Thursday, September 17, 2009

Factory Built Housing

There is a lot to know and like about the homes that are being constructed by the many factory housing builders across the country. When you start to think about it, most homes have numerous factory components including trusses, cabinets, pre-finished floors, railings, tubs/showers, and other items commonly used in today’s homes. The quality, ready availability and the time builder’s save on site make factory components a logical extension of the “site built” products of yesteryear. Whole or half houses are constructed in factories for the same reason.

The construction of a fully factory built home is very much like that of a home completely constructed on site. The order of operations may differ as allowed by the factory setting but the results are more alike than different. For instance, interior walls are generally erected before exterior walls and the roofing systems may be built at the same time as the floor/frame systems and walls rather than in traditional sequence of bottom to top. Both factory and site constructed homes are “stick built”, factory built home just happen to be constructed in a climate controlled setting and shipped to a home site.

Of the two main types of factory built homes, the most widely used are manufactured and modular. The difference is the code that they are built to. Manufactured Homes are built to the “HUD Code” (otherwise known as the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1976 and as amended). Modular homes are built to state specific codes.

When selecting a factory builder, consider the reputation of the builder/dealer as well as the factory. What type of homes does each build (entry level, active adult, move up, luxury, etc.)? Are you satisfied with the options and finishes available? Ask about the building process and how they service warranty items after the sale.

Factory built homes are a logical extension of the component building process. When you start learning more, you find out that they have been around longer than you might expect and are located in more places than thought. And that is the beauty. A well built and sited factory home should be indistinguishable from one built on site.

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