The Express Estimate: Get Budgetary Numbers for Your Favorite Home Plan Quickly

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Express Modular and Architectural Designs teamed up in 2017 to create one of the most unique opportunities in custom modular home construction. For the first time, someone could browse over 6,000 plans from leading architects and designers and know if they could be “modularized” because of our exclusive Certified Modular Friendly Rating System created by Express Modular. But knowing if a plan is modular friendly just isn’t enough. The very next question is, “How much will it cost to build?”.  The Express Estimate was created to answer that next question quickly.

What is an Express Estimate?

First, an Express Estimate is just that, an estimate. An estimate and a quote are two very different things. An estimate is the result of taking some known information, dealing with a lot of unknown variables, and then trying to create a budgetary number for a custom home plan that gets you on the target, but not the bullseye. A goal for a first estimate is to be within +/- 10% of the ultimate actual cost if you build the home.

The Express Estimate is created with custom estimating software developed by Express Modular. It contains modular costing information from our nationwide network of modular home factories. This means that our estimators choose a specific factory near where the new custom modular home will be constructed to get the most accurate estimate possible. Add to that zip code specific estimates for onsite items such as porches, decks, garages, and HVAC and a homebuyer has a reasonable idea of what their favorite home plan will cost and the specifications used to build it, along with instructions on what the estimate contains in one information-filled package.

Can you Request an Express Estimate for Custom Home Plans?

An integral part of the Express Estimate is knowing that a home plan has been assigned a Certified Modular Friendly Rating. As part of the partnership with Architectural Designs, Express Modular plan experts reviewed over 28,000 home plans. Just over 6,000 of them earned a rating of 1 through 4. The remaining floor plans were evaluated and it was determined that structural adjustments, changes in roof lines, or the expense to transport the number of modules required to construct just didn’t make sense. Those plans weren’t included in the Modular Friendly Plan Collections on

Soon, an enhanced version of the Express Estimate software will allow our design experts to rate a custom plan provided by a prospective customer and, if assigned a 1 – 4 rating, to create an Express Estimate for it. Modular construction is now taking off across the country. But with any floor plan, even custom – drawn on the dining room table with graph paper floor plans, the most important question is, “How much will this cost to build?”. Soon, an Express Estimate can be requested with a simple upload of the scanned drawing. Anyone that has designed their own home will know if it is modularizable and be able to get an initial estimate within 2-3 business days.

Express Estimates for Other Home Plans

Our exclusive relationship means we promote and support our partnership with a tight working relationship. The Modular Friendly Plan Collection offers over 6,000 prescreened plans. Many home buyers also find plans they like on other house plan sites. For years we have been asked the same two questions about those floor plans, “Can it be modularized?” and “How much would it cost to build?”. Express Modular is working hard to soon be able to quickly provide the answer to those questions for any home plan provided.


When it comes to working with home plans from any source, it comes down to respecting designers and architects. These plans are the result of hours of work on their part. They own the intellectual property that is the floor plan. Copyright laws exist to insure they are compensated for that work. Working with Express Modular insures the designers and architects that their plans are properly purchased and used when that home plan is used to construct a custom modular home.

Modular is the Answer

House prices are rising, Interest rates are going up. The labor shortage in the construction industry is reaching the critical point. Modular construction is quickly becoming the sought after solution to deliver custom homes. Prospective home buyers are doing their research and finding that modular homes offer safer living environments, better quality controls, and tremendous plan flexibility. And all of this comes at value that is just hard to beat. When it comes time to build your custom home, the first question you need to ask yourself is what method will be best for my family and by budget? – And the answer is Modular.

About the Author
Ken Semler

Ken Semler


Hi, I am Ken Semler the founder of Express Modular. I am passionate about this industry, our company, and the products we provide. Modern modular construction provides the ability to deliver healthy, safe, and energy efficient living spaces. Express Modular is a licensed builder/contractor in almost every state. I believe that modular homes provide the best way to deliver virtually unlimited design flexibility at the greatest value.

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Comments 2

    1. Ken Semler Post

      Lou, most every one of our standard plans offer a basement stair option. This means they can be put on a basement. Please select browse plans from the menu see what plans are available in your area. Thanks!

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