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Avalon Building Systems Blog

Modular Home Construction For a New Home in New Jersey

21 February 2014

It is not easy to find a new home in parts of NJ that were affected by Hurricane Sandy.  But building a modular home is the perfect way to move into your dream home there. In fact, there are parts of New Jersey that are now filled with homes built through the modular home construction process.

Often people think that modular homes have different financing requirements than traditionally built homes. But, in actuality, the rules and procedures for financing a modular home are the same as for site-built homes. They can be approved for FHA loans, traditional bank and mortgage company financing, and VA loans.

There is an important difference between modular homes and manufactured homes. And, the banks finance the two types of homes differently. Modular homes are built in pieces that are built in the factory, which go through a rigorous QA process throughout the entire construction process. They can be custom designed or you can choose one of hundreds of floor plans. Modular homes appreciate in exactly the same way as traditionally built homes, and the layperson will not be able to tell the difference between the two.

Modular homes are beautifully designed and you can add all types of design details and amenities that are often only found in custom site-built homes. The modules are built off-site, including electrical and plumbing and are then delivered to the site for final assembly.  When modular homes are delivered to your home site, they are 80% complete. In fact, it takes only about two months for a modular home to be completed and ready to move in.

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

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Modular Homes ARE Higher Quality than Site Built Homes, Here’s Why – New Jersey

13 February 2014

Every modular home builder, every modular sales rep and every factory person says that their homes are third party inspected. This is true however not many people really understand what that means and how important and integral it is to building a new modular home.

Third party inspectors insure that the house you want to build meets and exceeds all the Federal, State and local building codes for the address of the new home.

In NJ it is very difficult to restore and replace the NJ’s homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Getting a building permit in most NJ counties was not a piece of cake before Sandy but since it has become even more difficult trying to keep up with all the changes to building setbacks, mandatory height restrictions and municipality inspectors challenging just about everything they see.

Here are two examples. Inspectors approve an item before construction of a non-modular component and then change it during the actual construction. The approvals are biased based on the inspector.

The second example is house footprints. Replacing a condemned home with a new one using the same foundation size which meets the local code should be a no brainer. Both the old house and the new one have heat pumps with exchangers on the outside of the house. Now the exchanger must be above the flood level which means that it will have to be mounted to the house using a 4’ x 4’ platform which eliminates 16 sq ft of living space in the home. Another footprint problem occurs when the electrical meter has to be mounted above the flood elevation which in some cases could mean 16’ above grade. Power companies say they won’t do it because their meter readers can’t see the meter. Solution: build a deck for the meter reader to stand on along with steps. This deck area may be deducted from the living space in some municipalities. Some NJ counties have upward of 40 different regions each with their own inspector. A house built in one code area that passes all the building codes may not pass if built just a 100 yard away in a different code area and they share inspectors!

An inspector does not have to worry about a modular home being shipped from a factory because all the plans for the house meet or exceed all building codes, including the local ones. Third party inspectors have already looked over the plans submitted to them by the factory’s engineers and design staffs, made the changes necessary and stamped the plans “approved” for building the home. Site builders would not only have to hire someone to review their plans, they have to do a lot of the legwork themselves AND still have to contend with local inspectors about foundation and setback and living space problems. Modular home builders let the factory and the third party inspectors handle the home construction codes before it even arrives at the jobsite.

Another challenge is in the  fire separation and noise abatement assemblies in single and multifamily homes. Do not assume that a fire wall is a fire wall and there wasn’t much to talk about. As a builder, you have to know what a fire area, fire barrier and fire partition assemblies are. If you as a builder don’t know, aren’t you glad that a third party is inspecting that triplex you just ordered? What about Horizontal Assemblies and Impact Insulation Class. If you were a site builder, where would even go to find out about these things and how long would it add to your building time and how much extra would it cost both you and your customer?

There are so many different things to consider when it comes to protecting a home from both fire and sound that it takes a third party inspection company to handle all this for the builder. What local building inspector knows all the little in’s and out’s of the codes so that they can pass or reject a project. If they don’t know this stuff, aren’t you glad you build with modular construction and all those things are built in the factory to the appropriate codes. Another plus for modular homes.

