Why You Should Build A Home Store Modular Home
Part 1: Introduction
We believe our homes are better than our competitors – those built by stick builders as well as by other modular builders. We believe the differences are many and significant. But we don’t expect you to believe us just because we’ve said so. In the seven sections that follow, we will discuss how our homes are built with better materials and craftsmanship and serviced with greater professionalism.
If you read each section closely, you will learn that all homes are not built alike, and that you will need to be sure that the builders you are considering offer comparable advantages. If you would like to learn how to compare builders, we suggest you read our handout, “What You Should Know When Comparing Builders”. If you would like to learn the advantages of modular construction, please read our handout, “Why Buy A Modular Home”.
Part 2: Structural Advantages
Special techniques to strengthen the framing system at its stress points
We use metal plates to join the tops of the side & interior walls with the tops of the front & back walls. We also use steel straps along the bottom and top of the “marriage wall”, which is where the two modules join together. We do this every 4′ and at every corner and door opening. This enables us to tie together the wall studs, the bottom plate of the wall, and the perimeter of the floor as well as the wall studs, the top plate of the wall, and the perimeter of the ceiling.
– These two techniques not only make our homes much stronger when we transport them and set them on the foundation, they also give them a lot more protection against strong winds, such as generated by hurricanes and tornadoes.
We strap the corners of the perimeter floor joists to reduce the chance of the floor twisting.
We nail and lag bolt our interior walls to both the floors and exterior walls to reduce the possibility of squeaky floors.
Double rim joists along the marriage wall
This makes for four 2″ x 10″‘s wherever two modules come together, which adds considerable strength to your home.
2″ x 6″ exterior walls
We have never built a single home with 2″ x 4″ exterior walls.
Our 2″ x 6″ walls allow us to put in 6″ of insulation, which reduces your energy bills. They also make your home much stronger.
2″ x 12″ ceiling perimeter band
Most companies use a 2″ x 6″ ceiling perimeter band. By using materials that are twice as tall, we create an enlarged cavity for plumbing, HVAC, water lines, etc. We also create more room for taller and stronger support beams, which means you can have significantly wider rooms, such as spacious great rooms. Our stronger ceiling system also helps the drywall from moving and cracking during manufacturing, shipping, and erection.
2″ x 10″ floor joists on the second floor of two-stories
The building code only requires 2″ x 8″, but we think you’ll prefer the sturdiness of 2″ x 10″.
Interior and exterior wall spacing
Our Custom Series provides the additional strength of 16″ O.C., while our Heritage Series offers the greater economy of 24″ O.C. It might interest you to know that 24″ O.C. is more energy efficient, since such walls have more insulation and less wood, which is a poor insulator.
Ceiling joists 16″ O.C.
We give you this feature even if you order 24″ O.C. walls to ensure that your ceilings look good long after your house is finished.
Structural panels along marriage wall
We strengthen our marriage walls with a special technique: we glue and fasten 3.6mm structural panels to the studs, and we then screw ½” drywall to the structural panels. The additional rigidity this adds to our modules helps our homes to look as good on your foundation as they did at the factory.
Reinforced corners of door and window moldings
The metal splines keep the mitered joints tight and strong.
3/4″ tongue and groove floor sheathing
Some other companies install 5/8″ sheathing, which makes the floors prone to bounce.
Bridging between the floor joists
Again, this makes for a much sturdier floor. But not all companies include it.
Mulled (side-by-side) windows support
All windows that are installed side-by-side have a stud placed between them for additional support. This is especially important for vinyl windows, since their frames are not as rigid as those of wood windows.
Sheathing seams between modules
We hold back the sheathing about 6″ on each module wherever two modules join. This allows us to nail a 1′ piece of sheathing between the modules, which helps tie the modules together on your foundation.
Reject wood that is badly bowed, twisted, and crowned
Although the local site-builder may be willing to use these inferior materials to build his home, we cannot use them in our finely tuned manufacturing facility and still produce the level of quality we demand. This policy, along with all of those below, enables us to offer you our 10 year structural warranty with complete confidence.
Truss roof system
Like all of the better builders, we use engineered trusses to build our roofs. Our 5/12 and 7/12 roofs come with standard web trusses and optional storage trusses. Our 9/12 and 12/12 roofs come with storage trusses. The attic access provided with web truss roofs is for attic inspection only.
9/12 and 12/12 roofs (optional feature, except 12/12 standard on capes)
The storage trusses for our 9/12 and 12/12 roofs offer you significantly greater attic space. They also provide you with attic floor sheathing so you can immediately use the space. The floor sheathing will cost you more with most companies.
We can also build a full set of stairs to the attic for walk-up convenience.
Using H-clips to separate sections of roof sheathing prevents buckling when the wood expands, as all wood does due to moisture and heat. Other companies use nails as spacers, but this is not as effective.
Ridge vent attic ventilation
We install a ridge vent system to induce a continuous air flow from the soffits under the eave to the peak of the roof. Some companies use gable end vents, which are not as effective at removing the excess heat and moisture that build up in an attic.
