FEMA Study Finds Modular Homes Superior

Fact: Modular homes are better built than site-built homes. This is partially due to necessity, and partially due to the method of construction. Modular homes have to withstand the stress of shipping and transportation, therefore, on average, a modular home contains 30% more building materials than a comparable site-built home. Also, drywall is not only screwed, but glued to the wall studs, and triple-headers are used over window openings and around stairwells. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently released a study that showed why this matters. Hurricane Andrew, a Category 4 storm, produced winds of 131-155 mph, and at the time was the costliest hurricane in U.S. history (now the 5th costliest). It devastated Florida homes in August 1992. FEMA studied the impact of the hurricane in many ways and one of those ways was to look at which methods of construction fared best against the extreme forces of Hurricane Andrew. 

Not surprisingly, FEMA confirmed that modular homes withstood a hurricane far better than site-built housing. 

"Overall, relatively minimal structural damage was noted in modular housing developments. The module-to-module combination of units appears to have provided an inherently rigid system that performed much better than conventional residential framing. This was evident in both the transverse and longitudinal directions of the modular buildings," cites the report.