Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

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Many homebuyers don’t even ask how their home will be built. Or, when they discuss it with a builder, they hear things like, “I have to,” or, “That’s the way we build; there isn’t a choice.” But that’s simply not true. It’s a victim mentality that says I HAVE to do something. Reality says that we CHOOSE what we do. Don’t be a victim by letting your builder choose to use outdated building techniques to build your new home.

You can choose to have your home built a better way. With modular construction, your home is built indoors and away from the sun’s rays, the rain, and the snow. It is always summer in the factory! Building indoors means your home is built under environmentally controlled conditions. But building indoors means much more than just protecting your home from the weather. A healthy living environment is promoted for you and your family by reducing the risk of mold and mildew growth.

You Have the Power to Choose How Your Home is Built

Smart builders and intelligent homeowners are learning about the key advantages of modular construction. The custom home building industry is one of the last industries to embrace the advantages that every other major industry and product has discovered with modular…  factory production. The changing construction labor force and demand for better and consistent quality are now driving the entire custom home building industry to find a better solution.

Today, building systems are improving homebuilding. Many builders “dabble” with building systems. They use roof trusses or floor trusses, but they don’t take full advantage of the possibility that they could build your whole house better, not just a few parts. Why would you choose a builder that doesn’t give you a choice to have your home built a better way? Modular construction offers a better way.

Know that Modular Construction is Resilient Construction

Resiliency is the intentional effort to design and construct buildings and landscapes to withstand both natural and man-made disasters. Modular homes are built strong. The basis for modular construction is to build a home that meets or exceeds building code. However, the modules that make up a modular building are built off-site and transported to that site. The effort of getting from a factory to the building site is about the equivalent of surviving a hurricane and an earthquake before a module ever reaches a job site. It is placed on a carrier, driven at 55 – 65 MPH on highways, over bridges, and around curves. It may have to navigate back roads or tight residential streets. This 20,000 – 60,000 pound module is then lifted in the air by a crane with 2 or 4 straps or cables and placed on a foundation.

The resiliency built into every module is displayed at every modular home installation. In most cases, a module will only suffer from minor, if any, drywall cracks. Structurally, the modules are stronger than anything that is built onsite. Resiliency is then exponentially increased when each of the modules is then connected with lag screws, bolts, and/or straps upon final installation. The strong interconnections between modules make modular homes extremely resistant to wind events, as documented in the FEMA study following Hurricane Andrew.

Know that Modular Construction is Energy Efficient

When it comes to building a home with modular construction, energy efficiency is a natural part of the construction process. When a home is built indoors, it isn’t subject to the elements. Lumber isn’t getting wet or drying in the sun. It isn’t going to shrink or swell later, creating gaps and air leaks. It is easier to build to tighter tolerances and then to inspect to ensure those tolerances are maintained when building indoors in a factory.

Modular construction means that a home is built in a manufacturing environment just like every other product or item you use every day. Modular construction means your home is built to last and built to perform at a higher level for years to come. It is quality and efficiency you can count on. Impresa Modular delivers the most Advanced Modular Off-Site Solution (AMOSS).


Know that Modular Construction Offers Design Flexibility

Advancements in modular construction mean that virtually any home plan can be divided into modules, built using indoor off-site construction and assembled on-site. Check out the house plans offered on many popular plan sites that are offered by architects and designers, and many can be “modularized” and built using this advanced method of construction.

Can any custom home plan be modularized? Technically, the answer is yes. There is a way to divide any home plan into modules, build those modules in a factory, and then assemble them onsite. However, the practical answer is that sometimes it just doesn’t make sense. A plan may have to be divided into many modules to be transported to a site or a home plan may have tall ceilings requiring additional modules to stay true to the design. Yes, these homes can still be built using modular construction but the cost to do so outweighs the benefits. In some instances, with slight modification, a plan can be modified to work efficiently with modular construction and at the same time maintain its design integrity.

Know The Difference Between Modular Construction and Manufactured Homes

One of the biggest stumbling blocks in the growth of the modular home industry has been the misunderstanding of exactly what modular construction is or isn’t. Much of this has been driven because of modular constructions affordable housing cousin, the mobile home (manufactured home). While everyone supports the ability to provide affordable homes, modular construction takes a different path to achieve a level of affordability that just can’t be achieved with traditional onsite construction.

Manufactured (think mobile) homes achieve affordability by being built to a different building code than either modular homes or site-built homes. The Federal government created a prescriptive code known as the HUD code for manufactured home construction. This means that as long as an engineer certifies a home to a required performance level (i.e. can withstand 90 mph winds), then the home meets that code. It doesn’t matter if it achieves it with 2”x2” construction and tape.

Both site-built homes and homes built using modular (off-site) construction must follow the International Residential Building code (or your state’s version of it). This code is descriptive. It will state how a home built in a specific wind zone must be constructed. For instance, it could state that the home’s walls must be built with #2 SYP 2”x6” studs, and sheathing must be attached with 8p ring shank nails placed 6” apart on studs and 3” apart on top and bottom plates.

The Power to Make the Right Choice: Use Modular Construction

Residential home construction today is a gauntlet. The lack of skilled labor, the cost of materials, the timeframe to build a home, and the regulatory hurdles all add up. Home construction is complicated. Modular construction takes home construction and turns it into a manufacturing process. By becoming a manufacturing process, this means that automation can be applied to create many of the components of a home in a factory environment. These high-quality components can then be assembled into a more significant component (or module), creating a high-quality, energy-efficient, well-designed, value-driven, and very custom home. Do More with Modular!

About the Author
Ken Semler

Ken Semler

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Hi, I am Ken Semler the founder of Impresa Modular. I am passionate about our company and the homes that we provide. Modern modular construction enables us to deliver healthy, safe, and energy-efficient living spaces. Impresa Modular is a licensed/registered/certified builder/contractor in almost every state. I believe that modular homes provide the best way to deliver virtually unlimited design flexibility at the greatest value.

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