Why Choose To Build Modular?
The most important thing to understand about modular construction: it is not a product or a style of home, but it is a “construction technique”. Virtually any style of home you can build using traditional construction techniques can be built with modular construction. Ranches, Cape Cods, Two-story homes – no matter what type of home you choose, it can be built faster, better, and for less using modular construction.
- California Modular built homes can be built in less than half the time it would take traditional on site construction homes to be built, without sacrificing quality!
- California Modular homes are built to the same IRC and local building codes as on site built homes! We often build homes in as little as 120 days – allowing you and your family to realize your dream of moving in to a new home much faster than you ever imagined!
- Like the automobile industry, factory conditions allow for higher quality home building standards without higher costs. You get a precision-built, GREEN home that is likely built BETTER than it could have ever been on site – all without any extra costs for quality!
- Your home will not be subjected to bad weather, rain, and the elements – not only eliminating delays, but preventing future problems arising from warped wood, mold, and weather damages during construction!
- Your neighbors will LOVE you for not subjecting them to a year or more of hammers and saws whirling all hours of the day!
The Smarter Way To Build
Modular construction uses the same materials and follows to the same building codes as traditional construction. The difference with modular construction is these materials are assembled, or “pre-built”, inside a manufacturing facility, controlling quality and cost. Imagine what it would mean to the cost and quality of your next car if it were assembled in your driveway often in rainy or snowy conditions. You can begin to understand why modular is the natural next step for new home construction in California!
So why aren’t all homes built using modular construction?
To some extent, they are. The building industry has been moving toward modular construction for many years. Cabinets, windows, roof trusses, and door systems are no longer fabricated on site, but rather built in modern factories and delivered to the site. These modular components have increased quality, lowered costs, and accelerated construction schedule for home builders and home owners everywhere.
A typical site-built home may use up to 30% modularized components. Some builders have even extended this approach to include larger components, such as panelized walls and pre-formed concrete foundation systems. Full modular construction is simply the next logical step in this evolution. US Modular builds homes that are 90% complete in the factory. Thousands of homes every year are now built using modular construction techniques, and those numbers will continue to grow as more and more homeowners and builders experience the advantages of modular construction.
Modular Facts You Should Know:
- The building blocks of modular homes — individual modules — are housing components constructed in a controlled factory environment.
- Individual modules are up to 90% complete when shipped from the factory to the home site. All walls, flooring, ceilings, stairs, carpeting, and even wall finish are completed in the factory before shipment.
- Once all building materials arrive at the factory, some manufacturers can assemble modules in a single day. Typically, a two-story, 2,500 sq. ft. home can be constructed in a factory in under a week.
- Aside from any cost savings, modular home buyers benefit from the short assembly time of their home — reducing any amount of weather damage or home site vandalism. Over the life of the home, modular homes save money due to their incredible efficiency.
- In 2002, modular homes accounted for 3% of the new, single-family homes constructed. Outside of metropolitan area, that figure jumped to 12%. From 1992-2002, modular housing production increased by 48%. Modular home construction has continued to increase at a steady rate.
- One of every ten homes built in the northeast is a modular home. That region accounted for 29% of the nation’s modular activity in 2001. The South Atlantic region was a close second with 26%, and the Great Lakes region third, accounting for 24%.
- Modular construction is quickly becoming the method of choice by owners, developers, and general contractors who want a quality, precision built, eco-friendly home. Trust the professionals who understand the value of time and money and the benefit of building Faster, Better, Greener and for Less!
TYPICAL 7 STEP PROCESS OF OFF-SITE CONSTRUCTION
Step 1: Site Visit and Conceptual Budget
The USM Site Visit and Conceptual Budget (SVCB) includes an initial site inspection of your property to determine the buildable area, route accessibility for transportation of the building modules, the topography, and availability of utilities. We will do research with the local jurisdictions to determine zoning and setback/height requirements. Each project presents challenges specific to that location and our staff is experienced in identifying those needs. The non-refundable SVCB Fee will be credited towards your signed construction agreement.
USM will create a preliminary construction budget based on a conceptual floor plan or the square footage of your desired home. This will include, but is not limited to, grading, foundation, fabrication, installation and finish of house, garage, site improvements, estimated development and/or permit fees and all items necessary to complete the entire scope of your project. Final permit/development fees and utility costs cannot be determined until after plans are approved by the local building department.
Step 2: Conceptual Design
Once the SVCB has been completed and it has been determined that the site will accommodate your desires, and the budget is acceptable, USM can then enter into an agreement with you to design your project. Using the information gathered in Step 1, the USM design team will work with you to refine your floor plan and exterior elevations. This can be your floor plan, a pre-designed floor plan, or a full custom design.
