Thursday, August 27, 2015

Homes by Keystone a Family Affair

Yesterday I was invited by Britt Miller, one of the owners of Homes by Keystone in Waynesboro, PA, to a home set. Now I have to tell you that I've been to many sets by many factories but this one was in my backyard so I agreed.

He sent me directions but as fortune would have it I got off the Interstate right behind the truck convoy. The secondary road the home had to travel was worse than a WV highway. More twists, turns, hills and school buses than one usually encounters on the way to a jobsite. The first thing that gave me pause was the steady smooth ride the modules were given on the way. It wasn't until after I arrived at the jobsite that I noticed the modules were riding on a trailer, not a carrier. The wider girth of the trailer gave the module a smoother ride.

Not a carrier but a real trailer
They put their name on the house with phone numbers
Things at the jobsite went as I expected they would. No problems, happy owners taking pictures and videos, a well seasoned set crew doing their jobs with little talking and lots of "knowing what to do." What I didn't expect was two of the owners of Homes by Keystone, Britt and Jason Miller, driving the tractor trailers themselves, working directly on the set and talking with the new home owners explaining what they were doing as they did it.

Madi, the young woman buying the house, was taking pictures and posting them to Facebook on real time. We've come a long way since I started in this business.

Keystone has a model village and sales office in Waynesboro, PA near the factory where Madi and her family chose their new home and then watched it being built in the factory. Madi's tour was given by the President of the company, Guy Miller, who couldn't be at the set yesterday because he was busy building dormers for the next house coming off the assembly line.

Once the crane was set it only took about 2 hours to set the house and weather it in. I almost forget to mention that Keystone also finishes all their own houses and Britt told me this house should be ready to turn over to Madi in about 2 weeks.

Britt Miller, one of the owners, is on the guide rope

Their a several family owned modular home factories in the US but I don't know of any other than Homes by Keystone where all the family members are so hands on in every aspect of the sales, manufacturing, delivery, set and finish as are the members of the Miller family. The one family member I didn't meet, Tim, is the head of Engineering and design.

Great job fellows. It was my pleasure to see what a tight knit family operation can accomplish.

CLICK HERE to read an earlier article about Home by Keystone


Anonymous said...

Coach, it is super to see this hands-on approach. Everything looks straight as an arrow, including the Superior Walls. Which begs the question: who backfilled that basement with no modular home on top and no slab in place to prevent precast wall kick-in and collapse? Or am I missing something in the photos?

Coach said...

As a GC that used Superior Walls exclusively, I can tell you that there was at least a 2-3' gap around three sides of the house with the fourth being an exposed basement. The pictures are a little deceptive. It was a great set. As I mentioned in the article, the homeowner, Madi, was posting to Facebook the entire set.

Britt Miller said...

Coach, Thank you for your piece… we would be remiss however if we did not acknowledge Mom who works in the sales office regularly