Articles - Viewterra Homes
How to Unpack and Organize Your New Home
Learn how to efficiently unpack your home!
If you followed our packing strategies, unpacking your home room by room shouldn’t be too difficult. Being able to take your labeled boxes to their appropriate rooms instead of stacking everything in the living room will already put you a step ahead.
But going from there takes some planning.
Start with the Essentials
The first thing you should locate and unpack in your new home are living essentials such as:
- Hygiene items (toothbrush, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, etc.)
- Toilet paper for the bathroom
- Your sheets and pillows for your bed
- What you’ll be wearing for the next few days
Making sure your essential items are easily accessible is important so that if you’re exhausted from moving or if something comes up like an unexpected visit or an emergency, your most important items will be easy to find.
Move onto the Bedrooms and Bathrooms
Though exciting, moving can be exhausting so you’ll want your cozy bedroom retreat to be ready for you at the end of the day. If you have children, let them unpack their own rooms and take ownership of their new space while you make your bedroom feel like your perfect retreat. Start with major furniture items like your bed frame, mattress and any dressers, then move on to stowing away clothes and setting up décor. Make organizing your bathrooms a priority as well to make sure all the essentials are ready for use.
Unpack Your Main Living Areas
Next up are the areas where you spend the most time. If you’re passionate about preparing meals for friends and family, unpacking and organizing your kitchen will be your next priority. However, if you love inviting people over to watch movies or games on TV, unpack and organize your family room first.
To unpack and organize these key living areas, start with big items first. You won’t be able to put books on a bookshelf unless the shelf is already set up. You won’t be able to put a lamp and nice vase on your side table unless the side table has already been placed. So how do you organize your main living areas?
How to Plan a Living Room Layout
- Evaluate the shape of your living room and how you should group furniture to maximize space.
- Evaluate the light, window locations and wall space of your living room.
- Evaluate the key function of your living room, whether it’s conversation, game playing, watching movies or relaxation.
- List out what you already have and any other furniture or items you might need to purchase.
- Sketch out what you want it to look like and then follow that plan!
How to Organize and Plan Your Kitchen
- Consider where you spend the most time preparing food.
- Prioritize your cabinet real estate.
- Use clear containers for food.
- Group like tools and dishes together.
Unpack and Organize Less Used Areas
We know you’ll use every area of your new home, but you probably spend less time in certain areas. If you tend to use your dining room for infrequent formal dinners, save the dining room for last. Plus, you can always eat on the couch or at the kitchen counter for a few days while you transition into your new home.
Save extra storage spaces or less used rooms like the home office, flex room, second living room or play room for the end of your unpacking process. You can use other rooms in the meantime as you make your home your own.
As you unpack each room, think about what unexpected items you might want in different rooms. Will you find yourself constantly bringing your favorite books back and forth from the living room to your bedroom? Every time guests come over, will you be moving toys out of the family room into your child’s bedroom? Thinking about how you want to use different spaces will also help you unpack and get organized right from the beginning of life in your new home.
Article Courtesy of ClaytonHomes.com
Potential Tax Perks of Homeownership and Going Green at Home
Learn what home upgrades may be tax deductible
One perk of homeownership is the potential tax deduction on your income tax return for annual real estate taxes. In addition to a potential deduction for real estate taxes, the IRS states that in most cases, “you can deduct all of your home mortgage interest.¹" However, keep in mind that real estate taxes, income taxes and sales taxes are limited to a $10k total deduction.
This means that you could receive tax deductions equal to the amount of mortgage interest payments you have paid. As with all potential tax deductions, however, you will need to consult with your personal tax advisor to determine whether you are eligible for certain income tax return deductions.
Does the home mortgage interest tax deduction apply to manufactured homes? Yes, indeed. The IRS says that “home mortgage interest is any interest you pay on a loan secured by your home¹.” If your home loan is secured by your manufactured home, you may be able to deduct your mortgage interest payments from your federal income taxes. A home loan is secured by a home when the home is used as collateral with a lender to secure the lender against a loan loss. If the loan is not paid, the lender can repossess or foreclose upon the home that was used as collateral.
You may also be eligible for other tax deductions and credits with homeownership, so read on to learn about the other perks of owning a home and making home upgrades!
What is a mortgage point?
First, you need to understand what a mortgage point is. A mortgage point is 1 percent of your loan amount. Often, borrowers pay points up front to the lender in exchange for lower mortgage rates. Basically, you pre-pay interest to lower your interest rate and payments over time which can help you save money².
Are upgrades in manufactured homes tax deductible?
You can get tax deductions for some home improvements if your home is permanently affixed to land. In some cases, tax deductions may be available for the cost of home improvements, but typically the deductions cannot be taken until the year that the home is sold.
