and assembled on the home site. These homes are also known as prefabricated homes or factory-built homes. The modular home building process begins with constructing individual modules in a controlled environment. These modules are then transported to the building site and assembled into a complete home. Manufactured homes go as far back as World War II! They became popular when American troops arrived home and needed affordable housing. One thing of note is that modular homes are not the same things as mobile homes.

Can a Modular Home be Built Faster?

One of the biggest advantages of modular sometimes referred to as manufactured homes are that they can be built much faster than stick-built homes. Because the modular homes are built off-site in a controlled environment, there are fewer weather-related delays.

Because of their assembly line methods and off-site gear, modular homes can often be erected faster because most of the pieces are already prepared or can be prepared rapidly. In addition, because the construction of modular homes is done in a factory setting, there is greater efficiency and less waste.

Is a Modular House the Same Quality as a Stick-Built Home?

A modular home is just as high quality as a stick-built home. In fact, many modular homes tend to be better in quality because they are built in a controlled environment by specially trained modular home builders.

Modular homes are also more energy efficient because they are built with tighter construction standards.

When determining the cost of your custom home, check to see if the foundation costs are included in your estimate. We always include the foundation, excavation, supplies, and positive grade in our cost at MSC Enterprises, so you can rest assured there will be no surprises.

New Jersey construction home builder specializing in stick built traditional construction luxury custom homes

Stick-built houses are the most adaptable and hold their worth the best over time. Stick-built homes are built on-site, and the personalization options are nearly limitless.

Permanent Foundation and Location of Modular Homes Versus Stick Built

When deciding between stick built or modular you have to address the property you’ll be building on. It’s crucial to assess the viability of each home style in the context of the construction site. While stick-built homes can be built on virtually any plot of land, not all home sites have access to modular delivery due to the equipment and space required to complete the process. Be sure to check with your town to see if there are any limits on modular homes before making your selection. For example, due to material supply chain shortages or limitations, certain parts of New Jersey may restrict the sort of modular floor plan (single story) that can be built or prevent particular size specifications.

What’s cheaper modular or stick built?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the cost of materials and labor in your area, the square foot and complexity of the modular home you choose, and the type of foundation you use.

Stick-built homes don’t always win in the decision-making process. Since modular homes are often produced in bulk and shipped to consumers throughout the country, they are typically less expensive than stick-built homes.

The price of moving the modules to your building site, however, may have an inverse effect on your bottom line, depending on where the modules or pre-engineered pieces are being built and delivered from. Other critical features, such as stairwell stairs and utility hookups, are sometimes not included in the modular home’s base price. When working with a custom house builder or even a general contractor, on the other hand, all of these elements are estimated in advance, providing you a clear view of the ultimate asking price as soon as feasible.

In general, modular homes are less expensive than stick-built homes because they are built in a factory setting using standardized materials and construction methods. This allows for more efficient use of resources and labor, which reduces the overall cost of the home.

Comparing the cost of modular homes to stick-built homes.

First, it is important to remember that the price of a modular home includes both the cost of the materials and the cost of assembly. In most cases, the cost of assembly is lower for modular homes than it is for stick-built homes. This is because the modular construction process is in a factory setting using standardized materials, methods and trained construction workers. This allows for more efficient use of resources and labor, which reduces the overall cost of the home.

Second, the price of a modular home does not include the cost of land or site preparation. In most cases, you will need to purchase land or prepare a site before you can install a modular home. The cost of land and site preparation can vary significantly depending on the location of your property and the type of foundation you choose.

Third, the price of a modular home includes delivery and installation costs. In most cases, these costs are lower for modular homes than they are for stick-built homes. This is because modular homes are built in a factory setting and then delivered to the site where they are assembled. The assembly process is typically much quicker and easier for modular homes than it is for stick-built homes, which reduces the overall cost of the home.

Finally, it is important to remember that the price of a modular home does not include the cost of finishes or upgrades. In most cases, you will need to purchase these items separately from the modular home itself. The cost of finishes and upgrades can vary significantly depending on your personal preferences and the type of modular home you choose.

When deciding between a modular home and a custom home, the customization ability of both is likely to be a major consideration. Nothing beats working with a custom home builder from start to finish to ensure that your vision doesn’t turn into THEIR vision when it comes to creating a home that’s individually fitted to your family’s personal lifestyle.

Is Financing Different for a Stick-Built vs Modular Home?

The short answer is yes, financing a stick-built home is different than financing a modular home. The main difference is in the construction loan. A New Jersey construction loan for a stick-built home typically requires a larger down payment than a construction loan for a modular home.

Another difference is that banks may require a higher credit score for borrowers seeking to finance a stick-built home as they can be riskier for lenders. With a modular home, the borrower has the option to put down less money and still get financing.

Talk to a loan officer at your local bank or credit union to see what financing options are available to you. You can also visit the website of the National Association of Realtors® for more information on financing a new home.


  • National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Website – Financing a New Home: Construction Loans 101 (n.d.) Retrieved from:
  • (Burch, 2017) Should You Get a Modular or Stick Built House? Pros & Cons Compared. Retrieved from:

Is Home Insurance More Expensive for Modular Homes?

