If you want a good experience with completing the turnkey of your modular home, select a general contractor with modular home experience. On the other hand, if you want a sure way to make the construction of your new home a miserable time, hire a GC without modular experience who stubbornly believes that modular homes are an inferior product. You will likely find that he is always looking to say something bad about your home. This was quite common 20 years ago, before stick builders began to have a change of heart about modular homes.
A Story about Selecting a General Contractor with Modular Home Experience
My first experience with this involved a family building a two-story colonial in a typical middle-class neighborhood. Since I did not yet offer GC services, they had to find their own GC. They selected a skilled and reputable local GC who was a friend of their parents. The GC’s primary business was building additions and new stick-framed homes. The first time he spoke to me, he let me know that he was only doing the work as a favor to a friend, and that he thought modular homes were inferior. I tried to explain why they were the equal to stick-built homes, but he was having none of it.
Once my customers’ home was set on the foundation, the GC complained about everything, in spite of the fact that my customers loved it. He acted as if the home was going to fall apart in the next storm and the proper fix was going to cost a king’s ransom. He strongly disagreed with all proposed warranty solutions, asserted that the manufacturer built the modules incorrectly, and insisted that they be taken apart and rebuilt. He then assumed the role of savior, as if he was protecting my customers from some evil modular dealer. Even though I prevailed upon him, and the minimal warranty work required was completed correctly, he was distrustful toward everyone associated with the home. Consequently, this fueled a series of conflicts each time he discovered something new about the home, even things that made the home clearly superior, such as the way the drywall was attached to the framing.
My customers tried to make the best of it, but they were clearly worn out by the end. When I ran into them several years later, they regaled me with a few more stories about their experience. Fortunately, they had a sense of humor about it. They even told me that the GC had worked on another modular home in a neighboring community a year after finishing their home. For your sanity sake, select a general contractor with modular home experience and an appreciation of a modular home’s quality.
For more information about why you should select a general contractor with modular home experience, see Selecting a General Contractor in my book The Modular Home.