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Avalon Building Systems Blog

Consider Prefab Homes – Stoughton, Sharon, MA

16 August 2013

People should consider building ‘prefab’ homes. There is so much less waste, they’re faster, and they’re often less expensive.
“Prefabricated” homes are modular homes. Modular home construction streamlines the home construction process. On-Site construction usually involves multiple parties, but prefab homes are typically designed, constructed and built by one company.
Customers who choose modular construction to build a  new home know the price, and they know what they’re getting for a finished product. It is a much less stressful process.

Because of the streamlined process, architects and builders are able to control how much (or how little) waste is involved in construction. Modular homes manufacturers are offering ways to make construction less wasteful and more streamlines. Homes are constructed in factories where it’s easier to source sustainable materials and control waste, and transporting fewer workers means a smaller carbon footprint.

Not only is the modular building process more sustainable, but prefab homes have benefits for your energy bill, too. New developments in the industry allow builders to achieve a tighter envelope on the house. Spray foam insulation and structural insulated panels help to ensure that air doesn’t leak into or outside of the home.

As prefab homes become more environmentally sustainable,  modular design has evolved as well. Many people associate prefab homes with a modern style of architecture; however, prefab is a type of construction, not a certain design style. Prefab houses can be built in almost any style you can build an on-site house.

Contrary to their prior reputation of being “cookie cutter” homes, prefab homes are actually very customizable.  

Is a prefab home right for you? Prices tend to be competitive, but the cost of building prefab varies depending on the type of home, which can range from large, high-end homes to smaller, more economical models. And prefabs are not specific to certain areas; they can be built as remote getaways or into busy urban neighborhoods.

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

UT San Diego

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Modular Construction - Build a New Home for 5-10 Percent Less

9 August 2013

Home construction is increasing again because while people trying to take advantage of the still- low-but-quickly-rising interest rates, and the lack of home inventory, they are choosing to build. However, often the custom designed home you want can cost too much to build, especially when you include upgrades. Additionally, with tradition home construction, there is no guarantee that your traditionally built home won’t go over budget. Often, this can put new home construction out-of-reach for many.

However, there is a different way to build your dream house with a smaller budget and with a guarantee of  no cost overruns. Modular construction has no surprise costs, costs less to build and takes less time to build too.

Modular homes or pre-fab homes are built in a factory in less time to the same or higher standards as traditional construction. They have been around for a while, but there is one big difference from when they were first invented:  they are now highly customizable.
The old perception of modular homes being cookie-cutter is an obsolete idea. Modular homes can be custom designed to any degree; you can modify an existing floor plan or you can have architectural plans drawn up that can be adapted to modular construction.

Additionally, many home building associations will contend that the quality of modular homes is higher than traditional homes. Modular homes can often be built in as little as 30 days, after the design is complete, and with a budget that can be anywhere from 5% to 10% less than traditional construction. From start to finish, permitting to move-in, a modular home can be completed as little as four to five months.

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

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Modular Apartment Homes Let Property Owners Rent Homes Faster, Natick, MA

2 August 2013

The housing market is improving. Many experts believe this has to do with investors buying multi-family and single family homes and using them as rentals. Additionally, there has been a massive surge in apartment construction. If you are an investor looking for rental real estate, why not build a modular multi-family home or modular apartments?

Right now in Natick, MA a 3-story modular apartment building is being constructed on North Avenue. In fact, you may have seen the large crane over Natick Center as it lifted a 20,000-pound module off the trailer and placed it on the three-story apartment building.

Those modules are 'almost-finished' sections of apartments, with heating systems, windows, and interior items, like kitchens and living rooms, already installed. This apartment building will have 12 apartments in total, and will be built in far less time than it would take to build through traditional construction.

The crews began setting the boxes Monday and was expected to last for three days. Using modular construction the traditional one year construction time is condensed into just a few months.  After the modules are set, workers will make connections between them and put on a stucco siding. The building will take shape in a few hours.

This is one of the main factors that has developers of commercial projects using modular construction.

Right now, modular construction represents about 1.5% percent of the commercial construction industry, but the Modular Building Institute "anticipates significant growth over the next five to 10 years."

The speed, achieved in part by constructing the sections in a factory while preparation work is going on at the site, means property owners can start renting apartments more quickly, saving developers money.

Less waste is produced through the factory process and modular buildings can be stronger because there is a double wall where boxes meet each other.

