Modular Vs. Panelized Homes at Your Dealership

Posted by Jamie Kline on Mar 20, 2023 4:19:43 PM
Jamie Kline

Modular vs. panelized home

Think of the last time you went grocery shopping.

Walking through the aisles, not only is the store's product portfolio-wide, it's also deep (which is just a fancy way of saying the store has a lot of products from a lot of different brands).

Be it cereal, cleaning supplies, or even milk, you have plenty of choices.

But regardless of what you're planning to buy, walking into the grocery store isn't like stepping in the middle of a turf war. All of the products – including those from competing brands – peacefully coexist on the shelves. And buying one type of product doesn't commit you to using only it for the rest of your life.

For the store owner, having a wide range of options is good for business. With a large assortment of products, they're better able to serve customers, even if they don't clear the shelves every day.

The same goes for a custom home dealership and the building methods it employs.

While there are plenty of ways to build a custom, prefab home, there's no reason a dealership should stick to just one. And when it comes to two of the most popular ways to build custom houses, you don't t have to decide between offering modular vs. panelized homes.

In Brief: Modular Vs. Panelized Homes

When it comes to both building styles, there's a misconception: if you offer one at your custom home dealership, you can't offer the other.

To be direct – that's simply not the case. And to be more specific, it's not the case with modular vs. panelized construction. It's absolutely possible to offer both building methods at your custom home dealership.

What is Modular Home Construction?

Modular home construction is a style of building that involves constructing pre-fabricated sections, or modules, offsite in a factory setting. These modules are then transported to the building site and assembled by a builder.

What is Panelized Home Construction?

Panelized home construction is a method of building in which wall panels, roof trusses and other elements are fabricated offsite in a factory and are delivered to the build site ready for immediate installation. In some respects, panelized construction is like putting together a 3d puzzle.


Modular Vs. Panelized at Your Custom Home Dealership | Peaceful Coexistence

If you're a modular home dealer or builder, you already appreciate the benefits of prefabricated building materials. What's not to love?

In addition to being a cost-effective option for a project (precision engineered and producing less scrap), modular construction is a fast way to build a custom home.

So why bring panelized construction into the mix? Several reasons:

  • 100% customization
  • Expanded offerings
  • Simple integration
  • Similar construction timelines
  • Build site friendly


100% Customization

The biggest downfall of modular construction is its limits on customization. When a client gets into altering major elements, such as rearranging a modular home's floor plan, things become  complicated and take time to redesign. 

What's more, because of concerns for the home's structural soundness, sometimes making major adjustments to a modular home's layout simply isn't possible.

Panelized homes, however, allow for maximum flexibility in layout and design. Clients and builders have the ability to easily make major adjustments to a floor plan without compromising structural integrity. In general, the biggest limitation to how much customization is possible is the future homeowner's budget and imagination.

Expanded Offerings

Back to the grocery store example.

Adding panelized construction to your dealership is like the store owner adding another line of say, paper towels to their shelves. Like the store owner, you're still offering the same basic type of product, just in more variety.

By bringing panelized construction into the mix at your dealership, you expand your offerings to appeal to a broader group of customers without sacrificing one building style for the other.

Simple Integration

While panelized construction is indeed a different building process, it's not one that an experienced builder or crew will struggle for months on end to learn.

Panelized construction wouldn't be considered a streamlined building method if it was one that draws out projects or has complicated construction. While there is certainly a learning curve (as there is when taking on anything new), panelized construction ultimately allows your custom home company to build more custom homes without needing to invest in a larger workforce or new equipment.

Similar Construction Timelines

On the note of streamlined construction, when comparing the timelines for modular vs. panelized home construction, they're about the same.

While there is a different order of operations and components show up on site in different stages of readiness, it takes about the same amount of time to build either type of home if everything aligns.

Outside of potential supply chain issues (something no project is immune to), the thing that holds up a project most commonly is the client and their level of preparedness. Future homeowners who need more guidance or go through several rounds of intense revisions to their floor plans will have longer project times than those who know exactly what they want.


What does the panelized construction timeline look like for the client? Find out! Download our Custom Home Building Check List:

New call-to-action


Build Site Friendly

While no two customized homes are the same, neither are the locations they're built in. To take that a step further, some build sites simply aren't conducive for modular construction.

Take a narrow, empty lot in a subdivision that has homes on either side. Because of site constrictions, the size of home modules, and the space needed to maneuver, constructing a modular is as impractical as it is impossible.

On the other end of the spectrum, the same goes for homes built in remote locations. While site accessibility may present challenges, so does delivering large sections of a home when roads aren't able to handle the weight – or width – of modular home sections.

Panelized construction, however, can easily fit into most lots as pre-constructed wall panels are delivered in segments that are ready to be put together upon arrival. It's also much easier to adjust the size of a delivery of panelized components, too, so they arrive as they’re needed. All it requires is a little coordination with your prefabricated wall panel manufacturer. 


Panelized Vs. Modular Homes at Your Dealership: Not an 'Either-Or'

To be abundantly clear (and yes, a bit redundant), you don't have to choose between offering panel vs. modular home construction at your dealership. Home builders have done so successfully for a long time

Just like your favorite grocery store, offering a variety of products – even those that are near-identical – only helps you better serve clients.

Ready to Bring Panelized Home Construction to Your Dealership?

Let's get started! Book time with us today to begin moving forward:

New call-to-action

Topics: Behind the Scenes, Panel Vs. Modular Home Construction, Independent Dealers, Barden Independent Dealers, Custom Home Building Industry

Send us a message!