It’s a common question among modular homeowners: is New Jersey home insurance more expensive for modular homes? The truth is, it can be. But there are a few factors that play into how much you’ll pay for your policy.

Modular homes are typically built in a factory setting, which means they’re often not subject to the same building codes as traditional site-built homes. This can make it difficult to find an insurer who’s willing to cover them. And even if you do find one, you may have to pay a higher premium.

Another factor that can affect your rates is the location of your modular home. If it’s in an area prone to natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes, your rates will likely be higher than if it were in a more stable region.

But it’s not all bad news. There are some things you can do to keep your rates down. One is to make sure your home is up to code. Another is to shop around and compare rates from different insurers.

Do Stick-Built Homes Last Longer than Modular Houses?

The debate between modular and stick-built homes in New Jersey is one that has been around for many years. There are pros and cons to each type of home, but one of the most common questions is: do stick-built homes last longer than modular houses?

Many factors that can affect the lifespan of a home, including the quality of materials used, the climate, and the maintenance schedule. However, we can take a look at some of the pros and cons of each type of home to get a better understanding of how they might compare in terms of longevity.

Stick-built homes have been around for centuries, so we have a good idea of their long-term durability. They are typically made with high-quality materials that can withstand the elements, and they are built to last.

To begin, we frame our interior walls 16 inches on center at MSC Enterprises, whereas many modular homes are framed 24 inches on center. This is a term used in the construction business to describe how far apart the timber beams used for framing are spaced. It implies that a home built by MSC is more structurally sound, offering you more options for features like big windows, French doors, and storage. The stronger the build is, logically, the closer together the beams are spaced.

Modular homes, on the other hand, are a relatively new technology. While they are usually made with high-quality materials as well, there is less data available on their long-term durability.

Since modular homes are put together quickly, there is less time for inspectors to check for quality control issues. This can lead to problems down the road, such as leaks or structural issues. And, although there are exceptions to every rule, stick-built homes require less care in the long run. Some speculate that this is due to the construction process being finished on-site from the ground up rather than in a factory, where various suppliers’ accountability and the possibility of transportation-related flaws can become a role in quality and integrity.

An advantage of modular homes is that, because they are typically built in a controlled environment, the materials used are less likely to be exposed to the elements during construction, which can help extend the life of the home. However, it is important to note that NJ modular homes are still subject to the same weather conditions and environmental factors as any other type of home once they are assembled on-site.

So, do stick-built homes last longer than modular houses? There is no definitive answer, but there are some things to consider when making your decision. Stick-built homes have a long history of durability, but modular homes can offer some advantages in terms of assembly and material quality control.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preferences and needs. Whichever type of home you choose, be sure to do your research and work with a reputable New Jersey home builder who understands the local building codes to ensure that your new home will last for many years to come.

A Traditional Custom Home Build or Modular New Construction?

When it comes to deciding between modular home builders and stick-built homes, both types of homes have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the decision ultimately comes down to your personal preferences.

This leads us to a last point about the benefits of a stick-built NJ home in terms of both customization and home value. When you build with MSC Enterprises, you can be confident that you’re working with a team of designers and architects who are up to date on the newest construction trends and technology. We are developing a home with structural integrity for your now and tomorrow, whether it is through our ongoing quest for new lasting materials or the installation of energy-saving windows and doors, insulation, or light fixtures.

A home is, without a doubt, a significant investment, and the public view and perceived worth of a modular home is frequently lower than that of a typical, stick-built home. However, each place is unique, and the market is constantly shifting. If you’re looking for a home that can be assembled quickly and easily, a modular home might be the right choice for you. However, if you’re concerned about long-term durability, a stick-built home might be a better option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the benefits of a stick built home in New Jersey?

A: The main benefit of stick built homes is that they are sturdy, long lasting, customizable and versatile. This can be a major benefit in areas where weather conditions, access to the property or other factors make the modular construction process difficult or impossible.

Q: Are modular homes as durable as stick-built homes?

A: There is no definitive answer, but there are some things to consider when making your decision. Stick-built homes have a long history of durability, but modular homes can offer some advantages in terms of assembly and material quality control.

Q: How do I choose between a stick-built and modular home?

A: Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preferences and needs. Whichever type of home you choose, be sure to do your research and work with a reputable builder to ensure that your new home will last for many years to come.

Do you want your next house to be just a home – or do you want it to be your dream home? Since 1999, MSC Enterprises, LLC has been in the business of building luxury New Jersey custom homes.

Call 732-905-0005 or Contact Us Now

Additional Resources


  • Michelle Garofalo

    Michelle Garofalo is the guiding force behind MSC Enterprises, LLC, a prominent custom home builder and real estate developer in Monmouth County and Ocean County, New Jersey. With over 25 years in real estate development, her expertise extends from a successful career in the solar industry, where she managed over 75MW of projects. Co-founding Infiniti Energy, Michelle now oversees day-to-day operations and leads business development, ensuring a seamless journey for clients. Her meticulous approach and commitment to excellence are reflected in MSC's residential and commercial properties, known for their quality, durability, and energy efficiency.

    View all posts