The world of prefab and modular homes.
 Entries tagged as 'manufacturer'

Yankee Barn Homes

Link to Yankee Barn Homes

info_smallYankee Barn Homes in New Hampshire designs and builds custom post & beam homes nationwide using prefabricated elements.

We ... construct the wood framed True Wall, and True Roof panels, along with specialty millwork, in the protected, controlled environment of our workshop. We build everything that is practical in our shop, then pack the Yankee Barn for shipment to the site.

The Yankee Barn is raised on site and enclosed usually in twelve to seventeen days depending on the project size.


Our prefabricated approach to building allows our customers to design and build a custom home with all the latest energy efficient options and still manage to save money by shortening the construction time on their site.

More about the company:

Worth a look: Why they use True Panels instead of SIPs.

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Live Xtremely Green: the XtremeHomes blog

Link to Live Xtremely Green: the XtremeHomes blog

I wandered over to the info_smallXtremeHomes site the other day and found that they are now writing a blog:

A brief collection of thoughts on the growth of the green building industry. What's real, what's not and what people are expecting.

Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

company: info_smallXtremeHomes

Related Posts:
   1. XtremeHomes: modular building the green way (Aug 10, 2007)
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Empyrean's Acorn and Deck House

Link to Empyrean's Acorn and Deck House

We've previously discussed info_smallEmpyrean International in relation to the modernist info_smallNextHouse. Empyrean also offers two other styles:

Deck House and Acorn both feature open plans, walls of glass, and soaring volume spaces. Both are custom designed for the customer and the site.

The Deck House product features post and beam construction, with exposed Douglas fir beams, wooden ceilings, mahogany windows and trim work....The gently sloping roofs of Deck House feature large overhangs that often give the house a very Prairie or Craftsman style appearance.

Acorns are modified post and beam houses, but most of the structure is not exposed. Featuring expansive walls of Pella windows, steep roofs, and traditional interior trim themes; the interior surfaces in an Acorn are more often painted for a sparkling interior. Acorn exteriors draw on the best of American architectural traditions, updated with superb contemporary detailing.....

The typical price range of both brands is $200 - $250 per square foot.

Empyrean designs each house individually; homeowners can choose to modify an existing floorplan or start from scratch.

The company has been building prefabs since the 1960's. From the Empyrean site:

Deck House, Inc., was founded in 1959 by William Berkes, a graduate of Harvard University School of Design. Having pioneered other building systems, he founded Deck House, Inc. in order to provide top quality post and beam houses to upscale professional families...

Acorn Structures was founded in 1947 by MIT architect, John Bemis, another pioneer in the science of pre-engineering technology and custom design. As a renowned leader in energy conservation and active solar designs, the Acorn product become widely recognized in the 1980's as a "thinking person's" custom home, with the company's architecture relating to several traditional American architectural idioms, while still being devoted to energy efficient design...

In 1995, Deck House, Inc. acquired Acorn, and the two companies consolidated their manufacturing and corporate facilities into a combined 150,000 square foot facility.

model: Deck House
style: traditional, post and beam

model: Acorn
style: traditional

Related Posts:
   1. Empyrean International launches new website (Apr 07, 2008)
   2. Empyrean and the NextHouse (Apr 20, 2007)
2 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model method manufacturer Empyrean company NextHouse

Modular homes on Cool Stuff Being Made (with video)

The National Association of Manufacturers has a pretty nifty series of blog posts and accompanying videos of "stuff being made". This week, they focus on Excel Modular Homes of Liverpool Pennsylvania:

Ed Langley, the company's president and CEO, gives us a tour of the operations starting with sales and moving through design and construction....

Lots of construction techniques and philosophies that were new to us. And, it really is a good website with very detailed information -- videos of a modular home being "set," i.e., put in place, here, for example. The home goes up in hours!

Visit the original post for the link to the video. It's long, but shows many details of the modular home manufacturing process.

length: >15 mins
publication: Pennsylvania Cable Network via National Association of Manufacturers

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Modern Modular videos on

Link to Modern Modular videos on

TV meets the Web. Bob Vila's website includes a library of short video clips from the show's Modern Modular series.

