Modular homes gaining popularity in Illinois amid housing shortage

2022-06-15 10:48:06 By : Ms. Millie Zhuang

While the pandemic has had an adverse impact on businesses throughout the country, one industry has apparently not suffered as much: modular construction.

Pandemic-induced labor shortages and a shortage of affordable housing have combined to increase the popularity of manufactured and modular homes in the United States over the past two years. According to a 2021 report by the market research and consulting company Grand View Research, the global modular construction market size was just over $72 billion in 2020. The market grew to almost $76 billion last year. Grand View projects that the global market will grow to almost $115 billion by 2028.

This national trend appears to have extended to the Peoria area. The building company Homeway Homes, which has a construction facility in Deer Creek and a model home center in Goodfield, has built about 30 custom modular homes in the Tri-County Area since the pandemic began, according to sales manager Bob Schieler. Increased demand for modular homes has prompted Homeway to increase sales staffing and in other areas of the company.

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“More and more people are being educated through the media, their own research and talking to people who’ve built modular homes and are finding positive results,” said Schieler. “They’ve come to realize that building modular is actually a better and faster way to build than using traditional methods.”

When Fred and Myra Elliott of Bartonville were looking for a new house last year, they began researching modular homes on the recommendation of their son. One aspect of construction technology that impressed Myra Elliott from the outset was the flexibility of modular homes.

“(Homeway was) really good at changing floor plans, adding this (or) taking away things,” she said. “Having their model homes was really good, because we would want things from one model but not the other.”

The Elliotts settled on a basic four-bedroom, three-bathroom ranch house with a walk-out basement, and construction began last September. Some interior work and exterior concrete work remains before the home is completed.

“I have been impressed with the changes (Homeway has) made between the first tour and today,” said Elliott. “They are keeping up with new building advances in insulation, plumbing and electrical.”

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Terry Kurtz of Washington recently purchased a single-story ranch home with a three-car garage and fully furnished basement from Homeway. He opted for a modular home because he believed that the money he ultimately paid would buy a better quality structure than he would have gotten had he gone with a traditional home. He also appreciated the way he was able to plan the entire house in Homeway’s Goodfield showroom and said that the controlled environment at the Deer Creek construction center facilitated faster completion than traditional building would have.

“There were no inclement weather days,” he said. “There was no trudging through mud on a construction site and no cigarette butts in between the wall studs.”

Schieler noted that modular homes are built to the same building codes as traditional homes, and appreciate in value. With today’s technology and designs, modular homes now are very similar in appearance to traditional homes. He expects modular homes to continue to increase in popularity for the foreseeable future as more consumers become aware of their advantages.

"People want a beautiful, high-quality, super energy-efficient home built in a short time frame,” Schieler added. “Modular takes care of all those needs.”