It is during this step that the home specifications and design choices will be selected for inclusion into the plan. This can include window and door types, ceiling heights, appliances, other fixtures, interior and exterior trim and finish. These selections will allow us to separate items which will be installed at our selected manufacturing facility from those which will be built or installed on site. Exterior additions, such as garages, decks, driveways, landscaping, and drafting the site plan can be addressed.
If Planning Commission approvals are required in your jurisdiction, you will now have a complete set of floor plans, elevations and a site plan that can be submitted for conceptual approval.
Based on the design and specifications, we will revise the conceptual construction budget to an actual total construction sum that will be the basis for a Construction Agreement. The non-refundable design fee will be credited towards your signed construction agreement.
Step 3: Construction Agreement/Project Funding
If you already have funding in place, go to the next step. However, if you need financing, the lending institution will require several items that may include a budget, floor plans, elevations and a construction agreement with USM before final approval. If you do not currently have a lender, USM has relationships with a number of lending institutions that are familiar with the off-site modular process. After the loan is approved an escrow account usually will be established for the disbursement of funds.
Now that we have a design and budget established, USM will prepare an all-inclusive construction agreement that can include every facet of the project from submitting your plans for approvals to handing you the keys when complete. As a full service General Contractor we can provide every service to complete your project. Your construction agreement will include the proposed scope of work, conceptual design documents, payment schedule and allowances (if applicable). This agreement will be required by your lender to finalize your loan.
Step 4: Engineering
The structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and civil engineering is all completed at this time by State licensed engineering firms. These drawings will become part of the submittal package.
Step 5: Permitting
Permitting of an off-site built home is accomplished at the state and local levels. USM will work with the engineers, factory, and state approval agency to obtain a set of state approved/stamped building plans that are packaged with the site plan, foundation plans, and other local building department required plans for local building permit.
Step 6: Site Construction and Off-Site Fabrication
Once the building permits are issued, site construction and off-site home construction can begin simultaneously. While USM is completing your site work including grading, utilities, foundation, our selected Off-Site manufacturing facility is completing the building modules. The modules are inspected by a state approval agency inside the factory. The state licensed inspection, supervision and quality control system within the manufacturing facility ensures the highest quality building while conforming to all applicable building codes and industry standards. USM personnel physically visit the off-site manufacturing facility during fabrication, thereby adding one more level of quality control. Site construction is inspected and approved by the local building department.
Step 7: On-Site Completion
With the foundation complete and inspected by the local jurisdiction, your site is ready to receive the modules. Typically in one day your foundation transforms into a complete structure. The modules arrive on their individual carriers and are lifted into place by a massive crane. Since the modules typically arrive with windows, doors, plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, drywall, cabinets, fixtures and appliances in place, the finish process is greatly abbreviated. Depending on if any specialized finishes were selected, the finish process can be as short as 30 days in duration. Any additional site work such as garages, decks, and landscaping can now be completed.
The local jurisdiction inspects the structural hardware connecting the modules to the foundation and each other and then releases the project for utility connections and subsequent certificate of occupancy.
New modular houses are designed with your dream home in mind. From a cozy granny flat, to an off-site modular mansion, your new home is made to order, giving you more creative control than with most builders and contractors. Inside and out, your home is designed to match your vision.
The quality of today’s off-site modular home is unparalleled, due to several factors. Today’s factory equipment is powerful and state-of-the-art, producing a tight, sound, and energy efficient home. The materials meet a consistently high standard due to the finely calibrated equipment used in factory. Your home is created in a climate-controlled environment, where the materials are protected from the ravaging effects of weather. The consistency of an overseen, assembly-line process leaves little room for mistakes or oversights.
Green Building is a whole-system approach to building that takes into consideration 7 factors:
- Lot Design, Preparation and Development
- Resource Efficiency
- Energy Efficiency
- Water Efficiency
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Operation Maintenance and Homeowner Education
- Global Impact
We use products that are not harmful to the environment and partner with other companies that also work to protect the environment. We are certified and committed to building the very smartest, greenest custom homes on the market.
One of the many advantages of building modular is the fact that your dream home can be typically delivered, set, and completed in less than 4 months. This is considerably less time than most on site homes, where weather concerns, small or inconsistent construction crews, back orders and equipment problems are just a few reasons for delay.
Your new home comes with a 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® (2-10 HBW®) that includes 10 full years of structural defect coverage for load-bearing components; one full year of systems coverage against defects in wiring, piping and duct work in electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, ventilating and mechanical systems; and 1 full year of coverage against defects in workmanship and materials.
Your lender experiences reduced risk due to the fact that our product is further along in the completion process. Once set, the lender has more value on the foundation than the money they have paid out. This increases the probability of the project reaching completion.
Call us today to discuss building your next home, multi family or commercial project! Our designers and engineers are here to help you create a green, cost effective, beautiful home or multi-family project. The entire US Modular team is dedicated to your complete satisfaction. We incorporate each client into the building process through our proactive person-to-person approach, and realize how valuable each client is to our team.