Thursday, September 14, 2017

Modular Home Misrepresented in NC Online Article

MODCOACH NOTE: Two things caught my attention when I read this article. First the home is setting on cinder blocks, not a foundation and secondly this obvious manufactured home was labeled throughout the article as a “Modular Home.”

Modular home causes stir in Cumberland Heights

The beige double-wide modular home at 2210 Bragg Blvd. currently sits sideways on its diamond-shaped lot. It sticks out like a sore thumb among the small single-family dwellings in the neighborhood.

Note the cinder block footings

Residents of the Cumberland Heights subdivision feel that the city of Fayetteville has ignored their concerns about the construction of the home in their neighborhood.

“We were very much blindsided,” Jeannette Strickland said. “One day, it just appeared.”

However, city officials say the building meets all state and local requirements and has gone through the proper procedures for construction.

“We follow state and local regulations for building codes and feel that has been done in this case,” City Communications Director Kevin V. Arata said. “We will continue to closely monitor the completion of this project to ensure all required regulations are met.”

Strickland and eight of her neighbors pitched in to hire lawyer C. Adam Barrington III to represent them in a civil case to try to stop the modular home from being built in July.

The civil lawsuit is personal to Barrington. In court documents, he wrote that he lives 400 yards from the mobile home.

“It’s still pending the final inspection by the city to comply with building codes,” Barrington said.

He declined to comment further on the case because it is still open.

CLICK HERE to read the entire Fayetteville Observer article.


Ken Semler said...


Appearances can be deceiving. This could be what the market has termed a "HUD-ular" home. The home is truly modular because it is built to local building code. As part of its design it has integrated steel support into its structure and still meets IRC code which is the same code site built homes are required to conform to. (We integrate structural steel into many homes we do i.e. Flitch Plates)

Factories in the south, especially Texas, do this and get two big benefits out of it. Because of the competition to operate in a lower cost of labor region where rural real estate values aren't as high as they are in the north east, appraisals on new homes are tough. For some HUD factories the way to increase sales is to build and code the home as a modular. The appraiser then is "required" to use local site built homes as comparables in the appraisal process. This gives the home the lift in value needed to sell what looks like a HUD home in a residential neighborhood. Many factories will charge $2,000 - $4,000 to build a HUD home to IRC standards but they can get a $10,000 - $20,000 bump on the appraisal.

The HUD-ular gets the benefit of the higher appraised value from being built to local code as modular. They then also get the ability to lower the site costs because the steel frame allows it to be set like a manufactured home. This can save $5,000 - $8,000 in foundation costs on home like is pictured. However, 99% of American identifies it as a double wide because it is setting on a stacked block pier foundation,the telltale sign for most.

It may help sell homes but this just confuses the consumer, the industry, and even building inspectors. It makes programs like the CAP from the MHBA have to work that much harder to get the message out about what modular means for mainstream construction of homes.

Anonymous said...

Mod or double wide regardless, the neighbors need to simmer down. With some skirting put on there and some landscape, it will be a lovely home!

Coach said...

I do not want to saying anything disparaging about this home as it is probably a very nice one inside. What concerns me is the terminology used. This is not a 'real' home built on a foundation like every house in the neighborhood. It has circumvented the IRC codes by using a different type of allowable'foundation. Putting skirting around this house will really make it look like a 'manufactured home'. The reporter using the term modular throughout this article is totally unfair to an entire industry that fights every day to let people know this type of house is not really a modular home.

"Hudular" may sound unfair and denigrating to the what this house is but it totally fits and these neighbors will probably lose their lawsuit.

Unknown said...

Had a similar conversion with a modular builder yesterday. It's a shame after all these years and education that the modular term is still misrepresented. When I was with Nationwide Homes, I created a video detailing the anatomy of the modular home to help with a common question from potential customers, "what's the difference between mod and manufactured?" Curious, I just checked the view count on the video, and it's the most viewed video in their library - over 18,000 views.

Anonymous said...

People get caught up in the "looks" of anything.. Its all about code unless covenants and restrictions for specific areas apply. By the looks of everything probably not the case here. Skirting, no skirting, whatever, if its built to the states building code (and if that is the requirement) and not HUD, it is what it is.. If they allow HUD in the area, thats fine to. The neighbors should have purchased the lot before anything was built. Sour grapes taste bad. Funny how these "groups" always get local government involved. All they can do is make sure codes, set backs, water and sewer are met as needed and they are done. Anyway, this stuff gets old.. Neighbors need to grow up or empty their pockets. Just because anyone doesn't like something, doesn't make it wrong...

TN MODULAR said...

I liked to see that video so I can use it as a marketing tool.
I come from the manufactured home side early in my career but have transitioned over to real crane set system built modular dwellings.
I Agee with Coach, a retailer may swim in the same lake but he doesn't have to drink it!