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Avalon Building Systems Blog

Active Military $8,000 New Home Tax Credit

28 September 2010

Very few are aware that a $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers (and the $6,500 tax credit for repeat home buyers), although expired for most, is still available to some active duty military personnel. Military service members who were on official extended duty outside of the United States for at least 90 days between Jan.1, 2009 and May 1, 2010, may qualify for a one-year extension. We kept our home buyers tax-credit page live (even though it no longer applies to non-military) because it remains a great resource for our most valued active duty members and their families.  Remember we provide a custom modular home frequently asked question page as an additional ready resource for you.

Congress has acknowledged the unique circumstances affecting members of the military, the Foreign Service and the intelligence community by making the following exceptions that apply to both the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers and the $6,500 tax credit for repeat home buyers. “Qualified service member” means a member of the uniformed services of the U.S military, a member of the Foreign Service of the U.S., or an employee of the intelligence community. “Official extended duty” means any period of extended duty outside of the United States for at least 90 days during the period beginning after December 31, 2008 and ending before May 1, 2010. It is our privilege to offer a wide variety of customized  ranch style modular homes which are perfectly suited for our wounded warriors.

The bottom line, qualified service members have until April 20, 2011 to take advantage of the tax credit.  All of us at Avalon Building System offers deep respect for our military family compels us to publicize this little known fact and to ask all of you to pass the word to your military family and friends wherever they may be. If this message results in a single military family getting educated and ultimately saving money on their new home purchase, then we will be most grateful and humbly celebrate. If you have any other questions  contact us today.

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Popular Choice: Cape Cod and Ranch Customizable Floor Plans

20 September 2010

Every Avalon Building System modular home is carefully crafted and tailor made to the precise requirements and specifications of the consumer.  The process of Avalon Building System floor plan design starts with a host of different home styles and floor plan templates that we customize in close consult with our clients.  Today we discuss the Cape Cod and the Ranch, two very popular home styles.  

Cape Cod: This particular style of modular home features warm wooden flooring and stairs as a prerequisite, along with a carefully sloping roof, which will feature any number of dormer windows and will tend to make use of a rather minimal footprint. Complete with large-scale garden and greenery both from the front and back of the home, these types of modular home feature at a minimum, 1000 square feet of floor space. Given that they tend to include a maximum of two bedrooms, they may not be well suited for large families; Perfect for a couple or even a vacation home.

Ranch: This type of modular differs quite significantly from the Cape Cod variety, whereas the Cape Cod variety features a second story to the home, the Ranch does not. The Ranch style home offers a horizontal (vice vertical) orientation.  The emphasis here is about effective usage of space rather than large rooms, and one of the most readily identifiable aspects of this type of modular home is the notable presence of a basement. Ranches are also very popular among families, as the generous number of bedrooms makes it far easier to accommodate the children.

View the variety of Cape Cod and Ranch style custom modular home floor plans (along with a host of other types)  and then speak to us about customization options that will deliver you a truly unique and enjoyable home for life. 

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Interesting History Of The Modular Home Construction Industry

14 September 2010

Avalon Building Systems is approaching our tenth year of building quality custom modular homes. Bud did you know that modular construction has been around for over a hundred years? Did you know that almost everyone has been inside of a modular home or modular general office building and never realized it? Modular homes design, from traditional colonial style to multi-family units are quite the extraordinary design. The history of modular homes is quite interesting as well as the evolution of modular homes keeps expanding because of new technology.
Modular buildings are pre-fabricated buildings taken to a new and larger scale. We avoid the term "pre-fabricated" because of the erroneous association that that term has with mobile home construction. The use of pre-fabrication goes back over a hundred years. It started gaining popularity early in the 20th century between 1910 to the mid-1940s. The end of World War II caused the modular market to truly explode and evolve. Returning soldiers came back to America looking to buy homes and start families. This drove a demand for homes greater than the marketplace could handle via the traditional building process. This led people to look for solutions to increase efficiency and lower the cost of new home construction. The modular building process answered both of these needs. There are still 1950-era modular homes in service today.
Over the past twenty years, the sophistication of modular home design greatly increased.  The leap in sophistication relates in part to the pioneering support of overhead cranes with the capacity to lift 100 tons or more. This allowed larger modules to be constructed and shipped cross-country. The only limitation in the size of each individual module is rode width and weight restrictions.  Today's modular buildings normally consist of 3-6 different modules.

