Beyond the Double Wide: Today's Manufactured Modular Homes

Shell Busey
June 11, 2013

Every year the PNE awards a beautiful Prize Home to a lucky ticket-holder. People line up for hours to tour the house during the fair. Then the home is typically whisked off to another location in BC. This year it will end up in Sun Peaks near Kamloops.

How is it possible to move such a large and complex home to a new site?

Here's the secret. The PNE Prize Home is of modular design built routinely by Langley's Britco Structures. The home's modules are built to exacting standards in one of Britco's climate-controlled manufacturing plants. The modules are then trucked to the PNE site and placed together on a temporary foundation. Once the winner is announced, the modules are separated and transported to the new location to be placed on a permanent foundation.


Many people still automatically think of trailers or mobile homes when they think of manufactured/modular homes. In fact that couldn't be further from the truth. Today there is very little difference in both the look and liveability of a manufactured/ modular home in comparison to a traditional site-built home.

For many years, I have been a spokesperson for the manufactured/ modular housing industry. While the majority of these homes are not as elaborate as the PNE home, the concept of modular housing offers the same advantages to the typical home owner, at a competitive price.

Every Code in the Book

These homes are built in advanced manufacturing plants to very rigorous standards in a process overseen by the Canadian Standards Association. They must meet all applicable building codes, the National Building Code and Provincial/Regional Building Codes as well as be certified to Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards. The certification label affixed to each home gives consumers confidence that the home meets every code in the book.

Big Style, Small Footprint

With the building technology available today, you can build most any style of home from a rancher to a basement model truss floor design. Designs can be easily customized and the most up-to-date floor plans and finishes are available.

Manufactured/modular homes are built to the highest standards of energy-efficient living and can include high-efficiency furnaces and heat pumps to reduce your carbon footprint and your utility bills.

They're also more efficient to build. Factory manufacturing of modular home components means less transport of workers and materials, which equals the most effective use of energy and materials, and reduced waste.

Built in the Right Order

Environmentally controlled factories allow the sequence of assembly to be altered substantially to improve working conditions and productivity. Bathroom fixtures, furnaces, water heaters, floor coverings, etc. are all installed before the walls and roof structure are put in place. In site-built homes, the building sequence can be dictated by the weather. That means that rather than focusing on working conditions and construction efficiencies, the first priority is on building and weatherproofing the walls and roof to resist the elements.

When purchasing your next home make sure to investigate what manufactured and modular housing options may be available you.

Take a video tour of this year's PNE Prize Home.