Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Unsung Heroes of Modular Housing

I have been to hundreds of modular house sets and the one constant that never fails to impress me is the set crew.  These unsung heroes of the modular housing industry begin working at first light and I've seen crews stay late into the night just to make sure that everything is secure and safe before they leave.

It works like a well rehearsed show when you see a crew setting a home.  While the crane sets up, the men and women of the set crew begins stripping the protective covering off each module and unbolt the it from the carrier.  As the crane picks up each piece, the set crew guides it into position and secures it.  This may not sound hard but watching them maneuver up to a 15 ton, 50'-70' module unto its final resting spot on the foundation with only a fraction of an inch to spare is nice to watch.

Module being set by a crane
Just another 1/4 inch to go
The crew does more than just set the modules, they make sure all wiring drops are where they should be, raise the roof and shingle it, install gable ends, attach dormers and lots of other things that you wouldn't think need done when the house arrives.

It's not all 120 ton cranes

Safety first

Set crews like the folks from Modular Home Erectors in PA take safety to heart in all aspects of the job.  They are the eyes for the crane, crowd control for the spectators that are always on hand and watch dogs to make sure that nothing is lying about that could cause injury to the homeowners and their guests.
It takes a lot of hands to position it just right
Some sets are huge

Most of the time the set crews don't leave a job site hungry.  I've seen new home owners watch their house being set and when it's time for the set crew to eat, they spread out a feast worthy of the occasion.  Everything from BBQ chicken done on site to 6' hoagies.  The homeowners make it a party.  You don't see that at a site built house.

If you have never watched a modular home being set and would like to see one close to you, just contact a couple of factories that serve your part of the country and ask if they have a house set coming up soon.  You will be impressed.


Jerry Stump said...

So true, so true. We have erected over a thousand buildings over the years with "in house" crew and they are very hard working and do all the things you mention. It is one of the funnest things for the company, but can be extremely dangerous for those untrained and in-experienced. We have also found nobody wants to pay proper money for this invaluable service!

We have always done the "lunch thing" and many times as you mention it is the owner that provides and is thrilled.

Anonymous said...

Yes the good ones are great the bad ones cost you tons of crane time $$$$$$$$$$$$$ And call backs later

Mason Struble said...

The set crew mentioned in the story, Modular Home Erectors, is one of the good ones. Usually the ones that cost a builder money are the ones that have little experience and underprice their services. They don't last long.

Fuller Modular Homes and Offices said...

We've tried many set companies over the years but now we’ll only use Modular Home Erectors. We’ve set homes in nine Northeastern states and I'm more than willing to pay for the extra travel related expenses because I'm guaranteed that it’ll be done rite every time. Stan and his brother Junior are organized, on time, courteous. Unlike the others MHE’s is willing to communicate directly with my customer if needed. They’re one of the few companies with several teams. As a result I've never had to wait for them to get to my job even during the busy spring building season. They usually send Jared and his team to my job but I've worked with all of their other crews. Unlike most large set companies they’re all master craftsman and equally competent. Just this week I identified a crucial step that that I missed on one of our projects. Stan had me on his schedule for next week and didn’t even charge me. Beware MOST of the others are nothing but a liability. MHE’s has impacted my business as much as our decision to buy our homes from Classic Homes by Haven. Please contact me anytime for a referral.
Fuller Modular Homes and Offices