How to Plan for a Modular Building or Portable Classroom

How to plan for a Modular Building 

When I get a call from a facility manager or purchasing agent who is in need of a modular building or portable classroom much of the conversation involves logistics – or in other words where, how and when to deliver and install the structure. Here are a few common points that seem to help quite a bit before the modular building is purchased or leased anywhere in the U.S.

Modular Building site planning is important.
Modular Building site planning is important. 

1. Select a location on your business or school property that is fairly level and can easily be accessed by delivery trucks for the modular. Don’t forget that if you are renting the modular building it will eventually need to be removed so be careful not to block it in with obstacles. Removal can get costly!

2. Locate the closest electrical and plumbing supplies and get prices from contractors to connect the modular building. Eliminate any surprises and keep your costs under control.

Modular Portable Classrooms on a school site
Modular Portable Classrooms 
on a school site.

3. Draw a simple plot plan showing where the modular building will be located on your property. Show where the existing structures are in relation tho the modular and identify the closest parking and handicap equipped bathrooms. Share this plan with the modular building suppliers and your local building and safety department for permitting.

4. Always consider the amount of space you need and try to accommodate everyone in one or as few modular structures as possible. This will keep your delivery, installation, knock down and return delivery expenses as well as operating expenses to a minimum. Also…plan your door locations intelligently. Access to and from the modular building or classroom can get costly when you consider adding a handicap ramp and sets of access stairs. Especially if your door locations are not optimized for your site.

As usual you can call me any time for help finding or selling a modular building or classroom anywhere in the U.S. or abroad. (800) 806-7485 or use the form below to compare prices quotes  from up to 5 local modular building suppliers.

About the author

Matt Banes modular building information source

Matt Banes

Since 1998, I have assisted numerous businesses, schools, and churches in buying, renting, and selling various types of modular buildings, mobile offices, and portable classrooms suitable for diverse space needs. One of my core success principles lies in my accessibility via phone to provide prompt assistance, answer queries, and aid in the search for cost-effective space solutions that align with your facility goals. So, why wait? Call me directly at the Modular Building Help Line (800) 806-7485.


  • This post applies to anyone in the U.S. not just Massachusetts. Modular building codes do vary as well as conditional use permits from state to state so use my tips as a guide…not the be all end all to getting a modular building in place and open for business or school.

  • In the event of an emergency situation – like in Boulder, Colorado now, city governments will typically be flexible with the mobilization of modular buildings, mobile office trailers and other temporary structures needed immediately. Always have an emergency plan in place for temporary shelters – know your local suppliers and communicate with them to develop your plan.