Innovative Design & Building Services/Excel Homes, a modular homes manufacturer used by Avalon Building Systems, is working on the Natick project. They have also used modular construction for student and military housing, among other projects.

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

Metro West Daily News

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Do you Know the Difference Between Modular, Manufactured and Mobile?

26 July 2013

We get this question a lot! There are very real and important differences between mobile, modular and manufactured homes.

What is a Modular Home:

Modular Homes are almost exactly the same as site built homes.
Modular homes are at the top of the factory made housing market. Modular homes are shipped to the site on flatbed trucks. They are structured WITHOUT a permanent metal chassis. These homes are built to the same or higher standards as a site built or stick built home.

Modular homes
can have multiple stories that are attached to each other on-site. Once assembled they are designed not to be moved to another location. Visually, a lay person will NOT be able to tell the difference between a modular home or a stick built home. Banks also treat modular homes the same as stick built homes for financing.

What is a Mobile Home:

Mobile homes are exactly what they say…mobile. They were manufactured in a factory and moved to the home site. But mobile homes are NOT permanent. They have steel beams running along the base of the structure and serve as a permanent chassis. These I-beams can rest on a cider block or concrete foundation, wooden posts, metal supports or stone blocks.

What is a Manufactured Home:

Manufactured homes arrive on wheels. They are towed to the site on axles and wheels that are removed when the unit is set. These homes should have a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Certification Label on the side or on each of the two sides if they are a double width unit.

Modern Manufactured Homes can appear similar to site built homes and they can be placed on the same types of foundations as the mobile homes listed above.

While the initial cost of manufactured homes may be less than site built homes, living costs can be significantly higher in older models because they are energy inefficient.

Gateway Realty Wiggins

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Modular Construction is Faster and Less Expensive for New York, New Jersey

19 July 2013

In New York and New Jersey, builders are stacking together prebuilt modules made out of state, as they piece together towns and cities with homes that are built almost entirely offsite.

Prefabricated construction, or modular construction, is constructing a home or building away from its ultimate location. Developers and architects increasingly look to the technique as a way to save time and money.

Modular construction can take 2 months from start to finish, down from several months to a year for traditional construction.

Modular construction is less expensive and faster than site built construction and doesn’t drag down the quality of the finished work. In fact, in many cases, the quality is better than traditional construction.

There are savings in time, savings in money. There are advantages by just condensing the entire construction process.

A crane is used to lift a sizeable module onto the top of the stack, once that is completed, installation onsite, the buttoning up and finish work is done  onsite.

The technique is not new. There’s a budding renaissance in modular construction or offsite construction.

The renaissance is starting with an awareness that modular homes can be built with an imagination, and it can be done with a thoughtful design, and it can produce a custom designed product.

A May 2011 McGraw-Hill Construction report found that prefab building is emerging once again as a U.S. trend, tied partly to the popularity of "green" buildings and digital modeling.

After surveying hundreds of industry professionals, researchers found that the real estate industry is increasingly moving toward modular to boost productivity and cut waste.

Digital modeling allows you to see how prefab pieces fit together, allowing better advance planning, while reduced waste and better safety for workers are also factors.

All of these things combined with an economy that put pressure on the industry means that they’ve looked for efficiencies. Prefab has been around forever, but the next evolution of prefab has been in the last three or four years.

Cheaper labor in a controlled factory environment, where there’s less safety risk, is part of the appeal.

When you start to look at some of the real benefits, in terms of shorter schedules, lower costs and less waste, all of sizeable percentages, it just makes good bottom-line business sense.

For information on modular construction, contact Avalon Building Systems.


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Go Green with Modular Home Construction

12 July 2013

Consumers can be environmentally responsible by buying any number of products, anything from cleaning supplies to modular homes. Modular Homes are green homes. This includes everything from the construction of the panels to the energy efficiency of the finished home.

Many of the modern modular homes are built to use less energy. There may be energy efficient appliances or thicker layers of insulation on the sides of the home. When there is less heat being absorbed into the home, the AC doesn’t have to work as hard. As a result, the electricity bills are considerably less, positively impacting the environment as well.

With modular construction there is less material waste and less energy is used during the process. In a standard construction home, a lot of materials are wasted because they are cut wrong, or because they are damaged out in the weather. This includes lumber and many other items.

With modular homes, a homeowner often has more control over certain aspects of the home. There are endless floor plans available. Adjustments can be made to a modular floor plan based on the needs of the homeowner. Once the panels are constructed off site, they are then brought to where the home will reside.

