Monday, September 17, 2012

Build an Addition!

I recently read an article written in the Washington Post about modular home additions.  I just built a modular home (you should see the blisters it gave me!), and am in no position to put on an addition, but I love the idea.  And yes, I've written about modular home additions before.  Sorry, I'm addicted!  So many people want to add on to their homes, and this is the perfect solution.  The beauty of this plan is that it's so much faster than a traditionally built addition, and it's cheaper.  And in keeping with my theme of late, it can add huge value to your home!

(MOM, are you there?  You know how you and Dad want a new master suite?)

Check this out!

On a cold day in January, homeowners Nick and Catherine Swezey stood in their kitchen looking up at the sky. The roof of their 1923 bungalow in the District’s Kent neighborhood had been torn off to make way for a prefabricated addition on top of the house.

“That was one of the most dramatic moments presented by this project,” said Nick Swezey, advertising director for the Weekly Standard magazine. “We crossed our fingers it wouldn’t rain that day.”
Fortunately, the weather cooperated and three prebuilt structures were hoisted by crane the next morning and assembled into a second story within the day. The new 900-square-foot level adds a bedroom, a bathroom and a walk-in closet for the homeowners, and a pair of bedrooms and a bathroom for their daughter Charlotte and son William. “Our kids were thrilled when they could look into their rooms on the ground before they were lifted into place,” said Swezey.This type of construction, made off-site and transported to a property, is still a rare sight in D.C. neighborhoods. Called modular, manufactured or systems-built, it accounts for only about 1 or 2 percent of the national residential and commercial construction markets, according to Tom Hardiman, executive director of the Modular Building Institute, a trade association based in Charlottesville.

But pre-made modules, once considered formulaic and flimsy, are becoming more common as a faster, cheaper and less wasteful alternative to conventional stick-built construction, experts say.

“Perhaps because of the recession and certainly as a result of heightened awareness of sustainability, many owners, developers and architects are demanding more efficiency from their contractors,” said Hardiman. “This, in turn, is forcing contractors to reexamine previously ignored methods such as modular.”

Proving his point is Case Design/Remodeling Inc., the Bethesda-based company responsible for designing the Swezeys’ addition. “This was our first modular project,” said Bill Millholland, a Case executive vice president. “We got into this type of remodeling to do it in a less expensive and faster way.”

Once the addition was designed, Case tapped Icon Legacy Custom Modular Homes LLC of Selinsgrove, Pa., to fabricate the structures. Windows, wallboard, crown and base moldings, bedroom carpeting, bathroom vanities, mirrors, toilets and tub were already set into place when the structures arrived on a flatbed truck. Roof rafters and sheathing were pre-built and hoisted into place, and roof shingles were installed by the end of the day.

The control over construction quality in the factory and accelerated construction schedule convinced the homeowners to try the modular method. “It’s a very efficient process. We were able to get the square footage we were looking for in a shorter period of time — six months of design and construction versus the nine to 12 months it would have taken to stick-build the second floor,” said Catherine Swezey, who works for, a hotel review Web site. ((End story))

Here are a few pictures of modular additions.  This first one is just so cool.  It reminds me of when we had the cranes on our property!

I really, really think I could handle an addition with a fireplace like this one.

I adore the vaulted ceilings in the addition below.  Big A and I would love to have a sun room addition some day!

 It's hard to believe these additions go up so fast, so, for a real eye opener, check out THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO !  The Washington Post story mentions a 6 month process, but I would be willing to wager, that was very time consuming compared to most modular additions.  Of course, you have to wait for a sunny day to set your addition - especially if it involves removing a portion of your existing roof.