Your Guide to Home Renovation in Fairfield County

Posted on Apr 8th, 2016 by Westchester | Posted in: Home Trends

guide-to-home-renovation

Modular Homes May Represent the Best Investment in Connecticut

Home remodeling may seem like an old tradition, but modern techniques are allowing people throughout Connecticut to find the home of their dreams right in their backyard. From updates and additions to completely new homes, the modern modular design gives homeowners the facelift they want without having to move.

If you’re considering a home makeover or want to customize your dream home, it’s worth considering the time and hassle savings that a modular home can deliver. You’ve probably driven by hundreds of modular homes in Fairfield County and never realized it. These may be pre-fab units, but they are among the most beautiful homes on the market.

The perfect home for you might be right under your feet, with a little help from Westchester Modular Homes.

Benefits of a Teardown and Rebuild for Your Home

Sometimes our home no longer fits our needs, but we still love our neighborhood, don’t want to uproot the kids while they’re in school and plan on making Fairfield County a long-term home. That doesn’t need to keep you from having the luxury home of your dreams.

You’re facing two chief options: remodeling your current home or performing a teardown to rebuild your home to your custom specifications. While remodeling has been the easy choice for many years, it doesn’t give them all of the custom features they want, and it takes a long time to complete.

Building a new, custom home on the land you own is proving to be the best option for those who want their dream home. By taking advantage of new construction techniques — such as modular design and development — you can make the best use of your space while getting every luxurious detail you can dream of.

dream-home

A teardown and rebuild gives you the option to customize your home to your specific needs, with your favorite rooms inside and an exterior that fits in with or makes a statement compared to other homes in Fairfield County. It also prevents you from having to search for a new place in Fairfield now that you’ve fallen in love with the area.

Are you a movie buff who dreams of the perfect in-home theater? Do you paint and need large, west-facing windows to capture the sunset? Wouldn’t it be great if your entire downstairs was converted into an entertaining space for fine parties now that the kids have flown the nest?

The top benefit of tearing down an existing home is that your new custom, modular home can be tailored to your family, life and hobbies. But, the advantages for most families don’t stop there. New modular designs are built with the latest technology and innovations in mind, making them typically more energy efficient and Wi-Fi friendly than older homes.

Remove Problems Instead of Covering Them Up

Sometimes a teardown is simply the best way to enjoy your space over more years of your life.

We’ve seen many structural problems that touched every room in the home, which would have required a whole-home remodel to even start to fix. This can be persistent plumbing issues, mold in the attic and behind drywall, shoddy wiring and even ceilings that are too low. Every room will need to be worked on to address these problems, and that means spending a lot of effort just to get things in proper order.

Teardown and Rebuilds Save You Money

When you’re considering a remodel versus a teardown, it’s always best to do the math for your home. Remodeling to fix problems may cost less than a teardown, but only in the immediate sense. A custom modular home that starts with a clean slate may be a better long-term investment because your new custom home could have a much higher net worth.

Some of the other areas where a custom-built home can save you money include:

  • Improved HVAC systems that heat and cool more efficiently
  • Modern windows
  • Clean circulation
  • Full insulation and seals
  • Improved, matching materials throughout the home
  • Embracing the latest kitchen and bath trends from low-flow fixtures to space for today’s larger refrigerators.

When older homes start to need major work just to stay safe and secure, their value becomes harder to maintain. A remodel may not recoup this and won’t help you get the most out of your property value by maximizing what the ground itself is worth.

Starting from scratch can be more cost-effective, cleaner and easier when you turn a modular house into your dream home.

custom-built-saves-money

Teardown and Rebuilds in Fairfield County

Fairfield County is where we head when we know we’ve made it in life. Homes are well-maintained, business is good, and charity events often find their way into our homes and entertaining spaces. We spend time with friends and family because our community is a top priority.

Westchester Modular Homes understands what’s so appealing about Fairfield County and why you’d never want to leave — expect for a nice vacation south for the winter. Your time is important, and we take up as little of it as possible, no matter what the job is.

