Friday, February 22, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Brings Tons of Builders to Modular Construction

Like moths to a flame, many site builders and 'wannabe' site builders are turning to modular after Hurricane Sandy destroyed thousands of homes on the east coast last year.

The infrastructure in some areas is being completed by spring and my contacts at several modular home factories serving this market have reported getting a large number of builders that want to go modular.

A little due diligence on the part of the factory will help separate the good site builders from the ones that will take the customer's money and either deliver a poor quality house or no house at all. It happens after every large natural disaster. Bad and dishonest builders were sued in New Orleans after rebuilding started.

The repercussions from allowing poorly financed or inexperienced or even some dishonest site builders to buy modular houses without checking them out can hurt the largest market for traditional modular housing, the Mid Atlantic and New England areas. Modular housing has a tough time breaking into some areas as it is but it could compound that if the newspapers report that a 'wannabe' modular home builder did a bad job and cost the buyers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Here I go again; if a factory finds a large influx of 'wannabe' mod builders wanting their homes and after the factory gives a thumbs up to them, does any factory serving this market have an "introduction to modular housing 101" ready to implement? I doubt it. There may be a couple that have something in place but for the most part the new modular builder is left to discover all the differences for themselves between what they did as a site builder and how a modular home is produced and finished.

If a modular factory would offer such a course, I would bet that they would get a better grade of builder without having problems from both the builder and their new home buyer.


Ibgreen said...

Coach, do they still hold the modular housing training institute in Williamsport PA? Very informative for a builder just starting to use the system.

Anonymous said...

Coach, Epoch Homes not only offers a training course for new Independent Epoch Homes Builders, it requires all new customers to attend, and does a background check before proceeding. The course has been offered on a regular basis for several years. That is why they have such a strong builder network.

Anonymous said...

Penn College dropped the program after cutting funding. Industry too involved in surviving to support the MHTI training on their own.