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  Buttoning up or trim out is the entire finishing work necessary to complete the modular home after the house is set. It is the process that can consist of finishing and installing complete systems. This work can be extensive and expensive and is required to finish the modular home. This work is handled by a general contractor and subcontractors. The following is a list of necessary completed work: sheetrocking, siding, fascia, roof, heating, plumbing, carpentry, foundation, stairs, flooring, masonry, electrical, site work and making all necessary connections to the outside utilities. This is a partial list of necessary finishing work but it can be a great deal more. What needs to be considered is the necessary custom work to be completed on site.

Excavation is the process of clearing and digging in preparation for the modular. This consists of the foundation, utilities and creating access for necessary equipment for delivery. This includes ditches for water, sewer lines, water, optional electric and telephone connections. The hole is dug out with space to place the foundation, drainage pipes and utilities. Necessary underground connections are dug by the use of a backhoe. If ledge (massive rock) cannot be cleared through conventional means, an expensive method of blasting needs to be employed. The alternative to a full basement can be an above ground basement, crawl space or a partial basement. A lot can be accomplished with clean fill but that can increase your capital expenditure.

Finish work is where all the trades finish up after the buttoning up process. This entails all the detailed work required to finish the modular home.

Hybrid construction is a combination of modular and site construction techniques. This is more expensive but cost effective than just building site-constructed housing. By combining the efficiency of modular home process with site construction you can greatly accelerate the building process. Hybrid is employed when multiple bump-outs are employed, complex roofs or and/ or gable work is required. Hybrid construction is inherently more complicated but a customized desired effect can be achieved.

Marriage wall is where the separate modules are joined together. The final adjustments are made with a come along and/or a clamp with measured cut lumber filling in the voids. Spaces and misalignment are compensated with shims to a uniformed distance to prevent cracking from settling. The wall beams are bolted, metal strapping joins the marriage wall and joists. The conjoined areas are finished with sheetrock, molding, trim and flooring.

Prefabricated is a term to categorize a variety of manufacturing techniques. Prefabricated or prefab comprise: modular, mobile, panelized and pre-cut kit houses. They have come a long way since the inception of the first mobile home. An analogy can be made in comparing the mobile home to the technological advances of computer technology: compare the function of a 10-year-old computer to a new one.

Set is placing the modules in their pre assigned locations on the foundation. This is accomplished with an experienced well-coordinated set crew. The crew utilizes trailers, trucks, cranes come along and physical labor. If you get a chance to see a modular go up, you will marvel over it.

Site work consists of all the different tasks that need to be accomplished at the location where the house is to be erected to prepare for the set, finish and the construction of site built structures. The site work encompasses: digging a foundation hole, clearing of the property, construction of a driveway, grading for drainage and digging for all necessary utilities. This is where the plumber, siding specialists, painters, electrician, and carpenter are involved in buttoning up and finishing the site construction. This work includes interior and exterior work on the modular house. The interior work consists of installing HVAC, flooring carpentry, plumbing, sheet rocking and electrical connections. The exterior work includes foundations, septic or sewer connections, water and electric hook ups.

Standard plan is a plan from a modular manufacturer that already exists. Standard plans are economical and that economic benefit can be passed down to the customer. The benefits will be minimized if the customer wants more than a few minor changes. Finding a plan with similar features that you're looking for can be a cost savings solution.

Turnkey is when a general contractor completes the modular home to the customer's satisfaction. The general contractor is responsible for contracting with the subcontractors to complete the necessary work. The customer needs only to turn the key on a completed inspected finished home.

Universal design features are design options that provide access to senior citizens, wheel chair bound and others with special needs. These options include 36" wide exterior doors, bathroom grab bars, low threshold showers, varying height for cabinet and work counters. In addition access can be adjusted for hallways, lights, thermostats, electrical lights, switches and plumbing fixtures. Incorporating options such as lever handed door handles, D rings for cabinets, rocker style switches, hand held shower head and big face phones can give immeasurable quality to people's lives.

Walk through is the final inspection of the home by the customer or designee. Punch lists are an inventory of labor and materials requiring inspection inside and outside of the modular home. The check off list would meet with the inspector's approval covering aesthetics, function, levelness and correctness concerning what was called for in the plan. The entire list of tasks should be gone over before the owner accepts the home as finished. This can entail the checking of painting, plumbing, decking, roofing, windows, doors, site work and any other work that was required by the owner. Money should always be withheld for incompletion or lack of satisfaction.

Modular vs Conventional


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The Modular
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