For a complete teardown and rebuild in your area, we’ve had clients basking in their new custom home within a few months. If you’re in the market for an addition, that can be a matter of days, not weeks.

We’ll help you take the ranch home you love and turn it into an elegant colonial with a second story for you to customize to your heart’s content. Add bedrooms for families that grow, get a new master suite when the nest is empty or create an open floor plan downstairs for the best entertaining.

Depending on your unique project, we could complete your second story in as little as a month, delivering a custom home design that you don’t have to worry about. All of our work includes the plumbing, electrical, roofing and other specialty craftsmen — you won’t have to worry about finding subcontractors for a finishing touch.

It’s everything you need with all the protection you demand. We’ve been on hand to help people pick up the pieces from Hurricane Sandy and plenty of nor’easters, and clients have loved the work we delivered to keep them safe in the future.

Our specialty is making sure your home is just right, and we take pride in our current work throughout Fairfield County and the northeastern United States.

Your Guide to the Teardown Process with Your Authorized Westchester Modular Home Builder

1. Appraising and Reviewing Your Home

Each home is unique, so our teardown process begins with a thorough review of your home and an appraisal or a review of a recent appraisal. This allows us to check your existing foundation and elements that you may want to keep or copy. We also look for important elements of your home and the land it is on, including natural drainage areas, water and sewer on your property and in your home, overall fall of the land, power lines, gas lines and even support for new energy sources such as solar.

Locating all of your utility lines allows us to obtain a demolition permit, which we need to start the teardown process.

This review will give us an idea if we’re looking at a complete teardown, or there are elements we can use. Sometimes we may keep the existing foundation and simply add to it if necessary. If there are some aspects of your home that you want to incorporate into your new home, such as wood trim, we can ensure it gets safely removed and added to your new home.

unique-home-appraisal

2. Tender Acceptance and Consolidation

After we’ve reviewed your property, and you’ve indicated that you want to continue with the teardown and rebuild process, then we’ll start working on the preliminary plans. This can take a week or two and will include a few broad strokes about the custom home you would like to create.

After you sign off on the plans, we’ll explain payment options and schedules. You let us know which works best with your budget, and then Westchester Modular Homes will begin to create a more detailed set of plan. That gives us a framework to make final choices and allows us to start looking into permits and other requirements in the Fairfield County area.

Depending on the exact location of your home, we may need to finalize some information at this step. That can include options such as exterior materials and colors, based on local and HOA rules.

During this process, you’ll likely start applying for financing. We may recommend a lender who is familiar with the modular process or you can work with bank that you prefer. We’re here to help if you need to educate your lender on what modular design is.

3. Developing a Plan for Your New Home

After the initial items are in place, we work together to create a custom plan for your home on your land. We’ll look at what’s best for you by reviewing the product catalog, our flexible floor plans and custom materials that might be available to you.

Knowing your land and local requirements allows us to select the best options to ensure you get the custom home you love and don’t have any zoning or construction headaches down the road. This is also the time we work with clients to focus on the elegant options that are often unique to Westchester Modular Homes. Our Authorized, Independent builders can match your neighbors or give you something truly unique in your area.

Some of the more elegant options we showcase to customers include:

  • 6-panel pine interior doors and clear trim
  • Masonite interior doors, such as six-panel smooth, four-panel smooth, two-panel Roman and Cheyenne styles
  • Panelized garage packages
  • Fully vaulted and tray ceilings
  • Cultured marble vanity tops
  • Americast kitchen sinks
  • Kitchen and bath cabinets by Merillat
  • Solid surface kitchen and bath countertops
  • Jacuzzi whirlpool tubs
  • Tile flooring
  • Fireplaces with optional surrounds
  • Oak stair systems
  • Walk-out boxed and angle bay bump-outs
  • Central HVAC system
  • 15′ and 16′ wide modules
  • Optional roof pitches ranging from 7/12 to 12/12
  • Hip-style roofs

Westchester Modular Homes’ many options and upgrades help your new home suit your lifestyle.

jacuzzi

4. Obtaining Permits and Finalizing Construction Plans

Once approval for your plans has been secured, and you’ve picked all the features you love, your Authorized Westchester Modular Builder will then apply for construction certificates. This application is the last major step involving outside approval, so few bureaucratic speed bumps will be experienced once this certificate is in hand.

