Frequently Asked Questions
What is A System Built Home?
- Simply put, System Built construction is a highly engineered method of producing buildings or building components in an efficient and cost effective manner. System Built utilizes the best of the building technologies currently available, including modular and panelized components for the main structure, Superior Walls™ foundation systems for the foundation, and the skills of local carpenters, plumbers, and electricians to tie it all together. The use of System Built construction is common in many different types of residential and commercial construction. System Built Homes actually begin as components: designed, engineered, and assembled in the controlled environment of a modern factory sometimes hundreds of miles from their final destination. These components come together on your lot and your builder completes the final finish on site. System Built Homes are constantly increasing their share of the market. America is the nation that invented factory fabrication. When we buy a refrigerator, a television set, a lawn mower, or a car, we don’t expect it to be dumped in parts in our backyard for us to assemble. We expect these products to come factory-made, factory inspected, and ready for use. For the majority of homes, it is unlikely that the home building industry will cling to the idea of costly, error prone piece-by-piece fabrication of houses.
What is the System Built Construction process?
- Today’s System Built manufacturing process is the model of efficiency and quality assurance. The building process begins with the design phase. We use state of the art Computer Assisted Design (CAD) stations to produce customized floor plans, construction drawings, and material requirement lists. Once designed, the building process begins. Efficiency begins with modern factory assembly line techniques. Your home moves to work stations, with all the building trades represented. In-plant construction quality is invariably superior to what can be done on a job site. Parts cut with a hand saw or a hand-held power circular saw at a job site cannot possibly be as precise as those cut with a $100,000 component cutter in a factory. System Built Homes are built in the controlled environment of the factory. This protects building materials from the harsh outdoor weather and enables laborers to work in a comfortable environment improving the quality of their work. Work is never delayed by weather, subcontractor no-shows, or missing materials. A quality control process provides 100% assurance that your home has been inspected for code compliance and workmanship. Factory inspections cover every construction detail from floor framing to primer paint, and trained factory inspectors or independent third party inspectors perform more than one dozen unannounced inspections per house certifying code compliance to your state and local government.
How are System Built Homes different from Site Built Homes?
- System Built Homes are very similar to site built homes in most areas. However, there are several important System Built advantages. There is typically 30% more lumber used in framing your home and most factories GLUE as well as nail or screw the components of the home together. The quality System Built Home manufacturer uses kiln-dried lumber and protects all building materials from the weather; otherwise, materials would be too warped or bent to fit into their precise jigs for wall panels or trusses. In on-site building locations building materials are not protected from the weather; as a result, for decades the ultimate homeowner inherits problems after the building is finished. The System Built unit uses the strongest of all construction methods based on the 2x6 platform framing system. Traditionally, System Built units are over-built so they can withstand being transported on steel carriers over roads to get to the site and so that a crane can lift them off the carriers and place them on a foundation. Only System Built construction is sturdy enough to withstand such forces, which are the equivalent to that of a healthy earthquake. System Built construction technology of glue-nailed sheathing and decking with redundant framing members makes a System Built Home a safe place to hang your hat. System Built Homes are built to survive nature’s onslaught.
How long does it take to build a System Built Home?
- Speed and consistent quality are two of the many advantages for choosing a System Built Home. Usually, a System Built Home is produced in the factory in seven to ten days. Once the boxes are completed, with much of the interior finish right down to carpeting and interior fixtures, the boxes are transported to the building site and set on your foundation. Our experienced set crew will set the System Built units onto the foundation, erect the roof sections, and make the roof weather tight. Connection to utilities and interior/exterior finish work can be completed by your contractor, or by The Builder Development Corp., acting as your general contractor. A System Built Home, on average is completed in a matter of weeks to months after delivery and set, depending on the site conditions, weather, and complexities of the house.
Is a System Built Home the same as a Mobile Home?
- NO, SYSTEM BUILT HOMES ARE VERY DIFFERENT. System Built Homes are constructed according to the same building codes for residential construction required by your state, county, and specific locality. Your new System Built Home is inspected at the factory during each phase of construction. Evidence of this inspection is shown by the application of a label of approval from a State or other inspection agency. There are no zoning restrictions that limit where System Built Homes can be built.
- Mobile Homes, usually referred to as “Manufactured Homes”, or HUD Code Homes, are manufactured to a different building standard. This standard, the Federal Construction Safety Standards Act (HUD/CODE), unlike conventional local building codes, requires that Manufactured Homes to be built on non-removable chassis. Many communities have restrictions on where manufactured homes can be located.
