The modular home is one solution to the post-hurricane housing shortage that is gaining traction throughout the Gulf Coast and Delta. Not to be confused with what is often referred to as “manufactured housing” or trailers which are built to construction standards set by HUD. Modular homes are built using the same construction standards as site-built homes; the 2009 International Residential Building Code, 2008 National Electrical Code, 2008 Mechanical Code, and the LA Plumbing Code.
These codes require the builder to include about 40% more wood than what is required by HUD in “manufactured housing.” The maximum wind requirement set by HUD for “manufactured housing” is 110 mph. The minimum wind capacity construction that a Gulf Coast Home modular is built to is 130 mph. Modular construction offers some significant advantages over traditional site-built homes that are particularly well suited to the current challenges facing the Gulf Coast recovery:
1. The efficiencies of building a modular home in a controlled factory environment can deliver more housing, faster, with less waste, than site-built operations. With 90% of the construction taking place in the factory, these homes can be “set ” on-site and ready for occupancy in as little as 8 to 12 weeks. By dramatically reducing construction waste and weather-related downtime, and by maximizing the labor efficiencies of assembly line production, significant savings can be realized by the consumer.
2. The inherent precision of factory production produces a more rigid structure with fewer defects than “stick-built” housing. In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, government studies found that modular homes experienced less damage than other types of homes because of the precise and inflexible construction, making it ideal for resisting hurricane winds.
3. Modular Home values are tied to site-built construction homes and this will usually mean appreciable value in the future, something that is not possible with a manufactured home.
4. At modular homes, we can custom design your new modular floor plan. This is virtually impossible to do when purchasing a manufactured home and is not cost-effective when building a site-built home.
5. Many more finance options are available for modular housing because their value is tied to modular homes. Many lenders who would not consider financing manufactured housing have no problem financing modular housing due to their tendency to appreciate in value. This fact also means interest rates are usually much lower than those offered to clients looking to purchase a “manufactured home.”