Modular Home Construction and Site Preparation
Building a Modular Home
A Visit to the Berkshires
Site and Foundation Preparation
Modular Construction Details and Foundation Work
Precast Concrete Foundation Installation
Modular Home Construction Basics
Factory-Cast Foundation Details
Modular Construction, Wiring, and Drywall
Simplex Modular Home Factory Tour
High-Speed Drywall Finishing
Custom Modular Staircase Construction
Interior and Exterior Finishes on a Modular Home
Kitchen Cabinet Styling and Installation
Prefinished Wood Floors in Modular Home
Windows and Board-and-Batten Engineered Siding
Quartz Countertops
Assembling a Modular Home
Modular Home Delivery
Tying Together a Modular Home
Second Floor Module Installation
Preparing the Site for a Modular Home Delivery
Delivery Day Overview
Shake Roof and Stone Facade for Modular Home
Backfilling the Foundation and Deck Supports
Composite Shake Shingles
Titanium UDL Roof Underlayment
Cultured Stone Facade
Securing the Modular Marriage Walls
Master Bedroom for Modular Home
Panelized Cedar Shingles, a Metal Roof, and The Mount
Cedar Shake and Clapboard Siding
Metal Roofing
Edith Wharton'™s "The Mount"
Metal Roof Crimping
Direct Vent Heat and Composite Deck Materials
Crown Molding Installation
Direct-Vent Fireplace Installation
Composite Deck Installation
Composite Deck Railing Installation
Energy Efficient Heat, Column Deck Supports, and The Mount
Exterior Elements on Modular Home
Modular Home Front Porch
Cultured Stone Rear Facade on Modular Home
Exterior Columns for Support and Decoration
Gardens at The Mount
Multi-Zone HVAC System
Tankless Hot Water Heater
Berkshires Architecture, Shakespeare & Co, and Structured Wiring
Interior Tour of Modular Home
Structured Wiring Explained
The Gilded Cottages of the Berkshire Hills
Shakespeare & Company Tour
Elm Court's Shingle-Style Architecture

Show: Home Again: Modern Modular (at
Network: DIY Network
Length: 58 clips (from 13 episodes)

Also worth a mention: Bob Vila has his own blog, On The Level. Check it out!

Related Posts:
   1. More modular on Home Again (Oct 03, 2007)
   2. Bob Vila's Home Again goes modular (Sep 26, 2007)
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West Coast Green: Altamont Homes and understanding the process

Link to West Coast Green: Altamont Homes and understanding the process

I learn new things about the prefab business every day. Altamont Homes is a builder of modular homes throughout the West. The company had representatives at West Coast Green. Also at their booth was a representative from Details, a manufacturer of modular homes.

In the time I've been reading and writing about prefab housing, I haven't fully understood the relationship between those two entities until the relationship was explained to me by Craig Rosenberg of Details.

Basically it works like this: the homeowner goes to a "builder" (in this case, Altamont) and wants to build a house. Altamont shares a number of design options with the homeowner, ranging from small, inexpensive homes, to larger and more finely detailed homes. The home designs they are sharing are sourced from a number of "manufacturers" around the country (in this case Details is one of many that Altamont buys from).

Altamont is responsible for interacting with you, completing site work, securing permits (sometimes that falls to the homeowner), setting the home and completing site work. Details is responsible for the modules that are shipped to your site. The way that Craig Rosenberg from Details explained it to me:

"Some manufacturers supply products like doors or faucets; it just happens in our case that the product we supply is the entire home."

Details designs the homes that they offer to different builders, whether Altamont or another builder. The arrangement allows Altamont to offer a wide range of product choices to their customers. For instance, the Details models are all LEED-certified and highly energy-efficient; they generally end up costing ~$275/sf installed. Altamont offers other, non-LEED options from other manufacturers for less than half that cost.

The key point is that the builder and manufacturer are two different entities, with two different specialities:
Builders: expertise in site work, permit process, setting and finishing home
Manufacturers: expertise in designing and manufacturing the home modules

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green: other prefab (Oct 15, 2007)
   2. West Coast Green round-up (Oct 02, 2007)
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The top modular builders

Link to The top modular builders

Last year, Builder Magazine released a list of the top 31 modular builders (pdf) in the United States.

I've put the data in the top chart above. As can be seen, a few large companies build the majority of modular homes. In case you don't recognize the shape of the curve: it's a classic "powerlaw" distribution known as Zipf's Law and discussed in the business bestseller The Long Tail. All sorts of data show the same shape, including book sales, blog traffic, and word usage in any language.

The second chart shows revenue per home for each company. There is lots of variation in this chart. It might be interesting to research this variation at some point. One likely factor: companies that sell direct vs. wholesale. Any other thoughts?

Fleetwood Enterprises builds a number of products, including recreational vehicles, so their revenues reflect revenue sources other than the modular homes shipped, accounting for the large discrepancies in the data.

Below, you can see a table that shows all of the data charted above for each company.

