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Modular Homes FAQ's

Q. What are modular buildings?
Modular buildings are constructed in a controlled factory environment and shipped in sections (modules) to the prepared building site for installation. They are fully code compliant and meet the strictest structural standards, as they do need to be transported. Modular construction is an alternative method of building residential, commercial and recreational structures. Modular construction employs factory techniques to improve quality, shorten manufacturing time, and reduce cost. While it is not quite an assembly line approach to manufacturing buildings (mobile homes), the economies of scale, increased worker efficiencies, and reduction of delays from weather or vandalism add up to greater speed at less cost.

Q. What is the difference between a modular and manufactured building?
Manufactured homes, sometimes referred to as mobile homes, are constructed to a different building code than that of a Modular building. The code, CSA Z240 (HUD in the United States) is utilized no matter where the manufactured home is located, while Modular buildings are constructed to the CSA A277 code (UBC in the United States) and conform to the same local, provincial and national building codes as conventionally constructed buildings.
Our commercial and recreational structures are also provincial and national code compliant, but follow a different CSA Certification process - CSA Commercial/Electrical for commercial and CSA Z241 for recreational.

Q. How are Modular buildings constructed? 
The building process begins at the design phase. Our design team utilizes state of the art computer aided design programs which aid them in customizing floor plans and producing production drawings.

Once designed, the building process begins. This process is similar to what you've seen during the construction of a site built structure, but with the benefit of a factory controlled environment. Quality control is maintained by constant inspection throughout the construction, with attention to detail and accuracy. To insure a safe and secure trip to the site, modular buildings are built especially well, using high quality materials. For example, there is typically 20% to 30% more lumber used in the framing of the structure, with the use of Glue as well as nails, screws and staples fastening the components of the building together.

Once the manufacturing process in complete, the modules are transported to site and placed on the foundation. Final completion is usually handled by a local builder or general contractor and includes complexing of the modules, interior painting, floor laying, utility connections and a short list of finish work.
Today's Modular buildings are models of efficiency and quality assurance.

Q. What are some advantages of modular construction?
The most significant advantage of modular construction is time savings. Site-built buildings are subject to weather conditions, subcontractor delays, waits for permits, and labor shortages. Modular buildings are built on a controlled timetable, in a factory environment. Typically a standard commercial modular building can be constructed in as little as 30 days. Time savings also occur because site preparation can be completed while the building is being constructed at the factory.

Generally, Modular construction also provides a cost saving due to standardization of the engineering process, bulk purchase of building materials and the controlled factory construction environment. As a result, a standard modular building can cost up to 15%% less than a traditionally constructed building.

An additional advantage is gained in the quality of construction. A standardized construction method with skilled and knowledgeable labor means a modular building is not dependent on the vagaries and availability of the local labor market.

Q. What is the quality of materials used to build modular structures?
Modular structures are built to the same specifications, with the same name brand material as conventional construction: wood grades, windows, doors, plumbing fixtures and electrical materials, etc. - every component being CSA Approved. Modular buildings must meet all the same local, provincial and national building codes as conventionally constructed buildings. As for interior design, the customer may select the wall and floor coverings, window treatments and all other custom features.

Q. How long has modular construction been in use?
The industry had its beginnings in the post World War II era, when the huge demand for housing for returning GI's overwhelmed the construction industry's ability to deliver. Pre-fabricated modular housing was developed as a solution to this demand. Other countries with severe commercial building needs following the war also developed simplistic modular construction techniques. In the following decades, technological advances have increased the quality of those initial efforts, as well as opened the door to new applications of modular construction.

Q. What do modular buildings look like?
Modular buildings can look like any other building. Today's building technology has allowed Modular manufacturers to build most any style of structure, from a simple bungalow to a highly customized contemporary. Modular producers are also busy building resorts, schools, office buildings, motels and hotels. Chances are that you have driven by or been in many Modular buildings and probably never realized it.

Q. How long does construction take? 
Anywhere from one to three months depending on the scope and scale of the project - certainly much less time than site built construction. Where conventional construction is a linear process, your modules can be manufactured and prepared for installation at the same time site work is being started.

Q. Can I design my own Modular building?
Yes. We allow the customer complete design flexibility. Our sales representatives and design team will assist you in creating a building constructed to your design needs and specifications.

Q. Are Modular buildings difficult to finance or insure? 
Generally, there is no distinction between Modular and site built structures as far as financing and appraisal. However, some financial institutions and insurers have more experience with Modular construction. See Financing & Insuring for more info.

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