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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR THE MODULAR PROCESS

Here are some answers to your questions about our modular homes and some questions you may not have thought of. If you have additional questions or need assistance please don't hesitate to give us a call at 207-594-3079.

 


 

General Information Questions:

1. Question: What are the benefits of a modular home?
Answer: Modular homes are structurally stronger, more energy efficient, built in  a controlled environment and they are faster and generally less expensive.

2. Question: Who completes the local work?
Answer: You can hire us as the general contractor for the entire project, or you can hire your own contractors. If you decide to hire your own contractors it is up to you to coordinate with them for all completion work. We can provide how to do your own button up information for your contractors. BUTTON UP INCLUDES: EXTERIOR SIDING AND TRIM INSTALLATION, INTERIOR BUTTON UPS, SHEETROCK INSTALLATION, ELECTRICAL TIE-INS, PLUMBING AND HEATING HOOK-UPS, FRONT STEPS AND SIDE STEPS, BASEMENT STAIRS, DUMPSTER , INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR CLEAN UP.

3. Question: Who completes the earthwork?
Answer: Depending on the distance of your project from our office we can handle the full project from the ground up, or you can hire your own contractors to do all the earthwork.  EARTHWORK INCLUDES: EXCAVATION/ BACKFILL/ ROUGH GRADE/ PREP FOR FOUNDATION – HAULING MATERIALS, FILLING, CLEARING and GRUBBING THE LOT.

4. Question: How can we get more information?
Answer: There are several ways to receive floor plans and information. Our website which is
www.rockporthomesmaine.com, or www.keisermaine.com. Go to an open house. Call 207-594-3079 to have brochures and information mailed to you.

5. Question: What are our office hours?
Answer: We are open Monday through Friday 8:30 to 5:00 and evenings and Saturdays by appointment. 

 6. Question: Once we have received the information, what is the next step?
Answer: Once you have received the information, please take the time to thoroughly read everything. Then if you would like to have what we call a design/price consultation, please call the office to set that up. If it is a stock plan, an estimate can be given during the design price consultation however, if there is any customizing done to a stock plan or if it is a complete custom plan, it can take anywhere from 1 week to 4 weeks to get a price.

7. Question: What do you need in order to order a house?
Answer: You must have a plot survey and or copy of your deed and a solid closing date (in some cases have closed on your construction loan) from your bank, in order to put the house into the 6-8 full business week factory production schedule. But since you need the floor plans to get the building permit, you must first make an appointment to come in to put a deposit down to get the contract started and prepare the paperwork for the bank. Immediately following that appointment, you can bring our paperwork with our rough floor plan to the bank and we start the plans that will be needed to build the home. The plans can take approximately 4-6 weeks to complete which is also the time it usually takes for a bank to give an unconditional commitment letter and a closing date. At the same time when you apply for your building permit, you come in to pick out your colors, and put the contract into place. Then once you have closed on your construction loan or have a solid closing date, we put your house into the 6 – 8 week production schedule at the factory. ALL TIMES QUOTED ARE APPROXIMATE AND CAN VARY DEPENDING ON THE TIME OF YEAR, THE FACTORY PRODUCTION SCHEDULE BACKLOG, MARKET DEMAND AND HOLIDAYS.

8. Question: How much of a down payment do you require? (Not to be confused with the 5% - 20% down for the bank)
Answer: We require 10% of the cost of the home once you have provided us with a letter of commitment from the bank. The deposit is to get the home ordered and acquire a factory production date. Stock floor plans do not require a separate deposit, but custom plans and site evaluations may involve a separate deposit that goes towards the purchase of the home.

9. Question: Is the deposit for the plans?
Answer: No, The deposit is on the modular home. We are not in the business of just doing plans. We expect that when you come in for the appointment to put the initial deposit down, that you have done all your shopping and that you understand that the deposit is for the modular home and not just for plans.

10. Question: Do we have to have land to come in for a private consultation?
Answer: It is always best to have land already, or to have a piece of land under agreement, in order to do a more accurate design/price consultation.  Please refer to our website www.rockporthomesmaine.com for land/home packages available.

11. Question: Do we help you in finding land?
Answer: .  Many people come to us already owning their land or they come to us with a piece of land in mind. We would recommend that you go to a local full time broker, preferably one who specializes in land or new construction, to help you find land. Contact us to see what we may have available for land or land home packages.

12. Question: Why are the stock plans less expensive? Are the construction specs different?
Answer: The major construction specs are the same as far as 2x6 constructions and 16 on center framing, however there are some other minor differences. Please ask your designer for more information. However, the main reason why they are less expensive is because the factory uses these designs to be competitive.

13. Question: Who applies for the building permit?
Answer: We fill out the paper work for you that applies to the modular home. Then we mail you the package or you can pick it up. You submit it to the building department. Then you pick it up when it is ready and pay for it.

14. Question: What about warranties?
Answer: There are three separate warranties. First there are the third party warranties for all of the products used in the homes, for example the appliances and window manufacturers have their own warranties. Second there is a warranty from the factory for one year. Third Keiser Industries includes a separate 10 year structural warranty.