Additionally, simple strapping is not enough anymore to satisfy all the building codes. Not only do you, the builder, have to know how many nails, what size nails and what kind of nails or screws to use when attaching strapping and bracing, the factory also has a ton of different straps, holders and bracing to use to build the modules before it arrives at the job site. The site builder, especially the tract builder and site builders in areas that have labor shortages are probably not paying as close attention to strapping and bracing as they should. At the factory, it is expected that every strap and brace will be properly secured with the right nail and with the right strapping.

Hopefully you have a better understanding of what goes into building a modular home in the factory and why it just makes more sense to have your next home built as a modular than to leave it to the site builder working out of his truck.

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

Modular Home Builders Newsletter

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Modular Homes: Faster Construction and No Wait – Stoughton, Canton, MA

7 February 2014

It is the middle of a very snowy, very cold winter. Even still, people are still considering moving and buying homes. But, with new home inventory as low as it is in Massachusetts, the spring buying season may not be fruitful for all. What about building a new home? Modular construction promises faster construction time, and right now there is no wait. Get in now and choose your custom designed modular home. Or, you can choose from one of hundreds of modular home floor plans which can be customized or modified.

Modular home construction is a fast, economical and efficient way to build a new home. And, if you start the design process now, we can start building and you can move in the spring. Homes built with modular construction takes just a few weeks to build. With traditional construction, it could be the end of the summer before you are moved in.

If you are in the housing market, don’t struggle with the existing home inventory. Consider building a modular home. Why not design a home that you need with the rooms and features you want?

Modular homes are built faster than a traditionally built home. But now, in the middle of deep winter, home construction has slowed down. Get in the front of the line and begin the design process now. In fact, we can start construction as soon as the design process is complete, because modular homes are built in factories where the materials are protected from the elements. Once built those modules are brought to your new home construction site and assembled. You can move in the spring into a newly built custom home, contact Avalon Building Systems.

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Multi-Family Homes are in Huge Demand in Greater Boston

31 January 2014

You keep hearing about it, and if you are in the market for an investment property then you are living it. New home inventory, both single and multi-family is woefully low. Many of the homes that are available for sale are inadequate, or not what you are looking for. Here are the facts.

  • Up to 435,000 new housing home would need to be created in the Metro Boston area by the year 2040 to keep the region's economy growing.
  • The units would comprise mostly multifamily homes and be located, primarily, in urban areas
  • The aim of the additional units is to attract younger workers to the region from elsewhere in the country to keep the economy growing in the Greater Boston area.
  • The 435,000 new units are greater than the 305,000 new units needed in a "status quo" scenario
  • Attracting more young people to the region with the kinds of housing they prefer could potentially result in a "stronger region" with a total population increase of 12.6%.

As you know the real estate market has rebounded recently. That rebound has been mostly driven by real estate investors who are buying up inventory for rental and investment properties. If you are a real estate investor, or if you are interested in becoming an investor, consider modular multi-family home construction.

There is a significant need for new multi-family housing if we want to attract young people and families and grow our population in the Boston area. In fact, multifamily housing, both for-sale and rental units, will make up at least 48% and as much as 62% of demand. And, even in suburban municipalities, demand for multifamily units will make up between 28% and 37% of total demand.

Right now the market and need for multi-family housing is huge and growing. Modular construction for multi-family homes ensures high quality, faster construction that meets and exceeds state and local building codes.

For more information on multi-family modular homes for investment properties, contact Avalon Building Systems.

Statistics from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) Report

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Modular Home Additions are Easier and Faster than Stick-Built – Cape Cod, MA

23 January 2014

Recently a family moved to New England, and wanted a the perfect year round house near the beach. They moved into a pretty plain modular home. The house was in a great neighborhood, a short walk to some of the most beautiful sandy beaches and had a bit of a water view.  They added a modular home addition.

