How to Select the Right Modular Home Builder
If you’ve done your research on modular homes, you know there are a ton of options out there. A prefab house no longer has the ‘cheap’ stigma it once carried, and is a truly affordable and beautiful option for millions of Americans. But as with any home construction, you’ve got to choose the right partners to make sure the job is done properly the first time. Otherwise you could be in for years of costly repairs that basically counteract most of the benefits of choosing a modular house as your next home. Luckily, there are plenty of quality, professional manufacturers out there that stick to their budget, follow through on their promises and put quality at the forefront of their efforts. Here are some tips to help you select the right modular home builder.
This isn’t a process you should complete before doing a good amount of research. There will be a lot of legwork, but your efforts will be rewarded with a quality product and an enjoyable purchasing process. So always make sure you have the chance to check out some examples of a manufacturer’s finished modular homes before you buy your own. If you build a new house from scratch you won’t have this opportunity, and will have to rely on blueprints or simulated images to understand what you’ll be getting. In the modular market you’ll be able to see finished examples in a showroom before you purchase. This will give you a great chance to see that the house you are considering will fulfill your needs.
Next, have a detailed conversation with one of the salespeople. The modular home you see on display may be their high end model, and could include plenty of details that you won’t be getting. You need to understand what sort of fixtures, appliances and electrical amenities will be included in your unit. Otherwise you could accept delivery of your modular home just to uncover that you’ve basically bought the frame for a house. This is a crucial aspect of understanding your budget. You’ve got to make sure that you are prepared to handle any additional installations that will be necessary once you’ve got the modular home on your property.
You should also look for a website that compares the energy efficiency of the various manufacturers. You might not care particularly about their business practices, but you will definitely sit up and take notice once your first utility bill comes in the mail. Some modular homes are constructed with the latest in energy efficient building techniques. That means quality windows, optional solar panels and additional green integration that will save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the course of the year. Ideally the modular home should come with Energy Star rated appliances, but check each home’s LEED rating as well. The better the numbers here, the happier you’ll be with your purchase.
Finally, get a feel for the credentials each builder carries. There are a lot of legal issues you’ll have to contend with along the way. Every city has its own zoning laws, and some areas that deal with serious storms may not allow you to have a home without a strong foundation. Since you won’t have a basement, you’ve got to find a company that understands these requirements and prepares for every contingency. Professional manufacturers are used to dealing with these issues, and purchase supplies from the AMS Group to insure their buildings will meet all code requirements. Otherwise you could end up with a modular house and nowhere you are allowed to place it.