Modular Home Exterior Tasks

Once your modular home is set on the foundation, There are a number of items on the exterior of the home that need to be completed by subcontractors. These tasks can not be completed at the factory and require site completion. These Items need to be finished on site for your modular home: basement stairs and railing; foundation windows and doors; garages; breezeways; foundation finishes; porches and decks; siding and exterior wall finishes; chimneys and dog houses; soffit and fascia.

Exterior Construction Tasks

Anything outside of the exterior walls, roof and floor of a modular home will require completion on site. Modular home factories will install siding, exterior electrical outlets and switches (garage walls), Lolly Columns, porches and decks on endwalls if possible, chimneys and doghouses for fireplaces. Depending on the design of the design and width of your modules, completed tasks will vary from home to home.

Modular Home Basement Stairs

Basement stairs can be supplied and shipped loose by the manufacuter, purchaced locally or constructed on site. I recomend that the stairs be constructed with precut stair stringers purchased locally. The reason being is to insure the correct hieght to match up between the basement floor and the first floor of the modular. If you order preassembled stairs, they will need to be placed in the modular home's basement before the house is set.

If you are acting as your own general contractor or decide installing the stairs is your responsibility, ordering the stairs locally is a much more prudent decision.

Basement Windows and Doors

The modular home factory can provide the windows and doors for your home home. These windows and doors would be considered ship loose items from the factory. Often ship loose items from the modular factories are more expensive than locally purchassed materials.

Basement windows and doors should be installed as soon as possible after the home modules are set. Keeping rain, animals and potential theives out of the home during construction. Some builders will immediatly install chicken wire to keep animals from entering the foundation space.


Garages can be supplied three ways when building a modular home: site built; panel kit; and or supplied by the factory. Regardles of how the garage is constructed, it is wise to order windows, doors, siding and shingles from the factory to maintain consitant styles and colors.

In addition to materials mentioned above, the modular home will be able to install two layers of type X gypsum board to provide a code compliant fire wall between the modular home living space and the garage.

The modular home factory can also provide additional electrical wire and circuit breakers to install electrical service to the garage.

Site Built Garages

Site built garages attached to modular homes are built on site by local carpenters with locally supplied building materials for framing of the walls, ceiling and roof system. You will be able to choose the level of finish for your garage. Insulating and drywalling your garage will add both value and and functionality to your garage. Site built homes will typically use manufactured clear span trusses. The cost of building a site built garage will depend on your location. Or you can build it yourself to save money.

Modular Garage

Modular garages are built in the factory and are typically attached to the modular home. When the factory builds garage in the factory they will include the same exterior finishes as the rest of the home. The overhead garage door openings will be framed out but the garage dooes will not be shipped with the house. You will be able to have the garage unfinished with exposed studs or finished out with insulated walls and drywall. Garages are two to three courses of block lowere than the home. The modular home factory will install a temporary floor and marriage wall for shipping. The lumber that is used for the floor and walls can be used to consstruct other site built items for example, the framing for a porch roof or breeze way.

Panelized Garages

Panelized garages can be purchased locally from a panel company or the modular home company can ship the garage panels with the home. You or your builder will decide if you want the roof trusses to be a split truss or a full span truss. The major disadvantage of a split truss is the need to install a column in the garage. I would reccomend purchasing full span trusses to have a clear spanned garage. When the modules are set with your home, the set crew should be able to install the garage panels and dry in the roof with shingles. Installing bypass doors, garage doors, windows will be the responsibility of those who are finishing the home.

Garage Fire Walls

If you are going to have a modular home with an attached garage, the factory will install the code required fire wall.

Gargage Pricing

No matter how and who constructs the garage, ther will be about the same material cost. What you need to ask yourself and your builder is which way will be the quickest and least expensive.

Porches and Decks

Depending on the location of your porch or deck, the factory might be able to complete them in the factory. Porches built in a modular home factory will eliminate most of the sete work required to finish the porch or deck. You will need to install support columns or posts, However, most porches and decks for modular homes are built on site by carpenters.

Site Built Porches

Porches usually have a concrete floor system. The flat work for the porch floor is often poored at the same time the basement floor, driveway and other structural elements requirering concrete.

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Framing materials, windows, garage doors, and other items will be purchased locally. The siding, shingles and windows should be purchased from the factory and shipped loose in side of one of the modules. Purchasing materials from the modular home factory will warrant homogenius color matches with what the home



arages for modular homes can be delivered and attached to a modular home, sent as a panelized garage package or completely built on site after the home is set. If the modular home design allows for the garage to be constructed in the factory, it can at times be more cost affective depending on local contractor costs. For example, a framing crew in New Jersey cost three times as much as a framing crew in the midwest.




