Saturday, May 18, 2013

Reporter from the Charleston, SC Post & Courier Gets Modular's Appeal

By JIM PARKER
The Charleston, SC Post and Courier

Picture a house being raised by builders on site: framing, drywall, fixtures, electrical work. Then envision all the work going on in a sprawling plant.

That’s a condensed version of the differences between modular homes and stick-built houses.

Modular homes also vary from manufactured houses. But there, it’s primarily in the consumers the two industries are focusing on. Manufactured homes tend to be constructed as single units, usually without second levels, and are designed in many cases as affordable housing for lower to moderate income residents.

Modular houses, by contrast, typically are aimed at a middle to upscale buyer. They include assembly techniques for two-or-more-story houses, hoisting upper stories by crane and clipping them to ground floors, even installing attics.

According to modular backers, the homes can produce cost savings because they’re built under climate-controlled conditions — no holdups for wind and rain.

Hunley Waters
Even so, the industry has been slow to catch on in a big way in the Charleston area and elsewhere. One area neighborhood, North Charleston-based HunleyWaters, is known for its all-modular-home construction. Homes are priced in the low to mid $200,000s. The community works with Nationwide Homes in Martinsville, Va., as its manufacturer, and locally based Old Man Construction completes the work once the sections are on the ground.



1 comment:

Tim Watson said...

Coach,

Hunley Waters would be a great case study on the failure of Southern Custom Modular to survive when price is a concern. Haven Homes at its peak supplied Hunley with their first 6 or 7 homes. Then the world stopped turning and HH was unable to adapt to the new math. Hunley is selling homes now for less money than Haven was selling them modules. Nationwide swooped in with the right product and the right price and is doing a great job.

Kudos to Hunley Waters, Lee Moulton (THE Old Man) and Nationwide for delivering a great product. Hunley Waters is one of the few remaining shining lights in Southern Modular communities. I fight and lose the price battle everyday as a contractor and wind up stick building 75% of the time. Not by choice but if modular does not offer a time and price savings it's a tougher sell and at some point you have to say why am I fighting this fight? I have and will continue to drink the modular Kool-aid, but you've got to keep the lights on too.