Modular Homes Section
Avoid Costly Modular Home Shortcuts
People choose modular homes because they offer time and cost savings. Not all savings are necessarily a wise decision. Before you proceed with your factory built home you should read this article and learn which shortcuts to avoid. By avoiding these modular mistakes you will be much happier and richer in the long term. Please bear in mind that everyone's building situation is different. The "mistakes" we list are generalized. They may not apply to you but more often than not they will.
Skipping the Extra Bathroom
The first common mistake comes during the early planning phase. When you are talking with your modular manufacturer and looking at their modular home floor plans you should make sure you are looking at the right plans. You may think that you only need one bathroom but you should not be shortsighted. What happens if your family grows? What if you decide to move and want to sell your house? Many families will be looking for multiple bathrooms. It is cost effective to order an extra bathroom. If you really do not want an extra bathroom right now, then just have the plumbing installed inside the walls at the modular factory. That way when you are ready to install that extra bathroom it will be much cheaper and a plumber will not have to tear apart your house to install the extra bathroom. If you are not sure if an extra bathroom makes good money sense just ask any realtor.
Choosing Slab Foundation over Full Basement
This may not apply to you especially if you are building on a very high water table. Many neighborhood homes around the country have basements. These basements are used for extra living space and storage. Some families believe very strongly in basements. Some of them are survivalists and others may follow religions that advocate being ready for the end of the world. You may not fall into either of those categories. If you are smart you will still build a basement instead of a simple slab foundation (when your building site permits it). A basement will greatly increase the amount of space you have to enjoy. It also will make it easier to sell your house. If your house is the only one on the block without a basement then every other house will have an advantage over it when it comes time to sell. Also remember those religious people and survivalist? They will not even think about buying your house. Do you really want to limit the potential buyers of your house?
Using Standard Energy Efficiency
Being green is not cheap. When you are deciding on your home and looking at your budget you may think it will be smarter to skip the energy efficient options and instead spend that money on kitchen or flooring upgrades. It is true that kitchen and flooring upgrades generally will pay for themselves by their increase of your home value. They are also easy upgrades to make after you have moved in. It is much harder to upgrade your energy efficiency after you have moved in. You should make the energy upgrades your first priority. The wall and ceiling insulation are critical. It is also very smart to make sure your home is covered with housewrap. The housewrap will prevent moisture from getting to the wood frame and add another level of energy efficiency. In case you think you can not afford to be green with energy efficiency lets look at a few numbers. If your heating bill in the winter or your electric air conditioning bill in the summer is $200/month and your energy efficiency saves you 10% every month you will save $20 each month or $240 each year. Every four years you will save $1000. If oil and gas prices go up then will save even more money. If you save money by not upgrading your insulation and energy efficiency you will pay every year for that decision.
Saving Landscaping Fees
Before your modules can be delivered to your building site, the building lot will need to be cleared. Some home buyers think it is better to clear as little land as possible. After all it costs money to clear the land and more money to reseed the lawn and replace the trees and bushes. If you do not properly clear the land it will create a nightmare for the crane operator to safely lift your modules onto the foundation. Most crane operators are great and will be able to work around the trees and other obstacles without having them damage your modules being lifted into the air. However it will add several hours to the process to go extra slow to avoid those obstacles. Crane time costs $300 to $700 per hour. If it takes an extra 3 hours because your did not clear enough land you just spent an extra two thousand dollars on the crane. This is not to mention the overtime pay for the construction crew that will be manning the guide lines and connecting the modules once the crane places them on the foundation. Be smart and make informed decisions concerning the cost of landscaping vs. the extra cost of setting the home if you have not properly cleared the building lot. It will often be cheaper and more attractive to clear the land and then paying a landscaper to replace any lost grass and shrubbery.
These are just some of the many shortcuts that may save you money in the short term but will cost you in the long term. If you hire a local builder that is experienced with modular homes they will be able to help guide you to make the smart decisions. It will not hurt for you to research modular home construction as well. Good luck with building your dream home.
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