Garnett Heritage Series - FAQ 's

QUESTIONS

  1. WHAT IS THE GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES?

  2. WHAT IS A MODULAR HOME AND HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM MANUFACTURED HOMES.

  3. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF A SYSTEMS-BUILT MODULAR HOME IN COMPARAISON TO A SITE-BUILT HOME?

  4. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES IN BUILDING A MODULAR HOME IN FACTORY?

  5. WHAT ARE THE STANDARD CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS USED IN THE GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES? CAN I USE “CUTTING EDGE” BUILDING TECHNIQUES, TECHNOLOGIES AND ASSEMBLIES IN BUILDING A GARNETT HERTITAGE SERIES MODULAR DESIGN?

  6. CAN I GET THE SAME TYPE OF MORTGAGE FINANCING FOR MODULAR CONSTRUCTION AS I CAN FOR SITE BUILT CONSTRUCTION?

  7. WILL MY MODULAR HOME HAVE THE SAME APPRAISED VALUE AS A COMPARATIVE SITE-BUILT HOUSE?

  8. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BUILD A GARNETT HERITAGE DESIGN IN FACTORY?

  9. HOW COMPLETE IS MY HOUSE WHEN THE MODULES ARRIVES ON SITE?

  10. HOW ARE MODULES TRANSPORTED TO SITE AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE THE MODULAR INSTALLATION?

  11. WHAT WORK HAS TO BE DONE ON SITE TO COMPLETE MY MODULAR HOME?

  12. CAN A MODULAR HOUSE BE INSTALLED ON SLAB? CAN A MODULAR HOUSE HAVE A BASEMENT?

  13. IS MODULAR CONSTRUCTION LESS COSTLY THAN A SITE-BUILT HOME?

  14. ARE GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES DESIGNS MORE COSTLY TO BUILD THAN MOST MODULAR HOUSE DESIGNS?

  15. AM I LIMITED TO THE EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR FINISHES, APPLIANCES AND TRIMOUT PACKAGES FOR GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES DESIGNS?

  16. WHY DO GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES DESIGNS LOOK SO DIFFERENTLY FROM MANY OF THE MODULAR HOUSE DESIGNS CURRENTLY BEING PRODUCED BY FACTORIES IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA?

  17. WHAT FACTORIES WILL BUILD MY GARNETT HERITIAGE SERIES HOUSE AND WHO WILL BE THE SITE CONTRACTOR?

  18. WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A STANDARD ARCHITECTURAL DOCUMENT PACKAGE PREPARED BY GARNETT DESIGN GROUP?

  19. CAN THE GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES DESIGNS BE “TWEAKED”? CAN YOU HAVE GARNETT DESIGN GROUP CONVERT EXISTING SITE-BUILT PLANS INTO A MODULAR DESIGN? CAN I HAVE A CUSTOM MODULAR HOUSE DESIGNED FOR MY PARTICULAR NEEDS?

  20. IS THERE A COST IN USING A GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES PORTFOLIO DESIGN WITHOUT ANY FURTHER CHANGES?

  21. WILL GARNETT DESIGN GROUP SELL PLANS FROM THE HERITAGE SERIES FOR SITE-BUILT PROJECTS?

ANSWERS

1. WHAT IS THE GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES?

The Garnett Heritage Series is a collection of unique designs offered by Garnett Design Group, LLC (GDG), derived from our rich and diverse architectural heritage throughout the United States and Canada over the past three centuries. The series is designed exclusively for the Modular Industry to represent a new paradigm of modular design interpretation that can be built with all the advantages of a systems-built home. Top of Page

2. WHAT IS A MODULAR HOME AND HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM MANUFACTURED HOMES, IF ANY?

Essentially there are two national building codes in the United States, HUDcode and I-Code (International Building Code and International Residential Code). Several states are still using the code standards of UBC (Universal Building Code) but in the next several years, all states will have adopted all or part of the I-Codes and for the first time there will by truly one national building standard for modular and site-built construction.

Manufactured houses are built to HUDcode standards. HUDcode product is defined as a structure that is built in factory on a metal chassis, pulled to site and placed on a temporary foundation, in other words, residential HUDcode structures are trailers in all their permutations.