If you’ve taken out a home improvement loan for your home, you can also deduct points paid on a home improvement loan in the year those points were paid as long as you meet six qualifying tests the IRS has in place. These six requirements include the home improvement loan being secured by your main home, which generally includes manufactured home loans, and you use a cash method of accounting on your tax reporting method.
Get Tax Breaks on Certain Green Home Improvements: Solar Updates
You can be eligible for federal tax credits for qualifying solar energy systems. This tax credit is available for existing homes or new homes, so whether you want to update your current manufactured home or are looking to purchase a new manufactured home, you can outfit your manufactured home with a solar energy system and save money over time with lower energy bills.
The tax credit for installing a solar energy system in your home is 30% of the cost of the solar energy system and installation with no upper limit. The 30% credit lasts until the end of 2019. It is a 26% tax credit for tax year 2020 and a 22% tax credit for tax year 2021.
The two solar energy systems that qualify are:
- An ENERGY STAR® Qualified solar water heater system
- Qualifying solar panels that provide electricity for your residence
Deduct Taxes for Medical Home Improvements
If you make home medical improvements for someone in your home with a disability, you may qualify for tax deductions. The tax deductions must be itemized and cost more than 10% of your adjusted gross annual income. Some qualifying medical home improvements include:
- Installing grip bars, railings or bathroom modifications
- Modifying kitchen cabinets and equipment for accessibility
- Installing porch lifts or other types of applicable lifts
- Modifying hardware on doors
- Grading ground to provide appropriate access to your home
Other State Programs and Incentives
Depending on the tax laws of the state in which your home is located, you may be able to take advantage of tax deduction or tax credit programs for different energy saving home improvements!
Ask your local state government what kind of energy efficiency tax deduction programs it may have in place that you may qualify for! Which office you talk to can vary by state. The Database for State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency(DSIRE) has local state and city programs listings as well as a variety of local energy efficiency program and policy updates.
When you visit DSIRE’s website, you can browse incentives by state and look for rebates, deductions and other energy efficiency programs. The program list will tell you when these programs were created and more importantly, when they were last updated or renewed. The policies for these incentives, like whether they apply to post home purchase improvements or not, depend on the type of incentive, but many of them are applicable to post-purchase home upgrades.
Use your tax refund to buy a home
ENERGY STAR and the ENERGY STAR mark are registered trademarks owned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
1"Publication 936 - Main Content." Publications Online. 2016. Accessed September 06, 2017.https://www.irs.gov/publications/p936/ar02.html
2Kay Bell, "The Mortgage Points Tax Deduction," Bankrate.com, April 09, 2015, , accessed September 08, 2017, http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/mortgage-points-tax-break-1.aspx.
3 "Is there a tax credit for solar panels?" ENERGY STAR, , accessed September 08, 2017, https://energystar.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/216375477.
4 J.D. Stephen Fishman, "Deducting Medical Home Improvements," Www.nolo.com, accessed September 08, 2017, http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/deducting-medical-home-improvements.html.
6 “Tax Deduction for Home Energy Audits and Energy Efficiency Improvements.” DSIRE. May 05, 2016. Accessed October 04, 2016.
7 “Income Tax Deduction for Energy Efficiency Upgrades.” DSIRE. December 18, 2015. Accessed October 04, 2016. http://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program/detail/1227
Article Courtesy of ClaytonHomes.com
What are Manufactured Homes Built With
This is your step by step look at how Clayton/Karsten manufactured homes are built
At Clayton, the new modular homes we build are constructed with strength and durability at every step of the building process. This means that new modular homes are built with strong, quality materials like energy efficient windows, studs and brand name flooring. On top of that, new Clayton modular homes are packed with insulation, have new cabinets and PEX plumbing systems. And it’s all put together with in an advanced climate controlled building facility by trained team members.
The difference between Clayton’s Prefabulous® manufactured and modular housing options is not in the quality materials that make up the homes or the trained men and women building the homes. Instead, the key differences between modular homes and manufactured homes are the building requirements to which the homes are constructed.
Below, you can learn about the materials that we put into our prefab homes and some of the unique building requirements of modular homes.
Submitting the Modular Home Floor Plan Each time a home builder designs a new modular home model, that home must be verified as structurally safe and as meeting all applicable building requirements for the location where the home will be installed.
Each modular home floor plan will be submitted to the local building regulatory body for approval to ensure that the home is engineered and designed properly for the building requirements as determined by the home’s location.