We use the more attractive ‘shingle-over’ ridge vent system rather than the typical exposed aluminum system.
R-30 or R-38 fiberglass ceiling insulation
Our Custom Series offers the additional energy efficiency of R-38, while our Heritage Series provides the greater economy of R-30. Capes with unfinished second stories come with R-30 insulation in the floor.
We install these in the eaves above the insulation to provide a continuous air flow from the vented soffit to the ridge vent. This helps your attic breathe and avoid moisture build up.
Reduce air infiltration
Why we go out of our way to reduce air infiltration:
- Reduces heat loss:
- Air infiltration is the movement of air into your home through all of the cracks and holes in the walls, ceilings, floors, windows,
- It is the single biggest cause of heat loss (29%).
- It can increase your energy bill even more than poorly insulated windows (25%), walls (18%), floors (14%), ceilings (9%), and doors (4%).
- We do several things to significantly reduce air infiltration and heat loss (see below). Together, they repay you with years of dividends in energy savings and increased resale value.
- Air infiltration is the movement of air into your home through all of the cracks and holes in the walls, ceilings, floors, windows,
- Retards the spread of fire: By closing off the air gaps in the walls, we also slow the spread of fire. Although you never expect to have a fire, it is reassuring to know that should one ever get started you will have more time to exit your home safely and call the fire department.
- Decreases moisture penetration: By reducing air infiltration, we also reduce unwanted moisture. This is important in the Northeast, since the outside air always carries a lot of moisture.
- Keeps vermin out: By closing off the air gaps in the walls, we also help block the path of bugs, roaches, mice, etc. Although there is no getting around the fact that insects and rodents are always trying to get into a home, it is comforting to know that we eliminate their usual points of entry.
What we do to reduce air infiltration:
- We use a silicon base caulk between the floor and the bottom plate of the wall.
- We use a silicon base caulk on the exterior of the window under the flange.
- We use a special non-sag sealant designed for fire stopping (‘DrafTstop’) wherever there are penetrations to the building envelope. Many companies use drywall mud or caulk, which ultimately fails to keep out the air once it dries out.
- Behind all electrical outlets and switches on all interior and exterior walls.
- Where the wire enters each electrical box.
- Around all plumbing pipes at all wall openings.
- We install a cover plate over exterior light boxes before we install the siding.
We install moisture resistant greenboard behind tubs and showers – many companies install these fixtures right to the studs
- We use bath exhaust fans and oven range hoods that have built-in gravity auto dampers, as well as a second damper where the pipe terminates.
Part 3: Kitchen & Bath Advantages
Our Custom Series offers a more upscale raised panel oak or laminate cabinet, while our Heritage Series provides a more affordable recessed panel oak cabinet. Both sets of oak cabinets come in three stain selections. All of our cabinets are made by Merillat.
Lazy Susans in corners
We install a Lazy Susan in the corners, whenever possible, for convenient storage. Other companies give you blind corner cabinets that leave you with a lot of unusable space.
Dual captive cabinet drawer glides
This will provide you with quiet and smooth operation. Our glides also come with a lifetime warranty.
Added cabinet supports
We are one of the only companies in the industry that screws both our base and wall cabinets directly into wood, rather than drywall. We accomplish this by adding solid blocking between the studs. We are determined to ensure that your cabinets will stay in place over time.
Double sided island cabinets
For our Custom Series homes, we install island cabinets that open on both sides. (The exception is when the countertop has an extended bar or when the back of the cabinet faces a breakfast nook or living area.)
Wide range of optional kitchen amenities.
We also offer a number of higher end cabinet selections by Merillat. They come in oak, maple, hickory, cherry, or laminate, with several color and hardware choices.
We offer 50+ pages of specialty cabinets: glass front doors, appliance garages, bread storage drawers, pull-out draws for oversized cookware, cabinet fronts for appliances, 42″ high cabinets for 9′ ceilings, etc. If you can describe it to us, we can build it.
Five countertop styles with hundreds of colors
Our standard countertop is a square edged plastic laminate in multiple standard colors and 200 optional colors. We also offer four other styles of countertops:
Beveled-edged laminate countertops, with a laminate beveled-edge matching the countertop
Beveled-edged laminate countertops, with a wood beveled-edge matching the kitchen cabinets
Solid surface Corian countertops
Granite or other natural stone countertops
Sterling kitchen sink
Our standard double bowl kitchen sink, made by Kohler, is 8″ deep. This provides noticeably more room than the typical 7″ deep sink used by most builders.
It might surprise you, but not everyone provides a sprayer.
Single lever Kohler faucet
Some companies only offer the less convenient dual lever faucets.
Vented oven range
We vent our oven ranges to the exterior, whenever possible, even when the range is not on an outside wall. Many other companies give you a recirculating fan, which recirculates all of the odors, smoke, and grease right back into the kitchen.
Vent bug screen
We install a bug screen on the wall vent for the oven hood.
