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Modular Construction FAQs

What is a modular home?

A modular home simple refers to the method of construction used in building the home.  It’s built to state, county and/or local building codes just as a stick-built home should be.

Modular construction is a building systems technology in which structures are prefabricated off-site in an enclosed factory & built in sections (commonly referred to as “modules” or “boxes”).  These “boxes” are then transported to the building site and assembled into a single structure with the use of a crane & a set crew. This process is also called “prefab” construction.

Modular homes are built in indoor climate controlled facilities which means that there are no weather delays. While construction in the factory is underway site and foundation work is underway simultaneously. You can go from the first shovel in the ground to a complete home in as little as eight weeks.

**A modular home is NOT a manufactured home. Modular homes are built to the same standards and appraise the same as site-built homes.  Manufactured homes are depreciating assets built to completely different codes, constructed differently and valued differently.**

What are the advantages of Modular Construction vs. Stick-Built?

Cost Benefit: This is due to the following:  Assembly-line efficiency, Volume Purchases, Reduced Cost Overruns and Interest & Insurance savings.  (see our benefits section for more details)

Indoor Construction:  Building in a climate controlled environment means that structures are not exposed to harsh weather that could cause mold, warping or other structural damage.  This creates healthy living environments & clean non-toxic air.   It also avoids weather-related time delays.

Workforce:  Workers in a modular factory are divided up into different areas of production specialties including floors, walls, roofs, trim, plumbing, electrical, and others. This allows each section of the modular home to be built simultaneously and skillfully by individuals who are masters at their craft.

Inherently Green: Superior energy efficiency, less waste, less site disturbance.  Modular Homes can be built to achieve Energy Star, NAHB Green or LEED Certification. (among other local programs)

Speed of Construction: Modular homes are built on a production line with employees, services, and materials staged at appropriate areas to construct your home in the most efficient manner possible. This significantly decreases the variability inherent to site building homes (i.e., weather delays, waiting for sub-contractors, etc.).

Is there a difference between the builder and the manufacturer?

Yes.  The builder and manufacturer are two separate entities working together to construct your home.  As the customer, you will be working directly with the builder, not the manufacturer. Because of this it is very important to work with a builder whom you feel comfortable with as all of the design, site work, finish work & permits will be handled by the builder.  Behind the scenes the builder & manufacturer work closely together alone the way to provide a seamless and stress-free home building process for you.

Are all modular homes built the same?

No. It is very important to know what manufacturer your builder works with.  The experience, quality & integrity of the factory should be taken into account.   Make sure to work with a builder who has a good relationship with their factory.  The best price is not always the right price as not all manufacturers build to the same level of quality.

 Do you compromise quality if you build with Modular Construction?

Not at all.  In fact, many argue that there is increased quality control, precision & efficiency due to the modern factory assembly line techniques.  A quality control process provides assurance that your home has been inspected for code compliance and workmanship.  In-plant inspectors as well as independent inspection agencies inspect the home on behalf of your state & local government.

Can a modular home be custom designed ?

Yes.   In fact, everything we do is custom designed.  You are never limited to a book of floor plans when building with us.  Our customers can bring in an architect of their choice, choose a pre-designed floor plan or custom design directly with us.  Modular Construction can be used to build an addition, single family, multi-family complex or commercial development.

Can I customize the materials being used in my home?

Absolutely.  You can use the standard materials or upgrade to any materials of your choice.  We will work with you item by item to make sure that every detail is to your liking. This also gives you more control over the total cost of your home.

Do banks provide financing for modular homes?

Modular homes are treated identically to site built homes by banks and other lenders for the purpose of financing and appraisals. Similarly, there is no difference in insuring a modular home compared to a site built home.

Do modular homes have basements?

Modular homes can be built over full basements, crawl space, slab or piles.  You have the same foundation options as you do with a stick-built home.

How long does it take to build a modular home?

Construction in the factory can take place in as little as a few days for a single family home or a few weeks for a larger scale project.   Excavation, foundation, septic and other site work requirements can completed while the house is in production.  Speed is one of the major advantages of building modular and total construction can take place in as little as 3-6 months.

How are the modular boxes shipped ?

The modular “boxes” are weather tight, wrapped in a waterproof membrane and shipped on carriers, towed by truck with safety escorts.

How complete are they when they arrive at your site ?

Modular homes are delivered 80 to 85% complete.   Typically, the electrical and plumbing systems are installed in the factory.  Windows, exterior and interior doors are hung, interior trim, cabinetry, toilet fixtures, appliances and certain floor finishes are often installed at the factory.  The walls are primed and ready for paint.  The buyer can choose what finishes or options to install in the factory or on site.

After the modular units arrive, what work is left to complete the home?

Once the modular arrives, the boxes are set on the foundation with the use of a crane & set crew.  The roof sections are then set, unfolded and shingled by the crane & set crew.   Depending on the design a large amount of exterior siding can be done in the factory – the rest will be completed on site.  Electrical, mechanical, plumbing and utility connections need to be hooked up.  The level of finish work (such as flooring, fixtures, appliances, decorative carpentry, tile work, etc) depends on the buyer’s decision to have it installed in the factory or on-site.

Is modular construction better for the environment?

Modular construction is inherently greener and more efficient.  Homes can easily meet Energy Star standards and can be designed to meet NAHB Green or USGBC LEED requirements.  Building in the factory factory reduces the amount of waste, the carbon footprint, and the impact on greenspaces at or around the jobsite.