If an existing approved home model floor plan will be modified, the redesign must also be verified to be safe and properly designed. Many Clayton manufactured homes can be built as modular homes, so if a new home buyer chooses a manufactured home model that they’d like to be built as a modular home, that home design must be modified and verified to meet applicable state, local and regional building requirements for the final home site.
The Step by Step Modular Home Construction Process
Once a home model design has been approved by the local regulatory body, the home can be constructed. The Clayton modular home construction process within the home building facility is similar to the manufactured home building process that you can read about below.
- The home begins with construction of the steel frame used to support the home during transportation and in some cases remains permanently attached to the home. Depending on which type of foundation is required in your area, or you choose for your new modular home, the steel frame could be removed during on-site final installation.
- The wood subfloor frame is constructed at the same time as the steel frame.
- The wood subfloor frame is then packed with insulation and added to the steel frame.
- The exterior and interior walls are constructed at the same time as the subfloor system.
- Exterior walls are built and are constructed with 2x4” or 2x6 studs. The wall construction will vary according to the local building requirements to which the modular home is being built.
- Interior walls are built and are generally constructed with 2x3” or 2x4” studs depending on the local building requirements.
- Both exterior and interior walls will be framed on 16” or 24” centers and every door and window opening has added structural headers for strength and durability.
- The roofing system is constructed at the same time as the walls in a separate part of the building facility. Strong trusses make up the roofing system and blown insulation fills the roof cavity to help keep new modular homes comfortable all year long.
- The interior walls are connected to the home floor framing.
- The interior cabinets, certain appliances and toilets are added along with plumbing systems.
- The exterior walls are added.
- The completed roofing system is connected.
- The home details such as quality shingles, new doors, exterior siding and windows get added.
- The style and finish details like paint, trim, hardware and when applicable, finished drywall and molding, are added to the home.
- The internal inspections at the home building facility are completed.
- The new modular home is sent to the home retailer, usually in multiple sections.
What can vary between many manufactured and modular homes is the amount of time it takes to build the home. This will vary on the home building facility, the level of home customization and number of sections that make up the new home. Plus, if you’ve chosen a manufactured home floor plan to be built as a modular home, it may take some extra time to modify the home plan and obtain approval for the home plan.
Modular Home Materials Clayton Uses in Construction
Materials vary depending on the home building facility that builds the home and are subject to change. Some of the materials that Clayton currently uses to build modular homes include brand names such as:
- Keystone® countertops, both granite and quartz
- Shaw® carpet and vinyl flooring
- Congoleum® carpet
- Sherwin Williams® exterior and interior paint
- James Hardie® fiber cement siding
- CertainTeed® roof shingles
- Ply Gem® vinyl siding
- Wood wall studs cut to size
- Blown fiberglass or cellulose insulation for the roofing system
- Rolled insulation for the walls
- Clayton manufactured windows
- Exterior wall OSB sheathing underneath the siding
- House wrap weather barrier beneath the exterior siding
- OSB board, particleboard or plywood for the subflooring system
- PEX Plumbing
Modular Home Transportation to Your Property
Once your new modular home arrives to your property, you can look at the home with your home consultant. If you have any questions about your new home or have any concerns with it, your home consultant will work with you to resolve your questions and concerns.
Modular Home On-Site Construction
Finally, your new modular home will be transported by commercial truck transporters and delivered in two or more parts to your land, depending on the size and floor plan of your home. At the site, the modular home sections will be placed on top of the modular home foundation selected and be connected. Some states may have specific requirements for the foundation of a modular home. Talk to your home consultant to be sure of what may be required in your area.
Other final touches will include final tiling work, finishing work where the home has been joined together and appliance installation.
Upon the completion of final on-site construction, a final inspection should be completed by the local building official to ensure that the modular home has been built properly to meet all building requirements and that the detailing and finish work have been completed. Once the local building official has performed the inspection, they will issue you a certificate of occupancy.
After the on-site completion of construction is finished on your modular home, you can move in and personalize your landscaping and enjoy your new home with your family. Whether you plan to entertain guests and show off your Prefabulous® home or make it your ideal retreat, you can be confident that you’ll be able to enjoy your modular home for a lifetime.
- North Carolina State Building Code: Residential Code. PDF. Country Club Hills, Illinois: International Code Council, 2012.
- 2017 Oregon Residential Specialty Code. PDF. Country Club Hills, Illinois: International Code Council, 2017.https://codes.iccsafe.org/public/public/chapter/content/10127/
Why you Should Invest in Land For Your Manufactured Home
Learn the benefits of owning your home and the land it is on
There are a lot of benefits of buying and owning a mobile home with land such as privacy, cost advantages of owning versus renting, expansion opportunities, freedom and more! Owning both a manufactured home and the land that you place it on can be a smart investment for many homeowners.