Drywalled kitchen soffits
In our Custom Series we finish the space above the wall cabinets with drywall for a more custom look. If you prefer the open look of a galley rail for baskets, cookware, or decorations above your cabinets, we can provide that as well. We also offer extended soffits, which allow you to use recessed lighting along the front of the cabinets.
Our Heritage Series offers a completely open look above the cabinets.
Whenever a soffit is selected over the wall cabinets, we install a matching valance board above the kitchen sink. It adds a nice decorative touch while shielding the light over the sink.
Entire Kohler line (optional selections)
We offer the entire line of Kohler kitchen plumbing options and accessories, including cast iron sinks and special faucets.
Our Custom Series offers a more upscale raised panel oak or laminate vanity, while our Heritage Series provides a more affordable recessed panel oak vanity. Both sets of oak vanities come in three stain selections. All of our vanities are made by Merillat.
We also offer a number of higher end vanities by Merillat. They come in oak, maple, hickory, cherry, or laminate, with several color and hardware choices. In addition, we offer custom large wood framed medicine cabinets to match your vanities.
Bathroom fixtures in four standard colors
You can select your tubs, showers, toilets, and matching sinks in white, grey, almond, or biscuit for no additional charge. For a modest fee, you can select any of Kohler’s many other colors instead.
Standard bath countertops
A one-piece cultured marble countertop and sink (in several swirl patterns to match your Kohler fixtures as well as in several solid and granite colors). The one-piece is very easy to clean, since there are no edges on the sink where dirt can collect and where caulked seams can crack.
As an option, you can select a Kohler china bowl sink with a laminate countertop.
Single lever Kohler faucet
Kohler bath faucets use “no lap splash” cartridges.
Standard medicine cabinets and mirror
In our Custom Series we provide a large mirror over the sink with a full beauty bar light above and a beveled glass edge medicine cabinet to the side.
Another standard choice is a large medicine cabinet in front of the sink that extends the full length of the vanity, up to 48″, with a full beauty bar light above.
Our Heritage Series includes an oak or beveled glass medicine cabinet with a light bar above the sink.
For all of our homes, we provide an elongated toilet, made by Kohler, which makes life easier for little boys and grown-up men – compared to the more usual round bowl toilet.
Insulated bath fan exhaust
This prevents condensation from forming in the winter around the attic duct.
Entire Kohler line (optional selections)
We offer the entire line of Kohler bath plumbing options and accessories. Kohler’s garden and whirlpool tubs, for example, are the considered the best in the business.
Part 4: Window, Door, & Exterior Advantages
High quality windows
Our Custom Series includes Andersen High Performance wood windows, one of the best windows in the world. Our Heritage Series includes a very good vinyl window; this window tilts in for easy cleaning and comes with optional integral window grills, which do not need to be removed when cleaning the glass. The Andersen and the all vinyl window have different advantages, as you can see from the chart below.
Window Feature Chart
R-Value (3046 Window)
Interior Sash & Frame
No – vinyl
No – vinyl
Top & bottom standard
Bottom standard, top optional
Top & bottom optional
Bottom standard, top optional
Optional – removable
Optional – integral
Low-E rated glass
Both our Andersen and vinyl windows have Low-E glass, which has an invisible metallic coating.
The space between the double panes in the Andersen window is filled with argon gas. The metallic coating and Argon gas restrict heat flow. Together they keep you warmer in winter, cooler in summer. Some companies offer “insulated glass” windows. Although these windows come with two panes of glass, they do not have the metallic coating or the Argon gas. In fact, Andersen’s windows are 33% better than these ordinary double pane or tinted glass windows in the heating months, 13% under the searing summer heat. They even offer more energy efficiency than triple pane glazing.
Andersen’s High Performance glass eliminates most (71%) of the finish and fabric fading caused by ultraviolet rays, and it cuts down on annoying glare, which means that drapes and shades can be left open during the day.
Maintenance free window exteriors
You do not have to scrape or paint.
Stainable interior window frames (optional selections)
If you select our Andersen windows, you can get them with unpainted, painted, or stained interior frames. This choice is important if you are staining your trim and doors, since you may want your window frames to match. Some companies that offer you Andersen windows won’t stain the window frame interiors.
We can also provide you with stain grade window grills to give you a complete custom stained look.
We strive to brighten your home with more natural light. The size of our standard window is 3′ 1″ wide by 4′ 9″ tall. For our Custom Series homes, we go one better: on the front of the first story of our two story homes and capes we use the extra large “cottage style” windows, which are 3″ wide and 5′ 9″ tall.
Casement (crank out) window in the kitchen
Our Custom Series includes a casement window above the sink, while our Heritage Series provides a single hung window.
All styles and sizes of windows (optional selections)
With both Andersen and vinyl windows, you can select from circle tops, quarter rounds, trapezoids, etc.
Solid wood window sills
These create nice places to put plants or odds and ends, and serve as perfect sunning spots for the family cat. Many builders leave window sills out as a cost saving move.
