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Modular Construction is Faster, Better, Stronger – New Jersey

14 June 2013

The construction crew arrived at the building site at 8 a.m.  By 2 p.m. that same day, a new three-story modular house was standing. The kitchen and bathroom cabinets were in place, each sink had its faucet, all the interior trim was finished.

This house had arrived in six pieces, with many of its interior components in place. Before its trip of more than 200 miles on five flatbed trailers, another team of builders — working in a massive house-making factory — constructed the modular parts that became a three-bedroom, three-bathroom house.

A crane lifted and placed each module, weighing as much as 25,000 pounds, and the crew bolted the parts together, making sure the 2,400-square-foot house was tight and waterproof.
Over the next few weeks, the finishing work will be done. That includes putting in utility connections and installing the exterior siding that will cover the connection points. Builders who work with modular, say it’s the future of construction.

With modular construction, there is much less waste, fewer truck visits to the site, more recycling of materials, making modular homes efficient and cost-effective.

Modular homes are indistinguishable from their site-built neighbors.

The fact that the modules have to be made for transport — and lifted by cranes — also gives them a unique advantage. They have to withstand the transportation, so they are engineered to much higher specifications. There is a lot of steel in these houses — up to 20% more framing, which makes them very safe in hurricane force winds.

Modular homes will have the same kind of finish, the same (or better) level of quality. And because they are built indoors, construction will never be delayed by weather. There are no unknowns with modular construction. All of these factors make modular construction an invaluable option for those rebuilding homes ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.

For more information on modular construction in New York and New Jersey, contact Avalon Building Systems. Recently we have also begun working with two new modular home manufacturers, Excel Homes and Professional Building Systems, so we can offer more options and work with even more homeowners in New Jersey and New York.

Excerpts –

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Hurricane Proof Modular Homes Are Helping Rebuild New Jersey

6 June 2013

A modular home being set in place in New Jersey will be featured on a segment of the PBS program 'This Old House'.

“This Old House,” the PBS home-improvement and remodeling television show, was on location in New Jersey to film the installation of a hurricane-proof, custom modular home.

The house is on East Main Street and belongs to Rita Gurry. Her former home, which sat at the same location, was demolished as a result of damage from Sandy.

“I had a little Cape that then Sandy came to town and I had 3 ½ feet of water in my home.”

Her first floor was ruined, and mold was a threat to claim the rest. Gurry decided then to have the home knocked down and have a new modular home installed. Her new residence is a Cape with a Salt Box shape roof.

She didn’t want to deal with all the individual contractors when building a stick built home. Building a modular home made this a “cakewalk.”

The house was fabricated in a factory and delivered to the site in two boxed sections. It was placed on a foundation of 37 pilings.

The pilings will be enclosed by masonry with smart vents built in. The vents, one for every 200 square feet of concrete, will allow water to flow in and out in the event of a flood. Water recession and pressure is what blew out a lot of foundations during Sandy.

This modular home was also hurricane strapped and bolted to survive 120 mph winds.

The home was delivered at 8 a.m. and by noon it was already snapped together on its foundation. It has four bedrooms, and 2½ baths.

Modular homes might become very popular during rebuilding New Jersey after hurricane Sandy.

“We’ve told the modular home story before. But my thoughts is you’re going to see a lot more folks down the Shore doing this because of the efficiency, speed and cost.”

The home is almost finished. There is work left installing siding, roofing, hardwood floors and marble counter tops. But for Gurry it was relief to see her new home coming to life.

“At 8 o’clock this morning there was just pilings. I was still in limbo. At noon I have my life back,” said Gurry. “They turned something that was so dramatic to me, into one of the most memorable moments of my life.”

For more information on building a modular home in New Jersey, contact Avalon Building Systems.

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Financing Modular Homes on Boston's South Shore

31 May 2013

We often get asked questions regarding financing a modular home. We thought we would address that subject in this blog post. If you are considering financing a modular home, there are few things you need to know.

Modular homes are built in sections at a factory and transferred to the building site on large truck beds. Modular home manufacturers and local contractors will put together the sections and local inspectors make sure that the modular home meet local, state and regional building and permitting requirements and all finish work is done properly and beautifully. Therefore, modular homes are considered the same as far as financing as traditional stick built homes.

A title company needs to provide acceptable recorded evidence that the modular home was converted to real property and is covered by a standard real estate title insurance policy. Your lender might also request a satisfactory licensed structural engineer’s report that certifies the foundation is in compliance with guidelines. Your property appraiser will need to thoroughly inspect the home and include photos. Modular homes appreciate in value the same way traditionally built home do.

Your appraiser will note whether your home has been connected to a septic tank or sewage system and other basic utilities as well.

