Saturday, October 19, 2013

Modular Home Builder Epitomizes What’s Wrong in NJ

Writing this modular home blog has been both a pleasure and a challenge. The pleasure part is telling prospective new home buyers about the benefits of modular construction and how our industry is leading the way in ‘green’ and energy conservation.

The challenge is trying to defend our industry from the rants of the un- and misinformed people saying things that are untrue.  I am upfront when a factory closes its doors with little or no notice that ends up hurting new home buyers that have paid houses waiting for delivery. I’m also upfront when a modular home builder goes out of business leaving dozens of people losing millions of dollars but these scenarios happen in ALL industries, not just modular housing.

Now Superior Built Development Corp, a modular home builder in Toms River, NJ has written a press release that makes you wonder if they ever read what they wrote. 

The article says they are the leading modular home builder in NJ. I’ve talked to several people in the industry and they never heard of them. Yes, they have been in business for 30 years but most of that was as a custom site builder. I really don’t have a major objection to that statement as everyone likes to puff themselves up. But still, if you say you are the leading mod builder in NJ, show the numbers.

Their website brags that they have a 103% Customer Rating. What the hell is that? And they say they can build a New Home in 90 Days! In New Jersey....fuggettaboutit!

Not one of the pictures of completed modular homes on their website shows a house on pilings and they also look suspiciously like factory pictures.

Now we come to some of my biggest problems with this company. They announced a “Competition Price Guarantee” that no competitor will beat their pricing or their delivery times…period. This is lowball selling at its best. No builder can guarantee this and remain in business.

They imply that modular home carpetbaggers are taking deposits and because of delays, the customers are heading to Superior in droves.

One of the worst parts of the article is when the managing director of the company, M Torrillo, states that they can build homes faster, cheaper and will have you in your home before Spring ’14. If you are a homeowner and were devastated by Sandy, these have to be the sweetest words you could possibly hear.

Assuming you were to walk into their offices tomorrow with a house that needs razed and your deposit in hand; designing your new home, having plans drawn and approved, demolishing your old house (permits required for this), securing permits for the new home (can take months), getting on the modular home factory’s production line, waiting for delivery, putting in your pilings and finally all the finish work needed to secure an occupancy permit; you will be lucky to be in your new home by next summer. And that time frame could even be worse for a site built home.

Then to add insult to injury for the homeowner, Superior’s Torillo says that his company is not loyal to any one factory and buys from the one that gives them the cheapest price and fastest delivery time. OUCH! If the factories are all as busy as he says they are, where is he finding factories that aren’t busy and willing to sell cheap homes to the one area of the nation that they can get top dollar? 

Without builder loyalty to a modular factory, do they really think that the factory service department will fast track them over builders that have been loyal for years?

If you are a modular home builder, please be careful what you put on the Internet. I am watching you.


NJ Modular Home Builder said...

These types of modular home builders do more to harm the reputation of modular housing than help. 90 days. Cheapest homes. I haven't heard these claims by a modular builder in years.

Coach, keep watching.

Rick Hawkins said...

Caveat Emptor - A Deal to good to true usually is!!!! - Way to go Coach eye on the ball

Brad said...

thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention. This builder will only bring a bad name to modular construction if he can not back up his claims and builds from the "cheapest" factory.

Anonymous said...


This is just a another "new to modular" builder that doesn't understand what he is doing and setting us all up for a bad rap. In NJ it can take almost 90 days just to get a plan through engineering for wind zone, approved by PFS, and then get the site surveys and engineering done to even submit a permit. In Toms River they can take 21 days to approve it or reject it and then you could be starting over. This doesn't count the time that it takes to get the customer to settle on a plan that actually fits their lot and that they approve and can afford.

Now let's talk about cheap and fast. A business typically competes on three things: Price, Quality, and Service. A customer, at most, can get two of the three from their builder. Best price means either service or quality are sacrificed.

The shore is already starting to show signs of builders that bid cheap to get the business and now are finding out they signed a contract and can't even build that house for the price, much less make a livable profit.

Superstorm Sandy hitting NJ has caused the devastated area to embrace modular construction as the only way they are going to rebuild quickly. Picking the "newbie" modular builder is the sure fire way for the customer that has lost everything to get hit twice!

Harris said...

At their website I clicked on the "103% Custom Rating" and it launches, which is little more than a paid-for promotional website. That's right: they will post whatever you tell them. This is exactly why Angie's List was created!

What I found very interesting is their indicated insurance company: Lloyds of London. This is very telling... you know why? They insure the likes of Evil Knevil.

Just sayin'!

Anonymous said...

Just goes to show, everyone likes to "nay-say" and boast about what they know, when in fact, not one comment here is based on factual information. Perhaps these "Monday Morning Quarterbacks" should find some customers of this company and ask their opinion. I've scoured the internet for even ONE single complaint or negative comment by a customer of Superior Built and found NONE. That's right, NONE. Buck up and have some class people. Until someone is unable to back their claims, let us give them the benefit of the doubt. It's all too easy for someone like those posting here (most likely competitors of Superior Built) to knock them. I for one can remain optimistic, apparently some people just think they know everything.

Coach said...

From Coach to Anonymous 11:16 AM

I just checked the NJ licensing section of the Government website. Superior Modular Homes in Brick, NJ "IS NOT" a licensed contractor. Their status is "pending" which means they cannot yet build or enter into a contract to build a home in NJ.

I am beginning to to think that you are really one of the people at Superior tying to deflect bad publicity but we will never know as you chose to be Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Coach, perhaps the builder is legit . . . time will tell. I'll come at this from a different angle. Modular manufacturers crawl all over one another to land the next sale. When times are tough, this makes the situation worse and provides an easy path for unscrupulous slime ball builders to enter the fray. Manufacturers have to learn to say "no" if they want to preserve and improve the integrity of the industry.

Howard said...

I unfortunately WAS a customer of Turnillo, he is grandiose,pompous, unable to tell truth from fiction, will say and promise anything and then NOT meet his obligations. He is a phony unlicensed (his wife holds license???)fraud. I attempted to post this information on BuildZoom but they would not post it.