Company (rank)HomesRevenue ($m)Revenue per home
Champion Enterprises (1)46531365$293,359
CMH Manufacturing (2)31661328$419,457
Palm Harbor Homes (3)1614711$440,520
Muncy Homes (4)134685$63,150
Excel Homes (5)1200111$92,500
Ritz-Craft Corp. (6)84991$107,185
Professional Building Systems (7)78158$74,264
Royal Concrete Concepts (8)60068$113,333
Liberty Homes (9)55297$175,725
Pleasan Street Homes (10)52657$108,365
Patriot Homes (11)490151$308,163
Crestline Homes (12)48036$75,000
Simplex Industries (13)45245$99,558
R-Anell Housing Group (14)40842$102,941
Stratford Homes (15)37535$93,333
New England Homes (16)35027$77,143
American Homestar Corp. (17)341111$325,513
Four Seasons Housing (18)32084$262,500
Handcrafted Homes (19)30728$91,205
Westchester Modular Homes (20)30530$98,361
Fleetwood Enterprises (21)2612145$8,218,391
Unibilt Industries (22)25322$86,957
Integrity Building Systems (23)24722$89,069
Penn Lyon Homes Corp. (24)23032$139,130
Oxford Homes (25)22015$68,182
Deluxe Building Systems (26)16533$200,000
Barvista Homes (27)12515$120,000
Custom Building Systems (28)12111$90,909
Heritage Homes of Nebraska (29)12114$115,702
Manufactured Housing Enterprises (30)10610$94,340
Epoch Homes (31)10014$140,000

Related Posts:
   1. Epoch Homes nominated for SBANE award (May 26, 2009)
   2. Epoch Homes factory tours this weekend in NH (May 15, 2009)
   3. The NAHB on Systems-Built Housing (Jul 27, 2007)
   4. NAHB Modular Home Manufacturer Directory (Jul 20, 2007)
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XtremeHomes: modular building the green way

Link to XtremeHomes: modular building the green way

We recently reported on the info_smallmkLotus show house from info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs. Modular builder info_smallXtremeHomes will be fabricating the mkLotus at their factory in Oroville, CA.

"XtremeHomes provides a diverse array of architectural styles from ultra-modern to highly detailed alpine homes. Our product offerings address a variety of consumers with our entry level Neighborhood Series™, to an XtremeCustom™ home or a house from one of our Signature Series™ architects. Through its ongoing research and development, XtremeHomes focuses on ways to produce homes with less environmental impact, that are more energy efficient, are healthier and of higher quality. XtremeHomes, an Energy Star® partner, endeavors to build all of its houses to Energy Star®, LEED® and Build It Green® standards."

XtremeHomes will be a part of the West Coast Green building conference in September.

As an aside, are we the first to link to their (new?) Web site? This post should help get them into the Google results:

Related Posts:
   1. Live Xtremely Green: the XtremeHomes blog (Jan 17, 2008)
   2. West Coast Green: pieceHomes (Oct 01, 2007)
   3. CNET visits the XtremeHomes factory (Sep 07, 2007)
   4. This week: XtremeHomes visit, JoT, Lot-ek, and more (Sep 01, 2007)
   5. The mkLotus show house (Jul 19, 2007)
   6. West Coast Green Conference (Jul 18, 2007)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green MKD manufacturer XtremeHomes mkLotus

Empyrean and the NextHouse

Link to Empyrean and the NextHouse

info_smallEmpyrean designer Joel Turkel has provided his own take on modernist prefab for the Dwell Homes. All three sizes of the info_smallEmpyrean NextHouse feature wood siding and large windows, with somewhat traditional layouts. According to Business Week:

Empyrean's home, dubbed NextHouse and designed by architect Joel Turkel, centers on a core-like space with a stretch of wall and window that extends through both levels of the house, so someone on the first floor can see up to the second. Despite the openness of the plan, private spaces are tucked into the opposite sides of the central living room. The master bedroom includes a roof deck.

size: 2,728sf
additional square footage (decks, basement): 1,372sf
bedrooms: 3
bathrooms: 2.5

size: 3,100sf
additional square footage (decks, basement): 2,070sf
bedrooms: 4
bathrooms: 2.5

size: 3,117sf
additional square footage (decks, basement): 2,109sf
bedrooms: 4
bathrooms: 3

All models feature:
primary materials: wood siding, wood windows, wood decking

In addition to the new Dwell Homes line, Empyrean has more traditional options in their product line. Look for a post on those soon!

Articles and blog posts about the homes from Empyrean: A great site tracking the progress of a model NextHouse. And a similar blog that follows the construction of the first NextHouse.

Related Posts:
   1. Empyrean International launches new website (Apr 07, 2008)
   2. Tour an Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley: March 27, 29-30 (Mar 11, 2008)
   3. Empyrean's Acorn and Deck House (Nov 16, 2007)
   4. This week: prefab concepts, debate, and more (Aug 25, 2007)
   5. Dwell Magazine, Dwell Homes (Apr 17, 2007)
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