Frequently Asked Questions
Ask for Pricing
What is the difference between a trailer house and a Modular Home?
Modular homes and trailer houses (also called ‘Manufactured Housing’) are often put in the same category in people’s minds. They are completely different. Modular Homes are very similar to traditionally constructed homes, only they are built in a factory and delivered to the job site in large modules. They are built to the same building codes as site-built homes and are thoroughly inspected during construction by the factory’s quality assurance inspectors as well as a third-party agency to ensure complete code compliance. They then have the required labels affixed to each home to prove code compliance. All modular homes must be placed on permanent foundations.
In contrast, trailer houses (HUD code homes) are built on a trailer frames with axles under them. They are typically placed on concrete slabs and blocked up with dry stacked concrete blocks. They are built to a federal code which allows them to build them much cheaper and lighter-duty than local building codes allow. Because of this, trailer houses lose value quickly. These facts have rightfully given many people a low-class impression of trailer houses, and they are not permitted in some municipalities.
‘Modular Home’ or ‘Recreational Cabin’? What is the difference?
Recreational cabins are typically used for hunting camps, weekend retreats, etc. and are not primary residences. Some locations have code exemptions for these use types. For example: PA allows you to sign a form saying you will not use the cabin for your primary residence and it exempts you from all residential building codes. This form can be found here. This is a perfect fit for that cabin that you are using only a few times in the winter and you do not want to spend all the extra money to insulate it to the latest residential code requirements. It allows you to model your cabin as you like without working against minimum room sizes, bathroom clearances, heating system limitations, etc. However, if you plan to retire in this cabin some day, or sell it as a residence, build it as a Modular Home. Also, be aware that not all states allow Recreational Cabin exemptions.
Modular Homes are governed to the same codes as site-built homes. Each home includes a project-specific detailed drawing set to simplify your permit process. During construction, each home is inspected to ensure complete code compliance. The exterior walls are or 2×6 construction (versus 2×4 for Recreational Cabins) and the insulation values are higher in walls and ceiling. Your new home will be built to meet or exceed all the latest residential codes in your area.
How quick can I get my cabin?
This can vary with the size of the cabin and our workload at the time. Typical lead time is about 3-4 months from the time of signing a contract. During this time we create your custom house plans and order products. Meanwhile your order is put into a slot in our build schedule. Actual factory construction time is about three weeks.
How far do can you deliver your homes?
With the help of our dealer network we are building homes throughout the northeast. See our region map on the Ask for Pricing page. Tell us what area you wish to build your new home or weekend getaway and we will refer you to the closest dealership. The nearby dealer is your best choice as they are close by to look at your site access and coordinate delivery and set-up.
Can your floor plans be modified?
Definitely! We seldom build two cabins alike. We have designed many floor plans as suggestions. This allows us to provide full-package pricing, and provides a great starting place for your own custom design. Don’t see any plans that appeal to you? Have your own unique layout you love? We are glad to bring even a simple hand sketch to life! We are glad to draw your floor plan to scale and price it for you.
Are the exterior styles shown our only choices?
Just like the interior layout many of the exterior elements are also customizable. Steeper roofs, larger/additional porches, bump-out rooms, larger windows, and much more are possible. If you don’t see what you want, just ask. Some of our current designs were based off great customer ideas like your own.
What type of foundation do I need?
All our homes require a permanent foundation with footers below frost level. Many are installed on full basements, because it doubles the possible living space. Your other option is a crawl space foundation. The crawl space area allows access to the bottom of your home for plumbing connections, heating ducts and other utilities.
If you are purchasing a small Recreational Cabin that is not required to meet residential building codes you have a few more options. These tiny cabins have the option of being installed on concrete slabs. Even a crushed stone base is an option for shorter lengths. A crushed stone or concrete base will require a plumbing access pit under the bathroom area to connect the utilities. Any cabin over 16’ wide will require a minimum of a crawl space foundation, even if it is being used for recreational purposes.
See our Preparing Your Site page for more details.
What do your packages include?
