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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What exactly is a manufactured home?

Manufactured HomeA manufactured home is a single-family house constructed entirely in a controlled factory environment, built to the federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (better known as the HUD Code). They are built in a factory and then transported to the prepared site and installed. They may be of single-section or multi-section design.

Federal standards regulate housing design and construction, strength and durability, transportability, fire resistance, energy efficiency and quality. The HUD Code also sets performance standards for the heating, plumbing, air-conditioning, thermal and electrical systems. It is the only federally regulated national building code. On-site additions, such as garages, decks and porches etc. must be built to local, state or regional building codes.

The terms manufactured home and mobile home are often confused. The term mobile home refers to factory-built homes produced prior to June 15, 1976, when the HUD Code went into effect. Prior to 1976 these homes were built to voluntary industry standards that were eventually enforced by 45 of the 48 contiguous states.

Q. Why should I want to buy a manufactured home?

There are many good reasons to buy a manufactured home and here are just three of them.

The #1 Reason is its more COST EFFECTIVE. Depending on the region, construction cost per square foot for a new manufactured home averages anywhere from 10 to 35 percent less than a comparable site-built home excluding the cost of the land. Built in an environmentally protected facility with minimal material waste and amazing efficiency, the result in a strong, energy-efficient home constructed in less time and for less money.

The #2 Reason is QUALITY CONTROL. All aspects of the construction process are controlled including the weather. Manufacturers use volume purchasing for additional savings.  High standards for heating, plumbing, thermal and electrical systems as well as design, durability, fire resistance and energy efficiency results in a transportable home of unmatched quality.  All aspects of construction are continually inspected by not one, but several third-party inspectors.

The #3 Reason is OPTIONS. Manufactured Homes come with many “standard” features that you will not find in a site-built home. The selection of floor plans from the basic to the more elaborate gives you choices. And with Oak Creek Homes you can customize a plan just to your specifications. You have the flexibility of selecting variations in decors, including the color and thickness of the carpeting. These options can include everything from exterior upgrades and energy-efficiency features to kitchen appliance packages.

Q. Do manufactured homes always depreciate?

The answer to this is NO. Studies show that it is the land on which the home stands, not the method of construction that determines the rate of appreciation or depreciation.  Better built homes mean more satisfied customers and more home for your money.  Oak Creek provides well-built homes that are not only beautiful but offer comfort and style that you will be proud to own.

Q. Are manufactured homes safe?

According to the 2004 U.S. Fire Administration Report the 10-year trend for property fires and losses in manufactured housing has declined between 48% and 57% largely due to the use of improved building materials as established by the HUD code in 1976. In fact in 2001 arson and smoking were the leading causes of fires in manufactured homes.

The appearance of a manufactured home is like any other conventionally built home.  The high quality construction materials and craftsmanship means our homes provide unsurpassed value and peace of mind.   The code they are built to ensures a safe and sound home that will stand the test of time.  The economical construction techniques combined with on-site installation and finish work make a manufactured home a very financially attractive housing alternative to a traditional site-built house.

Q. Are manufactured homes built with substandard materials?

The same components used for site-built housing go into constructing manufactured homes. You can buy these same materials at your local building super store. With factory-built housing having an even higher material and installation standard, as required by the HUD code, today’s manufactured home competes with and in many ways is superior to a site-built home.

For example the flooring platform is glued and nailed in a manufactured home. Karsten Homes use 8’ x 14’ sheets of 5/8” Cresdek flooring. This means one-half the seams and far less potential for squeaks and problems than 4’ x 8’ material. Also, most site-built home floors are only nailed. The Karsten roofs are made with certified trusses using the same shingles as stick-built homes. Plus a manufactured home has the advantage of being built indoors in a climate-controlled environment.

Q. Are the homes you sell well insulated?

Many people think manufactured homes are cold in the winter and hot in the summer. With today’s insulation standards Oak Creek homes have an insulation rating as high if not higher than a site-built home. With "Energy-Plus" the floors have R-33 roll-type and batt-style insulation. The exterior walls have R-19 batt-style insulation while the roof has R-40 blown-in cellulose insulation.

Q. I’ve heard manufactured homes are built with 2 x 4 exterior walls. Is this true?

In many cases manufacturers have built with 2 x 4 side walls or 2 x 6 side walls on 24” centers. However, all of our Karsten Homes are constructed with #2 & better kiln-dried lumber with 2 x 6 on 16” centers on all side and end exterior walls.

Q. In my friend’s manufactured home the walls are covered with vinyl wall coverings and seem to wobble and give when pushed. Why is this?

Many manufacturers cut construction costs by installing vinyl-coated wallboard as thin as 3/8” on walls constructed with studs on 24” centers. This type of wall will “give” when bumped.

Karsten Homes use ½” tape & textured drywall on all wall surfaces. The ceiling has ½” fire-rated drywall.  Walls and ceilings are glued and screwed which means no nail pops and no “giving”.  There is also a 2-mil poly vapor barrier on the ceilings between the truss and the drywall. This all adds to the overall structural strength of our homes.