One final contract review will take place during which the builder will walk you through all of the clauses. You and any counsel you want can review the plain language, and we finalize all of the documents. At this point, we may ask for additional documentation from you such as proof of land ownership, ability to pay your contract amount or financing you have secured for the project.

When everything has been agreed upon, it’s time to finalize the time and start building your custom home.

5. Setting Our Schedule

This step is typically accomplished at the same time as Step 4. If you’re doing a whole-home teardown and rebuild, we’ll need to find at least a month to work on your new home. We can schedule projects far out, so you’ve got plenty of time to make the plans you need.

If possible, we can also help you locate local storage services to move your furniture and other valuables for the time being.

When the schedule is set and construction is ready to begin, we may require some initial payment as outlined in the construction contract. Items you pay for at this time may cover basic materials such as frames, slabs and internal components that we need to purchase before the construction itself begins.

6. Tearing Down the Old Home

Next, your builder will come out and mobilize the site. Materials you want to reclaim or reuse will be safely removed and set aside. Our commitment to energy efficiency is part of an overall commitment to taking care of the planet. That means some materials from your home may be recycled. These materials include concrete, shingles, hardwood floors, bricks and other internal materials.

Heavy equipment will arrive on scene to perform the demolition of your old home. We work as quickly and efficiently as possible using the best machinery based on your lot location and topography.

The builder will handle all of the removal contracting as well, so you won’t have any additional concerns during the demolition. Our crew will wet the materials to prevent dust and debris from flying through the air, and they will also break down materials into small pieces for easy moving. This helps us maximize the loads we ship offsite and saves you on disposal charges.

Demolition costs vary, but you will find an estimate in our contract and payment documentation.

Typical demolitions happen in under two days. Lots in tight spaces, on steep grades or with other special circumstances may take longer to demolish.

heavy-equipment

7. Preparing for Your Custom Dream Home

After the teardown, we’ll do another review of your land. We may need to clear and level your land if your new home needs a new foundation. You can also get some trimming done if needed at this point. Clearing the land often requires tree and shrub elimination, so you’ll have a chance to get stumps, large rocks and dead or dying trees removed.

Once the land is clean and ready, we’ll dig a hole for your new foundation and pour the concrete that will support your home for years to come. This is “the point of no return” for new home construction. You can be onsite if you’d like to see the process.

We take pride in what we do, and we make sure your foundation is properly formed. Many customers like being on hand to watch the process — seeing the foundation makes it very real. We’ll share the blueprints and point out how what you’re seeing on the page matches to the real world in front of you.

While some of our team is managing the foundation, others will be preparing a site for the delivery of your modular home materials. Modules need to be unloaded and staged before a crane sets them in place. We’ll make sure you’ve got the space and place for everything.

This space requirement grows as your home grows. Unfortunately, modules can’t be stacked on top of each other before we put them on your foundation, so multi-story homes need a larger area.

multi-story-homes

8. Building the Custom Home

One of the best parts of a modular home is that each piece is constructed in our high-quality manufacturing facility with many safeguards and quality checks. Your home is built to withstand centuries and will be delivered safely to your property.

Many of our customers have expressed concerns over the idea that their home is barreling down the highway. We can understand, and that’s why we work with only the best drivers and crews. They move slowly down the road, and the modules are always properly secured.

We construct our modules under very strict standards that test their durability both when installed and on the road. Your home is built to both survive the drive and its new long-term resting place.

Cranes on scene will unload your home one module at a time. They’ll lift and place the modules on the foundation. As modules are placed, we work to ensure that everything lines up properly and is protected against the elements. Larger homes may take more than a day to unload, so every element of your modular home is sealed and protected in case bad weather strikes.

