Factory Built Homes are the Future of Home Building
America invented factory fabrication. When you buy a kitchen appliance, VCR or car, you don’t expect it to be dumped in parts in your backyard requiring assembly, do you? You expect these products to be factory-made, factory inspected and ready for instant use. Modular construction is a pre-assembled system of home construction unique from all other methods of construction. We believe it is unlikely the home building industry will cling to the idea of costly, error prone piece-by-piece fabrication of homes built on site. Given the economic benefit and quality of product associated with factory-built homes, on-site home construction can’t last; factory home building can’t miss.
Factory Built Home Materials are Green and High Quality
Whether we’re talking about factory built homes, panelized or modular homes, in-plant construction quality is invariably superior to that built on site. Parts cut with a hand-held circular saw at a job site are not as precise as those cut with a $10,000 radial arm saw or $100,000 component cutter in a factory. Factory fastening methods are demonstrably superior because they use pneumatic tools driving fasteners to precise depths – no under-driving and no shiners. What’s more, factory inspections cover every construction detail from floor framing to final paint. Trained factory inspectors or independent third party inspectors perform more than one-dozen unannounced inspections per house. These days, the overloaded local building inspectors may only perform three or four announced inspections on the typical site built project. The quality factory built home manufacturer does not use green lumber. They protect all building materials from the weather. Wet materials would be too warped or bent to fit into their precise jigs for wall panel and truss construction. In many on-site building locations green lumber and building materials exposed to the weather are built into the home resulting in warped walls, ceilings and mold issues.
Modular Homes are Stronger than Conventional (Stick-Built) Homes
The modular home unit uses the strongest of all construction methods based on the 2×6 platform framing system. Traditionally, modular home units are over-built providing rigidity during transport to the site. Additional structural elements are incorporated to strengthen the modules as they are lifted by a crane from the carriers and placed on the foundation. Only modular construction is sturdy enough to withstand such forces equivalent to that of a healthy earthquake.
Easier to Finance
Factory built homes are easier to finance because they have a positive track record.
When the homeowner selects a factory built home, with some variations, chances are the local banker has seen it before and knows the value. Bankers value the fact that factory built homes are well insulated and like the simplicity of the construction process compared to on-site construction.
Modular Homes are Built Quickly
From the time you place your order, even when the factory is hopping busy, you can get a two-module home delivered to your site in eight weeks or less. You can move into it within a few more weeks. The average site built home takes six to nine months to complete.
Modular homes are built in factories benefiting from the assembly line production process. The factories purchase large quantities of lumber, sheet rock, carpet, paint, and other building supplies. As a result, they pay less for the materials they use. Labor is used with maximum efficiency as skilled craftsman move between workstations on the factory floor.
The Highest Quality
Modular homes are built in a modern, climate controlled environment. Every module is precision engineered for trouble-free structural durability. Quality control is maintained by constant inspection throughout the construction process. Also, to insure a safe and secure trip to your property, modular homes are built exceptionally well using high quality materials. Typically, 20% to 30% more lumber is used in the framing of the module units. Most factories GLUE, nail or screw the components of the home together.
Peace of Mind
Buying a modular home gives you peace of mind – you don’t have to worry about:
- The “I need more money” line.
The home owner’s worst nightmare – the job’s half finished and your builder tells you he or she is over budget and needs more money. Factory-built houses come at a guaranteed price, without cost overruns.
- The vanishing builder.
Everyone knows someone who’s had this problem. You don’t want an unfinished house slowly rotting away in the rain. When you buy modular, you get your finished house product ready for installation.
- The pre-soaked house.
Maybe you like your jeans pre-washed, but you don’t want your house to come that way! A site-built house, open to the rain, can cause your wood to warp or swell. Modular houses are built in controlled environments under the factory roof and are shipped in weather-proofed wrapping.
- The unexpected un-inspected house.
How do you know the quality you’re getting with a site-built house? Modular homes are thoroughly inspected before they leave the factory. A quality control process provides 100% assurance that your home has been inspected for code compliance and quality workmanship. In-plant inspectors in cooperation with independent inspection agencies inspect the home on behalf of your state and local government.
Typically, a home consisting of two modules will be built in the factory within a couple of weeks. Once your home is placed on its foundation, final completion takes an additional two to three weeks. Knowing when your home will be completed allows you to move more quickly and helps you plan your move better. Site preparation work differs for each property. Your Builder is better qualified to give you an exact schedule for completing your home.
Lower Home Ownership Costs
Repair bills can really add up. Modular homes are built in a modern controlled environment using high quality materials. They are precision engineered for trouble-free structural durability. A well-built house is a home that is easier and less costly to maintain.
From the outside your home may look like any other house, but after all those years, quality shows through. Modular homes are precision built at the factory and they’re built to last. Your home will require less maintenance and will better withstand the effects of age and weather. When you’re ready to sell your home, you’ll be glad it’s a modular.
Other things being equal (primarily location), factory-built homes appreciate in value in lock step with site-built homes.
Structurally Sound in Dangerous Weather
Modular construction technology employs methods of construction that include glue-nailed sheathing and decking with redundant framing members. These methods make a modular home a safer place to hang your hat if you live in earthquake or tornado prone areas of the country. Modular homes are built to survive nature’s onslaught. The frame work of today’s modular home matches or exceeds site-built or panelized homes as modular homes are engineered for safe use in each specific geographic region where they are sold. Modular construction may be the safest method on the market as strict adherence to all applicable building codes is enforced through required state inspections.
There are endless examples of factory-built homes that have been in continuous use for 50, 60 and 70 years. One example would be module homes built 50 years ago in the mid west by National Homes. These homes ranged in cost from $7,000 to $9,000 complete. These same homes are still in use today and their value has increased ten-fold.
Today, over 90% of all factory-built homes are customized to meet the buyer’s needs. They look as good or better than similar homes built on-site. Some manufacturers are producing spectacular mansions in excess of 10,000 sq. ft. Modular units are routinely stacked to reflect all types of architectural style from a New England Salt Box to an Ante Belle mansion. Modular units can be finished with stucco exteriors, tile roofs and other exterior design features making them indistinguishable from built on-site projects.
Why Modular Design is so Advantageous
With more and more constraints being imposed on the construction industry, and with labor for construction projects at a premium, the desirability of pre-fabricated and modular student housing is increasing by the month. There are a surprising number of benefits to modular designed homes built in the factory and assembled on site:
- Quality control– there is much more stringent quality control imposed on pre-fabricated homes, with many more inspections during the pre-fab process. Since they are not touched by weather elements in the factory, where the environment is entirely climate-controlled, a higher level of quality can be maintained.
- Added strength– since modules must be transported to a construction site, they are made extra secure against the vibration and shock of moving, whereas on-site homes are merely nailed together on-site for the most part.
- Green construction– in a factory setting, there is much less waste associated with the construction process, and excess materials can be used on the next project.
- Design flexibility– modules can be combined in a number of different configurations, depending on the needs of the developer or project manager.
- Increased energy efficiency– because of the attention to detail, extra inspections, and added strength requirements, each modular home is better insulated against weathering, and that provides greater energy efficiency to occupants.
- Cost savings– since there is less waste, and construction can be accomplished much faster, there is a significant cost savings associated with modular units, and that amounts to greater profitability for developers and builders.