Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Weekly Survey Feature Added to “Modular Home Builder” blog

As we all know, very few modular home builders actually get a chance to share their triumphs and frustrations with their fellow modular home builders simply because there is no real place to do so anonymously. God forbid any builder would actually put their name to a frustration hot button.


Starting today Modcoach is adding a weekly question about what is happening in and to our industry that you can answer "anonymously". These will not be simple “Yes or No’ answers.

Your responses will show up in the comment section below.

Some of the questions will be tough and or directed to certain regions but be assured they will be relevant to what is happening today.

Here’s this week’s question:

“How are your state’s modular building codes restricting your sales?”




10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Coach, I know you said no "Yes or No" answers but being a modular builder in Maryland all you usually get from the state's code office is "No". It's almost like Maryland does everything in its power to kill modular housing. By them adopting the latest version of the IRC code it not get any better.

Anonymous said...

Not so much the state but its local code enforcement or restrictive covenants by local HOA's or jurisdictions conflating modular and manufactured homes.

Anonymous said...

HOAs can actually be more restrictive than state codes. Mnay were wrtitten to keep manufactured homes out but were worded to keep any offsite house from being built. Even if the local or state will aloow a modular home to be built on a site the HOA can block it.

Anonymous said...

We build Mod multifamily in the NE. Do you think having to produce a 260 sheet set of plans, having them reviewed by our PE and deviated, then reviewed by our 3rd party PE and deviated, then filing with the State only to then wait weeks for a review, which is deviated - and when, once corrected must be sent back to our PE for their stamp prior to returning to the State - to again be deviated puts us at a disadvantage to Stick builders? If we can't fulfill the promise of a faster build, what are we selling? So, yeah the system in place works against us, not for us.

Tom Hardiman said...

The state's "modular building code" is the same as the state's "convention building code"- typically some version of the IRC or IBC. It's the state administrative programs/ rules (not building codes) that can really slow down a project. Inconsistent program requirement from state to state are problematic for manufacturers that ship into multiple states. New requirements being added for license holders, installers, etc. By the way, this is happening right now in Mass. and very few seem concerned (or aware).

We can't complain about states adopting new building codes as it generally happens every three years. As long as everyone has to play by the same rules, it shouldn't be a disadvantage for modular builder. In fact, I'd argue that its tougher for site builders to meet some of the requirements - especially the energy requirements.




Anonymous said...

To the multi-family mod in NE, I would ask your PE why the 3rd party and State are finding deviation items after the PE review? If the PE is doing their job, there should be little to no deviations for anyone else to find. Thus making the review process quicker. Often, the 3rd party reviewer is not a PE so why are they finding items your PE didn't? Also, there is no specified number of sheets that a submission must be. If you can demonstrate code compliance in 50 sheets, then so be it. You may need to look at your own process/product and see how that can make the process better.

Anthony said...

Local building and code enforcement personnel are either not educated, fully understand modular, lazy or plain bias against modular construction. The amount of time it takes and the information needed for a modular home in NJ far exceeds that of traditional stick built construction. I have hit more road blocks than a California road after a mud slide. Items they are not supposed to even be looking at for it was approved already are being questioned, changed, or denied by the building code officials. There is no consistency and definitely no rhyme or reason for many of their actions but in order to proceed we must address ALL of their requests no matter how unreasonable or inappropriate as it may be. I could go on and on about this but will end it with this-no matter how difficult they make it I am so committed to the modular building process and major efficiencies on the structure and the environment it offers will not stop us here at Zarrilli Homes from continuing to build and promote modular construction. Good luck all no matter where you are building-KEEP MOVING FORWARD!

Anonymous said...

My question is this, how many site builders do you know that have to submit plans to a PE, a 3rd Party and to the state to get an approval? How many of them have to jump through hoop after hoop to get systems approvals approved by the state so that they can build homes to the new codes the state adopted? How many site builders have to get a letter of approval from the state before they can build homes in the state to the new codes? The answer: None! In most cases, they submit a set of plans (in some cases architectural) to obtain a building permit. Then they start building and during the process go through the required inspections.

The requirements for modular homes causes delay after delay before the project can even start, not to mention all the added costs. On top of that, the PE's are all practicing C.Y.A. by over engineering everything in the home, which only adds to the costs of the home. No delays in getting started, no up front engineering costs, no 3rd party reviews and no state reviews. This is not a level playing field!

Anonymous said...

Anthony, you and I are actually lucky to be in NJ where having several homes under construction at any point in time is common. I would hate to be in a state like Maryland where you might be living house to house simply because modular is hated by those in charge of zoning and code at local level. I built a couple of homes in Maryland and they will be my last.

Harris said...

I guess we are lucky because we are not having any problems with local plan reviewers and inspectors with an occasional exception. I know of no HOA guidelines that have blocked any of our sales, but then we may not know about the ones we never saw! At the state level, things have improved after a change with the director. Norman Wang will actually attend the mhba conference this fall. Our overwhelming problems come from the extreme over engineering going on. You would think our snow loads are 120 lb per square foot down here. It has translated into very significant costs for buildings that simply cannot possibly weigh as much as our paperwork shows. It has gotten out of control.