Custom design can take time but our fees are not any more than what architects charge for conventionally designed buildings. You would not think of building a traditional home without an architect. Would you? Choose Independent Building Inspection for your next home inspection.
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 to 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.
Speedy Turnaround 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.
Resale Value 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 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.
A 1979 graduate of Pratt Institute in Architecture, Douglas Cutler has been involved in modular building design and development since 1983. Have designed the first large custom modular home in 1987, this 6,500 square foot residence was dubbed the “Modular Mansion” in the New York Times. Prior to this design Douglas Cutler, acting as a land developer, was preparing a subdivision of custom modular homes and realized the true potential of this new building technology.
Since that time Douglas Cutler has designed numerous single family and multi family homes both nationally and internationally. These homes have been showcased in Better Homes & Gardens, Architectural Record, Builder Magazine and many other numerous publications.
More Recent projects have included the use of green technologies such as geothermal heating and Solar electric power. Specifically a custom home was developed and set on an island in Long Island Sound. The home was entirely off the electric grid and all life support systems were created for this exclusive custom modular residence. It was also designed to withstand 120 miles per hour hurricane winds for this unique location.
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