Steve Scharnhorst, president and CEO of Excel Homes
Whether you have years of experience working with modular products or are considering it for the first time, selecting the right modular manufacturer is essential. While price is always an important factor, the quality, warranty service, customization features and skill levels of the manufacturer's staff and engineers are all important elements of the decision-making process.
But finding the right modular partner for your company doesn't have to be difficult. According to Steve Scharnhorst, president and CEO of Excel Homes and AvisAmerica, there are 10 crucial questions every builder should ask when considering a modular manufacturer.
1. How advanced are their engineering capabilities?
Check to make sure the manufacturer you're considering can not only produce modular homes that meet your needs but also has engineers on staff to provide solutions for any zoning, site, or permit issues that may arise during the planning and building process.
2. What level of customization do they offer with their homes?
Make sure the manufacturer can produce homes at the level of customization today's consumers demand.
3. Does the planning process include numerous options and upgrades?
A quality manufacturer should be able to work with your team to provide options and upgrades that will please your customers.
Setting a modular home properly is critical.
4. How do they define a finished product?
Different manufacturers have different definitions of a "finished product." Make sure the manufacturer you work with will deliver modules at a level of finish that best suits your business model.
5. What are the costs of the homes and any added services?
With any big purchase, you should research costs and make sure to clarify which costs are, or are not, included.
6. What are the service commitments and capabilities?
Once a home is delivered, a good manufacturer will continue to partner with you to make sure the customer is happy and will help to alleviate any concerns or problems that may come up.
7. What is the reputation of the modular manufacturer?
Check references and do some research. As we all know in this industry, reputation is very important.
8. Does the company provide a "set assist" service?
Setting a modular home properly is critical. Make sure you are working with a modular manufacturer who can work with your team to guarantee that the home is set properly and efficiently
9. Does the company have its own transportation fleet?
Of course, the modules will have to be transported from the factory to the home site. While it's an obvious step in the process, not all manufacturers will include this cost up front or provide transport services that ensure the quality and integrity of the modules.
10. Will the company hire and take responsibility for the set crew?
Again, setting a home properly is essential. Make sure the manufacturer you are considering can hire or provide set assist teams that are highly skilled and experienced. Also, make sure the manufacturer is responsible for insuring any risk or liability concerns.