Low-E glass sliding glass doors
Both our Andersen and vinyl sliders come with Low-E glass. Many companies offer a slider with “insulated” glass. (See the discussion in the section on windows above for the difference between “Insulated” and Low-E glass.)
9-lite rear doors
Other companies provide rear doors with either no window at all or one without window dividers
Otherwise you can’t leave your slider open in the summer.
Adjustable Door Thresholds
We install adjustable door thresholds on all exterior swing doors to help seal out the elements.
Front door lock
Our Custom Series offers the more upscale, distinctive look of a thumb latch and deadbolt, while our Heritage Series provides a more economical round door knob with a button lock.
Front and back doors keyed alike.
It may be hard to believe, but with other companies you need to carry two separate keys to your home.
Weather tight installation
We take an extra step to ensure that your exterior doors will be as weather tight as the door manufacturer intended. Instead of allowing our modular manufacturer to nail the exterior doors fully into place, we instruct it to tack the doors in place with duplex nails so that they can be removed and properly reinstalled after the house is set on the foundation.
Our front, rear, and side swing doors come with deadbolts. We think the added security afforded by deadbolts shouldnŽt be an option.
Exterior Of The House
High quality vinyl siding
We use one of the better grades of vinyl siding made by one of the best companies. By using a higher quality vinyl, our siding is less prone to expand in the summer heat and so less likely to be marred by unsightly rippling effects.
Four types of vinyl siding (optional selections)
Traditional lap 4/4 in textured finish
Traditional lap 3/3 in textured finish for a more custom look
“German Lapî (also known as “Dutch Lap”) 4/4 in textured finish
Stained cedar look. This product provides the high quality and resale value of cedar with none of the costly maintenance.
25 year shingles warranty
Some companies use only a 20 year shingle.
Roof overhang on the front, rear, and sides of the house
When you select our Custom Series, you will receive an attractive 10″ overhang on the front, rear, and gable ends of the roof. When you select our more affordable Heritage Series, you will receive an attractive 10″ overhang on the front and rear of the roof.
6″ fascia boards
These allow for a more secure gutter installation than the 4″ boards used by other companies.
Installed soffit and fascia
We install the soffit and fascia in the front and rear of all homes and on the gable ends of 24′ wide homes. This saves you a lot of time and money after the house arrives.
Oversized Cape Cod style A-Dormers (“Dog House Dormers”) (optional feature)
Our standard dormers come with windows that are 3′ wide by 4′ 9″ tall. We also offer several larger dormers that other attractive features, such as circle top windows and shutters. We entirely prefabricate both types of dormers to reduce your on-site costs.
We make sure to install the correct size shutters across the front of our homes, which is important given the taller cottage size windows we install.
Part 5: Interior Finish Advantages
Stairs For Two Story Homes And Capes
Our Custom Series is distinctive in offering the more elegant 42″ wide stairs. Such stairs are more practical when you want to move furniture to and from your second floor and, if you have an unfinished cape, when you carry in materials to finish the second floor. Our Heritage Series homes come with the more usual 36″ wide stairs.
Full size pine treads, risers, and skirt boards
Many companies build their carpet-grade stair treads and risers out of OSB board or plywood rather than pine. This means that you have to wrap the entire stairs (treads and risers) in carpet to hide the inferior material. In addition, they often use rough lumber for their skirt boards, which forces them to cover the skirt boards with drywall, which is a very unprofessional finish. Worse yet, you may have to add moldings to hide all the rough joints that they leave exposed.
We build our standard stairs on even our least expensive homes (treads, risers, and skirt boards) out of Southern Yellow Pine, just like the best custom stick builders. While other companies look for ways to build cheaper homes, we look for ways to build better ones.
Oak stairs (optional feature)
If you wish to build your stairs completely out of oak, we offer oak treads, oak risers, and/or oak skirt boards.
We feature L-style stairs, U-style stairs, and other stair designs to maximize design flexibility.
Bullnosed stair treads (optional feature)
We can build curved treads on the bottom step (known as “bullnoses”). We can even offer you a double bullnose, one for each side of the step.
Custom finished oak stair railings
We finish all of our two-story homes with beautiful hardwood (oak or maple) stair railings. We don’t just give you half walls with painted softwood caps, like most of our competition.
We purchase our hand-finished oak and maple railings from one of the best custom woodworking companies in New England. Most companies purchase rough finished lumber-yard grade railings.
We custom design the railing package for each individual home.
We offer a wide selection of railing styles, including traditional and contemporary. We offer the special fittings that make stairs so elegant, such as goosenecks, quarter turns, and volutes.
Full length stair railings
Wherever possible, we extend our railings from the 1st stair tread all the way to the 6th tread, which is much higher than other companies. When the building code allows, we also design most of our homes to have railings on both sides of the stairs. Other companies give you one side of railings, and one side of drywall wall.
Stairs For Raised Ranches And Split Levels
42″ wide stairwells
The competition builds 36″ wide stairwells. Wider stairwells are more elegant on raised ranches, just like on two-stories and capes. And they’re also very helpful when you want to move furniture and when you carry in materials to finish the basement.