How can I tell if a home is a System Built Home?
- From the outside, you can’t, unless you were there when the home was delivered. System Built Homes look like any other home. From the inside, well, why don’t you let us show you the inside of one of our homes, and you can judge for your self. The chances are pretty good that you’ve been in many System Built Homes and other System Built buildings without even knowing it.
- Today’s building technology enables The Builder Development Corp. to create almost any style of home from a simple ranch, built in two boxes, up to sprawling contemporaries, and gracious colonials built in ten or more boxes. System Built units can be finished with stucco walls, tile roofs, stone, brick, and many other exterior design features. System Built construction isn’t limited to single-family homes either. The Builder Development Corp. can also be your source for duplexes and townhouses.
Are System Built Homes energy efficient?
- Factory insulation and precision building techniques make the System Built house a super efficient conservation home. When you select efficient heating system components and energy efficient appliances, your home can easily qualify for Energy Star® certification. The energy savings are yours every year you own your home.
Can I use my own design or am I stuck with yours?
- Only you know what your true dream house would look like. Essentially the same design flexibility exists that you would have with a site built home. If you buy a site built home in a development you will have limited customization options. Similarly there are some System Built manufacturers who offer a limited selection of models from which to choose. Conversely, there are System Built builders, like the Builder Development Corp., who allow total discretion in the design and customization of a home.
- The Builder Development Corp. is a custom homebuilder. We can build practically any home design as a System Built, from a cozy bungalow to a System Built mansion, however, plans with complex shapes and multiple roof lines can require significant extra work on site and may not be cost effective. Begin by reviewing our large catalog of homes and then let your imagination and budget combine to design your new home.
Can you do System Built additions?
- Sure, many aspects of System Built construction lend themselves to additions. Panelized sections, pre-engineered roof trusses, and the like work well. Modular additions are not often effective since the cost of freight, crane, and set crew may not be offset by efficiency. A single story structure not designed to support a second story may need significant bracing and structural work to support the added weight of a modular second floor.
Can you just double the System Built cost to get a “turn key” price?
- That is a “rule of thumb” that may be true on average, but be careful about “rules of thumb”. Remember that site work can account for a much larger percentage of the total package on smaller houses, and on difficult building lots.
How much does site work cost?
- Lots of factors affect the cost of site work, such as the length of the driveway, the number of trees to be removed, and the requirements of the septic plan. We don’t like to give “ball park” estimates for site work because the costs can vary so much from one lot to the next, the house you choose, and the options you select.
- Be aware that site work for System Built Homes is no more expensive than site work for other conventionally built homes. Refer to our sheet on “Site Work, What is it?” for a list of items that ordinarily have to be done on site as part of your project.
Can I do my own site work?
- Unlike some of our competitors, we will be happy to sell you just the System Built Home. Our basic “drop-set” will include the System Built Home sections, freight, sales tax, crane, and set crew to deliver the home to your lot, place it on your foundation, erect the roof, install the ridge vent, and shingle the roof to make it weathertight. You would be responsible for the work necessary to prepare the lot and foundation to receive the house, and for all the work necessary to complete the house after it has been set. We’ll go through the details of what’s involved so that you will know what you’ll have to do.
What does a foundation cost?
- Foundation costs will vary depending on the size and shape of foundation, the construction method, the lot conditions, basement doors & windows, and so on. We will be happy to quote a foundation as part of a site work package for a specific house on a specific lot.
Can you build on a slab?
- No. Because the plumbing and electric are stubbed through the floor, we need at least a 4' crawlspace to make plumbing and electrical connections. Its your choice, but we nearly always set on a full 8' or 10' foundation.
Can someone come look at my lot?
- If you will bring us a site plan showing the septic design and other details of the lot, we can answer most of your questions. It is not usually necessary for us to visit a lot until we are much further along in the process.
Can I get a construction loan for a System Built Home?
- System Built Homes are very easy to finance because they have a very positive track record. Lenders who do a lot of construction financing like the simplicity of the System Built construction process compared to on-site construction. We can refer you to several financial institutions, such as Ulster Savings Bank.
Are there any hidden costs?
- With System Built Homes there are no hidden costs. Every detail of the home such as grade of carpet and kitchen cabinet style must be established when the home is ordered. The cost of the home, including all options, is established and locked when the order and deposit are received.
THE BUILDER DEVELOPMENT CORP
Home Contracting Services
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