Lastly, the modular home must conform to the neighborhood and have sufficient living area and room dimensions to be acceptable to the market.

Although there are numerous modular home lenders, you should plan in advance on the best way to finance one. Modular homes manufacturers or local contractors can refer you to the lending institution they usually use in your area if you need assistance in finding a lender. If you buy a modular home with cash and want to refinance it or even sell it later on, your resale strategy should take into consideration the tighter lending requirements and higher interest rates for these properties too.

For more information, contact Avalon Building Systems in Stoughton, MA.

Excerpts - Nappa Valley Register

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Differences Between Modular Homes and Stick Built Homes

24 May 2013

Most everyone has seen a home under construction. Picture all of that work - framing, drywall, fixtures, and electrical work - going on in a sprawling plant.

Basically, that’s the difference between modular construction and stick-built homes. Quality, style, customizations, design options, floor plans, and size – all of these are the same in modular homes and stick built homes.

Modular homes are different from manufactured houses as well, and the two should not be confused. Manufactured homes tend to be constructed as single units, usually without second levels, and are designed in many cases as affordable housing for lower to moderate income residents.

Modular homes are typically geared toward the middle to upscale buyer. They are two-or-more-story houses, and the second floor modules are lifted by crane to the upper stories by crane.

Modular homes can produce cost savings because they’re built under climate-controlled conditions — no construction delays from weather or material delays. Additionally, because they are built in a factory, there are no labor shortages, and the homes are built efficiently. This allows for not only a price savings, but a time savings as well. Modular homes can be built in 4-6 weeks once the design stage is complete.

For more information on modular construction, contact Avalon Building Systems.

Excerpts – Post and Courier

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Modular Homes - What You Should Know

17 May 2013

The base price of modular homes is less expensive than a traditionally built home where you have a crew laboring on-site for months. Because the base cost is generally lower, new home buyers can then customize their modular home more generously than one can with a site-built home.

Modular homes have many benefits for home buyers who want to build. Here are some things you should know:

1. Modular homes Are Faster to Build
Depending on the complexity of the home, modular construction can take anywhere from one to three months to build and get it move-in ready. From start to finish, it takes about nine months to a year to construct a stick-built house.

Modules are constructed and inspected in a factory, where weather won't delay the process. The modules are then transported to the building site. It takes about three days to fully assemble the modules at the site.

2. Preset home plans, a-la-carte, or customized homes
Modular home manufacturers offer home plans. The base price of a modular home typically includes construction, transportation of the modules to the final build site, and setting the home on its foundation. However, buyers can change a  preset plan or they can fully-customize their modular floor plans.

3. Modular Homes Are Very Durable
Modular homes have an inherently rigid system that perform much better than conventional residential framing in hurricane force winds. Modular homes can hold up better in extreme weather conditions than traditional stick-built structures.

4. Modular Homes can be Remodeled
Just like a stick-built home, modular homes can be remodeled. Let  you contractor know before you begin the remodeling process, because there may be some slight differences in the structure of the beams that support the home.

For more information on building modular homes, contact Avalon Building Systems.


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Rebuild with Modular Construction in New York

10 May 2013

Superstorm Sandy spared nothing of Michael Seemann's Long Beach, Long Island, home.
Seemann knocked down what was left of his beachside bungalow and commissioned a modular home, a sectional pre-fabricated house. Its levels are set on top of each other with a crane.

"We had about 4 feet of water," Seemann said. "It shifted a little bit and floors were all buckled and the cost to repair it was just greater than the cost to rebuild."

Modular homes are being used to help some Sandy victims recover from the storm in half the time it would take to build a traditional home.

"It just seemed that this was going to get us in the house faster with just as good if not better construction," he said.

Each modular home takes about one month to build and install, compared to two months for a traditional home. The homes cost between $250,000 and $300,000.

"There really isn't that much of a price difference, because again I'm building with the same materials. The difference is in the quality of modular homes and the speed that it can be built."

The foundation of Seemann's new home was set in about six hours. Just one day later, the home took shape.

For more information on building a modular home in New York, contact Avalon Building Systems.

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So Many Advantages to Modular Houses

3 May 2013

For more than 100 years, modular homes have been promoted by designers and entrepreneurs for their efficiency, speed and affordability. However, modular homes have remained a niche market, and many homeowners still do not entirely understand modular housing.

A modular house is constructed in sections in a factory, transported on flatbed trucks and joined together at the building site.

The aesthetics of modular homes are varied and essentially unlimited. Stylistically, modular houses run the gamut from traditional to contemporary. By current standards, the majority are modest in size; more than half of them have less than 2,500 square feet of living space, however they can be as large as you want them to be.

