- What’s the difference between modular homes and conventional homes?
The major difference between modular homes and conventional homes is the way they are built. While conventional homes are built 100% on site, modular homes are built in a factory environment and then delivered to site for installation and fit-off. Plus, as the name suggests, modular homes are built in ‘modules’ for ease of transportation.
- Are modular homes the same as kit homes?
No. While the end result may be similar, the way that modular and kit homes are purchased is quite different. When you purchase a prefabricated modular home, you are buying a complete home, installed onto your site and ready to move in to. When you buy a kit home, you are essentially paying for the working drawings and the raw materials – the owner is then required to handle the labour aspect of the build, including project management.
- How much does it cost to transport the home to my site?
We include 150km of transport in our base price (subject to site route). For distances over this we quote on an individual basis. In some cases, it’s not possible to take the most common route as our trucks must take the over dimensional route. For most of our projects a crane is not required on site, but if it is, we will make allowance for this in your proposal.
- Are the permits and legal requirements the same as conventional homes?
Yes – the permit process is very similar whether you’re building a modular or conventional home. Depending on your circumstances you may require a planning permit – from our experience they are required in around 70% of builds. A building permit is required for all new homes that are built – both modular and conventional.
- How long does it take to build a modular home?
Modular homes are fast to build – from the time construction starts in the factory until you move in usually takes around 12-16 weeks. This timeframe includes the factory building phase (8-10 weeks in the factory) and the on-site fit-off phase (4-6 weeks on your land).
- Why should I consider building a modular home?
There are many benefits to building a modular home. They are faster to build, are often more affordable and have less of an environmental impact on your site. You have flexible options when it comes to design and it’s easy to up the energy rating and create a sustainable and eco-friendly home. You also get a complete package – your home comes with many inclusions and will be ready to move in and enjoy on completion.
- Will I need to hire a local builder to complete the process or do you take care of this?
You won’t need to hire a local builder – our site team will take care of everything. While the production team are constructing your home in our factory, our site team will prepare the footings and connections on your site. They’ll get your home ready for delivery and when it arrives will spend 4-6 weeks on-site finalising the installation and adding the finishing touches.
- How do I go about connecting electricity and other utilities?
This will depend on your site and is an important factor when choosing your land. If the block is serviced, consider the distance from your where your home will be built to the connections. If the land has no connections in place, you’ll need to include the added expense of connecting in your budget. Our team can visit your site to offer advice, and connections to services can be included in our scope of works.
- Can I get finance on a modular home?
Yes. More than half of our clients require finance when building their new home. There can however be some challenges to obtaining finance for modular homes. Lenders can find it hard to progress payments while the home is being built off site, and may not want to release funds until the house is completed. This often comes down to a lack of understanding of modular homes, and can be overcome. Our team have helped hundreds of customers in a similar situation and are happy to share our knowledge, chat to your lender or recommend a broker who has experience with financing modular homes.
- Can I alter or change standard plans?
Yes. While there are certain design parameters that need to be considered with our modular homes, we have over 40 standard modular homes designs that can be modified to better suit your requirements if required.
- Do you build custom design homes?
Yes. We can custom design and build your dream home or adapt your existing design to our prefab modular home building system.
- Are installation and footings included in the price?
Yes. Installation onto concrete footings up to 600mm depth is included in the base price given that your site is flat +/- 300mm over the building footprint.
- What permits do I need for my home?
All new homes require a building permit and some will also need a planning permit. Planning permits, which are known as development applications in NSW, are compulsory in certain situations and must be obtained before construction begins. If your property is subject to any planning overlays, is within a bushfire zone or an area that is prone to flooding, has more than one dwelling on the block or has heritage considerations, it’s likely that you’ll need a planning permit. Building permits (or Complying Development Certificates in NSW) are issued once your home is built, inspected and found to be safe and built in accordance with the building code. All new homes, whether modular, kit or conventionally built, must have a building permit.
- What is a 6 Star Energy Rating?
As part of the process to obtaining a building permit, new homes must have a minimum 6-star energy rating. Energy ratings on homes range from 1 to 10 – 1 being the least energy efficient, and 10 being the best. An approved energy rating consultant calculates the rating based on a number of factors including size, building orientation, insulation, shading, windows, and energy efficient lighting. Our homes are all built to a minimum 6-star energy rating, and there are many building sustainability upgrades that you can choose to include to further increase this rating.
- What is a BAL Rating?
If you’re building a new home in Australia, it’s highly likely a BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) rating will be required. There are six BAL categories ranging from low to extreme. A BAL report can be completed by a fire assessor or engineer and they’ll base their findings on the Fire Danger Index, slope of the site, the type of vegetation surrounding the property and how close it is to your home. Your rating will impact on a number of factors when it’s time to build – if the BAL is over 12.5 there will be special requirements relating to materials used. Our standard modular homes are built to a BAL 12.5 rating – if a higher rating is required further upgrades can be added to meet the BAL rating for your site. You can find out more about building in bushfire prone areas here: http://www.planning.vic.gov.au/bushfire-protection/building-in-bushfire-prone-areas
- Can you build on BAL 40 & Flame Zone rated properties?
The short answer to this is yes, we can. BAL 40 construction levels are achievable with modular homes, with substantial upgrades to construction materials, which are compliant with the provisions of the Australian Standard for construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas, AS 3959.
Construction in Flame Zone however, is another substantial upgrade again from BAL 40, the challenge with FZ ratings on modular building is the cladding.
The Australian Standard calls for external cladding made of a non-combustible material (e.g., masonry, brick veneer, mud brick, aerated concrete, concrete) or a product with a fire rating with a FRL of 30/30/30.
This does limit the products we can use when building in a modular form, and the solution to this is to install brick veneer cladding to the modular home once it has been delivered to site.
- What is a Bushfire Management Statement?
If your property falls within an area with a significant risk of bushfires occurring a Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO), or Wildfire Management Overlay (WMO) will apply.You’ll need to obtain a Bushfire Management Statement which is a detailed assessment and report that identifies potential fire hazards and includes any applicable safety measures that must be included in your build. To find out if your land requires a Bushfire Management Statement you can contact your local council or visit land.vic.gov.au.
- What is an LCA?
A Land Capability Assessment (LCA) is a detailed assessment and report that is applicable if your property is located in an area that is not connected to sewerage. It identifies site features that will assist you in developing a management plan for your on-site wastewater management that will enhance long-term sustainability and minimise environmental impacts. The LCA will determine the best place for the installation of a waste water treatment system including the location of an effluent field.
- How do I know if I can get a modular home onto my property?
Our friendly team are available for advice on access and location, plus, planning and reporting requirements too. We can perform a desktop assessment from our office or physically visit your property to report on its suitability. Assessment pricing is site-specific, and you can contact our team for a quote for your property.
- Do you build on concrete slabs?
Unfortunately, because our homes are prefabricated in a factory, our building system requires our homes to be built on a steel floor frame therefore we cannot build a modular home in a concrete slab.
- What type of warranty do your homes have?
All Anchor Homes come with a 7-year Home Owners Warranty. Plus, we also offer a 3-month building maintenance period after handover.
- How do I know if I am eligible for the First Home Owners Grant?
To be eligible for the first home owners grant you must not have previously received a grant in Australia, not owned residential property before 1st July 2000, the property must be occupied as a home for a continuous period of 12 months within the first 12 months, plus, you’ll need to meet the residency requirements.
If you have a partner or spouse, they must also have not received a grant or purchased property previously.
Do you have any questions about modular home building that aren’t covered here?
Get in touch with our friendly team – we’re happy to help.