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Modular Home Building

Call us with your questions - 203-994-4522.

JB Custom Homes has built superior residences using the three most common methods of building.

  • Traditional stick building,
  • Panelization, and
  • Modular.

As part of your planning process, we suggest that you take some time to research each of these types of construction to determine which method is best for you. By doing so, you'll be able to make informed decisions that will result in the most ideal design, the best quality, and the most cost-effective building process.

Modular Homes

Modular homes consist of various size components, or boxes, that are manufactured in an environmentally-controlled production facility and transported to the job site. Each component is then lifted individually by a crane and set in place either on the foundation wall or on top of another component. Generally, the exterior and interior finishing material of the home is installed at the factory, though it doesn't have to be. Installing or completing the finishing material at the locations of where the components meet (siding and roofing shingles on the outside, drywall, trim, some carpentry, plumbing connections, and floor coverings on the inside) must be performed in the field. Connecting the home's utilities (water, sewer, electric and energy) to outside services or resources must also be performed in the field. Production schedules are coordinated with site excavation and installation of the concrete foundation to avoid delays between foundation and framing. Setting the modular units in place is a tricky process that requires a specially trained and experienced "set" crew.

Panelization

Panelization is a process that involves the fabrication of the home's exterior and interior walls in an environmentally-controlled production facility. Only the wood frame is fabricated. There are no finishing materials installed at the factory. Click here to learn more about panelized construction and precision engineering. Think of panelization as a high-tech, more efficient form of stick building. Exterior walls, interior walls, roof and floor trusses (most of the wooden frame) are delivered to the job site and erected. There is very little measuring and cutting involved. The advantages of panelization over traditional stick building are significant.

  • 43% savings in framing labor costs.
  • 37% faster than traditional stick building.
  • 77% less waste.
  • 16% savings in overall framing cost.
  • 40% shorter construction period, translating to savings in loan interest payments.
  • Superior quality, hand-picked kiln-dried lumber used in each engineered frame.
  • Effective strategy for dealing with labor shortages, financing and insurance expenses.
  • Better reliability, more design flexibility, and no structural or repair problems.
Below are examples of modular production factories.


Analyzing The Two Methods

Modular Homes

Panelized Homes

How long is production time? How long before delivery to the job site?

Production lead time for modular homes can take up to 8 weeks for fabrication and delivery to the job site.

Production lead-time for panelized homes generally takes 2-3 weeks by the time the wood frame is delivered to the job site.

Which method is faster?

Modular home building is generally the quickest method of construction as you can reduce your project timeframe by 2 to 3 months.

 

Which method is cheaper?

When you consider all factors, modular construction and panelized construction both cost about the same if the exact materials, designs, and site conditions are being compared.

Where are the production factories located?

Our factories are located in Canada, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Our panelization and truss engineering factories are located in Western Massachusetts and can be toured.

Are there limitations in the home design, size, and layout?

Yes, there are limitations due to the construction of the modular units and regulatory restrictions on the roadways. Each modular unit has width and length restrictions. Modular homes tend to be rectangular and follow consistent interior patterns. Click Here for examples of modular homes. Click Here for examples of floor plans.

There are no limitations in the home's design, size, or layout.

Are there additional transportation costs?

Yes.

No.

My neighborhood roads, the driveway, and building lot are narrow.  Will that be a problem?

There are limitations due to the size of the modular units. Turning radius must be examined to ensure passage and setting of the units on the foundation. Cranes are used to lift and set the modular units so there must be enough open space (no power lines) for the crane’s boom. Click Here for images showing placement of modular units.

Different sized delivery vehicles can be used in dealing with narrow access ways. An assessment will need to be made first. For constructing the frame, a Lull (or forklift) is used to lift and set the components. Lulls are effective at maneuvering around tight spaces. Sometimes, traditional stick building is the preferred method when access to the job site is very limited.

Are garages, porches, bump-outs, and other unique design features part of the design capabilities?

Unfortunately, no. They have to be built separately at the job site and are add-ons to the price of the modular product.

Yes. There are no design limitations and all aspects of the structure are incorporated into the plans.

What happens if there is damage to the house during transportation and construction?

As with any manufactured product that is transported and maneuvered, the need for repairs or adjustments must be made from time to time. However, great care is taken to ensure that all material and installed products are safe and secure.

All engineered and fabricated wood components delivered to the job site are inspected. In the unlikely event that there are problems, a replacement component is delivered the next day or repairs are made right away at the job site.

Will I be able to supervise the work on my home?

You can travel to the factories in Canada, Pennsylvania, and Virginia if you would like to observe work on your modular home.

You can travel locally to the production factory in Western Massachusetts to observe work on your panelized wood frame…and even before work starts.

Are there any limitations with finishing materials and upgrade options.

Each modular manufacturer has a defined set of material specifications. We can omit certain materials from the package and purchase them locally. Options range from low-end to high-end in terms of quality, specifications and cost.

As a custom building process, there are no limitations to finishing materials, upgrades, or sources from which those materials can be acquired.

Any other issues that I should be aware of?

Great care must be taken in finishing the seam between the modular unit “marriage” walls both on the exterior (roof and walls) and the interior (where the two marriage walls meet). Finish carpentry, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, site work, and build outs are still required even after the modular units are set in place.


Images of Modular Unit Installation

Examples of Modular Home Designs


Examples of Modular Floor Plans

(The marriage wall between the modular units is located at the center of the floor space.)