Few Limitations Exist for Modular Home Locations.
Modular construction is a great way to build your new custom home. However, too often there are misconceptions that prevent potential home buyers from switching to modular. Many home buyers live in a remote area with narrow roads, bridges, and tight turns. Others can live in an urban area that features parked cars, narrow streets, and power lines.
The general consensus is that all of these areas are not fit for a modular build home. However, they do not realize that very few home sites are truly inaccessible. The modular home industry has grown and has created equipment that can adapt to any location, and turn the impossible into possible.
Finding the right Module
A module is a large “box” or section of a modular home. This is the base of you house. There are a variety of module sizes to ensure that it can fit into your area.
Modules can come in units of 12, 14, and 16 feet wide. Some module sections can be as wide as 20 feet depending on the area of the country you are in.
A home’s length can vary. Smaller homes have modules that are 28 feet long and possibly smaller. Larger homes can have modules that extend to 76 feet long.
These modules can run as small as 12’X28’ and as big as 20’X76’. No matter the size, length, or width, there is a module that can fit onto your property.
Challenges when moving a module
There are going to be obstacles, and other issues when installing the perfect module. Below are typical challenges that movers may see.
- Overgrown trees
- Low powerlines
- Telephone poles
- Road signs
- Tight turns
- Sharp curves
Tools and equipment to help modular sections navigate challenges
The industry has been very inventive and has developed tools and equipment to help large modular sections navigate around or over almost every one of these items.
A home is pulled on the highway and to the home site with a specialized truck known as a Toter truck. Toters can be mistaken for semi-trailer tractors, however, the specific hitch and coupling make them designed to transport large modules. When being pulled on the main highways Toter trucks usually have tandem axles and large bodies making the ride smooth for traveling the longer distances.
However, on side streets and rural roads their length can limit maneuvering ability. Smaller, single axle Toters with specialized hitches that can move in multiple directions can make getting modules to a home site much easier.
House Cat or Tug
Another solution for tight turns and areas is the house cat. A house cat is basically a mini bulldozer that is remote controlled. An operator controls the miniature unit that is actually very heavy but very nimble.
It can make very sharp turns in very tight areas. Because of its weight and tracks, it is also very good at getting modular sections up steep hills and mountains. While it may move slowly, speed isn’t the consideration when it comes to getting a house’s modules to the site location.
Carriers are specialized trailers that hold the modular home. These are connected to the Toter for traveling. The modules are lifted on and off of the carriers by cranes.
A Translift is a machine that is basically a steel L-beam on tracks. This machine can be maneuvered under a modular carrier to lift it and then move the carriers from side to side. While it doesn’t have the range of motion that a Jade has, it is faster to get into position when all that is needed is a little help to get around a tight turn.
A Jade is a piece of equipment that attaches to the rear of the frame of the carrier used to transport a module to a home site. The wheels of the Jade are remote controlled and the piece of equipment can also lift the carrier vertically. This machine allows an operator to have an extreme range of motion when navigating bends, curves, and turns with long modules.
While they are not a tool or piece of equipment, the process would not be complete without expert drivers. Knowing how to drive Toters, translifts and other equipment is a valuable skill and the best drivers can maneuver tight areas, and get your module where it needs to be.
Even with all of this specialized equipment, there a few occasions when a road is too narrow to travel or a bridge isn’t rated for the weight of a module. In those unique instances a modular home can’t be delivered to the home site thereby eliminating the use of modular construction for a new custom home.
Modular Homes are built to be moved
Modular homes are structurally built to withstand a long journey to the final location. It is designed to be lifted with a crane using as little as two straps or cables and placed gently on the foundation. Resting on a foundation is about the easiest thing the modular home has to do. For stick-built homes, resting on the foundation is the toughest challenge.
When working with stick-built homes, these properties are made on the site. Unlevel ground, an uneasy ladder, or mud that hardens overnight can change the structure of the house. Modular homes are built off of the location and are built on steady and consistent ground.
The engineering behind the modular home design that is needed to insure the modular home can take the trip to every home, no matter the location engrains a stronger presence. How much better will you can feel knowing your family is protected every day in a home that was built to meet the rigors required of a modular home?
Taking Advantage of Modular Solutions
Buying modular over stick-built just makes sense. You are buying a home that is not designed in the weather, but designed to withstand the weather. The delivery from expert drivers, using certified equipment ensures an easier move and build than homeowners realize.
Very few limitations exist when designing a home that will be built using modular construction. A professional builder that really understands construction and the modular method will evaluate a complex home project to determine how best to build it. In those few rare instances where a home’s unique design can’t use modular construction, it can be provided cost effectively using another building system.