However, we understand that many home buyers may also be concerned about purchasing land for their home. Check out these advantages of owning land and tips for the purchase process.
Benefits of a Mobile Home with LandThere are several pros to buying land for your home. Here are a few reasons you may want to purchase and own the land your manufactured home will be placed on.
- Privacy – Owning the land your home is on can give you more privacy than if you were to rent the land in a mobile home community. And the more land you can afford, the more privacy you can have. You can also maximize the privacy your land gives you by strategically placing your home on a more secluded part of the land or further away from the road and other houses providing such placement is permitted by applicable zoning laws and homeowner association requirements.
- More freedom – Having a home of your own lets you take back your freedom, but owning the land your home is on instead of renting land provides you with even more freedom! You will be able to utilize the land as you want. You will have the freedom to landscape to fit your style, entertain when you want and you can even add a garden if you have a green thumb!
- Expansion – When you own the land your home is on, you have the opportunity to use the land as you want so long as you are following state and local laws.¹ You may be able to add things to your property such as a detached garage, a greenhouse, a pool and more.
- Builds value – Owning land with your home may also help your manufactured home appreciate, letting your home gain value over time, especially if your manufactured home is permanently affixed to the land.
Tips for Buying Land for a Manufactured Home
Knowing why you should invest in a mobile home with land is just the first step in making a smart home investment. The next thing you will want to know is how to invest in land for your manufactured home. Check out these tips for purchasing a mobile home with land.
- Ask a professional – Some local zoning laws or Homeowner’s Associations may restrict the type of home that can be built in a specific area. Before purchasing land, ask a professional such as a home center consultant, if they can help you find available and appropriate land to place your manufactured home on. If your home center consultant is unable to help you find land, they may know some local real estate professionals who can assist you in your land search.
- Location, location, location – Whoever said “location is everything” wasn’t entirely wrong. Choosing a good location to buy land and place your home is a smart move if you want to build equity in your mobile home.
- Find out if you need to obtain an easement – An easement is the legal right to be on the land owned by another property owner for the purpose of accessing your own land. When looking at prospective land properties, you will want to find out if land access is only provided by driving across an adjoining parcel instead of direct access by a public road. This means that to access your land, you will have to cross someone else’s land.² An easement must be documented by a recording in the local land records.
- Look into rural areas – In most places, land costs drop in rural areas. The closer you are to a city, the more likely the land will cost more. Look to the country or out in the county lines of your area to find cheaper land.²
- Elevation – Some elevation characteristics on a property site can cause trouble for different types of home foundations. Find out if the land you are considering is near any potential hazards, such as landslides, and talk to your home center about what kinds of elevations could be a risk or unsuitable for home placement on the land you are considering.²
- Zoning requirements – You will also want to check with local authorities to determine what zoning ordinances apply to the land you are considering. Some zoning ordinances may put restrictions on the type of home that can be built in an area, size requirements for home that will be placed on the land that construction will be done on, and other considerations.²
¹ Neil Kokemuller. "The Advantages of Buying a Small Home with a Lot of Land." Budgeting Money. Accessed February 15, 2018. https://budgeting.thenest.com/advantages-buying-small-home-lot-land-22859.html.
² Elizabeth Weintraub. "Pros and Cons of Buying Land to Build a New Home." The Balance. May 13, 2017. Accessed February 15, 2018. https://www.thebalance.com/land-buying-tips-1798965.
Article courtesy of Clayton Homes.com
Roadmap to Being Rent Free
Your Guide to Becoming a Rent-Free Homeowner
The Journey Home Overview
Owning your very own slice of the world to call home has always been a part of the American Dream, but how do you get there? Whether you’re a first-time home buyer, or just someone looking to gain the freedom of owning a home instead of renting, the road to your homeownership can seem a little overwhelming.
That’s why we have created this helpful roadmap to becoming rent free to guide you on your journey to manufactured, mobile or modular homeownership so that you never lose direction.
In this roadmap, you will begin your journey by researching manufactured and modular home options such as floor plans, features and the manufactured home building process. You will then proceed to meet a home center consultant (Buy-Rite Sales Person) and check out some homes.
After choosing a unique home to call your own, if you need financing for your home purchase you can begin learning about manufactured home financing by choosing a lender and contacting your lender to learn what you can afford. Once you have received financing approval from your lender, we will survey the site and obtain the necessary building permits for your home site and prepare your home’s placement site for when your home arrives.
After you receive financing approval and apply for necessary permits, you will close on your home purchase and your home loan. Next, your home will be built in an advanced, climate controlled facility.
