Monday, March 23, 2015

West Coast Modular vs East Modular Modular

Having been a General Contractor with my own home building company in the '80's and '90's I am very familiar with 'on-site' construction. When I became a sales rep for modular homes I saw the efficiencies of the production line and skilled laborers using the latest tools.

I also saw overhead cranes picking up entire wall and roof sections and being put in place in minutes. Exterior and interior walls were sheathed before they were installed and the men and women working on the roof and upper wall sections were tethered with safety gear and hard hats.

This is East Coast modular home production.

Then I saw this article in The Oregonian website titled: (you have to answer a question to read the article)

As I began reading the article I didn't read anything out of the ordinary except that the reporter was talking about modular as if it were a space ship landing in the middle of a city and little children and their parents didn't know whether to watch or run in fear. Funny how a modular home does that on the West Coast.

Then I started looking at the pictures of how MODS builds modules in their factory and I was transported back to those good old days of stick building. The only difference I really see between what I did in the '80's and what they do is that the house is built with a big roof over it. 

If this is what the typical West Coast modular does, maybe someone should organize a tour of East Coast modular home factories so that they can join the future of our industry.

These are some of the pictures from the article above.

Lifting wall sections by hand after being built directly on the subfloor

Check out the cribbing and the immobility of the modules

This is a typical site building technique

Everything is hand nailed, not a power nailer in sight

Floor sections and ceiling sections built directly on the factory floor

Need I say anything 

Are you kidding me!!!!

Everything fits with the proper sledge hammer


Randy said...

I might encourage those who think this is how it is done in the Western US to check out Guerdon. They fabricate 20 Mods per week. They have 300 workers on the floor and a 20 acre facility. They are finishing phase 2 of 400 units of hotels for Yellowstone Park and several other apartment complexes. This article is more a local company type of story.

Coach said...

Randy, I completely agree with you about both Guerdon and this article being about a local company. Unfortunately there are very few Guerdon's on the West Coast and lots of MODS.
I'm not saying that MODS doesn't build a great home, just that it is stuck in yesteryear's building methods. I suspect a vast majority of 'local' West Coast modular factories build the same way.

Anonymous said...

AAH!! Stick building in a controlled environment - What could be more modular than that? LOL