Modular structures are constructed to all the same national, regional and local code standards as site-built structures built under the aegis of UBC or I-Code. Modular homes are stick-built houses that are built off-site, delivered to site and installed on a permanent, pre-prepared foundation. Top of Page

3. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF A SYSTEMS-BUILT MODULAR HOME IN COMPARAISON TO A SITE-BUILT HOME?

The advantages are several:

a. EXPEDITIOUSNESS The completion time of a modular-built house project is dramatically faster than a comparative site-built project. A typical 3000 sq. ft. house will go through factory in five to six weeks, and, once the modules are installed on foundation, the on-site finish work should typically be another 6 to 8 weeks.

b. QUALITY A systems-built modular house is built in factory under much more scrutiny for quality assurance than its site-built comparative. Being built in factory means that the structure is built in the dry. The materials are not exposed to the weather which eliminates the deterioration and the reduction of structural which can occur when the structural members are exposed to the elements. This assures the home owner that his/her house will be constructed under rigid quality control standards that can be implemented only in a factory environment. Module floor and wall components are built in factory on jigs to within a 1/8 inch tolerance. They are built square.

c. STRENGTH A modular built house is constructed with an average of 30% more structural lumber that it’s site-built counterpart. Each module is built with not only a floor joist system but also a ceiling joist system. Rather than a single rim joist boxing the joist systems, as typically used in site building, modular joist systems are boxed with a tripe rim joist system. Modules have to be built remarkably rigid to withstand the rigors of transport and set. Top of Page

4. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF BUILDING A HOME IN FACTORY?

Building in factory is a more desirable way of constructing a residence because of the efficiencies of the factory process and the opportunities of quality and cost controls that a factory-based manufacturing process represents. This controlled environment results in a structure that has had the benefits of being built under rigorously controlled conditions in assuring quality and maximum utilization of building materials to control costs.

A typical modular house goes through upwards of 300 in-factory inspections by a factory’s quality assurance inspectors using extensive checklists of performance standards. In addition, during the factory building process, numerous building code inspections are performed by the regulating agencies in the state where the house is being built before the oversight agency certifies the structure. Modular construction meets or exceeds all local, state and national building codes.

The material waste is significantly reduced from on-site construction resulting in a savings for the home owner.

In addition:

  • Factories offer a skilled work force trained in performing specific tasks.

  • Factory labor is more stable and reliable than dealing with the vagaries of site-built sub-contactors as if relates to on-the-job performance, skill sets and dependability.

  • Factories use more powerful and sophisticated equipment and better quality framing materials as an adjunct in working with precision equipment.

  • Climate controlled conditions allow factories to avoid weather related defects caused by exposure to the weather while under construction, resulting in a structure that is totally dry. The modules are shipped waterproofed to assure that this dryness becomes part of the house once it’s built.

  • Construction standards offer unparalleled strength. Modules are designed to be transported safely over long distances at highway speeds and lifted by a crane onto a foundation.

  • Most factories offer extended warranties for very little or no additional charge. These warranties can usually be transferred when the homeowner sells. Top of Page

5. WHAT ARE THE STANDARD CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS USED IN THE GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES? CAN I USE “CUTTING EDGE” BUILDING TECHNIQUES, TECHNOLOGIES AND ASSEMBLIES IN A GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES MODULAR DESIGN?

Exterior walls are 2 x 6 kiln-dried wall studs at 16 inches on center, interior walls and marriage walls are 2 x 4 kiln-dried wall studs at 16 inches, O. C.; floor joists are constructed of 2 x 10 and 2 x 12 kiln-dried dimensional lumber at 16 inches, O. C., or engineered micro-lams or engineered wooden web floor trusses. Ceiling joist systems are constructed of 2 x 8 kiln-dried joists at 16 inches O. C. Exterior sheathing is either ½-inch CDX plywood or OSB (oriented strand board), depending on the wind shear and/or seismic shear requirements based on local conditions.

Sub-flooring is ¾-inch tongue-and-groove OSB (oriented strand board) or CDX plywood, glued and screwed to the floor joists. Exterior sheathing is 7/16-inch OSB or 1/2-inch CDX plywood.

