90% of modular building is done by the manufacturer in a factory-controlled setting. By the time the home is set on the foundation and responsibility is handed over to the General Contractor (GC), he’s only responsible for the remaining 10%. With so little left to do, there’s really not much that can go wrong. Right? Wrong.
Your GC is responsible for his standard crew and usually more than a few independent contractors who he hires out on a job-by-job basis. If you have an unscrupulous GC, he may have hired contractors without modular experience who can cause thousands of dollars of damage.
Here are some of the most costly mistakes:
- Marriage walls issues. If walls are joined too loosely (or too tightly), they will shift up and down as the wood contracts and expands during the different seasons, causing cracks in the drywall.
- Poorly connected utilities. Imagine that the pipes that run through your house aren’t properly sealed, allowing a slow leak of liquid from pipes to accumulate inside the walls of your house. Now imagine that the pipes are from the bathroom.
- Improperly poured foundation. The GC is in charge of pouring the foundation for your home, but since the modules aren’t built on top of a foundation, there’s no way to adjust a few inches in or out as a site-builder might do.
- Loose materials. Delivered along with the modules will be loose materials that need to be added by the GC. He should make sure that they are inspected as soon as they arrive or it will cause costly delays when he has to re-order parts. Anything that is temperature sensitive should be stored in a heated area, NOT on the construction site.
This is why it’s so important to hire a builder or GC who has plenty of modular experience. Otherwise you may end up paying through the nose… or in the market for another house sooner than you’d like.