Most factories have established a policy of selling their product to Builders only. This ensures the proper placement of the modules on site, by a building professional. Some factories will sell directly to the consumer. Contact the factory of your choice to determine their particular product sales policy. If the factory sells only to the Builder, ask them to provide you with a list of qualified Builders in the area you want to build.
Fortunately, modular building has become more commonplace today. There are sufficient numbers of manufactures across the country willing to manufacture the custom “middle end” to “higher end” modular home. Most modular manufacturers have shipping ranges from 300 to 500 miles.
Our affiliations with manufacturers are the best source. In addition, the internet has other sources available. You may want to check with local builder trade shows, builder magazines or local building officials. This is a factory we recommend.
Modular factories can vary in capability. Some will build more complex homes while others prefer simpler models. Certain factories will provide a higher level of finish and fixture availability in the assembly. Accordingly, the price will vary based on level of finish and percentage of completeness.
Some factories specialize in the higher end modular home market. They may be willing to supply garages, cupolas, porches and other architectural detailing. In addition, they may include a greater selection of interior finishes to include tile, hardwood floors and carpet. The availability of these options could change. Ask your factory representative to provide you with a list of standard and ‘custom’ materials and finishes available.
The biggest issue in selecting a factory may be the backlog of orders. Traditionally, once the modules are processed for assembly, (deposits received and “shop drawings” approved), it may take 30 to 60 days for the modules to be built and shipped. Although the modules could be built in 5 days, lead time waiting to receive the materials and finishes within the modules delay getting the project on the assembly line. In a busy housing market or sometimes in the spring when project start-ups are greater, factories may experience backlogs of 4 to 6 months. This will delay your project and defeat the time saving advantages of modular construction.
Typically, the Builder will provide a total project cost estimate. The construction costs associated with the ‘site-built’ portions of your modular project will vary based on the region of the country you build in. The modular costs usually remain constant with an added cost of shipping determined by distance to delivery point.
Ask your Builder to consider pricing your project with one of the following options. You may be able to better control your budget and keep cost over runs to a minimum.
Retail Price: Direct factory cost, plus the Builder/Dealers markup. The Builder purchases the modules and sells them directly to you. You are responsible for all remaining portions of your project.
Price from the “Sill Plate Up”: The total price of the home not including the foundation. This price includes the factory built modules and all additional construction work related to all site built components required to finish the construction of the home by the Builder/Dealer. This would include all contents of the drawings we make available for purchase.
Turnkey Price: This is the total construction cost of the project, excluding land. The bottom line the Builder/Dealer/Contractor will charge. It includes all modular construction and completion of the entire building, site clearing, excavation, foundation installation, sewer/septic, electrical and plumbing connections, driveway, walkways, decks, finish grading, seeding and applicable profit. It includes the obtainment of the “Certificate of Occupancy”. The home is complete and ready to move in.
Zoning regulations are a necessary collection of local town and or county regulations written to establish the size, shape and use of land within a given jurisdiction. Benefits include limiting the overdeveloped of neighborhoods and rural communities.
Check your local zoning regulations before selecting a building lot and determine the allowable building area. This will establish the size of home you can build on your lot. This information is usually available on survey or plot plans on file with your local zoning department.
Before considering one of our home designs, you should determine the building envelope. If you have a small lot, consider our more compact designs.
Specific regulations to consider are front, side and rear yard setbacks, maximum allowable building height, floor area ratios and allowable building coverages. These regulations are applicable in many areas of the country. Research and determine the limitations of the site you intend to build on. Many zoning regulations are available on-line.
Additional regulations limiting the building envelope may include offsets from wetlands, rivers, streams, wells or other environmentally sensitive areas. Site coverage allowances need to be considered and may include the areas of the building footprint, driveways, sidewalks, patios, decks, porches, and roof overhangs. These potential site constraints need to be calculated carefully. You should consider seeking the assistance of a surveyor, civil engineer or an architect in determining your permitted building area. We suggest you do this evaluation before purchasing a set of our plans.
OBTAINING A BUILDING PERMIT
The Builder is best qualified to obtain the building permit. Most jurisdictions require submission of an application, architectural plans, shop drawings, site plan, builder insurance verification and contracted construction price.
Building Officials may require additional evaluation of soil and slope conditions. Foundation drawings may need to be modified based on grade configurations and soil bearing capacity. A civil/structural engineer can provide this service. Most jurisdictions require the submission of a Site Plan, prepared by a licensed professional. Plan content requirements may include the location of the proposed building, identification of proposed site construction and zoning compliance tabulations.
Most States require modular manufactured construction be reviewed and approved by a third party engineer. This third party review and inspection appears as red stamp on the shop drawings provided and submitted by the factory. Our drawings show the basic design intent and detail other elements required to complete the building. Our drawings should be reviewed and if required, modified by a local licensed design professional for local code compliance, snow and wind load resistance and frost depth footing requirement.
Shop drawings, prepared by the selected factory, should accompany other drawings submitted for building permit issuance.
WHAT ARE SHOP DRAWINGS?
Required drawings, prepared by the selected modular factory, for submission to the State in which the project will be built. They are typically extractions or copies of our drawings showing only the portions of the building the factory will be constructing. They may also include specific details of how certain elements of the building are manufactured, specific to the factory.
Shop Drawings should be reviewed and approved by the Builder/Dealer and you before manufacturing begins to ensure they reflect our original design.
For an additional small charge, we will “down load”, via email, our drawings directly to the factory. The factory can use our drawings in the preparation of their ‘shop drawings’. Please contact our office for this additional service.
Building a new home can and should be an exciting and rewarding experience. There are however many layers to the building process. How this process is managed will determine the level of stress experienced by you and the builder.
Modular construction will help streamline the process and help reduce some of the risk associated with residential construction. The factory will be responsible for a large portion of the construction allowing your builder time to prepare the site and coordinate the completion phase of your project.
Having a large percentage of the home built and delivered to the site should minimize schedule delays due to foul weather. These homes are more complete than any other building construction technology, delivered and ready to be ‘set’ on the site installed foundation. Work required to complete the project becomes less overwhelming.
Modular homes are designed to withstand the rigors of shipping. The many redundant framing systems produce a much stronger house. We have designed modular homes to withstand 120 miles per hour wind forces.
We understand an attractive home adds value to your property. Our expanding design selection offers a variety of architectural style, size and detail. You can save time, money and avoid the arduous task of designing a custom home by selecting one of our pre-designed models. After almost 20 years, we now have a collection of homes available for purchase over the internet.
We realize your desire to personalize your home. We believe our designs reflect your sophisticated taste and floor plan layout needs. Designing attractive, affordable industrialized housing is the future of residential construction. As this industry moves forward, design will be the driving force behind strong home sales. The factory will continue to build a quality box; how those boxes are positioned, laid out, stylized and detailed will be the difference between a bland, simple house and an attractive, comfortable home. Similar industries such as fashion, automotive and many other consumer product manufacturers recognize the value of good design. Quality design will produce a better home product.