Insulation is batt-type, R-38 in roof, R-21 in exterior walls, and R-30 in floors.

Drywall is ½-inch sheeting, glued and screwed to wall studs. Fire-rated drywall and waterproof green wall board are installed where applicable to meet building codes.

Being built in factory, modular construction lends itself to integrating the newest technologies, building techniques and assemblies in the building process. Modular structures can be built using exotic heating and cooling systems (solar panels, photovoltaic systems, ground cooling and heating systems, radiant floor systems, etc.), expanded foam insulating systems, and pressure-treated wood foundation systems. Modules can be constructed from light-weight gauge steel-framed components and can be fabricated of light-weight concrete and steel. Modular manufacturers are able to integrate hand-made timber-framed elements into modules.

Modular buildings can be totally wired with the latest AV and whole-house electronic control systems, alarm systems and with installed wireless communication systems.

Modular structures are built to be installed in the tropics using all borate-treated wood for termite protection and modular projects are built above the Artic Circle, designed to meet the severe specifications that building in Polar Regions demand.

Modular houses can be built as totally non-toxic structures and totally “green,” thus eliminating the causes of air pollution from toxic off-gassing construction assemblies and materials and can be very effective in virtually eliminating the causes of toxic mold build that are health issues common in today’s residences.

You are only limited by your imagination in what modular construction can be. Top of Page

6. CAN I GET THE SAME TYPE OF MORTGAGE FINANCING FOR MODULAR CONSTRUCTION AS I CAN FOR SITE BUILT CONSTRUCTION?

Yes. There are numerous regional and national financial institutions which have developed loan programs for residential modular projects that cover all the popular loan conventions that are available for site built projects. As a matter for fact, many lending institutions prefer to finance high quality modular homes due to the quick build time, and the fact that the price is locked in up front, resulting in no unexpected charges on the back end. Top of Page

7. WILL MY MODULAR HOME HAVE THE SAME APPRAISED VALUE AS A COMPARATIVE SITE-BUILT HOUSE?

Yes. The Federal Home Mortgage Association (FannieMae) requires that the appraisal of a modular constructed house be comped as the same rate as a comparative site-built house. It’s not uncommon for a modular house to have a higher final appraisal than its initial construction loan estimate because of the quality of modular construction. Top of Page

8. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BUILD A GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES HOUSE IN FACTORY?

The production time in factory depends on a number of variables: complexity of house design, customization of line item specifications, production lead time, and size of project. All things being equal, a 3,000 sq. ft. house should go through factory in four to six weeks. Before the house goes into production, all exterior and interior finishes must be selected. Top of Page

9. HOW COMPLETE IS MY HOUSE WHEN THE MODULES ARRIVES ON SITE?

Typically, the modular portion of your house will arrive on site about 90% complete.

The modules are totally wired and plumbed. Specialty communication and AV wiring is installed on a custom design basis.

The interior and exterior doors and windows are installed. Exterior windows and doors will often have exterior sash trims completed.

The drywall and plaster work is finished, painted with primer and with two base coats.

The interior moulding and trim details, interior fenestrations and architectural detailing are complete and completed with primer and two base coats of paint.

Bathrooms are complete, with fixtures installed and flooring and wall tile installed, if applicable.

Kitchens are complete with installed cabinetry and appliance packages and other accoutrements, as specified.

Pre-manufactured fireplace boxes are installed with fireplace surrounds, mantels and over mantels.

Wainscoting and decorative wall panels are installed, painted with primer and two base coats.

Some siding products can be installed in factory, such as vinyl and cementacious horizontal siding.

Finished flooring can be installed, including, but not limited to, hardwood, ceramic tile, granite, tile and carpeting.

Top of Page

10. HOW ARE MODULES TRANSPORTED TO SITE AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE THE MODULAR INSTALLATION?

Modules are trucked to site on low-boy trailers and are installed by crane. Modules typically weigh from 15,000 lbs to 55,000 lbs, each.

Under normal circumstances, a professional set crew can install from 4 to 6 modules a day. (A typical 3,000 sq. ft. house will be comprised of from 4 to 6 modules.)

