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Avalon Building Systems Blog


Often it is Easier to Build a New Home than Buy an Existing Home

26 May 2011

Sometimes it’s not that easy to buy a new home. Paying rent in New England and New York is equal to, or in some cases higher than, a monthly mortgage would be. But looking for a reasonably priced home, in a town where you want to put down roots sometimes can be disheartening. Often times, homes in the affordable price range means there is a lot of fixing up to do. Really it is often more than just fixing up, it’s tearing down, remodeling or adding on. Once you figure in all of that, it may be easier to buy property and build your own new home.

This may seem daunting to many. Paying rent while paying a construction loan for a year or more! Not when you build a modular home. Modular homes provide to you better quality than a stick built home, with competitive and budget friendly costs, in a fraction of the time. Additionally, you can design your new home to meet your family’s needs.  Modular homes are customizable, with no construction delays. Approximately 4-6 weeks after your home is set on its foundation, you are ready to move in.

Modular homes are built to the toughest construction codes required by the state, and are built out of the same type of building materials and name brands you would find in site-built homes. If you qualify for a home mortgage, you will almost certainly qualify for a construction loan to build a modular home. And modular homes are built in a fraction of the time. Contact Avalon Building Systems for more information on the modular building process.


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Modular Homes are Green Homes

18 May 2011

There is more and more interest in creating and buying new environmentally green homes. Green is in, and modular homes are green, but even better, their designs are versatile and appealing. Their popularity is definitely on the rise. With new methods of construction and transportation, designers and builders are cutting waste and energy consumption, and cutting production costs while achieving greater methods of sustainability.

Because modular homes are prefabricated, the modules allow you to design a home that will complement the space you are placing it on. You can change the design and make it fit the space rather than make the space fit the home. This allows for lesser cutting of trees and the use of less machinery on your lot.

The modules are built in a factory which saves time and energy. Much of the waste is recycled; however, modular home factories produce less waste than on-site construction. Modular home production generates around 2% waste whereas stick built homes generate 30-40% waste. Everything is cut with more exactness and applied and assembled more accurately. This extends the life of the home and cuts down on upkeep of the home over time. Also, less time is spent constructing modular homes resulting in lower production costs, including utilities. Ultimately, modular homes allow eco-friendly construction at a fraction of the cost to a larger consumer base.


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Modular Home Additions are the Perfect Solution for Your Home Expansion Needs

11 May 2011

There is better, faster way to do your home addition. Rather than the long process of traditional, stick built construction, think about a modular home addition. Regardless of how your existing home was built, you can upgrade or expand your existing home with a modular addition.

Oftentimes, after meeting with the contractor and planning out your home addition you can get disheartened about the length of time it will take for the project to come together. With modular home additions your home renovation will be completed much faster, and you will be enjoying your new space much sooner.

Not only are modular home additions more economical, with no sudden cost surprises, but they are more energy efficient as well.  Modular construction is the answer. Contact Avalon Building Systems to discuss the option of a modular addition on your existing home. With the right plan most homes can be expanded modularly. Avalon is more than happy to work with an existing home owner. We can turn your existing home into your dream home.


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Building an SIP Home

4 May 2011

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are prefabricated insulated structural elements for use in building walls, ceilings, floors, and roofs. Avalon Building Systems, Inc. was the designer and builder of the very first "modular SIPS" home in the United States. Potential home owners often have the initial perception that SIP modular homes are “kits” that you buy out of a catalog with predetermined floor plans. This is not the case. Modular home floor plans can be and are most often custom designed.

In doing research regarding building a new home, a homeowner will try to seek out ways to speed up the building process while lowering labor costs and energy bills. Structural insulated panels are the answer to this search.
Avalon Building Systems and the homeowner design the plans. Those plans then go to the SIP manufacturer who custom builds all the SIP components needed to build the home. So the home is a modular home, but a custom one. However, you can purchase actual predesigned homes where speed is increased and the costs are even lower.