The home was a modular house to begin with, but modular additions can be added to any home.  There are so many pluses to renovating a modular home. Modular homes are built in factories, are made to adhere to strict codes and are structurally very sound. In fact, they stand up better through weather and over time than traditionally built homes. The house arrives to the site on a truck and is lifted onto the foundation with a crane. This makes them very sturdy in order to make the trip.

This renovation process included adding the modular addition onto the existing house which took a total of five days.

The modular construction for home additions is the same as that of building a new modular home, they are both made in indoor factories by skilled craftsmen.

A modular home is totally assembled at the factory and shipped out in sections on flatbed trucks. Each piece is lifted by a crane and put into place.  A complete modular home can be done in a few days, including electric, plumbing and complete finish work.

A modular addition is also built at the factory and is assembled at the job site.  The benefits for modular construction are many. You can have a quality built custom home for less than the time and cost of stick built homes and it takes from 3 to 14 days to put up an entire addition.

The modular additions are built as if it they are separate houses and are then added to the existing home. all It is easier than a traditionally built addition, is highly cost effective and no major renovations take place. In New England waste not, want not.

For more information on modular additions in New England, contact Avalon Home Builders.

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Reasons Modular Homes are Superior to Traditionally Built Homes - Massachusetts

17 January 2014

If you are considering building a new home, consider modular construction. There are plenty of reasons why industry leaders and homeowners believe that modular homes are superior to traditionally built homes. Here are some of the reasons why:

State-of-the-art home construction

Modular homes manufacturers can build custom designed homes faster and greener that are more efficient than traditionally build homes. With traditionally built homes, building materials are subject to weather and contractor error. Modular homes are built indoors in factory-like settings and then transported to the building site. During the construction process, modules are subjected to rigorous and constant QA inspections. This number of inspections is not economically feasible on a traditional construction site.

Manufacturing in every industry has evolved to a factory-type process.

Drive by a construction site during the snow or rain. Construction materials and half built homes are subjected to all types of weather conditions. The construction process itself on a traditional job site is also subject contractor and delivery delays. Modular construction is a systems built process where the cuts are precise and work is constantly monitored and inspected. On-site construction has little oversight.

Shorter construction time

While your modular home is being constructed in the factory, on-site work like foundation and water and sewer line tie ins are being completed at the same time. As a result modular home construction takes considerably less time than traditional construction. In fact, modular homes can be completed in 6-8 weeks once the design process is complete.

Built stronger

Modular homes are built to be transported and lifted onto the foundation with a crane. Therefore, all joints are glued and screwed. In fact, modular homes use up to 30% more materials than traditionally built homes. This means modular homes last better and longer through weather and time.

Quality Control

Modular homes are built to exacting standards because modular manufacturers have strong QC systems in place from third party inspectors. Traditionally built homes are subject to inspections only from the onsite supervisor.

No budget surprises

The price you get at the time your purchase a modular home is the price you will pay when the home is complete unless you make changes yourself along the way. Modular construction is easy to budget, so there will be no unexpected surprises.

Greener Homes and Greener Construction

Compared to stick-built homes, modular construction creates less trash, lest waste, less energy and are more efficient after they are built.

ENERGY STAR rated homes, and not just the appliances

For a home to be an ENERGY STAR  it must pass a series of inspections to prove that it meets new energy specs. This means that a modular home will use 15% less energy than a home built with traditional construction. Additionally, insulation, windows and appliances are all more energy efficient.

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

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Winter Has No Effect On Modular Home Construction - Massachusetts

3 January 2014

Did you know that you can build a new home in the winter in New England? If you are considering moving, but you are not interested in the new home inventory, consider building a new home instead. With modular construction, you don’t have to wait until spring to start either.

There are some advantages to building a home in the winter, not the least of which is zero lead time. After the design process is complete, we can immediately begin to build your modular home, which means you can move in faster; no wait. So, if you want to build a new custom designed modular home, winter may be the perfect time. In New England, many people don’t begin the home building process in the winter because of the weather. With traditional construction snow, wind, rain and storms can all adversely affect supplies and labor, causing delays. With modular construction there are no weather or labor delays because supplies are already in-house and construction is performed indoors.

