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- Selecting Modular Home Builders and Manufacturers
Selecting Modular Home Builders and Manufacturers
To install a modular addition, there must be adequate access to the home. Modules are shipped on trucks and not all homes can handle a large truck on site. Modules are hoisted into place by crane, which also requires adequate space on site.
There are potential cost-saving benefits to adding a modular addition. As with all modular construction, the cost of labor is significantly less than for a site-built addition. Modular additions are fast, reducing the headaches and confusion of construction. The addition will also be ready to close in and move into much faster. “For the homeowner adding a second story, the amount of time that the home is exposed to the elements is much less with a modular addition than with a stick-built addition,” says Gianino.
Energy Efficiency and Green Building
By nature, modular homes are built tough. The added materials used to construct modules strong enough to withstand the rigors of travel from factory to building site often result in a tighter structure. This can mean a more energy-efficient home, right out of the factory. “The tighter seal of a modular home means less heat lost in the winter, and less cool air lost in the summer,” says Mike Younus, general manager of New England Homes, a modular-home manufacturer in New Hampshire.
Homeowners can often specify certain products and additions that bolster a home’s energy efficiency. Adding blown-in insulation in the attic or walls is one upgrade, as are low-emissivity windows. Homeowners interested in enhanced energy savings should choose a manufacturer who offers the option to add energy-saving materials to their modules.
Building a modular home is a green process because the modules are constructed in factories, meaning less material is wasted or discarded during the construction process. “In many factories, they use very big precision equipment to cut materials the right way the first time,” says Gianino. “Since the manufacturers are building in volume, they will find uses for all the scraps and extra materials.”
“The green building concept is starting to catch hold, and the market is starting to change,” says Younus, whose company, New England Homes, is already exploring the use of mold-resistant drywall, blue-treated lumber, and other products aimed at improving the indoor air quality of the modular home. Younus adds that consumer interest in green building and energy efficiency will determine how quickly the modular industry moves to add more energy-efficient options.
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