15. Question: The model home is beautiful, but can I also see a house being installed or more in the rough under construction, or see a home closer to our style? Can we drive by some of your houses?
Answer:  Visit our open house model home. In addition, we may have spec houses available for you to see. You can even tour the factory located in Oxford, Maine.  You may also visit the factory while your home is being constructed at the factory. 

16. Question: Do you have any references?
Answer: If you go to our website at
www.rockporthomesmaine.com and click on Testimonials you will see unsolicited testimonials from our customers. Additional references are provided upon request.

17. Question: How long have you been in business and what are your credentials?
Answer: We have been designing and building modular homes for over 12 years. We started in 1997 as designers of Custom Modular Homes. We have been in the land developing and the building industry for over 30 years.  We own and operate our own Earthwork Business and have (3) Maine Certified Wastewater disposal system installers.

18. Question: How many homes have you done up to now?
Answer: Keiser Homes is one of the largest and oldest modular designer builders in Maine. We have built well over 300 homes to date.

19. Question: What makes you better than the rest?
Answer: High specs, low prices, and the stability and the experience of a long running modular company. We were here 12 years ago and we plan to be here for many years to come because we love designing and building modular homes. Our staff has had years of VERY HARD - TO - FIND MODULAR EXPERIENCE.
20. Question: Do you do additions?
Answer: Yes, we do many stick built and modular additions, garages, porches, decks, sheds, etc. All additions are pre-priced and can be included with your modular home contract.  Our prices are contracted so there are no surprises.

Costs Questions:

21. Question: What does the price include?
Answer: The price includes freight, flag cars, crane, taxes, kitchen cabinets, carpet, linoleum, bathroom fixtures, custom computer designed plans, and a 10 year structural warranty.

22. Question: What other cost do we need to figure?
Answer: You should figure 45-55K or more for all the local work depending on the size and the style of the house, PLUS excavation, septic and well or town water and sewer. (Duplex homes will be higher due to doubling of utilities)

23. Question: What does the local work include?
Answer: It includes: the foundation, electrical, plumbing, heating hook up, boiler and button up. It does NOT include excavation, septic system and well or town water and sewer.

24. Question: How much should I figure for excavation, town water and sewer or an average well and septic?
Answer: Generally the average cost to hook up to town water and sewer is $1000 - $2000 each from your property line to your foundation (not into the street). However the average combined cost of a well and septic can be $12,000 - $15,000 which would be on an average $5,000-$6,000 for a well and $7000 - $10,000 for a septic. HOWEVER THIS CAN VARY GREATLY DEPENDING ON YOUR LAND. To get more accurate figures on your septic please bring us a septic system design and we will be happy to price your system.

25. Question: What about the cost of options such as hardwood floors, fireplaces, farmer's porches etc.?
Answer: The price of any option you choose will be given during your design / price consultation and / or included in your estimate. Any option you can get with a conventional stick built home you can also get with modular: for example: fireplaces, whirlpools, cathedral ceilings, farmers porches, hardwood floors, ceramic tile, wood siding, upgraded kitchen cabinets, corian or granite countertops, higher roof pitches, dormers etc.

26. Question: Will we be able to get a price on the local work?
Answer: Yes, we can provide you with an estimate so you can decide if you want to hire our contractors or hire your own.

27. Question: So what are the costs we need to figure? Can you summarize that again?
Answer: There are four major components to the pricing of any modular home. The first component is the price of the modular. The second component is the cost of the local work. And the third component is the cost of excavation, septic and well. The fourth is options not included standard in the modular price; such as hardwood floors, fire places, Jacuzzis etc…

28. Question: What about unknowns?
Answer: The only unknowns in building modular or traditionally are basically 3. The excavation, the well and the septic to some degree. No custom builder stick or modular, can guarantee in advance of these unknowns. However, once you have a septic system design drawn by your engineer we can provide you with a price for the system based on the design and your site. The well and the excavation will remain an unknown until they are attempted due to unknown conditions like ledge or ledge removal. However, the other local work costs like button up or tie-in pricing are more predictable.

29. Question: How much do you charge per square foot?
Answer: We price by design, which is much more precise than by the square foot. However, for conversation sake, most of our homes run in the $60 - $90 per square foot range-for 2 x 6 construction. The larger the house the less the per square foot cost will be. For example basic 4 box colonials are in the $60’s to 80’s per square foot. This means that on an average 2,500 sq foot colonial this could be a substantial savings if a conventional builder is charging $100 psf, which is the average going rate, in some areas.

30. Question: Why is the per square foot prices less, for larger homes?
Answer: The more house you buy, the less the per square foot price is. The reason for this is that there is an economy of scale with modular homes. There are certain costs that remain constant when you build a modular, such as freight and certain overhead costs. In other words, it costs the same to ship 4 small sections of a house as it does to ship 4 large sections of a house.

