Why Modular?

Manufactured homebuilding dates back to 1908, when Sears began selling pre-cut home kits and shipping them by rail to customers. Many of these “Craftsman” homes can be found in Saratoga Springs, and they are highly prized for their quality and character.  Today, custom modular construction has become the construction method of choice for educated buyers who want a superior quality home at a reasonable price. Here’s why our homes are unquestionably better than site-built homes.

Superior Structural Integrity
By nature, modular homes are much stronger than site-built homes. Our manufacturers use the same platform framing process that all custom home builders use, but our homes are over-engineered to withstand the stress of transportation to the job site (forces equivalent to that of a healthy earthquake!) For example, there is typically 20% more lumber used in framing our homes, corners are heavily reinforced and then lag-bolted together, and framing components are glued as well as nailed or screwed together. There have been numerous studies by FEMA and others which show that modular homes withstand hurricanes and earthquakes much better than stick-built homes. Can you imagine what would happen if a site-built home was lifted by a crane, placed on a truck and hauled even one mile down the road at 50 MPH?

Better Building Materials
Our modular home manufacturers use only the highest quality kiln-dried lumber and real plywood instead of “wafer board”, protect their building materials from the weather, and build the home in a climate-controlled factory environment; lumber that is green, warped or twisted is rejected because it will not fit into their precise framing jigs. One major problem with site-built homes is that building materials are exposed and vulnerable to the weather; when lumber gets wet it absorbs moisture and the homeowner inherits problems after the building is finished (nail pops, twisting, warping, shrinkage, mold, etc.). Our homes are also built with name-brand components (such as Andersen windows, Certainteed siding, Owens-Corning roofing, Merillat cabinets, Decora light switches, etc.) of exceptional quality.

Process Control
Factory-built construction quality is invariably superior to what can be done on a job site. (That’s why you probably won’t have your mechanic build your next car in your driveway.) Roof rafters cut with a circular saw at a job site cannot possibly be as precise as those cut with a $10,000 radial arm saw or $100,000 component cutter in a factory. Modular homes are built in precision jigs to ensure that every module is perfectly square, plumb and level. Factory assembly methods are also vastly superior because the work is done in a climate-controlled environment, using pneumatic tools which drive fasteners to precise depths, and instant-dry adhesives which cannot be used in conventional construction. What’s more, factory inspections cover every construction detail from floor framing to final paint, and independent third party inspectors perform multiple unannounced inspections per house. The best that can be hoped for at a job site is 3-4 announced inspections by an overworked town building inspector.

Energy Efficiency
One of the main advantages to factory construction is the ability to build homes that are more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Our homes are better insulated, are sealed against air infiltration leaks, are built with dry lumber which eliminates mold and mildew concerns, and offer many energy-saving features. Saratoga Modular Homes specializes in building ENERGY STAR and/or National Green Building Standard homes that typically are 20-50% more energy efficient than site-built homes.

Construction Time
Typically, modular homes are built and delivered to the site 60-90 days after being ordered, and are ready for occupancy in another 30-90 days depending on the size and complexity of the home. This means that our customer can move into their new custom home as soon as 90 days after signing the purchase contract!  Today, it is common for an anxious buyer to wait 9-18 months from contract to completion for a site-built custom home.

Fewer Variables
Even the most efficient stick builder is significantly limited by a 3-5 man crew and subcontractors, which must travel from job to job, rather than the modular manufacturer’s 150-man crew that always works at the same location. Furthermore, delays due to material back orders, no-show subcontractors, poor weather, etc. make it hard even for the most conscientious stick builder to keep the project on schedule. This creates a serious problem, especially to a customer who has already sold their previous home and are being pressured for occupancy by the new buyers. Absorbing the costs of a motel or a rental property or coping with the stress of a few months in a relative’s home is something most home people would like to avoid.

Substantial Cost Savings
The purchase price of a modular home is always less than that of a conventionally built home, because the factory is able to reduce its costs. The cost savings come from volume purchases of materials directly from the manufacturer (eliminating middleman markups), lower assembly line wages, lower finance costs due to the radically accelerated construction process, and a reduction in lost and damaged materials caused by on-site weather conditions, pilferage, and vandalism. The only way a stick builder can match the cost of a modular home is by building with inferior materials, by employing unskilled labor, and/or focusing on speed rather than craftsmanship. This of course results in poor quality construction, higher maintenance and energy demands, and lower resale value.

Lower Cost of Ownership
A homeowner should consider two financial factors when investing in a new home. First, what it costs to BUY the home, and second, what it costs to OWN the home. Modular homes have a significant advantage in both areas. Your cost of ownership includes such things as maintenance costs, taxes, and energy efficiency. Modular homes are known to have very low maintenance costs, because they are over-engineered and built under very closely monitored conditions. Property taxes are based on the cost of purchase, and since modular homes cost less your taxes should also be lower. And of course, our ENERGY STAR homes are 20-30% more energy efficient than typical site-built homes.  As the National Association of Home Builders says on their website, “Modular homes save money because they are incredibly efficient.”

Unlimited Customization Options
Saratoga Modular specializes in custom-designed modular homes. From a modest starter or vacation home to an elaborate estate, we can build it better, faster and less expensively as a modular home.  And you won’t need to hire an outside architect – our team includes a creative, talented, and capable engineering staff that will turn your concept into a reality. When your plan is drawn, we can customize it as extensively as you like – arched doorways, vaulted ceilings, granite countertops, tile shower, coffered ceilings, screen porches, home theatre, built-in bookshelves, etc. – if you can dream it, we can build it!

Peace of Mind
Most importantly, buying a modular home gives you peace of mind. You won’t have to worry about:

Cost Overruns – Every homeowner’s worst nightmare – the job’s half finished and your builder tells you he’s way over budget and needs more money or else he’ll quit. Modular homes come at a guaranteed price, without cost overruns.

The vanishing builder – Everyone has heard these horror stories – just don’t let it happen to you. You don’t want a builder to disappear with your money, or an unfinished house slowly rotting away in the rain. When you buy modular, you’ll get a finished home on-time and on-budget.

The pre-soaked house – Maybe you like your jeans pre-washed, but you don’t want your house to come that way! A site-built house open to the weather can cause your wood to warp or swell, which leads to mold and mildew, problems you’ll never get rid of in a lifetime of ownership. Modular houses are built in controlled environments under the factory roof and are shipped in weather-proofed wrapping.

The unexpected un-inspected house – Often times you don’t really know what quality you’re getting with a site-built house. Overworked town building inspectors only make a handful of pre-announced site visits during the 6-12 month construction process, and most of the construction is done unsupervised.  Modular homes, on the other hand, are thoroughly inspected at every step of construction process.  This strict quality control process provides 100% assurance that your home has been inspected for code compliance and workmanship. In-plant inspectors as well as independent inspection agencies inspect the home on behalf of your state & local government.

The minimal warranty – Site-built homes typically come with the NYS minimum new-home warranty.  We are so confident in the quality of our homes that they include an exceptional 10-year warranty for your peace of mind.

The Most Important Reason
If you want the best quality home at the best price, shouldn’t you consider all of your alternatives?  Our strongest advocates are architects, engineers, and other highly educated customers who have researched and analyzed our building process.  When you do the same, you’ll understand why custom modular construction is the fastest growing segment in the home building industry (now accounting for over 10% of home construction in the Northeast!)