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Country Discussion Topics
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Modular home
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Steve L    Posted 06-15-2002 at 05:29:23       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am considering buying a modular home. The roof pitch is 5/12, which resembles a trailer. Can this pitch be changed and made steeper? What about resale value of a home like this? Sure is beautiful inside. Any ideas guys and gals?


screaminghollow    Posted 06-15-2002 at 20:35:26       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Just like everything else, modulars can be high quality or worthless shanties. When I lived in Falls Church VA, they neighbors had one constructed on a vacant lot. Two story with garage and poured foundation walkout basement. Gorgeous to look at. Foundation was poured one week. I left for work in the morning seeing a crew of workmen standing around. When I came home, there was a two story house. Two of the peices didn't fit quite right and caused a lot of slope problems with the floor and steps to the second floor. It was beautiful inside and out, but the plywood floors creaked immediately. The dry wall in the stairwell cracked pretty bad. The left front of the house settled funny and all the windows on that side of the house leaked and worse. They had to sue the manufacturer which took five years. But it was mighty pretty inside and out. Just a few problems created massive headaches. But such can be true with almost anything. Check out the manufacturer very carefully and check with any state agencies which may keep complaints or licenses such floks, or the sales agents.


Hal/WA    Posted 06-15-2002 at 13:19:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
Let's get the terminology straight. As I understand it, a mobile home is supported by a welded and permanently attached metal frame and is designed to be moved more than once. A modular home is factory built in sections without a metal frame and is designed to be moved from the factory to the homesite on trailers that are removed and pulled away after delivery to the foundation or basement. There is little difference in the construction of a modular home and a site built unit and they can be built as cheaply or as expensively as the owner wants. Once a true modular home is in place, it should appreciate the same as any site built home. Advantages of the modular construction include quick climate controlled construction independant of the weather outside and quick delivery. Costs may be somewhat lower, especially if you want to have a house built in the boonies. At least with a quality company, there is constant inspection and excellent craftsmanship. Negatives include the need to have a good, wide road with room for maneuvering for delivery.

I had a modular home built and delivered to a daylight basement I built. I am very satisfied with the process and did save some money over a site built house. I had carefully priced both methods and found that the modular came out ahead, although not by a great deal. It was a lot easier to get the modular home company to build my house and deliver it than getting someone to come to my property and build it and was a lot faster.

I had thought about building it all myself, as I have built other structures, but I had a job at the time that took most of my time. I needed to get the house done and usable quicker than I ever could have doing it myself. I also could finance the modular home fairly easily and was told that no one would finance my house if I was going to build it myself. Unless you have a history of house building experience, the lenders are afraid to lend the money.

My family had lived in a mobile home before we built the house. It was older and I got a great deal on it when I bought it. The plan was to be in the mobile home for a few years and slowly build our dream house. Of course the economy did what it did through those years and we never had the money to get started building. We ended up being in the mobile home a lot longer than I planned. But it did get us out on the property and my kids got to grow up in the country. Was it worth it? You bet!

I think mobile homes are a reasonable way for not so rich folks to live and possibly move to the country. They depreciate horribly, although the newer ones are supposed to be better that way. An older mobile home can be bought for very little. If it is already depreciated, you have little to lose. It is a little hard to get rid of an older mobile home once you no longer need it.

I also think that a modular home is a reasonable choice for some situations. They have many of the advantages of both mobile homes and site built homes. If you have a manufacturer reasonably close, I would suggest talking to them about what you want. They can and will build almost anything, based on their designs or something that you design.

If you decide to go with a modular home, I would suggest getting the highest quality doors, cabinets and fixtures included. If you don't you will wish you had and it costs very little more to upgrade.

Good luck! It worked good for me.


WallSal55    Posted 06-15-2002 at 10:47:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
For good quality, www.wausauhomes.com (WI, IL, etc.) I think these would hold and improve resale value! My brother built one in the 70's.

Beautiful log home packages: Loc-N-Logs

Gee, my in-laws lost their home in a fire. So,
they drew their own floor plan resembling a friend's ranch home. They found a local carpenter
then to build it reasonably. Beautiful! $65,000
into it they said (back in 1991). Their resale value would probably be $120,000 to $150,000 on
some acres.

My father found a teacher who builds houses in
the summer. He said he worked very reasonable,
he was a self-employed carpenter with references!


Dennis    Posted 06-15-2002 at 09:27:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Maybe you could look into alternative building materials ie: Straw bale building/cordwood building/ haybale construction etc.



Mark Hendershot    Posted 06-15-2002 at 07:44:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
You can build a new house for what they want for them new Mobils and Modulars! I know I did. You may have to do some of the work your self but it is worth it in the end. The trailers do hold some value if you take good care of them due to the cost of new housing going up. On them nice looking ones if you look close you will see that it is ginger bread stuff and not quality building products. Lots of stapels and cheaper hinges, handles, thiner carpet, cheap pluming fixtures and electrical items. They are a way to get into your first home due to the places selling them at high interests to anyone. Saves on renting and getting nothing for your money. If I had the choice I would build since I lived in them since the 70s and love having a real house now trhat dose not shake when the washer is on spin cycle! I built my new home for 80.000 complete with a 24x48 nice garage/shop (13,000), the framing package was 25,000 and the foundation another 10,000 with the interior and septic and kitchen that is where the big bucks come in. Mark H.


