Monday, May 17, 2010


A story on Kansas (CLICK HERE) talks about a senior community adding new modular homes with really great energy features including Argon filled window sashes, R40 ceiling insulation, 2x6 exterior wall construction with house wrap and many other items.

After reading that these homes sell in the $70 – 90K range my curious mind went to work to see what a very low priced modular home looked like in this community.

Guess what I found?  You got it!  Single and double wide mobile homes.

They are not modular homes….heck, they’re not even Hudulars!  They are steel framed, roll off houses like you would find in any trailer park in the US. 

The real problem is that the readers of this site are now going to equate these homes with modular every time they hear a builder say they use modular housing.

West Wood Homes

When will it all stop?  Clayton’s i-house is probably the best example of a factory calling their homes modular when in fact it is just a “singlewide” trailer with some eco-friendly stuff stuck on it for show.

It’s time for the modular factory owners and management to take a stand against the wrong information and do some marketing of their own.  When was the last time you saw a modular factory advertising on TV? 

OK, I’m getting off my soapbox now…time for someone else to get on.


Matthew said...

Great points! Even just referring prospects to check out what the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has to say on the subject. Better yet, they should check with their bank’s construction loan officer, and ask them the difference between Modular and HUD or trailer homes.

Matthew said...

It is true that I have never seen any advertising from modular factories and many people are completely unaware that modular homes are not trailer park homes...

Anonymous said...

Coach, stay on your soapbox as more of us in the modular industry must tell it like it is! When we see false and misleading information from the "trailer guys" we must combat it with information on what are truly FULLY CODE COMPLIANT STRUCTURES!
The modular industry HAS NOT done a good job in promoting their code compliant products. It is my opinion the Building Systems Council is so bereft with the "good old boy" network members they have lost sight of true industry needs. And the Modular Council part of the MHI is equally as bad. Look at their web site - they have not updated their site in months. Just when their members need help in generating business the trade associations are nowhere to be found!

Anonymous said...

Regarding the previous comment, and speaking as a member of the third trade association that was not mentioned (the MBSA), everyone needs to keep in mind that the trade associations are not bottomless resource wells. Each association depends on its members to pay their dues on time, offer support and allow that association to meet the needs of its members. With the Great Repression of the last few years, every one of those associations is doing all it can with very little in the way of resources. It's so easy to cast blame around to the trade associations, but maybe we as an industry should actually start asking ourselves whether we're providing the associations the resources that they need to do what we want them to. In my opinion, we are not. Finally, I think that the MBSA has done the best job out of all the groups with providing quality information on this issue and others. Have you looked at the MBSA's Modular Wikipedia?

Anonymous said...

I know the state of PA requires all modular manufacturers place a statement on the data plate and installation instructions that state "This is not a manufactured home"
Maybe this should be industry practice.

Coach said...

I have the greatest respect for all the modular housing associations but we all seem to be missing the point here.
When a prospective new home buyer starts looking at home builders, they very rarely think modular because the industry as a whole has not done anything monumental to get them to take a look.
All they think of when modular is mentioned is a double wide street dealer with a flashing neon sign that reads "WE NOW SELL MODULARS".
With no other information at their fingertips, what else can they think?
Do you really think these people are going to say "wait a minute, I better check what the modular home associations have to say". Yeah, like that's going to happen.
Factories must do more than just put up a website and send poorly trained sales reps out to find new business.
I challenge everyone to talk to 5 people this week and ask them what they think of when they hear the words modular home. You will be shocked at the responses and the fault is ours!

Anonymous said...

Good retort Coach. You are right on the money!
To anonymous who touted MBSA. First, I like the MBSA. Second, I visited the Modular Wikipedia site and found not much there to brag about. One short bio on Johg Guequierre, listing of press articles gleaned from other sources, one by the way which was about a new modular company in Texas that featured quotes from the MHI. Talk about mass confusion when a new modular plants credentials are touted by the trailer industry. QUESTION: Is not the MBSA affiliated with the BSC?