Semi-gloss paint for doors, moldings around the windows and doors, and baseboards
Semi-gloss trim paint gives your house a more professional finish. It also makes it easier for you to clean off finger prints. Other companies use the same flat paint for the moldings and doors as they use on the walls. This may save them a lot of money, since they won’t have to take the extra step of covering the moldings and doors when they paint the walls, but you end up with an inferior product.
A four step procedure for staining doors and moldings (optional feature)
We first apply 1 coat of stain. We then apply 1 coat of sand sealer. This makes the rough wood grain stand on end. We next hand sand the entire wood surface to a furniture smooth finish. Lastly, we apply 1 coat of a semi-gloss polyurethane finish. The fast and inexpensive way to stain is to apply it without a polyurethane finish. This is very commonly done by the competition to reduce their costs. But it forces you to do the other 3 steps to protect your wood
and give it a good appearance. Another technique used by some of the competition is to apply a single coat of stain mixed with polyurethane. This one step procedure brings out the grain and leaves it there, since the wood is not sanded. When you look at it, it appears rough. When you touch it, it feels rough. And when you try to clean it, your cloth gets caught on the grain.
Solid wood moldings
Other companies use pressed board coated with a thin veneer that is easily chipped and scratched. Some companies will even use plastic moldings.
Passage ways between rooms
We finish our passageways between rooms with wood casings to enhance your home’s custom appearance. We could save money by finishing the passageways with drywall, but we would be compromising your home’s appearance as well as its durability.
Stained moldings and 6-panel doors in both pine and oak (optional feature)
Most companies only offer pine.
Oak caps on half walls
We cover all half-walls with a milled oak cap, unless you would prefer a pine cap. This looks a lot nicer than a flat painted pine board.
5 types of interior doors
– Painted 6-panel hardboard – Stain-grade flush oak – Stain-grade flush birch – Stain-grade 6-panel pine – Stain-grade 6-panel oak
Our standard 6-panel hardboard door is the nicest door of this type on the market. Several customers have noted that our doors look as good as the best solid wood doors.
If you like our 6-panel hardboard doors, but wish they had a more solid core, we offer a semi-solid version.
Some companies give you maple or oak moldings, but only offer pine doors. It’s very difficult to match stained pine doors with stained maple or oak moldings.
Triple hinges with hinged doors
Most companies use double hinges to save money. Triple hinges reduce warping, ensure greater stability, and keep the doors in line with their frames. This helps the doors operate more easily and last longer.
Door knobs on interior swing doors
Our Custom Series offers the more upscale look of levered door knobs, while our Heritage Series provides the greater economy of bell shaped door knobs.
Children and adults with arthritis or other disabilities often prefer levered door knobs, since they are easier to use.
Pocket doors (optional feature)
We have the craftsmen necessary to install them.
Full 8′ ceiling height
7’6″ – even 7’10” – ceilings make a room feel and look much smaller.
9′ ceilings (optional feature)
Add taller windows, and your home becomes truly distinctive.
Full cathedral and vaulted ceilings (optional feature)
You can’t be a custom modular builder unless you offer these and have experience building them.
Finished ceilings smooth and flat
We don’t need to hide imperfections in our ceilings with “popcorn spray”. However, if you prefer the look of a textured ceiling, we can add it on-site.
Drywall attached to walls with sprayed-on adhesive
This method is much, much stronger than conventional screws. It also eliminates the annoying “screw pops” that plague stick framed homes.
Tape all drywall joints where the ceilings meet the walls
Some other companies caulk these joints, especially in the closets. Caulk cracks over time due to temperature changes. Beware of companies who hide this seam with caulk or molding.
Strategically placed drywall seams
We plan our drywall placement in advance so that we have as few seams as possible. Few companies make the effort to do this.
Wherever possible, we locate the drywall on the walls so that the seams fall through the middle of windows and doors. This reduces the amount of drywall seams.
We locate the drywall seams in the kitchen so that they fall behind the wall and base cabinets. Otherwise the seams will fall directly between the cabinets. Our planning makes it easier to install electrical receptacles and kitchen countertop back splashes, which are often installed where the drywall seam would be. Our technique also makes it less likely that moisture from the sink and the stove will cause drywall problems.
Drywall seams braced along the back of each wall cavity
This strengthens the bond between the drywall sections, and it significantly reduces the chance of stress cracks developing along the seams.
Marriage wall seams
We hold back the drywall 23″ on each module wherever two modules come together: at the marriage wall between modules of the same floor and in vaulted ceiling areas between the first and second floor. This is an important technique, since it allows the on-site carpenter to piece in a full sized 4′ wide sheet of drywall at each seam, which in turn enables him to more easily level the drywall in those areas. Most of our competitors only hold back 6″ on each module. This means the on-site carpenter is only able to piece in a 1′ strip of drywall, which often results in an unsightly ‘bump’.