DeadCarp    Posted 06-15-2002 at 07:17:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
Walt's right - "modular" implies wheels and makes the price drop like other vehicles. Go shopping for a used one and prove that. Around here there's only 1 GOOD modular made, (insulation etc rivals stick-built) they have a waiting list and by the time it's on the basement it's darn near the cost of stick-built. Their resale drops too, so I'd rather swing the hammer, build it myself and know what's in it. If you just want to get thru a winter or for seasonal use or hunting shack, most dealers have an old one they'll tow out for like $3000. :)




walt    Posted 06-15-2002 at 06:55:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Regardless if you call it a modular or trailer. They seriously lose their value..


Grove r    Posted 06-15-2002 at 10:28:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
Mark, Walt, DC, the building codes across the border must indeed be radicaly different! Modular homes here, are NOT in the same league as mobile homes, [trailers]. I chose, bought, and live in one, price is/was more than a contractor built house, as is the quality. This particular house has 1/2" plywood on all exterior walls, 3/8" on all interior perimiter walls, floor joists are 2X10 kiln dried on 12" centers, headers above doors and windows extend one stud further, perimeter of each half is three 2X10's which equal six down center for main beam support, floor is 3/4" T&G plywood with 7/16" partical board overlay, attic has six inches of fiberglass insulation with another six inches shredded and blown in on top. This modular was finished to gyprock, [I believe you people call it "sheet rock"], primmed, cielings stippled, quality plumbing to floor level, wired, siding/soffit/facia. Maybe the terminology is different? These houses here, are built to buyer plans, and are built better because they are moved to site, nearly finished, and when the sheetrock doesn't crack from the move......oh, hinges? stanard 3" butt, front and back doors are metal clad with three hinges. There are not too many things I don't like, though one is the stippled cielings, AND, those stoopid bi-fold doors! All floor coverings, kitchen cupboards, paint scheme, is of our choice. Maybe this quality is peculiar to our part of the country, I don't know, but anyone I have spoken to that has bought a modular say they are more than happy with them, even above contractor built! Sorry for the detailed preamble, but just had to throw in my two Kroners worth. have a gooder, R.E.L.


Bob /Ont.    Posted 06-15-2002 at 17:14:02       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I think not many people know that your house is a modular home Grover. We have them here too, come in two halves, set them on the foundation and bolt them together then nail on a couple of pieces of trim to cover the bolts and finished.Then there are the ones that look like two trailers side by side.Do you know a man named Carbert from Gull Lake?
Later Bob


Grove r    Posted 06-16-2002 at 07:05:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi, Bob, 10-4 on not being able to tell them apart, people just naturaly assume that I live in a contractor built house. A little more detail to bore everyone with on my situation, about twenty five years ago, we bought a double wide trailer, that I had intended to put on a basement, eleven months after purchase, the dang thing burned down!! this was the eleventh of Nov., so the weather was going to get nothing but colder, Neighbor gave me a pamphlet on "Sundre Instant Homes" based in Calgary, talked to their rep. about the situation, showed him a "plan" that we had sketched, he commented that there was one on the "floor" of the factory being built of that particular designe, for an older retired couple, got a call the next day saying that if we wanted, with a few minor changes, we could take over that house, and the other couple would step aside and have another built for them, later. With a family with no roof, I jumped at the chance! By the time I got a treated plywood basement errected and the site prepaired, the house was delivered and set on the basement in one day! two days before Christmas!!! [each half was 12'6" wide} This was with the carpets and lino installed, and k cupboards. What was left to do, was paint the walls, finish installing trim and doors down the center, and putting the siding on the end walls, install and hook up furnace, water, sewer, and electricity. Still thank those two peopole for their kindness.....

I will phone my SIL and ask her about that name. She used to live on the North East corner of the lake, so there is more than a remote chance she will know them. Wife has relates around Little Britain and Uxbridge, in Ontario, brother used to own property at Bear Lake. Have a gooder, R.E.L.


Mark Hendershot    Posted 06-15-2002 at 16:14:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
Your right about the Modular Homes they are better than the Mobil Homes!! Most of what I was talking about was the Mobil Homes. I worked at a place once that built good ones but they were just like a house and not realy ment to be moved more than once. My complaint is about Mobil Homes they cut to many corners on them. Even the up/grades are not much of a up grade. A true Modular Home can be built any way you want it done and is a fast way to get into one. Mark H.


BOSS    Posted 06-15-2002 at 06:40:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
A 5/12 pitch is a pretty good pitch, Modulars around these parts are 3/12. so 5/12 is pretty good. It would be rather difficult and costly to change the pitch on it, they are making modulars with different pitched roofs, try looking into one of those.




Hal/WA    Posted 06-15-2002 at 22:40:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
The roof pitch on my modular home is 4/12, just like it would have been if I had site built it. Most houses and other buildings that have been built around here in the last 40 years have 4/12 pitch. The roofing is standard 3 tab composition, although when I eventually reroof, I plan to use painted sheet metal, as that will last longer than I will ever need it to.

When we were planning the modular home, they told me that they could do almost any roof pitch a buyer wanted. I had mine built the way I did because I like things to be simple. My house is lots less fancy than some of the ones in the plan books, but it is the way I wanted it. It also will be simple to reroof. I really believe in the KISS principle! It usually costs less too.

I planned this house to be usable for the rest of my life. It was built to be very energy efficient and very low maintainance. So far, after 5 years, I am very satisfied and would go with a modular home from the same company. Of course there are things I would change, but overall, I think it is great.


Jim in N.S.    Posted 06-15-2002 at 19:31:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think the reason for the low pitch is because of the hight problem's encountered in transport.


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