Q. What about the warranty on my new home?

Some well-known manufacturers provide warranties as short as 12 months. Others have extended coverage to 2 years or even 5 years. At Karsten Homes “It’s All About You” and to prove that they proudly offer a 10-year Homeowner Protection Plan.

Oak Creek Homes works to provide you with the highest quality custom manufactured homes available. Customer Satisfaction is our #1 Priority.

Q. What is the difference between a ground set and a pit set?

ground setIn a “ground set” there is minimal excavating done to allow for the construction of the prepared pad onto which the home is placed and blocked. In most cases this is a concrete slab. The bottom of the frame is then set to allow for a crawl space area in the case of repairs and to assist in ventilation. Site conditions, such as high water tables etc., may require a ground set. In most cases this type of home placement is less expensive than a “pit set”. A ground set home will have most if not all of the foundation skirting exposed.

 

 

pit setA “pit set” involves excavating down 24 inches or so and then constructing the prepared pad for home placement. A foundation drain is installed around the entire perimeter to keep ground water out. After the foundation skirting is complete the contractor backfills soil leaving a small 8”+/- exposure of the foundation. This gives the home a lower profile exterior look like most site-built homes. A “pit set” may cost more than a “ground set”. However, the curb appeal of the home is enhanced greatly by this and may be desirable in some circumstances.

Q. I want an attached garage and a basement. Is this possible?

garageYES, absolutely this is possible and in fact many homebuyers include such extras in their land/home packages. In the case of a basement there may be special requirements for placing of the home. If the basement is in-ground the home may be rolled-on to the foundation. If you have a daylight basement a crane may be necessary to lift and place the home onto the foundation. Garages can be attached or detached. Many of our customers construct pole buildings that serve as garages and/or shops.

For an attached garage your Karsten Home can be ordered “garage-ready” which means a portion of the eave will be cut out where you want the garage to be placed. For a basement placement you may choose to upgrade the floor joists to 2 x 8 or even 2 x 10 for a minimal additional cost.

Q. What are the basic steps involved in purchasing a manufactured home?

Most home buyers first decide on the floor plan of their choice.  A contract is then written for the home with any necessary subject-to clauses such as finding appropriate property, financing or permitting approval.  A good-faith deposit is made and the securing of financing and permitting follows.  During this process the options and décor choices for the home are selected and an order is written. This shows the specific floor plan, the standard and optional features as well as interior and exterior décor selections.  The floor plan is marked to indicate locations of telephone, cable, and extra electrical outlets or lights.

When the contract subject-to clauses are met they are released and the final contracts are written showing any changes or corrections to the original.  This may include additional features that have been selected, an on-site garage or porch, as well as financing details.  In most cases there is a separate contract for the home and the site preparation.  At this time any additional down payment required is paid.

Oak Creek Homes can assist in the selection of a home site.  Our in-house Real Estate service will assist with finding the lot, acreage or park location (leased land) that suits your lifestyle and your budget.

A site inspection allows a Professional contractor to meet with you to get a clear understanding of how you envision your home on your chosen location.  The on-site amenities you want to add such as decks, sidewalks, garages etc. are talked about.  Local code issues can be discussed and any necessary easements or wetlands issues can be addressed.

Once the permit is issued, the home is ordered and the contractor beings the site preparation work.  While the foundation and utility work progresses the home is being constructed and readied for shipment.  When the site is ready the home is transported and assembled, insuring minimal weather exposure.

Professional contractors make sure your home is secure and meets or surpasses all local building regulations.  The exterior and interior finishing of the home usually takes place while the site contractor completes the utility connections and the skirting and backfilling is done. Professional technicians test electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems and checks doors and windows for proper adjustment.  The interior trim is finished and the home is cleaned.

When the work on the home and the site are complete the building permit final inspection takes place.  At this time an occupancy permit for the project is issued.  In many cases this is a sign-off on the permit rather than an actual document.  The homeowner walk-thru then takes place and if necessary repairs are scheduled.  Proper operation of the appliances and home systems are explained as well as the 10-year home warranty.  This final inspection may take place just prior to closing or  just after the final closing.

The financing documents are usually signed at the time of closing. This is typically done with an escrow agent at a Title Company but may be handled by the financing institution at their local office.  The mortgage funds are reconciled and the final draws on the loan are made to pay off any remaining balances due on the home, the property and the site preparation.  Once this closing has taken place your home is ready for occupancy and the keys to your new home are presented.

One of the major advantages of manufactured homes is the shorter length of the project from start to finish.  Many steps in the process can be done simultaneously rather than waiting for one step to complete before another can begin.  In a site-built home this process slows the project down while one sub-contractor after another does work on the home.  A manufactured home provides a faster and more economical home package while maintaining the quality of the project; thus providing a home ownership opportunity for millions of families.