SIP’s provide superior and uniform insulation compared to stick built homes, offering energy savings of 12%–14%. When installed properly, SIPs also provide a more airtight dwelling, which makes a house more comfortable and quiet. A home built using SIPs are typically airtight. Therefore families are not affected by seasonal allergens. Additionally, in the summer cool air stays in, in the winter, cold air stays out with no cold or drafty spots.

For a new modular home which is custom designed and energy efficient, contact Avalon Building Systems.


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Things to Consider When Deciding Whether to Buy or Build a New Home

27 April 2011

There are many things to consider when deciding whether to buy or to build a new home. Even though building your dream house may seem a lot more difficult than looking for a home that is already built, it can actually be very rewarding.

Pros for Building a new home:

  • You can customize your new home to meet the needs of your family. You can feel free to add an exercise room, a home office, or surround sound.
  • Your home may be more resalable in the future because of the modern customizations.
  • Your home will have the most up to date building codes and materials, therefore it may be more resalable down the line.
  • You can hire a professional to oversee the day to day issues of building a new home.
  • And, keep in mind, when building a modular home, the move in time line could be the same as buying a new home. With modular construction, you could be in your new home in a couple months.
  • If you already love your neighborhood and schools, but just need more space, why move? Build your new home in the environment you already love.
  • With a newly constructed modular home, you know you will have a more energy efficient home that any home you would buy.
  • With your home buying budget, you can build a home built with the floor plan you want and need.
  • When buying a new home, you are also stuck with the problems you bought in the home unless you spend money and time fixing them.
  • If you buy a home planning to renovate in the future, you have to pull permits and live in the mess until you get it done.


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Modular Home Construction is Stronger

20 April 2011

Modular construction is one of the fastest growing forms of home building in the market today. Increased efficiency and our ability to apply modern technology to the needs of the market place are what make modular homes so desirable. Avalon Building Systems offers designs that encompass the entire spectrum of the market; from affordable single-family designs to high end luxury homes to vacation getaways. The combination of more efficient construction with reduced construction time, and unlimited customizations are the primary reasons why many home buyers are switching from traditional stick-building to modular home construction.

There is one question that always seems to come up in our conversations with people as they contemplate their construction choices. “Which type of home is stronger, modular or traditional?” The consensual answer is that modular homes are stronger. They are built in a controlled environment where outside elements cannot add wear and tear to the process or materials. Modular home builders also use screws instead of nails and add glue to all the joints to increase the strength of the home.

Today’s modular homes rival any site-built home in design and functionality. Advancements in computer design and factory technology allows almost any custom home plan to be constructed as a modular home. For those interested in a finely crafted home that can be built and completed in a fraction of the time of a conventional home, modular homes have become the preferred type of construction by many.


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Frequently Asked Questions about Modular Homes

13 April 2011

How much do modular homes cost?
As with stick built construction the cost of a modular home will vary depending on what you put in the home and the style of home you choose. Modular homes prices compare favorably with an equivalent site-built home.

How long does it take to build a modular home?
Generally, it is approximately 4 months to complete the typical modular home, from the time of final plans. This is, of course, a rough estimate. However, the timeframe can be shortened with various alterations.

Are modular homes built as well as stick built homes?
Talk with homeowners, inspectors and do the research and you will see that the answer to this question is a "YES!" Modular homes have around 30% more lumber which makes them strong enough to be lifted and moved by a crane. Modular homes are far more square and level than site built homes. There are numerous inspections during the construction process to ensure a quality finished home.

Can modular floor plans be customized?
Yes. There are standard floor plans of course, however, floor plans of each style home can be customized, as well as the amenities inside the home.

Is it hard to finance a modular home?
No. In fact, it's quite simple. Modular homes generally qualify for the same rates as site-built homes.

Does it cost more to insure a modular home?
No. A modular home will usually get the same insurance rates as a traditional site-built home.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to call Avalon Building Systems. We are happy to help.