Some modular homes have garages built into the modular home or partially built in. If the home has a no garage or a partial garage, The garage will need to be constructed on site. Building the garage will require framing, roofing, window and door installation, flat work and potentially the installation of a fire wall to the the home.

Masonry, Stone and Stucco Finishes - Some modular home manufacturers install masonry finishes on the homes they produce at the factory. We highly recommend contracting with a local mason to complete all of the work on site. It is easier for to tie the foundation and the modular home together on site. If the work is completed in the factory, the mason is required to piece his work into the modular home and potentially leaving telltale indications between the house and the foundation.

Porches - Modular home porched can be both constructed in the factory and on site. If a porch is on a gable wall, the factory can build the roof and install pressure treated lumber for the floor. The advantage to having the factory manuracture, the porch is all but complete when the home is set on the foundation. Homes with porches on the front of the homes often have the modular home factory build the roof system at tehe factory and have the set crew install the roof and complete the shingles. The porch roof will be temporarily supported until the floor system and columns can be installed by your local contractor.

Decks for Modular Homes - Decks on modular homes are typically constructed on site after the home has been set. It is important to inform your modular home builder if you are considering a deck in the immediate future so that the factory can lay off siding on your home to accomodate the deck on your modular home. If a deck on your new modular home is going to be located on the gable walls of your home, the factory can often build the entire deck system and a roof for the deck at the factory.

Vinyl Siding - If your new home is going to have vinly siding, you have two choices. You can have the modular home factory install some of the sideing and have local vinyl installers install what can not be completed at the factory or you can have a local carpenter or vinyl installed side your intire home on site. Ranch homes and single story modular home will have colse to seventy percent of the siding completed in the factory. Two story modular homes and buildings will only have around thirty five percent of the home sided at the factory. In addition to siding the home, you should take into consideration trim options.

Chimneys and Dog Houses - If your modular home is going to have a wood or gas fire place, you will need to exhaust the fireplace to the outside. Wood burning fireplaces will require a chimney either located on the outside wall, within and exterior wall or through a chase in the inside of the home. If your modular home has a gas fireplace, and the fire place is flush with an exterior wall, you will be required to have a bump out or dog house to house the firebox or fireplace. These dog houses then have a vent system installed. If your prefab home has a gas fireplace installed on an interior wall it will be mandatory to have a chase installed to exhaust spent fuel. A two story modular home with a gas fire or wood fireplace located on an exterior wall, the chase will impinge on the second floor often leading to design frustrations. Exterior wall chimneys on two story homes are the easiest and often the least expensive option for fireplaces in modular homes.

Shutters - Modular home companies offer both louvered and panel style shutters on their homes. Some prefab house factories include shutters on the front elevation of the home and others provide shutters as a standard option. Shutters can add color and dimension to any home. Modular ranch homes without shutters look plain and boring. Adding shutters to a two story modular home adds height and dimension to the home. In addition to the style of shutter it important to choose a shutter color that will contrast and compliment the exterior siding, trim and roof. Of all the trim options available on a modular home, the shutters are the least expensive option with the most impact on curb appeal.

Soffit and Fascia - The soffit and fascia is installed at the factory as part of the roof overhang. On narrow modular homes, twenty four and twenty six feet wide homes, the soffit and fascia is 100% installed at the factory and after your prefab home is set it is ready for gutters and downspouts to be installed. On wider modular homes, some of the fascia will need to be installed on site depending on the manufacturer. On both narrow and wider modular homes, the fascia will need to be installed at the peak of the roof to where the roof is "flipped" into place. The standard color for soffit and fascia on modular homes is white. Most factories offer a variety of colors at a nominal cost.

Gutters and Down Spouts - Gutters and downspouts are always installed on site rather than at the modular home factory. When a modular home is set, the cable would crush the gutter. Installing gutters and downspouts is imperative to have a dry home. Many foolish people spend thousands of dollars on wet basement repairs and never look at the number one culprit to wet basements: roof drainage systems. It is recomended to hire a gutter company who will form seamless gutters for your modlular home on site. Seamless gutters will not have ugly seams requirering caulk and regular maintenance. In addition to gutters, you might decide to have gutter protection installed on your prefab house gutters to minimize gutter cleaning and seasonaly clogged gutters.


Steps to Building a New Modular Home

  1. Land and Building Lot
  2. Design, Paper Work and Financing
  3. Site and Foundation Work
  4. Delivery and Set
  5. Exterior Site Work
  6. Electrical Site Work
  7. Plumbing Site Work
  8. Heating and Air Conditioning
  9. Fireplaces
  10. Interior Site Work
  11. Punch List
  12. Occupancy

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