Once the modules are installed on foundation, the set crew will be on site another 2 to 5 days finishing the connections to the foundation and “buttoning-up” the modules to the weather. With our hypothetical 3,000 sq. ft. house, the finish work on site should be about 6 to 10 weeks after the modules are installed on foundation.

Top of Page

11. WHAT WORK HAS TO BE DONE ON SITE TO COMPLETE MY MODULAR HOME?

Foundation footings, grade beams and/or pier pads assemblies are completed prior to installation of the modules.

In some instances, Garnett Heritage Collection designs are able to have the roof system framing completed in factory; in other instances, the roof framing system is installed on site using a pre-manufactured truss system that is sheathed and roofed on site. Roofing materials, from architectural composition shingles to standing seam metal roofing to cementacious, stone, and terracotta tile are installed on site.

As mentioned above, certain types of siding products can be factory installed other exterior siding products such as wooden shingles, brick and stucco need to be installed on site. If siding is not installed in factory, modules will arrive on site with walls totally sheathed and covered with building wrap.

There may be some patch work at interior marriage lines (junction lines) when the junction lines are in the middle of a wall. Portals that pass through junction walls will need to be dry walled or cased out.

It’s recommended that the interior finish coat of paint for walls and trim be completed on site once workmen are finished with the interior build-out. Most hard-surfaced flooring products and carpeting are installed once all other interior finish work is completed.

Decks and attached porches, in most instances, are built on site.

Garages, attached or detached, are, in most instances, site-built. If the garage is under the first or second floor of the house, the garage walls can be panelized by the modular factory and shipped with the modules. If an ADU (accessory dwelling unit or a “Mother-in-Law” apartment is built above the garage, the ADU can be manufactured in factory. Top of Page

12. CAN A MODULAR HOUSE BE INSTALLED ON SLAB? CAN A MODULAR HOUSE HAVE A BASEMENT?

No, modular structures cannot be installed on slab. The reason is that the hold-down straps required for foundation connections, wind shear requirements and seismic zone activities are wet-set into a concrete stem wall and need to have, minimally, a crawl space so that the straps can be manually attached to the inside of the module rim joists once the modules are set on foundation.

Yes, modular structures can be installed with basements. Modules have to be installed on a raised stem wall system, be it crawl space, walk-out basement or full basement. Top of Page

13. IS MODULAR CONSTRUCTION LESS COSTLY THAN A SITE-BUILT HOME?

In most instances, modular construction is slightly less than site-built. For a house project budgeted in that great mid-range of new construction costs, a modular house will be typically 5% to 25% less than a comparative site-built house, depending on the cost of site labor.

There are exceptions to the above statement for comparative costing in some areas of the United States where the home purchaser is choosing to build. In urban areas with inflated housing market costs, the cost savings of a modular house will be more dramatic than building a modular home in areas where overall residential construction costs are lower such as areas of the Mid-West and in the Southeastern and Gulf Coast states.

One pricing category in which modular technologies shines as a cost saving building system is in the construction of houses with a more up-scaled line item specification. It is typical that a high-end residential modular project will generate savings for the home owner in the area of 20% to 25%, and more. Top of Page


14. ARE GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES DESIGNS MORE COSTLY TO BUILD THAN MOST MODULAR HOUSE DESIGNS?

In some instances, yes, in other instances, no. The overall cost of a Garnett Heritage Series design will be determined by the complexity of exterior and interior architectural details and elements, finishes and textures that are featured in the design.

As an example, to faithfully replicate the architectural detailing in one of the Victorian designs in the Series could add another 10% or so to the overall cost of the house by the very nature of the exterior and interior trim-outs that are typical of the style genre.

Building more simple detailed designs from the Series will be competitive with any other modular design with the same line-item specifications. Top of Page

15. AM I LIMITED TO THE EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR FINISHES, APPLIANCES AND TRIMOUT PACKAGES FOR GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES DESIGNS?

No. The Garnett Heritage Series is designed to be totally custom in the fact the you can specify any line item pertaining to the project to meet you budget, wants and needs.

Garnett Design Group, LLC, has created generic line item specifications for most of the major assemblies required in each design as a guideline in your working with your builder or with an appropriate factory in identifying all the needs line item specifications.

Several of GDG’s preferred vendors will also work with individual clients in developing custom cabinetry, custom lighting designs, whole-house AV designs, and other applications that may be needed by the custom home purchaser.