Once your dream home and home placement site are ready, your dream home will undergo on-site completion of construction and be inspected on-site. Once your home has passed on-site inspection, completed by your on-site construction crew, you will receive the keys to your dream home that has now become a reality!
Why Rent When You Can Own?
Although your apartment may hold lots of memories, was it ever really yours? There are a lot of benefits to owning your own home rather than paying rent every month to live in an apartment that someone else owns. If you’re trying to decide if homeownership is right for you, check out these quick reasons why you should own a home and become rent free.
It’s yours The most obvious reason to buy a home is because your home will be 100% yours. You can paint, decorate and choose all of your service providers, such as cable or Wi-Fi! In most rental spaces, you have restrictions on what you can and can’t do while you’re renting. When you own your home, you’re not limited to someone else’s paint, smells, appliances and more. Instead, you own all of your choices on what to do with your home.
You never have to deal with a landlord again Your landlord may be nice, but in the end, your rental space is really his or hers. That means if you need something fixed or changed, you are depending on them to get it done. If you own your home, then you’re in charge. Check out these tips for working with your landlord to address your rental agreement and moving out.
A fixed rate mortgage can’t go up in price, unlike rent Although some leases may state that the price for rent will never change, some landlords can reserve the right to change the price of your rent as they see fit. A fixed rate mortgage means you will pay a specific amount toward principal and interest every month no matter what may be happening with inflation and the economy. Another great thing about your mortgage is that once it is paid off, you never pay it again, unlike rent which you must continue to pay so long as you live in the space.
Rental rates are on the rise According to the National Apartment Rent List Report, average national rent prices are up 2.4% from March of 2016. This means that rental rates are becoming increasingly expensive. If you have a stable job, it could be best for you to invest the money you would have put toward rent into a home that you can call your own.
Take advantage of energy efficiency When you own your own home, you can choose how your home is built and what energy features are in your home. This can save you money if you choose energy efficient insulation, lighting and appliances. Energy efficient manufactured home features can save you money on your utility bills and reduce your energy consumption. Although renters can make a few changes to create a more energy efficient space, homeowners can do more with the freedom to choose energy efficient home options before they even move into their home!
(The benefits are numerous when you compare home ownership to renting. In many cases your mortgage may be less than the cost of your rent. Come in to see our sales associates to discuss options in financing and design.)
Article courtesy of Caytonhomes.com
Ways Prefabricated Building is Rubbing off on Site Built Processes
Learn how the prefabricated building industry is influencing home construction
Due to modern technology and innovation, the entire home building industry is moving toward enhanced building processes to streamline how homes are built and find ways to add cost-savings for both builders and home buyers. Both the site built construction process and prefabricated home building process have their perks; however, site built companies are recognizing the benefits of some prefabricated processes and incorporating them into the site built construction process.
As site built construction and prefabricated building both try to build as efficiently as possible, high-tech innovations are coming into the entire home building industry. Check out just how prefabricated building is changing the site built process.
Are there any site built processes that came from prefabricated building?
There are several site built processes that have been inspired by the prefabricated industry. Some of these off-site construction processes include the panelized home building system as well as construction methods supported by robotics as it is the case at Blueprint Robotics®*. The company combines skilled labor and robotic CNC equipment to manufacture wall, floor, and roof elements.
With these systems, some site built companies are beginning to do some of their construction off-site, meaning that parts of the home are built indoors in a facility just like prefabricated homes. The parts of the home that are constructed off-site are then transported to the home site for on-site installation.
Panelized Home Building System
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a panelized home is a construction technique that uses advanced technology, quality materials and a controlled work environment to build wall panels and build a strong home in a shorter amount of time. There are many different types of panelized home building systems, but each starts by creating the necessary structural components of the home in a climate-controlled facility.
There are many different types of panelized home building including:
- Whole or House Open Wall Packages – packages of complete sets of exterior and interior wall panels, floor systems, decks and roof and floor trusses
- Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) – prefabricated and custom-designed panels of walls, roofs and floors that are made of a foam core and placed between structural skins
- Round and Geometric Structures – panelized home systems that offer a variety of shapes and panoramic views with enhanced wind resistance
- Post and Beam or Timber Frame – solid uprights posts and supporting horizontal beams that are tied together with truss systems to create the frame of the home
- Trusses and Structural Building Components – pre-built frames for roof, floor and ceiling systems that are built off-site to minimize the time of on-site construction
- Engineered floor system
- Interior & exterior walls
- Roof trusses
- Flexible designs
- Save time and money
- Quality Construction
Prefabricated Robotics Systems
Another building process that has recently surfaced and is bound to make an impact on the future of the industry are home construction robotics systems. These systems use flexible robotic tools to quickly and precisely build single or multi-family projects.
