about modular homes pt. 2

Picking up where I left off last month last month from the time we ordered our house, until the time we got it set up on our land was about 3-4 months (we had a 1 month delay due to the some crazy miscommunication). In the meantime, we graded our driveway, dug and built our basement, and got the foundation ready. This was a lengthy process too. We had a phenomenal guy to dig our basement and stuck around and helped us do some other things as well. Ben and I decided we wanted to try and do as much work to the basement as we could to save some money. Forget the fact the neither one of us had any carpentry/building experience.

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Once we had completed the basement, and the house was here, we pulled the 2 boxes and dormers up to our site. Then, a large crane set the boxes on top of our basement.

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Once the house was set, the builders ‘raised’ the roof, literally. The roof was folded on top of the house. Once they raised both pieces, it formed our 2nd story.

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They then placed our dormers with the crane, and finished the roof and siding. Setting the home took about a day. It took about a week to tie the roof in and get it sealed off.

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After the house was completely set, we were left with a downstairs that was about 75% complete, and an upstairs that was completely bare. As I mentioned earlier, we chose ahead of time that we would be finishing some aspects on our own. We did choose to let the builder’s contractors finish the upstairs for us, so that was the next step.

We let our builder’s contractor take care of everything upstairs, including framework, drywall, flooring, electrical, and plumbing. To finish the upstairs probably took about 1-1 1/2 months. The only thing that we did upstairs was add the light fixtures. We ordered everything from the builder for upstairs.

Meanwhile, downstairs, the builder’s contractor took care of installing the remaining cabinets, plumbing, and tying in the marriage walls. The marriage wall is where the two boxes are joined together. On the interior, this means putting up drywall, and finishing the look. While this was going on, Ben and I tiled our shower and laid our downstairs flooring (we chose laminate).

Our house was set on our foundation in September, and we moved in February of the next year. It took us about 5-6 months to finish enough to move in. We made the cardinal sin, and moved in before we were completely finished with the house. Now, 2 years later, we’re still completing things (adding a bit of trim here, installing a door there).

If I could go back and do it all again, I would have done a few things differently (listed below, along with my final pro/con thoughts) :

  1. I would have toured more homes (whether modular or on-site built). A friend I worked with told me before we built to go to every open house in real estate we could find to get ideas. I didn’t do that, and sometimes wish we had.
  2. I would still go modular. It was efficient, and cost effective, and for us, the pros outweighed the cons.
  3. I wish we would have researched builders a bit more. While we did conduct research, and visited 4 different builders, our builder would not be my choice again. The company that actually built our home was great, just not the local guy we went through.

which brings me to those:

1. PRO-Cost effective. I feel like we saved several thousand dollars going this route.

2. PRO-Efficient and sturdy. Our home was built in a factory, not subject to rain and weather. It was also built to withstand a 70 mph, 8 hour trip down the interstate to our home.

3. PRO-Quick build. 60-70% of our house was built in 2-3 weeks.

4. CON-Floor plans can be limited. The size (width and length) of your home must adhere to Department of Transportation guidelines. Remember, your house is traveling down the highway. It must still fit on one lane of the road. I think this limits some of the character of your home in terms of layout.

5. CON-Room layout can be limited too. In order for your home to be built in box segments, your room layouts can be constricted. I wanted a bigger living room, but due to the joining of the 2 boxes in our living room, we couldn’t do that.

6. CON- The house will ‘settle’ (as all homes do), and that can cause cracks in the drywall, etc.

At the end of the day, we are very happy here. I am so thankful to have a home that we designed to watch our kids grow up in. Really, I’m humbled by that. The walls, floors, windows, and doors don’t really make this the place that I love – it’s the family that I have inside these walls making memories and ‘life’ here that makes me love it so much.

Have a blessed Sunday!

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