This is often a very confusing question for both consumers as well as professionals who provide services such as financing, appraisals and such. Over the years the terminology has evolved mainly to try to disassociate with Mobile Homes from the 60’s and 70’s. The fact is that Modular Homes are Manufactured and by CSA definition, in Alberta both Manufactured Homes and RTM Homes are built to CSA “Modular” standards, again making this very confusing. Some manufacturers refer to homes on steel frames as Manufactured and Homes that are supported on the perimeter foundations as Modular. Some people refer to multiple-section homes as Modular and single-section homes as Manufactured. I find the easiest way to define the terms is by simplifying it this way:
a) RTM simply stands for “Ready to Move”. Industry standards generally refer to homes that are built 24’ or wider and that need to be moved in one piece and placed on a perimeter foundation as RTM. These homes have traditionally been built outside of manufacturing facilities and are intended to go on a full basement where the customer would be responsible to obtain the furnace, Hot Water Tank, etc. However, many Modular Home builders are now capable of building large homes that are built on one floor and that are shipped as an RTM, but can offer these homes “self-contained”, meaning that the floor is insulated and the furnace and hot water tank are included to expand the foundations options available to customers.
b) A Modular Home by CSA definition is a home that is built off site and that is certified by CSA to have been built to local municipal building codes. In Alberta, no other standards are recognized. RTM Homes are certified to the same standards and using the same criteria as Modular Homes.
c) Other provinces than Alberta still recognize a CSA “Manufactured” standard that is less of a standard than “Modular”, but in Alberta the term Manufactured generally describes a home that is built to Modular Standards, but that uses steel lateral beams as both part of the transportation system and foundation.
Within reason, almost anything can be done to customize a home. Size is no longer an obstacle since we can place multiple units together to form one large home. We can build up to 3 – 4 stories, or as long and wide as you like. Features such as Granite Countertops and tile or hardwood floors are no obstacle either.
We finish a home to how each customer specifies they would like it done. There are generally standards offered by the manufacturer, but Grandview Modular has teams of workers that offer various alternatives to both interior finishing and exterior in order to expand our offering to fully customized if that is what someone wants. In other words, if the manufacturer doesn’t offer something, Grandview Modular can still arrange to provide it to our clients.
Generally our customers describe their experience as being completely educational and informative. We do not believe in high pressure sales. Let’s face it, this is a large decision and no one should be pressured into buying something that is as large of an investment as a home is. It’s not like you can take a home back to the store for store credit if you make the wrong decision.
Q. Describe the process of buying and setting up a home, what does a buyer need to have and what should to know before going in?
The process of buying a home is going to be different to each customer. There are factors such as site conditions, financing and consumer needs that are very specific to each customer. However, no matter what the needs are for each customer, we have a proprietary, 8 page checklist that ensures that every customer will know exactly what to expect during delivery and set-up of their home. They will know what they are responsible for and what to do to get ready for delivery.
We ask every customer to partake in a survey to tell us about their experience after they have moved into their new home. Of the surveys that are returned, I am very encouraged by the fact that customers generally have nothing but positive feedback about their experiences. They comment on the professionalism of their sales consultants and the educational approach that we take. They also tell us that our logistics coordinator is very helpful, and that our service crews that arrive soon after the home are very thorough. I know it’s impossible to completely please everyone, but I am very proud of the fact that everyone within our organization sets that goal as their highest priority and I think we are all very good at it.
I think there are very many things that separate us from our competitors, but in order for me to prove it, we need to encourage customers to go to our competitors and check it out for themselves. We promote to our customers that the experience they will have with us on their first visit will be highly educational. Many people forget about all the little things that need to be completed in order to fulfill the experience, and we have worked diligently over the years to provide to our customers the service of being able to provide those little things to our customers so they are not left to do it on their own. We have experienced foundation people at our disposal, as well as we provide steps, decks, sheds, garages, or whatever else our customers want to complete their home experience.