Frequently Asked Questions
Our customers often have questions about the benefits of modular homes, how modular homes differ from traditional homes, and how modular homes are built. Here are some of the most common questions, and their answers.
- Is a Modular home "just a cheap, flimsy, poorly constructed house"?
- What does a Modular home look like?
- Why am I hearing more and more about Modular homes?
- What is the difference between the term "Manufactured Home" and "Modular Home"?
- How does the construction process for Modular homes differ from site-built homes?
- What kind of construction is used in Modular homes?
- How does a Modular home save time in the construction process?
- How does a modular home save on cost?
- What is the difference between "Turn key" and "Set on foundation" pricing?
- What area do you service?
- Is financing a Modular home a problem?
- How long does it take to build a Modular home?
Q: Is a Modular home "just a cheap, flimsy, poorly constructed house"?
A. Absolutely not! The Modular homes of today are models of efficiency and quality assurance. Most Modular builders use state of the art computer design stations to assist them in planning and customizing the design. The highly engineered structures are then built in sections, called "modules", inside the controlled environment of a factory. Finally, each section is shipped by truck to the building site where they are assembled. They must conform to the same local building codes as a regular home (often called site-built or stick-built home). Once they are set on and attached to the foundation, they are indistinguishable from the neighboring homes.
Q: What does a Modular home look like?
A. Today's Modular home looks like any other house on the street. In fact, you can't tell them apart. Modular builders can build almost any style home from a simple Ranch to a highly customized Contemporary. Modular producers are also building office buildings, banks, school, motels and other structures. You may have been in one and not even realized it.
Q: Why am I hearing more and more about Modular homes?
A. They are becoming more popular than ever as more people find the variety, quality, and cost savings that can be attained with a Modular home. According to the Manufactured Housing Institute (Arlington, VA) figures, the total of all manufactured housing went from less than 190,000 in 1990 to over 400,000 in 2000. People's attitudes have changed. Gone are the days when Modular homes were confused with smaller, rectangular, temporary, poorly built homes such as "mobile" or "single wide" or "double wide" homes that were placed on small narrow lots.
Q: What is the difference between the term "Manufactured Home" and "Modular Home"?
A. Manufactured homes, often referred to as "mobile, single or double wide homes", are constructed to a different building standard. The standard is the Federal Construction Safety Standard or HUD code. Unlike conventional building codes, it requires manufactured homes to be constructed on non-removable steel chassis. Many communities have restrictions on where (and if) these homes can be located.
A Modular home (even though it is "manufactured") and site-built homes on the other hand, are constructed to the same building code as required by your state and local authorities. Building and zoning regulations do not therefore restrict where they can be constructed.
Q: How does the construction process for Modular homes differ from site-built homes?
A. Basically there is no difference between the overall construction process for a Modular home and a site (or stick) built home. The steps involved are the same as a site-built home. Before the Modular home is delivered the builder or agent has to consider such details as surveys and permits, water and electrical hookups, foundation, and septic if required. After delivery and the Modular home is set on the foundation, there are such things as final finishing work, water, electrical, and plumbing hookups, and finish landscaping.
Q: What kind of construction is used in Modular homes?
A. The same or better construction than that used in a site built home. The walls are 2-by-6 with R-19 insulation and 2-by-4 partitions. The flooring is 2-by-8 or 2-by10 depending on the floor span and is topped with tongue and groove flooring, glued and stapled. The ceiling is done with R-38 insulation and the roof has 30-year Architectural shingles. Also incorporated are such things as shag carpet, Thermal pane vinyl hung Low-E tilt windows with screens, Oak Cabinet, Congoleum and Mannington flooring, Delta faucets, etc. to name a few.
Q: How does a Modular home save time in the construction process?
A. When your Modular home arrives and is set on the foundation it is usually over 90% complete and has most of the things already in it that you have chosen. The floor coverings, the wall and ceiling finish, outside siding and shutters. The kitchen cabinets, sink, are there. Another plus is that the bathrooms are finished except final hookup. All this work has been going on simultaneously with work at the home site during the permitting, surveying, grading, and the building of the foundation phase. This is not possible with a site built home
Q: How does a modular home save on cost?
A. The Modular manufacturer buys building materials in very large quantities saving money in bulk purchases. Similar savings can be had in fixtures. Because the home is built using various jigs and fixtures in a factory under close supervision, they are built with less labor hours. This "engineered" approach also results in savings in material and waste. Also, because the home is built inside there are no weather related delays and schedule inefficiencies that occur at a site-built home. There is also no vandalism costs so prevalent in today's world. Finally because of the time saved there is a corresponding saving on loan interest during this process.
Q: What is the difference between "Turn key" and "Set on foundation" pricing?
A. Our company generally prices and sells modular homes two ways. The first is "Turn Key". "Turn Key" means that we handle everything from start to finish. When the premises is complete the site is finish graded and the home is ready to move into, and guaranteed.
The second is delivered "set on foundation". In this method, you the property owner wish to save even more money by being involved in the construction process as the general contractor. This means you hire and oversee the sub contractors, such as the excavator, the plumbing and heating, etc. You contract with us a price for the home set and delivered weather tight on the foundation. The house itself at this point is about 90% complete.
In both cases we take you step by step through the house design and specifications for the order, cost estimating totals for the entire project, provide assistance with documentation necessary for bank financing. Regarding delivery and set on your foudation, we coordinate permitting and scheduling with the manufacturer along with the crane and set crew.
Q: What area do you service?
We service the entire state of Maine.
Q: Is financing a Modular home a problem?
A. No. There is no distinction is made between a modular and site built homes as far as appraisal and financing is concerned. Most Banks and lending institutions treat both types the same. The same thing applies to insurance companies.
Q: How long does it take to build a Modular home?
A. It usually takes about 8 to 10 weeks from the day you sign a contract. Once the house has been set on the foundation, the average completion time is 2 months. Weather can affect the initial surveying, grading and building of the foundation and also finishing after delivery.