Home builders gravitated to modular construction because they have done their research and found that it is the best way to build a new house that is unusually energy-efficient and easy to maintain.

There are additional reasons to build a prefab house. One of the most important will surprise homeowners who are not familiar with the construction process. A factory built house minimizes waste; most site-built houses fill up a dumpster several times over. Factories, where the same house parts are assembled over and over, can predict what they will need so that waste is minimized.

A second plus with a modular house is its speed of construction. While a site-built house takes about four to 15 months to complete, a modular home generally takes weeks. Because most of the work is done in a factory, there are no weather delays and no damage to exposed framing when it is deluged in a summer thunderstorm. Perhaps most importantly for owners, speeding up the construction process reduces the amount of stress as their home is built.

Modular homes are built with higher quality control than site-built ones. In many factories now, the workers use sophisticated, computer-aided machinery that makes more accurate cuts so that the framing pieces fit together more easily; this in turn makes all the subsequent steps in the construction sequence, including the installation of interior and exterior materials and windows, faster and easier. And, modular homes can be custom-built.

For more information on Modular Construction, contact Avalon Building Systems.

Excerpts -Washington Post

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No Luck Finding the Home You Want? Build a Modular Home - Boston, MA

26 April 2013

Right now the housing market is hot. But unfortunately, the sellers haven’t gotten the memo. Home inventory is sparse. No need to wait, build your own home. Think that takes too long? Not so with modular construction.
Massachusetts in particular has had resurgence in the housing market, but unfortunately, while home sales have been increasing, they have not been as good as they could be because of the lack of inventory. In fact, right now there are anywhere from 5- 7 years of buyers on the market with no homes to buy.

Modular construction is the perfect way to get into a new home, and you don’t have to settle for a home you need to adapt to or modify. Build the home you want that will perfectly grow with your family in far less time than it would take to build a home the traditional way.

Have you been shopping around for a new home and either keep missing out on the home you may want or perhaps you just can’t find the right home. Wait no more. Modular homes can be custom designed and built for you and your needs in just one to two months after the design process is complete. And, with hundreds of modular home plans to choose from, the design process can be a short process as well.
You know where you want to live, and you can envision the home you want to live in. Build it with modular construction. Right now is the best time to build your own home with low interest rates, a more stable job market, and lenders who are ready to lend again.

For more information on modular construction in Massachusetts, contact Avalon Building Systems.

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Rebuilding New York with Modular Construction

19 April 2013

Superstorm Sandy tore up several communities in New York that are still trying to rebuild. In many cases, no homes were spared. Many are rebuilding with modular construction.
Many New Yorkers are knocking down the remains of their homes and commissioning modular home manufacturers to design, create and build their new homes. Modules are built in a factory, transported to the site of the old home, and set on top of each other with a crane.

Many New York homeowners are finding that the cost to repair the damaged homes was just greater than the cost to rebuild.

Modular homes can help Sandy victims recover from the storm in half the time it would take to build a traditional home.

One homeowner said, "It just seemed that this was going to get us in the house faster with just as good if not better construction.”

Each home takes about one month to build and install, compared to two months for a traditional home. The homes cost between $250,000 and $300,000, of course this fluctuates with size and design.

Truly, modular construction often costs less, but the main advantage is the quality and speed in which a home can be built. Modular homes are being built with the same materials as a site built home, however, modular homes are built with better quality standards.

The foundation of the new modular home is set in about six hours. Just one day later, the modular home is assembled and ‘buttoned up”.

For more information on modular construction, contact Avalon Building Systems.

Excerpts –

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Modular Homes Facts

13 April 2013

There are many reasons why modular construction is gaining in popularity. As people decide to build themselves a new home, more interest and research is going into the process. Consumers are discovering that modular homes are custom designed, efficient, green and often better built. For these reasons and many more, modular construction is on the rise.

What are consumers discovering about modular homes? Here are some of the benefits of modular construction that are convincing homebuyers that this just might be the way to go.

Modular home facts:

More Home for the Budget. A modular home does not cost as much as a site built home so a home owner can build a home with more square footage for their budget. This can mean additional bedrooms or other coveted amenities that could not otherwise be purchased.

Mortgage Lenders Like Modular. When you are obtaining a mortgage for a new construction project the project often runs into cost overruns. This can be avoided by purchasing modular because the costs are preset. Lenders appreciate this stability in funding a new project.

Not as Many Time Delays. Designing the property and having it enter the construction phase does not take long for Modular Homes. Each phase of the home structure can be built simultaneously, allowing for homes to be completed in a timely manner.

No Weather Delays. Modular Homes are not subjected to the weather. They are built in a climate controlled factory. Site built homes often face delays due to inclement weather.

For more information on modular construction, contact Avalon Building Systems.

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