Modular Home Ground Work
When buying a modular home the work that is done to complete your home falls in two categories, building of the modules in the factory and site work. Which sounds very similar to manufactured homes, but in fact it's very different. Site work consists of ground work and finish work. This article will cover the ground work which is identical to any stick built home.
The site work is generally pretty simple and goes quickly. First is the ground work which includes preparing for the electrical, water, telephone, cable and sewer or septic hookups. This is usually done at the same time the excavator is digging the hole for the foundation. Once this is done and the hole is dug foundation work begins.
The foundation normally consists of footings and foundation walls. Rarely other types of foundations are used like post and pier foundations. In the case of the common traditional foundation the contractor will start by framing for the footings. This is so easy and fast in many cases the contractor can pour concrete the same day. Next he will assemble the foundation panels for the walls and usually pour the next day. In most cases the walls can be stripped of the panels the following day.
Since concrete takes a few days to cure it is usually wise to backfill the foundation hole after a few days. This becomes a bigger issue the taller the foundation walls as example if they are for a basement. A lot of times the excavator will only backfill at the corners where the foundation is strongest. They must be especially careful on long straight sections of the walls to prevent cracking from the weight of backfilling.
If the home being built has a basement then the next step is for the plumber to complete the ground work inside the foundation. This includes building the waste water tree leading out of the home and the piping for water leading into the home. In the case of a basement this is usually covered by the basement concrete floor. In the case of a basement the last step is to build the framing walls needed to complete the downstairs area.
If instead of a basement the home sits on a crawl space it’s much easier and faster. Usually after the crawl space walls are finished the excavator is able to backfill right away.
Maybe the most exciting part of modular building is the next step, the setting of the home on the foundation. This normally is done using a crane and can be easily completed in a couple of hours.
In the same day after setting the modular units the contractor will ensure the newly set home is water tight by completing any roofing missing that could not be done in the factory. This mostly consists of the ridge vent and areas around the roof hinges if any. Once this is done the home is weather tight.
The ground work and foundation phase is normally pretty quick. Depending on home size and whether it’s a crawl space or basement this phase can take anywhere from a week to two weeks. Other factors that may slow things down are terrain conditions like slopes, rocky soil and heavy brush or trees.
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