How Clayton Makes Homes More Affordable

Young couple in jeans and white shirts holding welcome mat that says “Home Sweet Home” with boxes, ladder and sheets and pillows on the floor behind them.

As the need for more affordable housing continues to grow across America, learn about how Clayton and prefabricated homes can help offer a solution.

In December 2022, the average sales price of a new site-built home reached $528,400, according to the Census Bureau. A growing number of people simply can’t afford to buy a home at this price, and this is where Clayton and the prefabricated housing industry come in.

When it comes to affordable housing, Clayton is a seasoned veteran. Since 1956, our mission has been to open doors to a better life by making homeownership possible for more people. Today, we are one of the nation’s leading homebuilders, selling both off-site built homes – also called prefabricated homes – and traditional site-built homes.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re looking for a truly affordable home that doesn’t compromise on quality or style, you can trust we have the experience to help make it happen. Let's take a deeper look at how we do it.

Man wearing hard hat, safety glasses and gloves smiles as he hangs a window frame up on a rack inside of a building facility.

Why are Prefabricated Homes More Affordable?

Prefabricated housing includes manufactured, modular and CrossMod® homes. And while these types of homes have a few differences you can read about in our guide, it’s what they have in common that makes them an affordable option for potential home buyers. Just how affordable? Well, in comparison to that $528,400 number from earlier, the Census Bureau reported the average sales price of a new manufactured home without land was $130,400 as of September 2022. That’s a pretty big difference, isn’t it?

There are a few ways Clayton works to make our homes more affordable. First, prefabricated homes are built indoors . This means we can use a pretty standard construction process and don’t have any delays just because it’s pouring rain or freezing outside. And because we know exactly what we’re building at which home building facility, we can buy a lot of the materials we need in bulk, with less waste.

We also have our own internal supply chain management system, Clayton Supply. So, we can manufacture and source many of our own materials, like windows, cabinets and roof trusses, which reduces our construction time with less money spent on shipping and storage. It all comes together so Clayton can offer you a more affordable home.

But, none of this means we’re content to just build houses the same way forever, either. Whether it’s the engineers and designers in our Home Innovation Lab or our focus on innovation through automation and robotics, Clayton is always trying new things to help make our entire design and construction process more efficient. And our customers are the ones who benefit from the results: beautiful, durable and affordable homes.

Living room of a manufactured home with blue gray couches, beige chairs and coffee table, ceiling fan, tan and blue gray run and archway leading into the kitchen.

What are Prefabricated Homes Like Today?

So, we’ve talked about some of the ways Clayton offers affordable prefabricated homes. But we know what you might be thinking. You’re imagining a cramped, ugly house that looks like a cracker box on the outside, aren’t you? It’s OK, we’ve heard it all. But the truth is, a lot has changed when it comes to today’s manufactured and modular homes, inside and out.

Technically, that boxy mobile home you’re thinking of hasn’t been built since 1976, when the National Mobile Home Constructions and Safety Act, also known as HUD code, set standards for manufactured homes including:

  • Design and construction
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Fire safety
  • Energy efficiency and more

And what about the other types of prefabricated housing? Well, modular homes are built to all applicable state and local building codes based on the home’s location. This means some of the home’s features — like the type of foundation or some of the exterior details — depend on where you’re going to live.

Clayton's CrossMod® homes, which are the newest type of prefabricated homes, combine some of the best features of off-site and one-site construction, including an elevated roof pitch, permanent foundation, drywall interiors, a garage and covered porch. Because of their features, CrossMod® homes can also appraise similarity to site-built homes. They can be built more quickly than site-built homes, too, due to their off-site construction.

So, as you can see, prefabricated homes definitely give you a lot of great, affordable options to choose from. But, you might ask, what good is an affordable home if it doesn’t have the features you actually want? Well, just remember what we said earlier about not compromising on style. In our Clayton manufactured, modular and CrossMod® homes, you can find:

  • Spacious, open kitchens with islands
  • Primary suite bathrooms with dual vanities and standalone bathtubs
  • Built-in storage like kitchen pantries, drop zones and entertainment centers
  • Energy efficient features like an ecobee smart thermostat® and Rheem® water heater
  • Exterior feature options like wraparound porches and garages

Woman sits with young child holding a book on a white rug on the floor of a manufactured home living room with toys, basket holding pillows, gray couch with pillows, plants and white sideboard behind them.

An Affordable Choice, Designed for You

Everyone’s dream home looks a little bit different, and at Clayton our job has always been to help you find yours, not someone else’s.

From figuring out your budget and choosing between home styles to knowing what to expect when you visit one of our home centers and deciding on any potential customization options or upgrades, we’re here to support you as you become a homeowner, and for the years to come. Check out our Clayton Studio blog for everything you need to know to get started today!

CrossMod® is a registered trademark of the Manufactured Housing Institute.

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