As the size of modular homes has increased so have customization options. We deliver custom modular homes where the owners themselves participate in the design engineering. The final product is tall, wide, and as unique as the owners themselves are.

Here are a few current examples of just how widespread modular home construction is in today’s society.  Modular units are part of the construction design of the new Queen Mary 2 cruise liner. The Queen Mary 2 is the largest and most expensive cruise liner ever built. The ship owners choose to use modular passenger cabins to ensure all cabins met the higher standards possible.  Even the VIP suites utilized the modular building process. The McDonald's Corporation uses modular building design. Virtually every Americans has entered modular structures.  Since finished modular buildings look the same as traditionally constructed buildings, no one realizes they are in a modular building.  However, trained eyes surveying for structural integrity will see a marked difference between modular and non-modular construction.

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So What About Avalon Building Systems “A+” Better Business Bureau Rating?

8 September 2010

With quality of product and service being of paramount importance to us, we thought we’d take a moment to discuss the Better Business Bureau (BBB), what they do, and what it means to earn their respect.  Most if not everyone is familiar with the BBB, but relatively few are familiar about the details of their evaluator process.  You’ve seen the BBB logo on our home page, by reading below you’ll learn about how we earn the right to proudly display that logo.

The BBB deals with a wide assortment of industries with home building being just one of many. They pride themselves on being an unbiased ethical agency and their long history truly trusted business practices has empowered that pride.   All of us at Avalon Building systems carry that same pride in our quality of product and service in part due to our uninterrupted qualification for the BBB seal of approval.   We are contractually obligated to uphold the BB’s “Standards for Trust” and we also agree to prioritize and resolve complaints that are filed against them with the BBB. This sets us apart from other businesses.  Non-BBB business is not required to be ethical or resolve complaints. Care to guess how many BBB complaints have been filed against Avalon throughout our entire history?  You guessed it…NONE!  Only compliments. Who would not be humbly proud of such a record.
When evaluating a business, BBB looks at many different factors.  Being accredited doesn't guarantee that a business earns the top grade of “A+”. In fact, there are many non-accredited businesses out there that treat customers well but do not rate near the perfect grade. Good business often get “C” ratings and below.  You need to realize that “A+” earners like us have demonstrated to the BBB that they are “over the top” in quality and service.  There are close to half-a-million Accredited Businesses in North America with a fraction of those rated A+.  
 When you ask us about a custom home or speak with us about one of our floor plans you will see the service reflected from the BBB. If you’d like to see the exact factors we were judged against by the BBB, navigate to and review the BBB review ratings page.  
When you team with Avalon Building Systems, you team with true and PROVEN professionals.  Let us go to work for you today!

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Why Modular--Comparatively Low Price and Long-Term Durability

2 September 2010

It's no question that modular houses are the strongest of all frame homes built. A typical modular home contains 30 percent more lumber. Floors and walls are both glued and screwed to hold out the rigors of over-the-road transportation and crane lifting when setting the house on a foundation. Make no mistake, modular is just a better way to build! So it should come as no surprise that the modular home industry is rising and advancing month-in and month-out. This is not just happening across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and indeed across the globe as well.

There are some great benefits to going with a modular home over a site built home. Not only can the modular home direction save funds in actual construction costs, but it may also save a lot of time. Since there are many opportunities for lower costs, a lower potential for problems, energy efficiency and better quality, people in and out of the industry are beginning to be aware of the amazing value of modular homes.

Typically, modular homes are bought through a licensed manufacturer such as us at Avalon Building Systems.  After a floor-plan strategy and options have been agreed, a state-approved third party reviews the plans to verify that state building codes are adhered too. Simultaneously, a third party inspection agency licensed by the state conducts inspection at the plant while the home is being manufactured and assembled. You, the modular home consumer, are one of the most protected buyers in any American industry.

Once inside your new home, your continue to be protected at the highest level.  We are able to insulate our modular homes to a much greater degree than an on-site home. The home is caulked all at once; no delays due to poor weather will interfere with the construction of your home.

Home building industry experts on average state that home buyers can save up to 35% on new home construction by going modular. Why modular?  Better product....less cost. We don't know what more needs to be said. 