We are the manufacturer and our builders will handle the buttoning up

After your home is set on its foundation, it’s time for contractors and construction experts to take over the process. Manufacturers may have staff on hand during the time of delivery and unloading, but they turn everything over to us and our construction team for the “buttoning up” process.

Our contractors connect each module of your home. Modules are fastened together and internal elements are connected. Luxury modules come with plumbing and wiring pre-installed, so our electricians and plumbers are on hand to connect each unit, test the overall home and take care of any specialty elements you have.

Contractors will review every inch of your new modular home. Drywall and some other elements may shift during delivery, so we make sure to replace and repair any concerns. Cracks in drywall and similar issues don’t mean there’s a structural problem with your home — they simply occur due to some vibration and shifting that can happen during delivery.

We walk through and check all cabinets, hookups, built-in appliances and fixtures to make sure that everything is in tip-top shape. From there, it’s time for the finishing touches.

construction-experts

9. Building Your Interior (all done by the builder)

When your home is placed, and all of your modules are connected, sealed and secure, the internal parts of your home are reviewed and finished.

The general contractor on site will handle the installation of many appliances, such as washers and dryers plus refrigerators. If you had units you loved, we’ll install these for you. Your general contractor typically doesn’t need to install the sink, shower, dishwasher or disposal, unless there was an item you wanted saved from your existing home.

Every shipment is signed for and we, acting as your representative, can sign for all of your appliances and materials to make the process easiest for you. If you want, however, we’re happy to accommodate any homeowner who plans to be onsite and review the appliances that come.

After that installation, we review areas of your home that can have some finishing touches needed. Basements, porches and other additions can be managed by the general contractor. We’ll help with this process as well, these kinds of add-ons typically need to be constructed afterwards and don’t have the ability to be a module. All of these elements are tackled after your modular home is connected and checked.

The one exception is if you want a modular add-on such as in-law quarters.

general-contractor

10. Moving Into Your New Home

When the buttoning up is finished, and your additional options are constructed, you’re ready to start moving back in! The good news is that you can often have movers bring your things home while you get any landscaping or outside elements put in their place.

You can have that new fountain in the driveway, patio off of a sunroom or covered deck to let your hot tub be a year-round experience added while everything is unpacked in the right room. This means you can get the most out of your home from day one!

Why Should You Consider a Second-Story Addition?

Westchester Modular Homes often suggests that our customers in Fairfield County consider a second story to their home. You get more room, have more aesthetically pleasing options, gain a better view and can improve the value of your home without having to increase your lot size.

If you need more space and love your home and location, a second story makes the best choice for getting the most out of your property. You can have long-term success and stick to a secure budget with a new addition layered on top of your existing home.

Modular designs also allow us to work with your existing roof and other materials, so you can control your costs and won’t need to replace what’s already working well for your home. We simply need to look over the structural capabilities of your home and requirements of a module just to ensure everything is safe and sound.

Tastes change over time, and you can capitalize on what’s new with a second floor. Sometimes this may mean adding a larger master bedroom suite, increasing the number of bathrooms in your home or adding light with a set of new energy-efficient windows. This allows you to have a modern home that you love.

Westchester Modular Homes can help review your choices and options based on your goals. Sometimes a three-bedroom, two-bathroom addition works best if the plan is to live in your house for a few more years and then sell. If you have special requirements, we’ll help you determine the right approach and layout that make the most of your space.

What Do You Need to Know About the Second Floor?

Second-floor additions give you a quick way to add more space to your home, and we do mean quick.

In as little as a month, Westchester Modular Homes can have your family back in an expanded home with all of the amenities you wanted. No one needs to change schools or move away from friends and family.

Partnering with Westchester Modular Homes also helps you get the addition you want with minimal hassle. As with our modular construction teardowns, we handle every part of the project. You’ll get the benefit of multiple architects, carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians and interior designers, along with the simplicity of a single point of contact.

With a modular second-story addition, you get to see what your new floor will look like before it’s installed. For second-story additions, we offer a complete computer-aided design and online customization center that allows you to pick the options you want. You can customize everything — and we’ll help you envision it in your space.