Robotics systems are aiding in the shortage for skilled laborers, and even making the prefabricated construction environment safer. Machines are used by workers to build parts of home more efficiently.
Robotics systems include robots such as wood cutting robotics, brick laying robotics and more! Companies such as Blueprint Robotics use robotics systems led by skilled workers to create custom-built closed wall frames that will be placed directly on to the foundation of a home site.
A custom-built wall frame includes
- Exterior doors and windows
- In-wall rough in of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems
- Exterior sheathing
Although the idea and some of the methods of prefabricated building have been developing through the decades, many experts believe the subprime mortgage crisis pushed the industry to really step up and help meet the need for affordable housing. Tom Hardiman, Modular Building Institute Executive Director, said “many skilled laborers left the construction industry and did not return.”
Due to the lack of skilled laborers, the home building industry had to adapt to continue to build affordable homes to Americans. Therefore, prefabricated building saw a boost in success because of its streamlined process, which allows the home to be built more efficiently.
Benefits of Off-Site Construction Processes in Site Built Homes There are numerous advantages to the prefabricated building process, as well as building parts of a home off-site for site built properties. Here are a few of those that can make a huge difference when it comes to building the home of your dreams:
- Pieces built in a controlled environment that helps ensure quality control
- Setup can be quicker and more efficient because the sections are already complete when they arrive at the home site for on-site completion
- Building materials can be bought in bulk, at a lower price, which can make the home more affordable
Last year, the number of modular home shipments alone approached 15,000, which is 8% more than in 2016. Looking ahead, with about 80 prefab manufacturers in the U.S. and more than 200 building facilities, the future is looking bright for prefabricated building.
As the entire home building industry continues to incorporate the most modern innovations to benefit home buyers, Clayton is also constantly researching new types of homes and building methods to bring the latest technologies and home designs to our customers
*“BLUEPRINT ROBOTICS” is a registered trademark of Blueprint Robotics, Inc.
1 Panelized Homes .PDF. NAHB Building Systems Councils.
2"How We Build." Blueprint Robotics. Accessed March 19, 2018. http://www.blueprint-robotics.com/getting-started/.
3 Bunch, Julia. "The Rise of The Prefabricated Building." Forbes. August 02, 2017. Accessed March 19, 2018. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bisnow/2017/08/02/the-rise-of-the-prefabricated-building/#24c4f6061dd5
4 Caulfield, John. “Is This Modular's Moment?" Professional Builder. January 05, 2018. Accessed March 19, 2018. https://www.probuilder.com/modulars-moment
How to Read Different Energy Efficient Ratings
How to Read Different Energy Efficiency Ratings
We've created some tips to help you as you shop for more energy efficient home features or evaluate your current appliances and systems.
Choosing Kitchen Appliances Manufactured Home
As you consider how energy efficient your home is, knowing what various energy and efficiency ratings mean is the key to making a smart choice!
Many appliance manufacturers include an EnergyGuide label on their products. This label tells you about that appliance’s energy consumption.
Important information included on most EnergyGuide labels:
The make, model and size of that appliance
The estimated yearly operating cost
The estimated yearly electricity consumption in kWh
These EnergyGuide labels vary slightly by appliance, but they are straightforward and let you compare the costs and energy consumption of appliances so you can be informed and make the smartest choice for your home. However, some systems and items in your home may include additional or alternative energy consumption information.
Air Conditioning Systems
Air conditioning systems are measured by their seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) as well as their energy efficiency ratio (EER).
The SEER ratio is the cooling output divided by how much power the air conditioning system uses, so the higher the ratio, the more efficient the system! ENERGY STAR® certified central air conditioners must have a SEER ratio of at least 15.
The EER ratio tests the cooling output to power ratio as well, but is tested at higher temperatures and accounts for humidity. The minimum ratio for ENERGY STAR® certified central air conditioners is 12 or 12.5, depending on the type of system.
When you’re looking at the ratings, one is not necessarily more important than the other, so you should review both and consider what you can afford up front.
Windows and Doors
You can look at a couple of factors when you research how efficient windows and doors are.
The U-Factor tells you how your window or door conducts non-solar heat flow. You’ll likely want to look for moderate to low U-Factors because that indicates the window or door is more energy efficient. The U-Factor could range from .2 to 1.2.
The solar heat gain coefficient is how much solar radiation your window or door lets in. This radiation then releases heat into your home.
The coefficient level that you should look for when choosing your windows and doors will depend on the climate in your area. Depending where you live, you may want a higher coefficient that lets you collect solar heat or a lower coefficient that lets less solar heat into your home.