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Five Myths and Facts About Custom Modular Homes

30 August 2010

A home is one of the largest purchases that someone will make in their lifetime so it’s important to know the facts – all the facts – before buying. Most people will buy a stick-built home just because it’s all they are aware of. But what they don’t know is that they will save money, time, and get a better product by  choosing custom modular homes.  

The biggest challenge facing the custom modular home industry is that it continues to fall victim to the old adage..."too good to be true".  But that sentiment is on the decline as more and more  independent consumer advocates come on board and verify the superiority of the modular home product over all other forms of construction.  But with that said, we know misconceptions remain as evidenced by the repeat questions that we get based on myths that just won't die.  Here we present to you the top five myths followed by the facts regarding that myth: 

Myth: “Custom” means expensive, right? After all, if I choose something for my unique needs, it should cost more.
Fact: The buyer works with a designer to take units and assemble them into a floor plan that suits them. In this way, homes are fully customizable. Homeowners can design the house of their dreams.

Myth: Isn’t a modular home a mobile home?
Fact: No! Modular homes look just like regular homes. They have a foundation, they are 1 or 2 stories, they may have an attached garage. In fact, if you drove down the street, you wouldn’t be able to tell a stick built from a modular home. Check out our older post about identifying the stick-built home from he modular home.

Myth: Modular homes are less efficient because they are modules that are stuck together.
Fact: Modular homes are more efficient. A recent study shows that modular homes exchange the air only 7 times per hour while a stick built home exchanges air 11 times per hour. That will translate into real savings on heating and cooling costs. And, because the home is built in a weather-free setting, insulation doesn’t lose its R-value by getting wet.

Myth: Modular homes are poorly constructed compared to stick built homes.
Fact: Modular homes are, in fact, constructed to be stronger than stick built homes. They’re built in units by professionals (and these professionals are supervised by qualified inspectors). They’re built in a controlled setting which means that the building materials stay dry. And, they come with a 10 year warranty, compared with most 1 year warranties that come with a stick built home.

Myth: Stick built homes are easier to build.
Fact: While it may seem that way because materials are brought to the site and assembled there, it actually takes far more work. Every stick-built project delay – from weather to crew problems – pushes the project back, and that is costly and management-intensive. However, a modular home is built in a climate-controlled setting on strict schedules.  There are no weather breaks for our staff.  Also, our products are built to exacting standards that stick-builders refuse to place upon themselves.  So our process is precise and demanding, two critical prerequisites for enabling the delivery of industry-leading quality products.

Summary of Facts:  Customized modular homes are stronger structures, are less expensive per square foot than stick-built homes, are constructed faster, and are much more environmentally friendly process due to significant less construction waste. It is patently obvious why the market share of custom modular home continues to rise while market share of stick-built homes continues to decline....better product for less money.  

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Avalon Offers Insight Into Floor Plan Selection

23 August 2010

Avalon building systems offers a  multitude of floor plans.   Because of this,  as a general rule,  our customers usually find  THE floor plan  that directly matches their needs.  . A subset of our customers choose to customize floor plans and we are happy to work with you toward this end.   We enjoy being a part of our customer's dream for a magnificently built modular home.   One point we’d like to make clear to you.  If you select one of our standard modular home plans, it will save you time and simplify the home building  decision process   since the design, engineering, and pricing have already been done by us. If you're having trouble selecting a floor plan, read on as  we will offer some quick tips on selecting a floor plan that is right for you.

All of our standard modular home plans typically include a floor plan and an exterior elevation. The modular floor plans show the location and size of each room, while the elevations provide an idea of what the finished house will look like on the outside.   When looking through our selection of modular home plans, do not be misled by the pairing of modular home floor plans and exterior drawings into thinking that you cannot make adjustments.   In fact, each of our floor plans for modular homes can have a multitude of exterior looks, and each exterior look can be applied to many different modular house floor plans.   For example, all homes can have a garage and porch, even if the artist has not included them in the drawing.   Likewise, you can adjust the slope of the roof, add dormers and decorative gables, and opt for over-sized roof overhangs if you choose, regardless of what you see in the drawing.

