Prioritizing Quality and Efficiency when Building a Home

Posted by Judi Handel on January 15, 2016
Prioritizing Quality and Efficiency when Building a Home
Signature Building System's manufacturing facility

The top priorities for homeowners and developers in the current home construction market are high quality, high value, and energy efficiency, as well as reliable delivery dates. The factory construction model of the top modular home manufacturers enables these companies to meet the goals of quality, value, and efficiency more fully than site builders. Additionally, with the level of customizability available in the modular home marketplace, modular homes are indistinguishable from their site-built counterparts once construction is complete. Modular homes are a clearly superior choice for homeowners and developers prioritizing quality and efficiency in their new homes.

Quality of Materials and Strength of Your Home

Home quality is at the forefront of today’s home buyers’ and developers’ concerns. Modular homes can surpass the quality of site-built homes for a number of reasons, including greater selectivity over materials, protection from the elements during construction, and the strength required to transport factory-built modules to their final location.

“Our materials tend to be higher quality than those used by site builders for two reasons: we operate under an economy of scale, making the highest-quality materials more affordable; and we are highly selective about the materials we take in to our manufacturing facility, a fact that is made possible by the facility’s division of labor. A materials expert handles our materials receiving, making it a more selective process,” said Justin DePhillips, Director of Sales & Marketing at Signature Building Systems.

Once received in the SBS facility, DePhillips added that all of the company’s high-quality building materials remain protected from the elements, unlike building materials for site-built homes. The materials are thus protected from weathering, which improves final home quality.

Another key contributor to his company’s homes’ high quality, DePhillips said, is that they must be strong enough to withstand transport from the factory to the site, and therefore are built to higher standards of quality than typical site-built homes. How, though, can modular home manufacturers achieve and confirm these high quality standards? DePhillips points again to the scale of his company’s operation.

“Between our facility and the final site, over 100 people have a hand in creating each Signature Building Systems custom home, and each of those people is highly knowledgeable about the specific tasks that they perform. High quality work is being done by highly trained experts,” DePhillips said. “When compared with the 20 to 40 people who work on a typical site-built home, it is clear that modular home building offers advantages in engineering quality and scrutiny.”

Scrutiny over modular homes is also greater than that of site-built homes because manufacturing facilities must conform to a more extensive set of regulations and external quality control measures. These factors serve to confirm many aspects of home quality that can be overlooked in site-built homes.

Environmental Friendliness and High Value Design

Of course, high quality homes are important to homeowners and developers in their own right, but they also offer a related valuable benefit: environmental sealing and, as a result, energy efficiency. Homes that are well-sealed against the environment are far more comfortable than poorly-sealed homes, staying cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Well-sealed homes also have better air quality than homes that are poorly sealed, positively impacting the health of those living in the home.

The controlled building conditions of modular home manufacturing facilities, mentioned above for their positive impact on material quality, also lead to better sealed and more energy efficient homes. While site builders must build homes from the outside, putting up exterior walls and roof panels as quickly as possible to shield the interior of the home from the elements, modular homes can be built from the inside out, with a greater attention to the fit of materials and the insulation and sealing of the home.

“Building from the inside out helps ensure that our homes are sealed from the elements, from framing insulation and lined chimneys down to sealed window frames and electrical outlets,” DePhillips said. “The superior seal of our homes, along with our choice of advanced components like low-E windows, are what make them at least 15% more energy-efficient than site-built homes.”

The improved environmental sealing of Signature Building Systems’ modular homes delivers value to homeowners, as well-sealed, energy-efficient homes cost less to heat and cool.

“The difference completely boils down to the home building process. Site builders have to prioritize buttoning up the exterior of a home so it’s weatherproof, whereas our process has room for additional steps to test the seal along the way and fix any problem areas,” DePhillips added.

Completion Time and Home Readiness

A final primary consideration of homeowners and developers is how long it will take to complete a home, as well as how certain they can be that the home will be completed in that time. Of course, production time of every home is different, making it difficult to compare different home building methods, but modular home building outpaces site building of homes in one key aspect of production time: reliability.

Signature Building Systems typically begins building a customer’s home within the four to five weeks following their receipt of that customer’s production deposit. The home is built in the factory and shipped within the next two to three weeks; after that, an average builder takes approximately10-12 weeks to finish building the house. A typical modular home, therefore, takes anywhere from 16-18 weeks to build.

While the timeline for site-built homes could be the same, it can also take as long as 24 weeks or more. The wide range in site building construction times is in part due to environmental unpredictability. Especially in the early stages of home building, site builders are highly susceptible to delays from inclement weather. The factory construction of modular homes eliminates environmental concerns in this critical initial time period. Additionally, modular builders have greater control over inventory and time spent on each specific project due to their factory setting, and DePhillips noted that this adds to their advantage in reliability over site-built homes.

“What is perhaps of greatest value to customers with regards to home completion time and reliability is the percentage of a customer’s investment that is present at the site on day one,” DePhillips said.

“Whereas site builders start from scratch, our customers’ homes are 80% complete on the first day they arrive on site. Our customers place their trust in our homes and in their ability to be completed on time as promised because they can see the fruit of their investment so quickly: we deliver as much as double the completion as site builders in the same amount of time.”

Manufacturing Custom Homes to Meet Consumer Demand

Homeowners and developers concerned with the quality, value, and energy efficiency of their new home, as well as the efficiency of its construction, can reap exceptional benefits from modular-built homes rather than site-built ones. Modular homes offer high quality materials and workmanship, far better energy efficiency, and a more reliable building timeframe than their site-built counterparts. With leading companies like Signature Building Systems, these homes can be fully customized, leaving customers with the precise home they desire at a better value and final quality. Modular building is therefore a highly attractive alternative to site building for customers with quality, customization, and value in mind.

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