Frequently Asked Questions
Our Frequently Asked Questions page answers the most common questions about our modular homes. Do you want to build a modular home in California? Most of your questions will be answered here. If your question is not on the list, please contact us.
I know a real estate agent who says that your homes have to be disclosed as manufactured homes and appraise like manufactured homes, not like regular Single Family Residences?
Your real estate agent friend holds a common misconception of someone who does not actually know what a modular home is. Because they have never been involved in any transactions using modular homes, they do not have a point of reference to compare a modular home to, either aesthetically or legally. They are thinking, like most well-meaning real estate agents that don’t have the correct information, that you are talking about a manufactured home. We could bore you with pages of technical/structural details that show we build regular homes, but we will spare you with this summary:
Our prebuilt, modular homes are built to the International Building Code (IBC) and California Building Code (CBC) just like any other single-family residential structure. We do not build to the federal affordable housing code used for manufactured homes called the HUD code. If we had a permanent steel frame under our homes and a bunch of piers, then it would be a manufactured home. The design and engineering process of our homes is identical to any other Single-family residential project, and the requirements made of our plans and homes are the same – meet the regular house state and local building codes. When you look under a modular, you see the same thing that you see under any site-built / stick-built home that is built on-site on a raised floor system – wood floor joists sitting on top of a regular ‘ole concrete foundation.
Appraisers do not have an under-class category for modular homes. There are either Single-family residences, or there are manufactured homes. When they categorize and compare Single-family residences, they do not elevate or discriminate against the different types of Single-family residences, which include:
Wood-framed site-built homes
Wood-framed modular homes
Wood-framed panelized homes
Steel framed site-built homes
Steel framed panelized homes
Concrete block homes
Precast Concrete homes
Integrated wood and steel framed homes
SIP foam-and-wood framed panelized homes
ICF foam-and-concrete framed panelized homes
SCIP foam-and-concrete framed panelized homes
Poured or CMU-block concrete homes
and many, many others…….
These are all just homes built to state and local building code. Because they are all homes built to state and local building code, there is nothing to disclose as long as the home ends up permitted as a Single Family Residence by your city or county. People don’t disclose that their refrigerator was not built on-site, that their cabinets were not built in their kitchen from raw lumber, or that they did not pour their sinks into molds and bake them in a kiln in their garage. The system of the building does not matter as long as you get to the same place, and disclosures are limited to negative facts. To read California’s required Residential Real Estate Disclosures, go here.
The appraiser will compare the finished home to the neighboring properties, like any appraiser does, based on the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). If your modular home has nice architecture and roof lines, an entry porch, an attractive patio, and great amenities and features, it will be worth more than a “wood-framed site-built home” of comparable size that doesn’t have as good of amenities as you have. And, vice-versa, if you just build a very basic modular home with no amenities, a “wood-framed site-built home” of comparable size with lots of amenities will be worth more.
Your real estate agent friend is probably trying to do you a favor and keep you away from buying what they think of as a “trailer”. That makes two of us – we don’t sell any “trailers”, or manufactured homes, so if you buy one, we won’t get the deal.
Is it possible to determine the total cost of my project before I get started?
Modular building has a number of benefits over traditional stick-built construction. One of the main benefits is that we offer a large variety of pre-designed plans and we are able to provide current and consistent pricing on these homes. Going with a predesigned modular plan is usually the most cost-effective approach when building a single-family residence.
There are a number of items that cannot be priced without your getting a complete set of construction documents for the on-site work. A complete set of plans details things like your grading, utilities, foundation, garage, driveway, walkways, landscaping, city fees, etc. Cutting Edge Homes is not a construction company so we do not provide estimates for on-site work. Once your plans are done, we can introduce you to licensed contractors who would be happy to provide you with a detailed estimate.
Do your modular homes come with garages or do you build them?
Many of our homes show a garage either on the floor plan or on the elevations. What is represented in the pictures or renderings is just one way that the garage might be done. Your garage can be attached or detached from the home and can be done in a variety of sizes and styles. Garages are big empty spaces and do not have a floor system that can be used for transportation to the site. A garage is more economical to build at your property and therefore almost always is built on-site. Cutting Edge Homes would be happy to order optional materials for you that can be used to finish your garage so it matches your home.
What are the standard specifications for your modular homes?
Homes can be ordered to just about any finish level that you want. Our homes usually come standard with 30-year composition shingle roofing and non-combustible fiber-cement siding with a 9 foot ceiling and a 5/12 roof pitch. The cabinets, countertops, lighting fixtures, switches, plumbing fixtures, heater, ducting, drywall, etc. are all usually installed within the home prior to delivery. Yes, the home even comes with the kitchen sink and a refrigerator.
More details regarding our specifications can be found here.
Sprinklers are required throughout California on almost all new home construction projects. Each sprinkler system is priced specific to the plan and the plan must be engineered. Sprinklers are not part of our standard specifications. When you are ready for a formal estimate on your chosen home model we are happy to prepare it and also include sprinkler pricing and other basic options that are desired.
We have provided a variety of elevations on our website to show different ways that a home might be finished. The standard look of our homes is a Craftsman style though we can help you to come up with just about any look that you require. Cutting Edge Homes does not build to one style. We build the home to the style, specification, and preferences of each of our clients. The best thing to do is start with a floor plan that fits your property, suits your needs, and works with your budget.
Some of our elevations and renderings show things like cedar siding, dormers, transom windows, stucco, metal roofs, decks, porches, and balconies. These items are either factory options or done on-site. Please contact your Cutting Edge Homes sales representative for our current specification list.
Can I custom design my own home?
We are able to work with you to design any style of home that you desire. We can adapt existing plans from our Plan Collections or work our designers to create your dream home. We are experts at working with clients and their architects to design and engineer a custom home that is efficient, practical, and looks as good or better than a home built by the slow conventional method. It should be noted that custom designs take longer, cost more, and make an already complex process even more complicated for everyone involved. If you are on a tight budget we actively discourage our clients from choosing to custom design a home.