If you don't find any suitable modular home floor plans amongst the sampling we have put on our web site, please contact us to discuss what type of plan would better fit your needs.   We might be able to help you with one of our many other standard modular house floor plans.   If none of our standard floor plans for modular homes work for you, we'll be happy to help you design one of our custom modular home floor plans.   If you already have some custom modular floor plans in mind, we'll tell you if they can be built as a modular.   If your modular house floor plans cannot be built as a modular home, we will help you design one of our custom modular home plans offering similar features.

So the bottom  line, whether your are dead set on a design or absolutely uncertain how to go, Avalon Building Systems is perfectly suited to help you navigate quickly into the home of your dreams.  

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Land Considerations For Your Modular Home

16 August 2010

You’re an educated consumer, have considered all options regarding the purchase of your new home, and have decided  to build your dream  home of  custom  modular construction.  Congratulations!  When considering purchasing a modular home, one of the first things you'll need to evaluate is the type of land you'll be putting the home on. Modular home construction offers a wide variety of building options, and often those options are influenced (if not dictated) by the land that the home will be built upon.  Therefore, it's always best to close on your lot before engaging the home construction decision making process.  In this blog post, we'll provide you with some tips on the land search and selection process.
  • Contact a real estate agent in the area where you are interested in putting your modular home. Explain to the agency what you intend to do and give them an idea of the kind of land for which you're looking.
  • Visit the various properties that your real estate agent has found. It's vital that you visit each property in person to get a true idea about the property. There are several things to keep in mind while viewing properties, such as access to power, sewer and water. If you are not happy with any of the available choices, check with another real estate office.
  • Discuss the local building codes and other laws that may affect the home and land you are about to buy.
  • Talk to your real estate agent about the various properties. Go over the pros and cons of each parcel or lot. If you have any questions about a particular piece of property, ask. Double check with your agent about mineral and water rights because in some states these rights do not necessarily go with the purchase of the land.
  • Decide on the land you want to purchase. The piece of property you decide on should have as many of the things you wanted as possible for the local area. If you are not satisfied with any of the choices, don't buy.
  • Contact us to order your dream home. Now that you have the land for it, you will know much more about what options you want on your modular home. Choose options that best suit the land you have purchased and avoid options that will not add anything to the home.
At Avalon we want to make sure that you have all the essential tools for acquiring your dream home. Whether it be tips on what modular homes are to helping you choose which modular plan you'd like to purchase. Yes we make modular home buying easier for you which is why we want to give you a brief blog post about buying the best land for your home.

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Avalon Provides Quick Construction Service

9 August 2010

Avalon Provides Quick Construction Service

Avalon takes pride in providing quality custom homes to its customers. For this reason we like to provide people their dream home as soon as possible. Unlike stick built homes, our modular homes only take weeks to complete. Stick built homes can take months to get the home constructed. Why are our homes quicker to build? Well the process of factory building allows for a controlled environment for the home to be constructed in. There are no concerns of weather conditions, unreliable subcontractors, late material delivery and human error. Avalon's modular homes are constructed by skilled workers who each have certain responsibilities and tasks, which they are responsible for during the assembly process. Because the tasks are being accomplished simultaneously, the structure fits together quickly and in an orderly fashion. A home is completed inside the factory in about a week's time. When the home is shipped to the building site, the building can be erected within a day and can be completed, ready for occupancy, within a few weeks.

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The HUD code Further Ensures Quality From Avalon

3 August 2010

Just as site built homes are constructed according to a specific building code to insure proper design and safety, Avalon’s prefabricated homes are constructed in accordance with the HUD building code. What is this code? Well in 1974 under the National Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act, the United States Congress laid the foundation for the HUD Code. This Act directed the Secretary of the Department of Urban Development to establish appropriate manufactured home construction and safety standards that meet the highest standards of protection, taking into account existing State and local laws relating to manufactured home safety and construction. Every HUD Code modular home is built in a factory under controlled conditions.

The modular homes then must have a special label affixed on the exterior of the home indicating that the home has been designed, constructed, tested and inspected to comply with the stringent federal standards set forth in the code. This label certifies to the home buyer that the home has been inspected in accordance with the HUD enforcement procedures. Only when all inspection parties are satisfied that the home complies with the code will the certification label be affixed to the home. A consumer seeing one of Avalon’s modular homes for the first time will have the assurance that the home has been thoroughly tested and inspected from the design stage through final construction and found to be built according to the approved design. Quality is assured at Avalon and we take pride in the construction of our homes.

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