Four step process when taping drywall
We first apply a base coat of mud to the tape. We then apply a second coat. We follow this with a finish coat (many companies skip this coat). We pad sand to a professional finish.
In addition, we use very bright lights to inspect our drywall after taping, and then we touch-up as needed.
Paint on walls first sprayed and then rolled
This ensures better coverage. Many companies just spray. We use very bright lights to inspect our painting, and then we touch-up as needed.
Drywall installed on ceilings with special care
We make sure that our ceiling joists face crown side up before attaching our ceiling drywall. Attending to this detail helps ensure a flatter ceiling. We attach our ceiling drywall to the ceiling joints using a sprayed-on adhesive. This method produces a ceiling that is more easily finished and that won’t ever have any nail or screw pops. We use fire-rated 5/8″ drywall on the ceiling since it virtually eliminates the sagging you will see in ceilings made with 1/2″ drywall.
Finish of the stairwell to the basement
We cover the basement stairwell walls and ceilings with drywall as much as we can to give you a more finished look.
Sanded floor sheathing
We sand the floor sheathing before installing the finish floor because even though we install the best sheathing, ridges and bumps can occur.
Covered floor sheathing
We cover the floor sheathing until we install the finish flooring to keep it clean and protect it from damage.
Before laying our vinyl floors, we cover our 3/4″ floor sheathing with a layer of 1/4″ luan. Only a few other modular home companies take this step, even though it is the only reliable way to prevent seams from showing through your vinyl floors. The luan will also save you money should you decide to replace your vinyl floor in the future, since you will need a layer of luan for most vinyl floors.
Covered vinyl floors
We cover our vinyl floors with 4′ x 12′ pieces of cardboard taped together to protect them during the button-up of your home.
Quality carpet pad
We use a high density, 6# rebond pad. This pad is vastly superior to the low density mono-foam pad used by most of the competition. It makes our carpets more comfortable and longer lasting and maintains that quality feel even in high traffic areas. We also offer a 8# pad, should you wish to have an even thicker pad.
Our standard is a 25 oz. FHA approved solid color cut pile carpet made from continuous filament nylon. Its construction discourages shedding and fuzzing. It is treated with Dupont’s Teflon Carpet Protector to resist dirt and soiling.
We also offer a 38 oz. branded filament nylon carpet with high-twist textured construction for greater resilience and appearance retention. Its construction discourages shedding and fuzzing. It is treated with Scotch Guard Stain Release to resist dirt and soiling.
In addition, we offer a 40 oz. plush solid color saxony carpet constructed with 100% continuous filament heat set nylon. Its construction discourages shedding and fuzzing. It is protected with Dupont’s Stainmaster to resist dirt and soiling.
Finally, we offer a 42 oz. Berber carpet made of 100% solution-dyed Olefin with inherent stain and fade resistance.
A wide selection of floor coverings (optional selections)
In addition to our standard selection of carpet and vinyl, we offer hardwood (oak, maple, cherry, birch, hickory, etc.), ceramic tile, parquet, and slate – all in a variety of styles and colors.
We offer “zero clearance” wood burning and gas fireplaces. We offer different styles to fit your needs, including Corner, See-Thru, and Peninsula fireplaces. We also offer several options to enhance the look of your fireplace: polished brass glass doors; white, green, or black marble hearth, header, and legs; several mantle selections; red or antique brick, and 30 different types of cultured stone. We can finish the chimneys with matching vinyl or wood siding, brick, or cultured stone.
Should you prefer, we also install masonry fireplaces.
Part 6: Plumbing, Electrical, & Heat Advantages
Two kitchen electrical circuits
We always provide at least two circuits for your kitchen so that you can operate your blender, toaster oven, and coffee maker at the same time. Many other companies provide you with only one circuit.
Kitchen sink light
We install a recessed light over the kitchen sink rather than a less expensive, but also less attractive, surface mount light.
Separate switch for the bathroom ceiling fan and light
We do this to help you conserve electricity and heat and so that you won’t have to listen to the fan every time you turn on the light.
Door chimes on both the front and back
And the front door has a different ring than the back door.
Three-way wire and switch for the light at the bottom of the stairwell to the basement
This enables the on-site electrician to connect this stairwell light to other lights in the basement so that when you turn on the switch at the top of the stairs all lights will go on at once. Other companies give you a two way switch only, which means you either have to pay your on-site electrician more money to correct the problem or accept having to walk across the basement to turn each light on one at a time.
Unlike most companies, we provide you with an attic light and a switch in the hall below.
Most recessed lights are very energy inefficient, since they act like a chimney sending warm air into your ceiling or attic. We use special energy efficient lights that significantly reduce this heat loss.
Thermostat wire for each floor
Some companies do not even give you one thermostat wire.
Better yet, if you are installing forced hot air heat, we will provide you with an 18 – 8 wire so that your heating contractor can make all of the connections for both the heating and air conditioning systems. The few companies that give you a thermostat wire usually give you three or four wires, which isn’t enough for today’s HVAC systems.
