As mentioned in the blog “The 9 Best Ways to Choose a Modular Home Manufacturer”, your builder plays a vital role in the home building and purchasing process. To break it down there is three essential components to building a modular home.
The manufacturer works together with the modular builder to construct your home but each has very different responsibilities. If your initial contact is with the modular manufacturer they will put you in touch with a builder that is a part of their builder network. If the reverse is true and you contact the builder first, he or she will probably use the manufacturer that they have an established working and business with. In any case the modular builder will be your chief point of contact for the entire finishing and purchasing of the home package.
If the manufacturer is your first contact, they will refer you to one of their authorized independent builders. This builder has typically been vetted by the manufacturer and trained on the manufacturers systems. Please note that the builder does not work for or is an agent of the manufacturer but is an authorized independent builder approved to finish and market the manufacturers home branded product. During the vetting process, the builder’s credit and financial stability is researched as well as their licensing. The builder is schooled by the manufacturer on modular construction processes, the product itself and building techniques.
In the division of responsibilities, the manufacturer is tasked with the building of the modular structure and most of its contents, delivering the home to the jobsite and the setting of the home on its permanent foundation. The builder is responsible for the turnkey completion of services. This will include, the designing of your new home, assistance with architectural review board approvals if necessary, the engineering of the lot, permitting, preparation of the land to accept the modules, and all the finishing touches done to the home on-site prior to the homeowner receiving their certificate of occupancy. The builder with the assistance of his crew and or subcontractors will complete all the phases of the final building process. Those items may include excavation and foundation work, interior drywall and floor finishing, limited roofing (most is typically done at the factory or by the set crew), exterior siding or brick/stone treatments, HVAC systems, plumbing, electrical connections as well as porches and garages etc.
The home, as it is delivered to the job site is not subject to local inspection. This is because they arrive from the manufacturer already pre-approved by a third party inspection agency this is certified by the State where the home will be completed and will permanently reside. While being completed in the factory, every home goes through a rigid battery of inspections to ensure quality and state code compliance. The finishing and construction done on-site is subject to local building code inspections.
Whether you are looking at an individual parcel of land, a lot inside of a new subdivision, or even if you are considering tearing down your existing home to replace it with a new home…you should always consult with your builder first regarding the suitability of the property.
The builder may be able to assist you in acquiring land if you do not already have it. Some builders may have land at their disposal or even have their own real estate licenses. If this is not the case, most builders do have strong relationships with local real estate companies that can help you with your land needs. Regardless, please note to always first enlist your builders assistance prior to purchasing a piece of property. The builder will be able to help assess if the parcel is actually a buildable piece of land. This could keep you from making the financial mistake of acquiring property that is unsuitable.
The lending process for modular homes is not unlike any other traditional loan process. The builders as well as the manufacturer usually can refer several lending institutions that understand and embrace modular construction. Many of these lending institutions have specialized programs that cater to the modular home product and its construction processes. Please inquire with your builder for more information.
This explains a bit about the relationship between you, the modular manufacturer and the modular home builder. We’re sure there are many other factors that need to be considered. We welcome hearing from you about this. Post your questions and thoughts in the comments section below. Look for future blog posts that explore this topic more as well as other posts about things you need to know about building a modular home.