You may feel like you are dressing up for your new modular home's arrival, but in fact, it is dressing up for your's. After your modular home has been set in place on its foundation and secured, there is still some finish work that must be completed even though your home is sealed tight and weather proof. These procedures are call "button up" procedures (referring to putting the final interior and exterior "dressings" on your home) as well as "tie in" procedures (which connects your home to needed utilities and services). Interior button up procedures include a few items. The walls where two modules connect, called marriage walls, will need some additional work such as completion of trim and installation of doors at those adjoining areas. Likewise, other areas of detail trim work may need to be finished around select areas like flooring baseboards, cabinetry locations, and stairwells.
Stairs themselves, while often constructed in the factory, must be connected between floors and finished off as well. Appliances will need to be fixed into place and hooked up to services; and some paint work on the interior will be needed to polish areas between adjacent modules and where additional trim is added. On the exterior, the degree of button up work varies.
In some cases, masonry needs to be completed such as chimneys, rock walls, and areas still in need of walkway and driveway completion. Also, siding installation may be needed in some places between modules to complete the design, or complete siding finished such as brick, stone, and stucco. While some homes do not require exterior painting on arrival, others require priming, painting or staining. And lastly, connections between a detached garage and the home and general landscaping measures need to be completed.
Tie up procedures connect all the town services to your house. While your house was being designed and constructed, sewage systems, water supply, and electrical connections were being arranged as well as HVAC systems. Once your modular home is set, all of these services must be connected to the home. Also, sprinkler system connections are also to be made at this time.
In part, a 4 foot crawl space or basement is needed so that the electrical and plumbing connections can be made from underneath your home. This is the reason why modular homes cannot be placed on concrete slab foundations. Licensed electricians, plumbers, and HVAC personnel complete tie ins before final inspections, and generally these services are provide the day of the set. This allows all the interior and exterior button work to be finished quickly by providing electrical and plumbing services to the home. By the time your modular home is set, 85 percent of the home is done, but the remaining 15 percent must be completed on site. Since a large part of the button up work is within the home, delays from weather are not an issue; and generally this process proceeds fairly quickly.
Within no time you will be tied in and buttoned up and ready to move into your new modular home.
Michael Zenga builds modular homes in the Boston, MA area. He founded ZN Custom Building, in 2002, which specializes in modular home construction. Known as the Modular Building Specialist, Michael is an unabashed advocate for the industry and contributes related articles to many publications.