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Modular commercial construction is growing in popularity for two basic reasons - price and convenience. Modular buildings are less expensive than traditional construction and they're much faster to construct.
With modular buildings, more than 90% of the construction process takes place in the factory. The building is then transported to the site in pieces and assembled into a single structure. The same construction materials are used; the only difference is the factory-controlled environment.
About Modular Commercial Construction
There are two types of modular commercial construction: permanent modular construction and movable buildings. The difference is fairly self-explanatory - permanent buildings are designed to stay put while movable buildings can be moved from one site to another.
There are several advantages to building in a factory-controlled environment. The building is not subject to the elements during construction. And once the building pieces arrive on site, construction is fast and simple.
According to a McGraw-Hill construction report, prefabrication and modular construction have contributed to greater efficiency in the construction industry. The majority of industry professionals surveyed reported decreased project schedules, decreased budgets and a decrease in construction site waste.
Most modular commercial buildings are 1,000 to 2,000 square feet. Each module or piece is generally 10 to 18 feet wide and 36 to 76 feet long. The width varies based on state shipping regulations.
Modular Commercial Construction Average Costs
The price of modular commercial construction depends on the size of the building, the quality of materials and the complexity of the process. Generally, prices range from $35 to $100 per square foot. That brings the total building cost to anywhere from $35,000 to $200,000.
- Buildings with less than 800 square feet generally cost less - about $10,000 to $25,000.
- Buildings with 800 to 1,499 square feet run about $50,000 to $100,000.
- Buildings with 1,500 to 5,000 square feet usually cost $100,000 to $200,000.
Portable classrooms and offices fall on the lower end of that scale. On the high end, expect a sophisticated building with high-quality materials. Keep in mind, however, that prices tend to vary based upon the region of the country. Modular commercial buildings on the east and west coasts are more expensive than in the south and Midwest.
If that sounds like more money than you're willing to spend, consider buying a used modular building or leasing a building. Leases begin at around $300 per month for a small building but might cost $6,000 or more for larger buildings. Delivery and setup fees may also apply.