Light switches and receptacles
Our Custom Series provides you with the more upscale white rocker type switches and receptacles, while our Heritage Series offers you the more usual toggle switches.
When a firerated door is ordered as an entrance to a garage, we automatically replace the exterior door light with two switches, one with 25′ of wire for an interior garage light and the other with 50′ of wire for an exterior garage light. We make both switches into ¿3-waysî so whoever wires the garage can connect them to the site-installed garage switches. Most modular companies would automatically give you their standard light, which would force your electrician to rewire the house switches to work with the garage.
Wall switch to control an electrical receptacle
You can turn on a lamp in any room with a switch at the entrance way (unless you already have a ceiling light).
Bedroom smoke detectors
Some states require a smoke detector in every bedroom. We think this is a very good idea, since you can never have too much protection against a fire. Therefore, we provide you with a smoke detector in every bedroom, regardless of your state.
Basement smoke detector
We ship you a smoke detector for the basement, unlike most other companies.
Washer and dryer closet light
It might surprise you, but many companies do not automatically give you a light above your washer and dryer when you have a utility closet. We always do!
We always upgrade the foyer light to a chandelier in all two-story homes that have a vaulted entry. Most companies provide a small inexpensive light.
Full service 200 amp electrical panel
We provide a 200 amp panel with all of our homes. Some companies provide a 100 amp panel.
Flexible electrical panel location
We include sufficient wire from each of the modules so that the panel box can be located at either the front or rear corner of the gable end. Most companies only give you enough wire to go to one location, which unfortunately doesn’t always work out once the electrical company brings its wires to the house.
Two exterior GFI receptacles
We provide an exterior GFI receptacle on both the front and back of the house even in states that do not require this.
Appropriately loaded circuit breakers
Unlike other companies, we do not load the circuit breakers to maximum capacity. Instead we install enough circuit breakers so that no breaker is carrying more than 50% to 60% of its peak rating. This ensures that you can add receptacles and switches (for example, a room air conditioner or a ceiling fan) without having to add additional circuit breakers.
Protected electrical wiring
We fasten all electrical wiring in place using insulated staples to help prevent accidental short circuits. We either run our electrical wire through steel conduit or place protective plates over it at any point where nails might be able to damage the wire.
Secured switches and receptacles
We secure our switches and receptacles in the walls with wood braces anchored to the studs. Other companies either mount them in the drywall without any supports or mount them directly to the studs with a nail.
This helps stop the switches and receptacles from twisting with use.
It helps us mount the plates flush to the wall.
It allows us to locate our electrical receptacles anywhere along the wall and not just next to a stud.
We rough the electrical to the second floor of unfinished capes. Other companies charge you extra for this. In addition, we install two 3″ PVC pipes from the basement to the attic so that you won’t have to rip open walls trying to fish additional circuits, telephone, or cable TV lines to your second floor should the need arise.
Plumbing and Heat
We install shut-off valves on all pressure lines to make it much easier to carry out plumbing maintenance in the future.
Thoroughly anchored pipes
We provide more pipe supports than required by code to significantly reduce the potential for annoying rattles.
Top quality faucets
We use Kohler faucets because they are the number one supplier of qualify faucets and plumbing fixtures in the world. Kohler faucets have a single cartridge design. A Kohler home has superior resale value.
Second floor plumbing on two-story homes
Many of the least expensive modular home companies cut costs by installing the minimum amount of plumbing possible on the second floor of their two-story homes. This forces you to do most of the under floor plumbing to the second floor on site.
The situation is even a little worse: to provide access to the under floor plumbing, these companies must leave off vast areas of drywall on the first floor ceilings. This means that in addition to the additional plumbing expense, you will have a significant additional Drywall expense.
We rough the plumbing to the second floor of unfinished capes. If you order hot water baseboards, we also rough the plumbing to the second floor for that as well. Other companies charge you extra for this.
Kitchen sink cleanouts
We provide you with a clean-out for the kitchen sink. You may not know what that is, but if you ever drop something down the drain, you’ll wish you had one.
Part 7: Selection Advantages
Selection Of Floor Plans And Options
Large selection of floor plans
We offer over 300 standard floor plans, and we’re continually adding new ones.
Wide variety of sizes and configurations
We offer modules in 12′, 12’6″, 13′, 13’9″, and 15’9″ widths. Since we can build homes or sections of homes in one, two, or three modules wide, this means we can build the following widths:
Large variety of optional features
Because we see ourselves as the company of choice for quality and style conscious Customers, we are continually increasing our selection of amenities. We are not content with limiting ourselves to the selection of options offered by our manufacturer. We know you want to give your home your personal touch, and we will continually try to make this as easy and as affordable as possible. Consider the following:
We offer over 100 pages of options just from our modular supplier. These range from angle bay towers to front doors with crystallized beveled glass.We offer Kohler’s complete catalogue of kitchen and bath plumbing fixtures.
We offer Merillat’s complete catalogue of custom designed kitchen cabinets, bath vanities, and accessories.
We offer Amherst Woodworking’s complete catalogue of custom designed moldings, railings, built-in bookcases, and other natural wood products.