The air leakage rating is the rate of air movement around your window or door, so you want a window or door with a lower leakage rating. However, air leakage can be hard to pinpoint because materials can expand, contract and settle with weather and time.
When you’re reviewing water heaters, you should look for its energy factor (EF) rating. The EF rating shows how efficient the system is at heating up your water. The higher the EF rating is, the more efficient the water heater is, and as you’re searching for an efficient water heater, keep in mind that the minimum rating for an ENERGY STAR® certified water heater is .67.
The efficiency of the water heater will vary by type of water heater, so remember that a good rating for a gas water heater will differ from what is considered a good rating for a heat pump.
Insulation’s ability to reduce the amount of heat transfer between your home and the outside world is measured by R-value.
A higher R-value means a lower heat transfer ability. Higher R-value usually means a higher insulation cost because the density and thickness of the insulation tend to rise. It makes sense that insulation material costs rise with the density of the material, but it can be worth investing in a higher, energy efficient R-value to lower your home’s heat transfer.
Knowing how to read different energy efficient ratings can help you make the smart choice when you’re trying to find the best energy efficient appliances, windows and more for your home! You can save natural resources and lower your energy costs by upgrading the systems in your home. Clayton even makes it easy with the Energy Smart Home package, which includes upgraded insulation, low-e windows and other energy efficient options.
ENERGY STAR and the ENERGY STAR mark are registered trademarks owned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Article courtesy ClaytonHomes.com
7 Tips for Making Your Manufactured Home Energy Efficient This Summer
7 Tips for Making Your Manufactured Home Energy Efficient This Summer
Temperatures are already climbing and while you may have made your home more energy efficient this winter, summer is an entirely different animal. High heat and humidity can wreak havoc on your energy bill, but not to fear – with just a few changes you can get your home ready to face even the hottest summer.
1. Shade Your Manufactured Home
Shady trees help people cool off on hot summer days and the same goes for your house. While any shade helps cool your home, you should prioritize shading south-facing windows with either trees or an awning.
Trees are a longer-term investment, but they provide more shade and lose their leaves in winter, allowing that sun to stream in on cold winter days.
2. Dry Clothes on the Line
Unless you live in a high humidity area, hot summer days are perfect for drying clothes outside. A clothing line is cheap and easy to install and can save you the energy needed to run your dryer multiple times a week.
3. Invest in a Smarter Thermostat
You can’t constantly be adjusting your thermostat throughout the day, especially if you’re away from home. A smart thermostat can automatically adjust when outside temperatures drop or rise. Most smart thermostat devices are easy to install and allow you to manually read and adjust your home’s temperatures from your phone.
4. Use Cool Nights to Save During the Day
Instead of running your air conditioner through the night, turn it off and open the windows in your home. The cool evening air will cool your house while you sleep and you can close windows in the morning to keep that cool air trapped inside.
Fair warning – this method only works in regions where the temperature and humidity actually drops at night.
5. Upgrade Your Windows
Often one of the biggest energy drains in older homes is the windows. Newly designed Low-E windows, available in the Energy Smart Home package, have special coatings that can filter out 40-70% of the heat coming in from sunlight while allowing in the same amount of light.
6. Become a Fan of Fans
While they still require energy, ceiling fans use far less energy than an air conditioner and create wind chill that can make a warm home feel as much as four degrees cooler.
What’s more, fans help lower the temperature in specific rooms, allowing you to keep your house at a higher overall temperature during summer months. You can actually hack ceiling fans a couple different ways to improve your indoor comfort.
7. Change Your Clothes
While this one may seem self-explanatory, when you come home from work in a suit or blazer, your warm home is going to feel even warmer. Change into a cool outfit right when you get home to instantly feel cooler without ever touching that thermostat.
To save on energy all year around, ask about Clayton’s Energy Smart Home Package. It can help you save on your utilities and use less energy throughout the entire year.
Article courtesy of ClaytonHomes.com
Written by Jonathan Deesing
A Complete Guide to Manufactured Home Buying Terms -
Before embarking on your home buying journey, you will want to have as much knowledge in your pocket as possible so that you can make the smart decision for you and your family. Understanding manufactured home terms will be especially helpful if you’re looking for a new manufactured or modular home. The prefabricated housing industry can be a little different than the site built housing industry, and you could easily encounter terms you’ve never heard before.
Since it can be difficult to find a manufactured home glossary online, we have created our own! Take a look at this ultimate guide to manufactured and modular home terms.
Prefabricated Home Building Terms
Some of the most confusing or new words for home buyers are words related to the prefabricated building process. Check out these prefabricated home building terms that you may hear or read as you learn about manufactured and modular homes.
