Monday, December 4, 2017

New Modular Home Factory Opening in Montana

Tru-Home Montanta, a new modular construction startup company in Missoula aims to bring European-style efficiency and cost-savings to residential and commercial building projects in the Northwest by assembling homes and other buildings in the controlled environment of its 26,0000-square-foot facility in Bonner.

The buildings then will be shipped via flatbed truck and dropped with a crane onto a pre-arranged slab.

Jason DeCunzo co-founded Tru-Home Montana with his business partner Eric Gabster, and they plan to start working on contracts in January. Building indoors makes the process more efficient, faster, provides better quality control, saves the customer money and cuts down on waste, he said.

“It’s up to 30 percent faster than traditional building methods in the field,” he said. “From the time somebody signs a contract to the time they are living in it can be 90 days.”

DeCunzo also said the process allows them to cut down on wasted materials.

“We can have less than 7 percent waste on a project, and in some cases less than 4 percent. The traditional waste at an on-site construction project can be as much as 15 percent," he said.

The company is under contract to build a new headquarters within the next two years in the west log yard adjacent to the former mill site. So far, it has about a dozen contracts and expects to start building its first one in January using a temporary warehouse. All its projects will meet International Residential Code standards, and they can even meet LEED-certified environmentally friendly standards.

This type of construction method has been used on the East Coast and in the southern United States for many decades, but it really began in Europe about 80 years ago, DeCunzo said.

“At least 30 percent of Scandinavian projects are built the modular way,” he said.

“Especially bathrooms. They build the wall components off-site and then the bathrooms are craned into position. So there’s a lot of legitimacy and standardization with this process.”

Missoula County was recently awarded $45,000 from the Montana Department of Commerce’s Big Sky Trust Fund job creation grant program to help Tru-Home create six new high-paying jobs within the first year in Missoula. DeCunzo said he hopes to employ 36 people within five years.

1 comment:

Sam Fagan said...

I have been hearing this for over 20 years. I was even involved in assembling some homes back in the 90's in prep for the big modular boom. Yes it all makes sense and seems logical. Problem is, Americans arent logical. Modulars are glorified mobile homes and double wides in the eyes of the most Americans and for that reason, modulars will always be a distant secondary market from stick built homes. Just my opinion from experience