Winter weather is irrelevant in modular construction. The individual modules that make up your home are constructed in a factory setting indoors and are then transported to your building site. The home is assembled that day, and within a few weeks, the home is completed and ready to move in. If you are interested in building a new home in 2014, don't wait until spring, start now.

Do you have questions about building a new modular home in the winter? Contact Avalon Building Systems.

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Lower Home Supply, Choose Modular Construction - Massachusetts

27 December 2013

If you are interested in building a new home, 2014 is the time to start the process. Modular construction is on the rise as consumers realize the advantages and benefits over traditionally built homes. As home prices and interest rates continue to rise, and home supply decreases, new home construction has become more appealing to many. Custom designed modular homes are the better option for many new home buyers.

Purchases of new homes exceeded projections in November, holding near a five-year high and showing the housing recovery was gaining momentum even as mortgage rates climbed.

Home purchases are strengthening as builders respond to pent-up demand unleashed by employment gains and record-high stock prices. Applications for building permits held near a five-year high in October, signaling a pickup in new-home construction will be maintained through the start of 2014.

The supply of homes dropped to 4.3 months, the lowest since June, from 4.5 months in October. There were 167,000 new houses on the market at the end of November, down from 179,000 the prior month.

Many homebuilders see the rise in interest rates as a short-term “pause” for buyer demand that won’t crimp an acceleration in the housing recovery next year.

If you are interested in modular construction for your new home next year, contact Avalon Building Systems.

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Buy/Build a New Home Now, Interest Rates are Rising - Massachusetts

20 December 2013

In the last couple days the FED has made some decisions that will hopefully hold off on inflation. However, those same decisions will most likely raise interest rates right through the spring. While interest rates are lower now than they were at the beginning of the 21st century, they are going up and show no signs of stopping.

If you were considering building a new home in the spring, you may want to reconsider. Start building now and consider modular construction. With a modular home, the construction process is faster, and the budget is set. November actually saw the highest rate of new home construction in years. That is because the economy is picking up. It is also most likely because home prices are high and interest rates are rising. No one wants to pay ‘too much’ for a home they don’t love or that they need to renovate.

Construction loans for modular construction are the same as those for traditionally built homes. The difference is in the length of the loan. Because modular homes are built faster than traditionally built homes, you realize the entire amount of the loan faster. However, modular construction also lessens the time that your are paying for two homes- the one you are living in and the one you are building.

The modular homes industry is gaining in popularity and the demand for new homes is high. Homebuyers are looking for alternatives to rising new home prices and interest rates. Modular homes are the alternative.

The public is becoming more educated in modular construction and more people understand the structural, construction and cost benefits of modular homes. Modular homes are high quality, attractive, and custom designed homes at an affordable cost and in a fraction of the usual time.

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

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Modular Apartment Building Construction are a Great Choice for Investors - Massachusetts

13 December 2013

A big part of the resurrection of the real estate market is a result of investors buying property to rent out for income. As far as investments, traditionally buying real estate has been a good idea. If you are interested in real estate as an investment, consider modular multi-family home or modular apartment construction.

Recently in the news, there was a story about an architect, construction company and modular homes manufacturer who are together using modular construction to build an apartment complex in just 13 days.

Modular construction consists of building the apartment in a climate-controlled factory and transporting them to the construction site. The modules are stacked, using a crane. After modules are stacked and secured, the on-site crew works to add the final touches.

Because they are built in a controlled environment, and are subject to regular QA checks, modular construction yields better-quality homes and commercial buildings that are greener, more cost-effective and more time sensitive.

Modular multi-family homes and apartments are fully inspected, in compliance with state and local building codes for commercial apartments. Inspectors monitor the module construction and the building site.

Many in the construction industry believe that modular construction will be a significant piece of the future of construction. There are plenty of advantages, but arguably the most important are construction time reduction and superior building quality. A common misperception is that modular homes are cheaply-made. But, in actuality, modular apartment buildings are made with quality materials, including walls that reduce sound disturbance.

According to the Modular Building Institute, all modular buildings have to abide by the same building codes and standards as site-built structures.

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


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