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Empty Nesters Who Want To Downsize have Many Options

6 April 2011

Many empty nesters are contemplating downsizing their homes. Of all the numerous reasons for downsizing, the most common is that the children have moved out. Perhaps you are looking to stay in or near the same community you have grown to love over the years, or perhaps you want to relocate to Cape Cod. Building a modular home may be a great choice for you. We have many styles and floor plans that will fit your needs. Also, building a modular home is cost effective, efficient and downsizing can save you tax dollars.

A ranch style home, our favorite being the Deerfield, offers you the style you have grown accustomed to with a floor plan to match. With 1150 square feet, the Deerfield is a single story three bedroom and two bathroom house. The floor plan includes an open living, kitchen and dining area and is perfect for a narrow lot. It also has an option to add a front porch. With this ranch home you will still have the space you are used to and the room for visitors or grandchildren.
 
If it is the waterfront that draws you, we have vacation home floor plans to suit your needs as well. The Wellfleet is a single story floor plan, 1120 square feet, with two bedrooms and a bathroom. This floor plan also offers an easily accessible laundry area right off the kitchen. The open space of the kitchen, dining and living areas make this floor plan a great vacation home. You can enjoy your new home in class and style.
 
Then of course, we have the traditional cape style home. Two of our cape style floor plans, the Barnstable (650 sq ft) and the Beverly (1245 sq ft), both offer unfinished upstairs to be molded into a space of your choosing. Both styles offer all the charm of a cape style home.

Feel free to ask us about any of these style homes or any other styles that we offer. And remember, at Avalon Building Systems, we can create the home you are looking for within the price parameters you require.


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The Home Appraisal Process for Modular Homes

30 March 2011

In order to buy a new home, the home must be appraised so you can begin the process of getting a mortgage or loan. An appraisal of a modular home is the estimated amount a home buyer can expect to pay for their new home. When buying any piece of property, including modular homes you need a licensed professional appraiser. However, if the home is not yet built, how is it actually appraised?

The appraiser will inspect the modular home plans to have an idea of how much your new home should cost. Generally, they use information on labor rates, building costs, and depreciation and appreciation in the area where the property is being built. Also during the appraisal process, they will use sales comparisons, prices and values of compatible homes sold in the area, to determine the current modular home value.
 
Once a thorough analysis of the property has been completed, a report is created which is used to initiate the mortgage or loan process. Included in the report would be the property specifications, the replacement cost analysis and the comparative sales analysis.

The replacement cost analysis is total amount spent on the construction and the materials of the modular home, and the lot value. The comparative sales analysis, as mentioned, is the comparison of the actual property to other similar properties that have been sold in the same town or county.

These factors will determine the current total value of the property. The modular home appraisal will then be finalized so that the loan transaction can take place. The calculated total value of the modular home will help you determine future expenses such as utilities and real estate taxes.


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Avalon Building Systems Modular Homes Exceed Energy Star Ratings

23 March 2011

Modular “SIPs” or Structural Insulated Panels were first designed by Avalon Building Systems. These panels are used in their modular homes. SIPs are prefabricated insulated sides of the modules which make up the walls, ceilings, floors, and roofs. They provide more superior and uniform insulation than stud or "stick frame" construction, with energy savings of 12%–14%. Because of their insulating qualities, SIPs also make the home quieter. These modular homes easily exceed "Energy Star Standards" and are certified to meet LEEDS platinum standards for new residential construction. LEED certification is based on a point system in which a building can obtain a Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum level certification and is an internationally recognized certification system that measures how well a building performs in energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor air quality, and more.
 
Structural Insulated Panels are made in a factory and shipped to the manufacturing facilities. Manufacturers then connect them together to construct a house. When using SIPs, the speed of construction is much faster than stick built residential construction. Shells can be erected quickly, saving labor time and money, without compromising quality. These savings help compensate for the fact that SIPs usually cost more than other construction systems, but through the modular manufacturing process which is far more efficient than traditional construction, the overall costs are much lower, so the higher costs of SIPs are negated. 


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