Sometimes we can get you back in your home in as little as three days, and then you’ll be one of our amazing success stories, too!

second-floor-additions

Benefits of Choosing Modular Additions

Modular homes are built and tested more than any standard home can be. We run each unit through rigorous safety, environmental and comfort checks. Your custom home will be able to withstand storms, floods, mountains of snow and other elements that strike us here on the Eastern Seaboard.

Pre-fab buildings are less expensive to maintain, faster to build, more affordable to make and allow for total customization.

Customizations

Modular homes represent the end of the cookie cutter suburbs. You won’t see any rows of the same home copied and pasted for miles on end. Every home is custom, making it as unique as the people who live there.

You’re free to choose the home you want that meets your budget and desires. Modular homes can be tailored to your specifications and are constructed to support future growth. A one-story modular home can efficiently and easily become a two-story home as your family grows.

There are more designs than we could ever show you in a single post, so we invite you to look at a gallery of some of our favorite homes. You can mix and match with plenty of flexible floor plans and add-on features to make your home truly one of a kind and luxurious.

Our full brochure is another way to preview the homes available to you. If you can dream it, we can build it.

Construction Efficiency

An added benefit to getting the home you want is doing it while saving money through smart design. Modular homes are almost infinitely customizable, but we also have found ways to make them reduce your impact on the planet.

We’re often able to deliver faster construction, more savings and a reduction in waste, all because of our commitment to design efficiency. Of our modular home customers and contractors:

  • 66 percent saw a decrease in project schedules
  • 35 percent say schedules have decreased by at least four weeks
  • 65 percent of companies reported decreased construction expenses
  • 41 percent of those budgets went under by at least 6 percent
  • 77 percent report reduced waste at the construction site

Modular design is smart design. You reduce days needed on site, prevent on-site delays due to weather or weekends, and you know that all of the materials you need will be delivered the first time.

Energy Efficiency

Westchester Modular Homes works hard to create Energy Star ready homes, and we can obtain Energy Star certification right in our Wingdale, NY factory. For you, that means there’s no need for any outside party to complete your Energy Star certification, making the process easier and quicker.

Our customers currently save an average of 15 percent on their utility costs when they choose green modular homes. You also get the benefit of materials that are safer! Building your modular home in our facility means it is not exposed to mold or mildew, so you get a healthy and clean home. We perform a wide range of checks to make sure every home is safe and properly built.

Some of the ways that your home will be green impact your land directly. Thanks to the modular design, we show up and do minimal prep work to get your custom home ready. Your land and lawn have minimal impact and disturbance. Every ecosystem is special, and we work hard not to disturb yours.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Westchester Modular Homes initiative that’s extended to our facility. By using eco-friendly materials and building in an environmentally safe factory, your custom home will be part of a larger green initiative. So far, we’ve been able to reduce pollutants and emissions, and our efforts have had the same impact as planting 27 new trees annually, removing 18 cars from the road each year and saving nearly 1,000 gallons of gas each month.

Increase Your Home Value

New construction will almost always increase your property value, and modular homes are no exception. Modular homes have some of the toughest building standards around, and you’ll never know if you live next to one, unless you see it installed.

Modular homes, as with other homes, appreciate in value. When you go to resell your home, you can expect for the investment to pay off if the economy stays strong. You might even see a stronger gain compared to other nearby homes because modular homes have fewer maintenance issues.

Your home will be safe and in top shape for a longer time, aging better whether you want to sell after a few years or build a dream home that you can grow old in.

Why Work With Westchester Modular Homes

Westchester Modular Homes has been working in the prefab manufacturing and housing market since 1986. We specialize in the Northeast United States and have many happy customers in Fairfield County. Our contractors and partners stretch from Pennsylvania to Maine and can get you the best in the business.

We hope this guide has helped you understand what a modular home is and how the modular building and installation process works. Learn more about teardown and rebuilds or second-story additions. Our experts are here to answer any questions you have about the process, price or availability.

Westchester Modular Homes sticks by our motto: If you can dream it, we can build it.

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