Modular homes, also known as mobile or manufactured homes, are a greener, more effective way of construction. The first step is to find a trusted dealer to buy the house on a square deal; next comes the site and the paperwork to go with it. If you have all these steps under control, you are through to the initial stage of building your dream house. Now comes phase two, and this one is the more crucial and the more difficult step. The installation of your modular home is vital, cause a lot can go wrong. The flawless final product can go to waste if not installed right. It can cause leakage, bowing, warping and other faults that can not only be difficult to repair but can take a toll on your pocket. To get the job done right it’s always best to fall back on a reputed contractor who has years of experience behind him.
In this article, we will take you through the essentials of modular homes installation so that you are well informed and can take the installation process head on and not get lost in the process.
SAY NO TO DIY
Installing your mobile house yourself is not only a safety hazard but can also be against the law. In most countries, in order for the house to pass the safety test, it is mandatory to have it done from a certified home installer. Some of the setup companies or home installers may also provide land-prep services along with the installation package, which just makes your life that much easier as the work moves along seamlessly. However, some installers may only carry forth the installing process and leave the rest to a general contractor. This includes clearing land to build a house, setting up the foundation, installing utilities such as water storage tanks, HVAC etc.. This isn’t necessarily a problem, however. These are all professionals and with proper communication will get the work done without any glitches.
Where will you find a certified installer? In most cases your home dealer can provide you with a list of certified installers to work with or in some instances, the company itself is certified and can help with the installation.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
At times the cost of the modular home covers the installation cost as well, so make sure this is the case before closing the deal, or else you would be responsible for finding a crew that helps you perform the task of installing your house. The fees of the crew can be quite a sum! What do these costs look like? That will depend on the service providers and the complexities of the construction.
For instance, a park homes community will not be that expensive to move into, however, if you are looking at undeveloped land then it’s a whole other ball game, as this task becomes more complex and requires that many more hands to get the house up and running.
The dealers of modular homes should offer a written warranty for the home you have bought, as this is basically the warranty for the structural workmanship as well as heating, plumbing, electrical systems and appliances that are factory-installed. It will not cover installation of the house, rather the installation warranty will come from the certified installer. Get this in writing from both the parties!
Before the installation of the house, it is vital to prep the land. It is also a good move to get the installers to do a checkup of the site before they hand over their quote so that you’re on the same page and there are no unwanted surprises. Here’s what a site-prep list looks like for your reference.
Easy Access – You will have to make sure that the house delivery truck can access the site of construction without any obstructions. If your home-delivery is included in your contract the manufacturer will take care of this step. If not, you will have to plan and budget for this step yourself. In the latter case, you might have to fell trees, widen gateways, take off fences, and potentially contact a utility company to remove any wires that are in the way. Getting a home that has delivery included will be a smarter move.
Clearance – The construction site will have to be prepped which means it will have to be cleared of trees, shrubs, rocks, boulders, and debris. It is essential to preserve some cover to help with erosion and sediment control, as well to act as windbreakers, for shade and visual screening. You can take the help of land clearing services for this task.
Grading- The site needs to be graded to make sure the rainwater is drained away from the house and is not accumulated under it.
Soil Prep – The soil needs to be levelled and packed down so that the foundation holds and does not shift because the soil under it is too soft.
Utilities – The utilities for the crew such as dumpsters, movable toilets, parking, delivery drop off etc will have to be taken into account while the men are working on the site. Be prepared for onsite container storage on your property while it is being installed.
To keep this short, there is a little leeway in choosing the type of foundation for your home. In most cases, the local building codes, lenders and parking communities will specify the type of foundation your house will be built on. There are mainly two kinds – permanent and non-permanent foundations. Most jurisdictions will cover all the safety parameters when it comes to constructing the structure. However keep your contractor looped in, in all requirements laid out by the local bodies.
UTILITIES & ANCHORING
Once your foundation is in place, the anchoring of your house will commence. It basically means your home will be anchored to the foundation so that it does not shift with strong winds or earthquakes. Most states have the homeowners covered with strict compliances to make sure the structure is durable and safe. The general contractor will start working on the installation of the utilities and the septic tank, and the installation crew will take care of the anchoring set up.
This is the final step! The manufacturers usually have a checklist you can refer to, to carry out the inspection. You can also employ professional home inspection services to do this crucial task for you. You need to remember once you clear the inspection, the contractor is free from any liability with regards to the installation. Hence it is important you take your time and not rush into this step.
Once all these steps are taken care of, your house will ready for you to move into!