Under additional services contracts, GDG is available to assist with interior design and product specification.

Top of Page

16. WHY DO GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES DESIGNS LOOK SO DIFFERENTLY FROM MANY OF THE MODULAR HOUSE DESIGNS CURRENTLY BEING PRODUCED BY FACTORIES IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA?

The design uniqueness of the Garnett Heritage Series originated out of the modular factory resources on the West Coast of the U. S. and Canada. A number of modular factories, from British Columbia to southern California, have historically structured their manufacturing processes to build a much more custom product than their East Coast counterparts. Part and parcel to that building ethos is the fact that, due to the paucity of manufacturing facilities west of the Rocky Mountains, modules have to be transported rather heroic distances.

To assure that modules arrive on site “tight and dry,” the West Coast factories, as part of their normal building protocols, commonly build ‘flat top” modules, modules without factory-built roof systems. These modules are covered with waterproof shipping membranes, and after the modules are installed on foundation, the set crews seal the “marriage lines,” i. e., the point where modules come together, with a peal-and-stick sealant, creating a totally waterproof membrane atop the modules.

With a complete waterproof membrane in place it is possible to build a site-built roof system on top of the modules using a factory-built truss system that is sheathed and roofed on site.

With a modular roof system built in factory, a designer is rather limited as to the designs that can be created because a factory-built roof system requires that two or three modules have to be placed back-to-back to create a roof ridge line. In other words, factory-built roof systems are two to three modules deep, front to back.

The ability to build a roof system on site means that GDG, as an architectural design firm, can truly design “out-of-the-box.” A site-built roof system allows GDG to design to almost any building foot print or roof profile that can be created for site built projects. A site-built roof system will add approximately 3% to 5% additional expense to the net cost of the project. Top of Page

17. WHAT FACTORIES WILL BUILD MY GARNETT HERITIAGE SERIES HOUSE AND WHO WILL BE THE SITE CONTRACTOR?

GDG works with a number of factories in both Canada and the U. S. which our design firm has identified as having the interest and capability of building a more complex, custom-designed modular structure. In tandem with our factory partners, we are identifying modular building professionals who either have a background in custom home building or an understanding in working with more a more custom line item detailing building spec in a modular residence and can satisfactorily build and complete the site work for the home buyer who wishes to build a design from the Garnett Heritage Series. Top of Page

18. WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A STANDARD ARCHITECTURAL DOCUMENT PACKAGE PREPARED BY GARNETT DESIGN GROUP?

The Garnett Heritage Series portfolio plans consist of annotated and dimensioned floor plans and elevations and needed building thru-sections for defining the structure for other consulting professionals that will be involved in the project. As mentioned above, a generic specification line item list is part of the package. In addition, a custom designed lighting plan and door and window schedules are included. Most factories have their own in-house engineering and production drawings staffs to complete the construction documents and shop drawings. GDG is available to work with these engineering and design professionals as needed. Top of Page


19. CAN THE GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES DESIGNS BE “TWEAKED”? CAN YOU HAVE GARNETT DESIGN GROUP CONVERT EXISTING SITE-BUILT PLANS INTO A MODULAR DESIGN? CAN I HAVE A CUSTOM MODULAR HOUSE DESIGNED FOR MY PARTICULAR NEEDS?

The answer to all three questions is, yes.

GDG will “tweak” any of our portfolio plans to your specificities. We would negotiate an hourly fee services contract for the required changes and revisions.

We can convert most any site-built plans to a modular structure. The fees for that service will be based on a per-square-foot rate.

GDG is available to do custom designs for our clients. Our services contract fees are based on the overall square footage of the project. Top of Page

20. IS THERE A COST IN USING A GARNETT HERITAGE SERIES PORTFOLIO DESIGN WITHOUT ANY FURTHER CHANGES?

Yes. There is a standard users’ fee for each design, based on a per square foot basis. Top of Page

21. WILL GARNETT DESIGN GROUP SELL PLANS FROM THE HERITAGE SERIES FOR SITE-BUILT PROJECTS?

No. As a design group, GDG is committed to being a resource for the modular industry, only. Top of Page

 
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