Modular construction is an increasingly popular way to grow a house
When Richard and Terry Jeng bought their tiny bungalow in South Arlington in 2001, they kept their clothes in the attic since the closets in their first-floor bedroom were practically nonexistent.
“We would sleep downstairs and go upstairs to get ready for work,” Terry Jeng says. “We often talked about getting a ‘real’ house, but it wasn’t until our daughter was born in 2008 that the house really felt too small.”
The Jengs thought about moving, but they love their neighborhood and they both work in Crystal City, an easy commute from their home. They can walk to Metro, Pentagon Row and Pentagon City and love the character of their home, which is on a large corner lot. After interviewing several contractors who told them they’d need to move out for six months and quoted them extremely high prices, they opted to expand their home with a customized but modular addition.
Modular construction, in which a complete home or an addition is built in a climate-controlled factory and then delivered to the home site, has been around since the early 1900s, when Sears and other companies offered “house kits” that were then put together by homeowners or contractors.
“Until recently, modular additions were one size fits all, but through design and manufacturing innovations they have become highly customizable,” says Michael Winn, owner of Winn Custom Modular, a division of Winn Design + Build in Falls Church. “It’s not your father’s modular.
Anyone who’s picked up a copy of Dwell magazine has quickly discovered that modular construction has become very cutting edge. The modern approach is highly automated, customizable, precise, sustainable and fast.”
Winn Design +Build used Excel Homes for this project. Excel has years of experience with second story additions.
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