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Modular Homes

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Even today, when technology has prepared us to expect and embrace the new and improved in every area, the thought of modular homes still seems strange. Most of us consider the “stick-built” home the norm. The technology-advanced modular homes of today are the descendants of old kit homes of 100 years ago. People of that time could send for a kit made up of all the pieces necessary to construct a home along with the instructions. “In 1895, Sears, Roebuck and Company began selling building materials in addition to everything else they already offered in their mail-order catalog.” Several catalog companies offered such kits containing over 30,000 separate pieces for assembly. The kits would be delivered by train to the station nearest to the customer then hauled to the site and assembled.

By 1908, a customer could order a home catalog listing several choices of designs and plans. The cost of the catalog would be applied to the eventual order of plans and materials. Today’s modular homes are light years from their predecessors. While the concept of having the customer choose the plan of the home and place an order is similar, the process from there resembles the assembly line concepts of Henry Ford more than the catalog sales concept of Sears. “Modular/Industrialized homes, on the other hand, are the most complete embodiment of the factory-produced housing concept.

Modern modular homes are assembled by experts in their fields in a controlled factory environment and then the parts are shipped to the prepared site and assembled. Instead of a train car filled with separate pieces the parts of modular homes now include completely finished rooms. The sections are securely fastened and the utilities are connected to the prepared interior connections. The result is that modern modular homes are superior construction, designed to the tastes of the owner, meeting the local codes with months of construction time eliminated. Technology is a great thing, after all.

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