Wednesday, March 14, 2012

ZIP System Walls and Roof for Modular Homes

Before you have a new home built by a modular factory, please make sure you visit one to see the houses on the production floor.  After only a few minutes you will begin to realize why more new home builders and buyers are choosing modular. 

Every factory website tells you all the great things about modular and why you should build one and I agree with every one of them.  Where these websites tend to get thin on information is on the options available to you.  And for good reason.

Think back to your first visit to your builder.  It was like a first date.  You wanted a castle for peanuts and the builder wanted to get you into a home for peanuts because he/she didn't want to scare you off with putting in a lot of options up front.

But now that both sides are comfortable with each other, options can start to be discussed and yes Virginia, some of them can add significant dollars to the house price.  You have to decide if the options you want will be something you want because they look nice like 8' interior doors and massive ovens and refrigerators or options that can actually save you energy and money in the long run.

One of the additional cost options available from a lot of modular home factories is a wall and roof system called ZIP System.  Ordinarily the outside sheathing on your new home will be OSB (Oriented Stand Board).  This is a good system that is being used by almost all factories as their standard sheathing.  You can upgrade to plywood at about twice the cost but that would not get you a better home, just a different type of sheathing.  In either case, you should use a house wrap like Tyvek to help stop air infiltration.

ZIP Wall and Roof System

ZIP Tape

ZIP Wall is OSB with a built-in rigid house wrap adhered to the outside surface.  It is applied and taped at the seams for a complete air infiltration system.  It does allow moisture to wick out which is a good thing for any exterior wall.  The ZIP people say that because it is an integrated system no water can get between and hang around like it could do with house wrap.  If the house wrap is not installed properly over the OSB, water can get trapped in there and possibly do some damage.

The cost of the ZIP Wall System is slightly more than OSB with house wrap but it might be one of those options that can help prevent problems down the road.

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