Hamptons Modular Homes CEO Michael Hunn, walks us through the advantages of the modular building process.
SBT: How did you get involved with modular building?
Michael: In high school and college I studied real estate and when I got into the job market, I worked with a developer and built commercial buildings and residential homes, and then the real estate market turned in the wrong direction in the 90’s, so I left that track and got involved with corporate America, and ended up with American Express in Chicago and then New York City. Then left corporate America in 2002 -2003, to be with a with a company, and worked with a gentleman who ended up retiring, and I ended up taking over the business .
SBT: Great! So could you describe what the difference is between modular building and the traditional building
Michael: OK, as far as modular goes there’s really not much that modular hems you in on. Pretty much, most anything you can do on a traditional stick built house, you can do with a modular. The big difference is, with a stick built home, a delivery truck delivers material to a job site and a group of people get together and literally put the house together one board at a time. During that time the house is exposed to weather and there’s a whole bunch of different things that happen with stick building that don’t happen with modular homes.
Modular homes are built in a factory; the factories are all located in Pennsylvania, the wood never gets wet, it’s climate controlled and delivery dates are set. Production schedules run on time, so if we tell you your house is going to be delivered in May, it’ll be there in May. If we tell you it’ll be a certain price, then that’ll be the price when the house is delivered.
SBT: So, it sounds as if there are many benefits to modular homes that the average person might not think about. We are very accustomed to the traditional way of building. When I hear ‘modular home’ I may even come up with a perception that’s inaccurate, such as, it’s not going to be as well built as a traditional home?
The way you’re describing modular building, it has many more advantages, including not being exposed to the weather. One of the benefits that struck me was the fact that in traditional home building, the wood is exposed to the elements and gets wet and has the potential to develop mold and other problems.
It’s clear there are a lot of benefits, and a few myths out there about modular homes, which would you say is the biggest?
Michael: I would say the biggest myth is, that the house has to be a simple ranch. That’s what most people think of as ‘modular’.
Michael: Take a look at my website, and you can see a whole array of homes, many of which, we’ve built in the last year or two. Waterfront multi-million dollar homes. The last 3000 to over 5000 square foot houses that I’ve built, the customers have come in to me, handed me blueprints that they have worked on with their architect, and said “build this”. Next, we deliver the blueprints to the factory, and the factory draws it; and the majority of the time things come out almost exactly the way they show up on the original blueprints.
I can take a set of drawings from and architect, turn those right back around, and show you exactly what your house is going to look like as it comes from the factory; and then there’s a price put on it. That’s the price of the house; there’s no delays or swings in price, or anything along those lines, When we quote a price, that’s the exact price. The quote’s good for ninety days, and there’s not any big surprises as far as what’s built and what it costs.
SBT: Wonderful! Another question that I have; from beginning to end, is it generally a faster process overall?
Michael: It is. There’s two aspects of building no matter how you build. The first aspect is obtaining your building permits. So that process typical will run slightly faster with the factories because the plans are all, what they call, ‘stamped and signed off by the state’, but once we go in for building permits, that’s really when the speed of building Modular comes through. As the foundation is being put in on your house, the house is actually being built in a factory.
Typically 30 to 45 days after the foundation is poured, the house is delivered and it is assembled by a crew of people called a ‘set crew’. A typical house takes 3 to 4 days to set, which means the house is all put together and it’s watertight. That certainly doesn’t mean that it’s ready to be moved into, but the bulk of the building at that point has been completed.
From that point, there’s on-site finish work, which is heating and cooling, porches and decks, and any kind of custom flooring or custom granite work etc. The majority of the work is done on the ‘set’, and most customers are typically looking at 30 to 90 days of finish work before they’re ready to move into their houses.
SBT: That’s great, and since you said ‘watertight’, the other thing that comes to mind for building in the Hampton’s, is the strength of the house. I understand they’re very well built because they have to travel on a truck and are able to handle high winds, which is preferable for coastal living such as the Hampton’s.
Michael: It is. It’s one of the biggest advantages to modular construction, how sturdy they’re built. The saying in the industry is ‘take a stick built house and hall it on a trailer for five hours’, which is the amount of time it takes to get from the factory, out to Southampton or Easthampton, and then see what’s left of the house. Modular homes are built extremely durable and tough and are very well suited for high winds and coastal areas.
SBT: Well this is great news especially with what we went through recently with the Hurricane Sandy. We really appreciate you joining us and educating the consumer on modular Homes.
Michael: Thanks for having me, it was my pleasure..
Michael Hunn, attributes Hamptons Modular Homes’ success to delivering the highest level of customer service paired with the highest quality product. He has built over 280 new homes on the eastern end of Long Island since 1984 . You can find out more about Michael Hunn and Hamptons Modular Home by visiting www.hamptonsmodularhomes.com