FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS!
WHAT IS A MODULAR HOME?
A modular home is a house which is built in a controlled environment (i.e. factory) utilizing the same building materials found in traditional site-built houses. They are built as modular sections and shipped to the building site on specially-made flatbed trucks. When they arrive, and are set on the foundation, the modular home is 85% - 90% complete. This method of building offers the advantages of higher quality, shorter construction time and lower costs than comparably built site homes.
IS MODULAR CONSTRUCTION THE SAME AS MANUFACTURED OR MOBILE HOMES?
The term “modular” is often confused with manufactured houses or double-wide trailers. Manufactured housing is built to an entirely different set of standards (the HUD Temporary Housing Code). Modular homes are constructed to the same building codes required by State, County, and Municipal authorities for site-built residences. Modular homes comply with the International Residential Building Code and are FHA and VA approved.
WHERE DO YOUR HOUSES COME FROM?
Tidewater Modular Homes is an authorized builder independent builder of Nationwide Custom Homes. Nationwide Custom Homes is one of the largest producers of wood-frame modular homes in the country. The company has been in continuous existence for over 50 years and built over 30,000 homes. Nationwide Homes is located in Martinsville VA, where it has an over 300,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.
HOW MANY STYLES OF HOUSES DO YOU HAVE?
Tidewater Modular Homes offers over 80 single family models from Nationwide Custom Homes. Custom designed homes, town houses, duplexes, multi-family housing and commercial buildings are also available. Standard Nationwide Custom Homes plans range in size from 1000 sq. ft. cottages to 5,000 sq. ft. estate homes. Styles include ranches, capes, two story, and even 2 1/2 story houses in traditional, rustic, transitional and contemporary designs. Small Eco Cottages & Eco Sea Cottages are also available.
CAN I CHANGE THE HOUSE PLANS?
Yes. Nationwide Custom Homes allows buyers to customize their house plans to meet the needs of their individual family and lifestyle. Walls can be moved or opened up between rooms. Ceiling heights can be varied on some models. Roof pitches can be changed. Porches, decks, carports, sunrooms, and garages can be added. Upgraded materials include hardwood or ceramic tile flooring, tiled bathrooms, jetted tubs, cultured marble vanities, Solid Surface countertops, fireplaces, stained oak trim and staircases and a variety of cabinetry options. It is, however important to remember that there are some limitations involved with the building & transportation of modules. Ask for specific details.
IS MODULAR CONSTRUCTION REALLY SUPERIOR TO SITE-BUILT?
Yes. Nationwide modular homes are generally built with 30% more lumber than site-built homes. Systems building techniques also include the utilization of specialized fasteners and state-of-the-art adhesives. These homes also sit on full block foundations rather than just block piers. Nationwide Homes go through over 300 separate inspections before they leave the factory, guaranteeing building code compliance and enforcing the company’s own stringent quality standards.
A report put out by FEMA, which compared construction methods following Hurricane Andrew answers this question with an unbiased opinion: “Overall, relatively minimal structural damage was noted in modular housing developments. The module-to-module combination of units appears to have provided an inherently rigid system that performed much better than conventional residential framing.
WHAT ABOUT ENERGY EFFICIENCY?
Rural Living Magazine (October 1997), a publication which is put out by the electric producing cooperatives in Virginia, tested a Nationwide Home and gave it highest energy efficiency rating--5 Stars! Our clients, have each told us how they are happily surprised with their low utility bills.
IS A MODULAR HOME CHEAPER TO BUILD?
This is a tricky question because you must remember to compare “like” products. If you were to site build a comparably constructed house (with full foundation, plywood exterior sheathing, plywood sub-floors, etc.) our modular homes would be about 10% - 15% less than site-built houses of identical construction. But you also need to remember that a lower price from a "site-build" contractor can be due to lower quality materials, methods, and craftsmanship. To allow our customers to realize additional savings, Tidewater Modular Homes also offers Owner Completion plans.
WHAT IS AN OWNER COMPLETION PLAN?
With an Owner Completion Plan the home buyer
becomes the General Contractor. TMH works
with the buyer on
the design and materials selection of their
homes and the ordering of plans from Nationwide
Custom Homes. They buyer will get their
building permit and arrange for contractors,
to clear and grade their land, put in their
driveway, foundation, and septic, well,
or utility connections. TMH will provide
the crane and crew to professionally set
your house, secure it to its foundation,
raise and finish off the roof and complete
the vinyl siding. The buyer supervises the
completion of electrical, plumbing and
heating and air conditioning work, all which
must be performed by licensed contractors.
Interior finish work will vary by model,
but most often includes hanging doors, installing
casings and patching drywall. TMH provides
instruction for these items. The
amount of money saved can range from 10%
- 15% over turn-key pricing. Having friends in the trades to help
you finish your house helps you maximize
Please note: current banking regulations frown on owner completion plans & this option may only be available for cash buyers.
IS AN OWNER COMPLETION PLAN SOMETHING I CAN HANDLE?
Remember your house will be 85% -90% complete when it arrives, it is much simpler than site-building a custom home. You do not have to be particularly handy to successfully partake in an Owner Completion plan. You do however, have to be organized and have the time to contact and supervise some licensed sub-contractors who are needed to complete your house. Tidewater Modular Homes assists you in the planning of your project, provides an outline of the steps required, lists of qualified contractors, and approximate budget for each item. TMH also instructs the buyer on interior completion techniques. In addition to finishing off your roof shingles and vinyl siding, Tidewater Modular Homes can be contracted to do any other project related work which the homeowner is not comfortable handling themselves.
HOW MUCH DOES A MODULAR HOME COST?
The average Modular Home is about the same cost per square foot as a stick built home. In this area that's about $85-$95 per square foot of living space.