The plumbing, hardware, and appliances will need to be selected. Many homes going green are built specifically to be energy efficient. There are faucets and shower heads that will reduce water flow. In addition, energy efficient appliances can be selected that will use less energy in their operation throughout the home.

A standard construction home is expensive to build. Add green initiatives to it and it may be cost prohibitive for the average homeowner to build. Green modular homes are typically more affordable for home buyers because in general, they are less expensive to build. If you want a green home, you now have an affordable way to own an environmentally friendly home.

Find out more about modular homes, contact Avalon Building Systems.

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Modular Home Construction has so Many Benefits

3 July 2013

Are you in the market for a new home? If so, you have probably realized that new home inventory is very low. How about building a new home? But there are many drawbacks to site built construction. First and foremost is the time it takes to build a new home. But, this is not the case with modular construction.
Modular home construction has many advantages and benefits:

Modular homes take far less time to build than site built homes. Once the design phase is completed, your move in date could be just a couple months away. This means within a couple months you could have a new home; less time to wait and less stress on your family. If you begin now, you can be moved into your new home when school starts.
Modular construction is a less expensive way to build a new home. The shortened construction time, means less payments on construction loans and fewer payments where you live during construction is always a money saver. Shorter construction time also means less time spent paying for your new home plus your living arrangements while your home is being built. And, once you receive your quote for construction, there will be no additional or hidden fees.

Modular homes are higher quality than traditionally built homes. Modular homes are built in a factory with constant quality-assurance inspections.  They are built to meet or exceed all local, state and federal building codes.  
For more information on modular construction, contact Avalon Building Systems.

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Modular Homes are More Efficient than Traditionally Built Homes

24 June 2013

A modular home is not the same thing as a manufactured home or a mobile home. In fact all of these homes have different sets of standards.

Modular homes are built to the same or higher standards as conventional stick built homes. Banks recognize the difference as well. Modular homes are treated the same as stick-built homes by all banks and mortgage companies. Why? Because modular homes appreciate in value just like traditional homes do. Understand that mobile homes lose value. In fact, mobile homes depreciate in value immediately, as soon as they are driven off the lot.

Modular homes are built in a factory setting according to a specific set of plans designed with you, the homeowner,  with your needs n mind. Modular homes can be custom designed. With Avalon Building Systems, many of the materials used in the modular construction of our homes is of higher quality than you would find in a site built homes. We use only Energy Star appliances, energy efficient windows and our walls and floors are constructed with SIPs, or structural insulated panels. All of these materials differences makes your modular home more energy efficient than a traditionally built home.

Additionally, with modular construction, the price you receive on the home is the final price you will receive for the home. Modular home construction has no surprises, no materials or labor delays and the price stays consistent.

Avalon is the general contractor for your home construction project. So there will be no surprises when working with us. Our price is our price and we are committed to your home construction project.

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

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Modular Home Manufacturers in Neighboring States Get You in Homes Faster – New York, New Jersey

21 June 2013

Modular construction is gaining in popularity, but there is still some confusion by some when a home arrives in sections on a tractor-trailer when the norm is to watch it go up gradually, on the spot.

Modular homes are becoming a popular choice for victims of hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey. There are numerous modular models from which to pick, and modular homes can be custom designed.  But, the fact that the modules have to be made for transport and lifted by cranes means they are engineered to much higher specifications than stick built homes.

Modular construction is often compared to building toy structures with variously sized Lego blocks. All the modules are in standard sizes. Imagine four shoe boxes. It’s like a four-box house. Generally, the modules are 14 to 16 feet wide and 40 to 50 feet long.

There are certain advantages in modular construction. One is speed. Most houses can be factory-built in less than a week. You build modular homes under controlled conditions, and you get a beautiful, quality end product.

Within a given factory, the homes will have the same kind of finish, the same level of quality. And because they are built indoors, construction will never be delayed by weather. There are no unknowns. All of these factors make modular construction an invaluable option for those rebuilding homes ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. In effect, it allows home construction to be outsourced to modular builders in neighboring states that are home to modular factories.

If you have a house lot at the Shore, you would have a terrible time getting a builder who has time to build on site. At the moment, you have a finite number of builders; they cannot cope with the amount of work that needs to be done. Modular construction increases the capacity to build. You are importing labor. You can build more houses in a shorter period of time because you are not limited to the local skill and labor pool.

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

Excerpts - Star Ledger

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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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