The data plate is a sheet of paper inside the manufactured home and can often be found in a kitchen cabinet, electrical panel or bedroom closet. The data plate contains information about the home such as the name and address of the manufacturer, the serial number and home model, the date the home was built, verification the home meets HUD standards and more.1
The HUD Code is the building standard that manufactured home builders must meet. It includes guidelines such as frame requirements, thermal protection, plumbing, electrical and more It was put in place in 1976 by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that manages the code and oversees enforcement.2
Also referred to as the certification label, all manufactured homes built and sold must be labeled with a HUD tag that ensures the homeowner that the home was built according to HUD’s Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards.2
Mobile Home Tongue Hitch
Associated with moving a mobile home, the tongue, or hitch, of a mobile home is attached at the front of the manufactured home to the steel chassis and is used to transport to home from one destination to the next.3
Mobile Home Undercarriage
The undercarriage of a mobile home is the bottom of the home that protects the home insulation and keeps out moisture and pests. The undercarriage is often referred to by several different names such as manufactured home vapor barrier, mobile home belly, mobile home belly board, underbelly, bottom board and more. There are other parts under a manufactured home that may also be called the vapor barrier, but the undercarriage generally refers to the layer under the home that protects the insulation.
Just like on-frame, off-frame refers to a type of modular home. Off-frame modular homes are removed from the steel chassis and lifted by a crane off the transportation carrier to be placed on a foundation.
Modular homes are built to local and state building codes, unlike manufactured homes built to HUD code. On-frame modular homes have a steel chassis that remains permanently with the home.
Permanently Affixed to Land
A home is permanently affixed to land when it is permanently resting on the base, or foundation, of the home.4 If a home is permanently affixed to land, it may be eligible to be converted from personal property to real property. Different states have different rules that apply, and the process varies, but typically it involves surrendering the original title and providing documentation to the local land recorder that the home has become a real estate fixture.
Pier and Beam
A type of manufactured home foundation, the pier and beam system is the most popular manufactured home foundation system. Anchors are driven into the ground to hold your home down and then steel straps are attached. These steel straps connect to the main I-beam on the home’s steel frame.
The manufactured home roof frame is called the truss system. This system, made of a wood frame, is the base structure of your manufactured home roof, and it is where roof insulation will be placed. Shingles cover the top of the truss system.
Home Buying Terms
Learning the different home buying terms can be confusing, but understanding common terms you may hear during the manufactured or modular home buying process can help! Check out different terms you may hear through the home buying process and become a smart, empowered home buyer.
Mobile Home and Manufactured Home
Often used interchangeably by the public, these two types of homes are actually different. Mobile home refers to a prefabricated home built prior to 1976 when HUD Code was put into place. Manufactured homes are homes built after 1976 in compliance with the HUD Code.
Double wide and triple wide homes can also be referred to as multi-section manufactured homes. Multi-section homes have larger, more varying dimensions than a single-section home and are often delivered in two or three sections that are joined together at the home site.
National Appraisal Guides, Inc. is the largest source for information regarding pricing, tools and value of belongings such as boats, automobiles, motorcycles and manufactured homes. You can use their guides to estimate the current value of your manufactured home.
Single-section – Also referred to by some people as a single wide trailer, single-section manufactured homes range in size from 784 sq. ft. to 1,440 sq. ft., which is about 14’56’ to 18’X80’ in dimensions.
Manufactured Home Financing Terms
Often one of the most confusing parts of the process, obtaining home financing can be complex and financing terms can be tricky to understand. However, by understanding these key terms, you can better understand your financing options to make the best choice for you and your family.
A mortgage is a loan used to buy a home or to borrow money against the value of a home you already own. As part of the agreement the lender the right to take the property if you fail to repay the money you've borrowed plus interest.
When buying a manufactured home, home buyers often hear the term chattel loan. This type of loan is a loan extended to an individual on a personal, movable piece of property. The loan is secured by the personal piece of property.
Property consisting of things that are temporary or movable and that are not considered real estate.
The amount of money you spend upfront to purchase a home is a down payment, and is typically combined with a loan to complete the total purchase cost of a home.5 This is different from a home deposit made at your local home center.
Mortgage escrow, also called an impound account, is a process where additional funds are collected with your mortgage payments. The additional funds are used toward payments such as property taxes and home insurance premiums.
This is money put toward a home that you intend to purchase at your local home center to secure a home model.
Although manufactured housing has changed over the years, it is important to stay up to date with different important mobile home terms. By understanding them, you can make smart home purchases that fit your specific needs and budget. Then, you can Have it made® in the perfect manufactured or modular home that you can enjoy for years to come!
Article provided by ClaytonHomes.com