We offer Superior’s complete catalogue of wood and gas burning fireplaces.
We offer Cultured Stone Products’ complete catalogue of cultured stone and brick for fireplaces and chimneys.
We will purchase and install any amenity from local vendors that will enable us to build your dream home.
Large selection of colors
We offer several more color choices than most other companies:
200+ Kitchen countertop colors
39 Kitchen cabinet and bath vanity styles and colors
44 Carpet colors
9 Vinyl floor colors
14 Vinyl siding colors
14 Shingle colors
Part 8: Set Procedure Advantages
Extra care and attention
Nobody, absolutely nobody, takes as much care in setting a home on its foundation as we do. We do several extra steps that are above and beyond the industry norm. The following are some of the highlights.
Level the foundation
Before beginning the set, we use a transit to make sure that the entire sill plate and all knee walls are level. If it is not, we shim the sill plate to make it level. This is critical, since modular homes are built completely level on a jig, and an unleveled foundation can result in significant problems down the road. We ensure that your foundation is level, even when you install the foundation.
Before beginning the set, we take the necessary measurements to make sure that the lally pads are located as indicated on the manufacturer’s foundation plan. If they are not, this will mean your house will not be supported in the proper places. If the foundation company makes a mistake, this can result in serious problems a few years down the road.
Prepare house for set
When removing the protective coverings from each module, we take care to remove as many of the nails, fasteners, and rough edges from all sides of the modules as we can. This allows the modules to meet more tightly together.
Marry the floors, ceilings, and walls
We take a half a dozen extra steps to make the floors, ceilings, and walls between the modules meet as evenly as possible.
Bolt the house together every 32″
We bolt the marriage wall in the basement every 32″. Most companies only bolt it every 48″. In addition, we lag the attic marriage wall together. Almost no company takes this extra step. The extra bolts and lags ensure that your house is locked together and will remain so over time.
Foam and caulk all places where the modules interconnect
Most companies make almost no effort to seal between the walls and floors of adjoining modules. This is unfortunate because extra steps need to be taken to stop air leakage. Otherwise your home will not be as energy efficient, since air will leak into your house from outside, increasing your heating and cooling costs. Because we foam and caulk all the places where the modules interconnect (basement ceiling, exterior walls, attic floor), we give you a much tighter home.
Make home weather-tight
We always make the house as weather-tight as possible before stopping for the day. Sometimes this takes considerably more time, but your brand new home deserves this protection against a surprise thunderstorm.
Part 9: Warranty Advantages
We believe that our extended warranty is yet another statement about our commitment to providing the best quality and service. Most builders, especially stick builders, provide you with the minimum warranty required by state law. In most states this is a 1-year warranty on all features of the home. We are very proud to join with our manufacturer to provide you with a 10-year warranty against structural defects in our modular homes – at no cost to you. We provide this warranty because we want you to have complete confidence that our homes are soundly built. We also strongly feel your home – your investment – deserves this protection. We think you will agree. Here are the warranty’s key features:
1 year for workmanship and materials
2 years for plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems
10 years for structural systems
You can transfer your warranty when you sell your house, which adds resale value
Brand named products with extensive warranties
We use quality products with strong warranties throughout our homes. For example, Andersen’s window glass comes with a 20-year warranty, Tamko Shingles come with a 25-year warranty, and Certainteed vinyl siding comes with a lifetime warranty. These products come with extended warranties because they have proven value and durability. In addition to giving you peace of mind, they also increase your home’s resale value.
Part 10: Heritage Series vs. Custom Series Specifications
Should you select a Heritage Series Home or a Custom Series Home?
Fortunately, you do not have to choose one or the other. Our handout ” Standard Building Specifications ” lists the different features offered in the two series. By using this list, you can combine the cost saving specifications you like in the Heritage Series with the upscale amenities you desire in the Custom Series. When you are done, you will have the best home value for your money.
Whether you buy a Heritage Series home or a Custom Series home you will be receiving most of the superior features mentioned above. The reason is quite simple: most of the features are standard in both Series. For example, we use the same interior finish and energy saving techniques for all of our homes. We just add more amenities to our Custom Series homes.
Our Heritage Series homes are considerably better than the Affordable “Builder” Series homes offered by many other builders. This is because many other builders down-grade the building specifications in their Affordable Series homes. For example, in order to make their homes more affordable they use 2″ x 4″ exterior walls, use lumber yard grade stair railings, and install only two hinges on their interior doors.
Regardless of the design, features, size, or price of your home, The Home Store will give you the best service of any builder in New England. Our selection of floor plans, design and engineering, brand name warranties, set procedures, and customer service after you receive your home are truly second to none.
Thank you for taking the time to read our handout. We recommend that you read another of our handouts, Compare Our Services Before You Build.
We will be happy to discuss either handout with you at your convenience. Make an appointment to speak with us, stop by our model home center, or give us a call. We will appreciate the opportunity to explore the many advantages of a modular home from The Home Store.