31. Question: How much are garages?
Answer: Garages are built locally and the cost ranges from $20,000 - $25,000 from ground up (concrete slab, frost walls, pad for garage) for conventional roof (5/12 or 7/12 pitch truss roof) and $30,000 – $35,000 for 12/12-roof pitch with unfinished bonus room above the garage depending on size and specifications.

32. Question: How much is a farmers porch?
Answer: $40 - $50 psf depending on the design and style of the porch. Take the length of the porch (or house) times the width of the porch times $45.00. For example 40 (the length) x 5 (the width) = 200sf x $45 psf = $9,000.

Construction Specification Questions:

33. Question: How are your houses built?
Answer: 2x6 exterior construction 16” o.c. framing. See standards specifications @ www.keisermaine.com. We are able build a GREEN MODULAR HOME. Ask your designer for more information.

34. Question: Don't you get stress cracks with modular?
Answer: You will get stress cracks because sheetrock is the weakest medium in the construction, of course this is not structural, this is cosmetic and it is part of the modular process. After the house is set, whoever is doing the local button up takes care of the stress cracks. However over time you will have less stress cracks than you would have with a conventionally built house. The reason for this is because the sheathing and sheetrock are glued to the studs and the ceiling joists and this restricts the movement of materials with expansion, contraction and moisture.

35. Question: Are the houses pre-wired and does the electrical panel come with the house?
Answer: The houses come pre-wired with the switches and outlets in place. The panel with the circuit breakers is attached in one of the modules and the other module(s) have home run wires that the local electrician connects. This is a line item in the Local Work price.

36. Question: Does the boiler come with modular homes?
Answer: The modular homes come with the heating baseboard elements installed and stubbed through the floor. The heating connections of all the baseboard elements below the floor joists and the boiler needs to be done locally. The boiler and the heating connections will be included as part of your Local Work price as a separate line item called Plumbing & Heating connections.

Customizing and Options Questions:

37. Question: Can I custom design a floor plan?
Answer: Yes, almost any design is possible.

38. Question: Do you charge for custom designing?
Answer: We offer custom computer designing for all of our stock floor plans and our custom designed floor plans included in the price of our homes. However, if you add materials, i.e. door, windows, additional footage, you pay for the additional materials.

39. Question: Can the specials also be customized?
Answer: Our specials when offered can only be very slightly modified. However, most options can be added to the specials, i.e. extra windows, islands, fireplaces, cathedral ceilings, hardwood floors, etc. You must speak or meet with a designer for more specific information.

40. Question: What about the options such as hardwood floors, fireplaces, farmer's porches etc....?
Answer: Any option you can get with a conventional stick built home you can also get with modular: for example: fireplaces, whirlpools, cathedral ceilings, farmers porches, hardwood floors, ceramic tile, wood siding, upgraded kitchen cabinets, corian or granite countertops, higher roof pitches, dormers etc.

41. Question: Do you have a list of all of your options?
Answer: No, but any option you may be thinking about you can discuss with your designer at your design price consultation and then it will be included in your estimate.

Timing Questions:

42. Question: How soon can we get a home?
Answer: If you could order a house today, it would be here in approximately 6-8 full business weeks, excluding a few days for holidays. We can only order a house after we have a building permit and you have a solid closing date from your bank, or have closed on your construction loan.

43. Question: Is that all it takes? Only 6 weeks to 8 weeks?
Answer: It takes only 6 – 8 weeks to build the house in the factory excluding days for holidays.  Then we install the modulars with the crane in one day.  HOWEVER , from the day it is installed, you need to figure a MINIMUM of 4 to 6 weeks to move in.  For some houses it may take even longer.

44. Question: Why does it take so long after the house is set?
Answer: Because we have to do finish button up and local work, and also rough, and final inspections of both local electrical and plumbing. Then we must tie into the water and sewer or septic. The work cannot be done in parallel, but needs to be done sequentially, with gaps in between for such things as, inspections, and utilities.

45. Question: How long does it take to get an estimate once we have sat down for a design/price consultation?
Answer: If it is a stock plan, an estimate can be given during the design price consultation however, if there is any customizing done to a stock plan or if it is a complete custom plan, it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 weeks to get an estimate.

Financing Questions:

46. Question: Do we have to buy the land first?
Answer: No, you can put as little as 5% down including the cost of the land with a construction loan. In fact, it is not advisable to buy the land first with a land loan, because you will incur two closing costs. One is for the land loan and the other for the construction loan later on.

47. Question: Do you recommend any banks?
Answer: Yes, we have lenders that we suggest for our construction loans, who specialize in modular construction loans. The contact information will be included in your brochures or you may call the office for more information to be faxed or e -mailed or given over the phone.

48. Question: Do we have to go with those lenders?
Answer: No, you can go with any lender that does construction loans, and especially modular construction loans. We can talk to the lender of your choice to be sure that we are both in agreement as to how the disbursements will be made. If the disbursements are not done properly your project will be delayed and become problematic. We highly recommend that you use our recommended lenders.