We offer package deals that bring you basically everything above the foundation besides appliances, heating and furnishings. Here is a list of the major items:
- Entire exterior shell, including exterior preservative
- Fiberglass entry door(s) and double-hung windows with Low-E/Argon glass
- Insulation in walls & ceiling
- Knotty pine tongue & groove boards on the walls & ceiling throughout the interior – clear coated
- Yellow Pine flooring – finished with a first class aluminum-oxide finish
- Complete electrical package including ceiling fans, lights, breakers, etc.
- Bathroom(s) including fixtures as dictated by plans – toilets, showers/tubs, sinks/vanities, etc.
- Kitchens with laminate counter tops and double-bowl stainless steel sinks. The typical cabinets are constructed of Pine, but Hickory and Maple cabinets are also available.
- Solid knotty pine interior doors
What am I responsible for?
- Local building permits
- Excavation and driveway
- Foundation installation, including sill plates and porch/deck piers
- Well and septic system
- Electric connection to our installed panel box
- Plumbing connections below floor (water supply & drain pipes stubbed through floor below each fixture)
- Floor insulation.
- Exterior steps to porch / interior stairs to basement
- Roof gutters and downspouts
- Heating system (unless you add our electric baseboard heat option)
- Appliances (range hoods are included – over-range microwaves are optional)
- Furniture and window treatments
What is your price per square foot?
One of the big advantages of modular construction is the controlled cost, allowing us to give you an exact price of our entire package. For that reason we do not need to resort to ballpark figures like price per square foot. Your local dealer will gladly provide pricing for each of our floor plans, or create a quote for your custom design.
To give you a rough idea, we can take our total package prices and divide it by the living area square footage. This method shows a range of about $100 – $150 per square foot.
*Worthy of mention: When companies sell by the square foot they typically do not include any porch areas and charge an additional $30-$40 per square foot to add a porch (and everybody needs a porch!). The simple calculation we just did include the costs of our standard porch. It’s like getting a porch for free!
How much maintenance do the cabins require?
Just like any log home the exterior of our cabins require some maintenance. We apply a stain finish to the outside of your new cabin during construction. It is a semi-transparent stain to allow the beautiful natural-pine look show through. Over time the sun will slowly break down this exterior stain and a new treatment must be applied. This periodical treatment is typically needed at 3-5 year intervals, depending on the cabin’s exposure to direct sunlight.
Our interiors are a different story. There is virtually no maintenance to do to our knotty pine interiors or finished flooring.
How difficult is the re-staining process?
Re-staining the exterior of your cabin is fairly simple, and most of our customers do it themselves. If the surface is free of mildew you can simply wash the exterior down with a pressure washer. (If there is any indication of mildew you will also want to wash those areas with a bleach mixture or some type of mildew destroyer.) Then let the walls dry for a day and re-stain it. The stain can be applied with a large brush, or you can spray it onto the wall and back-brush it to eliminate runs & drips.
Can I buy the kit and assemble the cabin myself?
No. All our cabins and homes are built in our factory as modular units and delivered to your site. The completion of these modules on-site takes special equipment and knowledge. We send an experienced crew to your site to complete the process.
However, we can omit some parts of the package, such as eliminating the kitchen, bath fixtures, lighting fixtures or flooring if you wish to add your own touch.
What is required to place an order?
These terms are set by your local dealer. Most require a significant deposit to place a project into production (up to 50%). You will also need to sign an itemized price quote or purchase agreement. Prior to delivery of your cabin you are typically required to supply a second deposit. Typically a final payment of 10%-20% is due upon completion, and may need to be given to the installation crew before they leave the job site. If you are working with a bank or mortgage company, alternate terms may be considered if an acceptable letter from your lender is received promising financial responsibility for the project.
Do you provide financing?
No. As a manufacturer, we do not offer financing. Building a new cabin or home requires a Construction Loan, which means funds are released in stages as the project progresses. After construction is complete, it turns into a Conventional Mortgage. These loans can be applied for through your local bank or mortgage company. Or, ask your representative about reputable lenders near your job site.