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Home Buyers

Home Buyers

Are you a home buyer looking to have the home of your dreams built with a quality that will outlive them? Start by exploring our home plans.

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Commercial

Commercial

Reap the benefits of speed and cost through off-site construction with H-Tech Housing and skip the obstacles of design and specifications. Let Hi-Tech Housing help.

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Builders

Builders

If you need a quality housing product to offer your clients, start with Hi-Tech Housing. With our variety and quality, we'll help you put a smile on your client's face.

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Dealers

Dealers

Hi-Tech Housing can help you achieve your sales goals by equipping you with the designs and specifications that your customer is demanding in the market today.

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Capabilities

Capabilities

Hi-Tech Housing posses a wide range of capabilities. From our range of products, to customization and our commitment to sustainable building.

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Hi-Tech Housing’s Experience and Capabilities

While Hi-Tech Housing’s primary expertise is wood-frame construction for structures up to four-stories in height, through sub-contract partnerships it can also provide light-gauge steel-framed structures, SIPs-panel construction and shipping-container and hybrid shipping-container structures.

Hi-Tech Housing modules can be installed on basements, crawl spaces, and concrete and masonry garages and lower levels.  Hi-Tech Housing modules can also be built on steel-supported floor systems which can be integrated into a permanent foundation suitable for temporary use or for installation in problematic conditions such as permafrost and unstable soils.  Slab-on-grade structures are possible, although it is generally more cost-effective to complete the first level of such structures on-site.

One way to understand Hi-Tech Housing’s breadth of experience is to consider the number of occupancy and use types defined in the model building codes in which we can contribute.  Follow this link to learn more: [Link:  Hi-Tech Housing Capability by Occupancy and Use Classification]

Hi-Tech Housing is a US registered contractor and has provided structures for projects of various Canadian provinces.

Hi-Tech Housing has experience with a wide range of fire assemblies and separations.  Our processes can accommodate sprinkler systems.

Hi-Tech Housing processes accommodate NM (“Romex”) electrical wiring, but also MC and EMT (rigid) cabling and conduit systems.  While our most common water-line systems are cross-linked polyethylene (PEX), we also work routinely with copper.

For large structures with basement or roof-top heating and cooling systems, the mechanical work is typically performed by others on-site.  However, for simple structures and for remote sites, Hi-Tech Housing has experience in installing a broad range of HVAC systems, including forced air, high-velocity forced air, electric baseboard and hot-water baseboard systems and a full range of fuel-types, including electrical, natural gas, LP, and fuel-oil.

With various partners, Hi-Tech Housing can provide off-grid facilities.

Off-site construction brings inherent sustainable characteristics.  Hi-Tech Housing’s experience includes Energy Star, LEED, Green Communities and passive design in both the US and Canada.  To the best of our knowledge, HTH has delivered more LEED Platinum structures than any other company.

Hi-Tech Housing has its own cabinet shop.  While we limit the available offering of styles, woods and finishes, our offering may provide substantial savings compared to purchased cabinets.

Hi-Tech Housing is equally experienced in rural, suburban, and urban environments, including very remote and hostile locations.

The cost of delivering off-site constructed buildings usually yields diminishing returns as the building site becomes more remote from the manufacturing plant.  Hi-Tech Housing’s production facilities are located in Bristol, Indiana, which is in the north-central part of the state, near the Michigan border. Hi-Tech Housing products are therefore most competitive in the upper Midwest.  However, Hi-Tech Housing’s unique capabilities have often brought us projects with special requirements for areas with high-cost or non-existent construction labor.  As a result, Hi-Tech Housing has delivered projects as distant as northern Alberta, Texas, New Orleans and Nova Scotia.

While it is possible to transport very large modules, it is usually most cost-effective, if individual modules can be limited to 76ft in length, 15ft 9in in width and 12ft in height (which allows for a 30in high modular transport trailer).  Some structures can simply not be broken into modules with these criteria, or involve specifications that are incompatible with off-site construction.  We are always happy to provide a quick assessment of whether a particular project would benefit from off-site methods and would fall within our capabilities.  We can usually make that preliminary determination within one to two working days.


Offsite Construction Delivers Many Benefits

Off-site construction brings cost, efficiency, quality and sustainability benefits to a surprisingly large portion of the entire Built Environment.  “Lean construction” accepts that off-site construction will be a major contributor to an urgently needed transformation of the construction industry.  Disappointingly construction is the only business category in North America that experienced a decline in productivity during the last quarter-century.  Today, some of the most dramatic and rapid applications of off-site construction are found in Asia (particularly China) and Europe, while North America lags.  Canada is progressing more rapidly than the United States, propelled in part by developments in the arctic and sub-arctic.

By definition, off-site construction involves building components of a structure within a controlled industrial environment, with individual modules transported to the building site.   The constraints presented by transportation place some limits on the range of designs which can be accommodated, but this is a limitation that should not be over-emphasized.   The project team must consider the trade-offs between the off-site and on-site scope-of-work in order to determine whether a particular design is amenable to off-site construction.


Hi-Tech Housing’s Specifications

Historically, companies that build homes in factories have evolved their own unique way to write specifications.  Most organize their specifications according to the order in which things are assembled in their factories.  Since every factory is a little different, there are a lot of languages.  At its inception, Hi-Tech did the same.  As our business evolved, we encountered more and more projects for which the specifications were developed by professional home designers, architects, engineers and major general contractors.  We found ourselves spending considerable effort translating specifications in the MasterFormat® developed and regularly improved by the Construction Specifications Institute (“CSI”) into our specification format and back.  Ultimately, we decided to convert all of our systems, from bidding to shop-floor information, into the six-digit MasterFormat®   The sections which typically involve our work are in a bold font on the linked chart.  (Link: MasterFormat® ) 

Hi-Tech Housing has a “standard” set of specifications for multi-family and commercial projects.  It’s just a way to organize and provide a beginning point for the actual specifications.  You can download copies of the IBC and NBCC versions in the resources section of this web site.  This basic specification covers the structural and thermal envelopes with some basic starting points for mechanicals.  Roofing, siding, flooring and lighting are completely optional.

If you have already established specifications, whether embedded in the plans or in a separate document, we will match them as closely as possible, thoroughly discussing any instances of materials that are incompatible with off-site construction or which are unavailable.  We’ll also suggest substitutions that we think might be more cost-effective.

Hi-Tech Housing works regularly with five building codes.

  • International Building Code (“IBC”)
    Applies to most of our permanent multi-family and commercial project in the US.  Relocatable commercial modules with permanent steel chasses, such as some drill-site structures and office modules can be built under this code.
  • International Residential Code
    Applies to some projects, including some drill-site barracks.
  • National Building Code of Canada/CSA-A277) (“NBCC”)
    Applies to most of our multi-family and commercial projects in Canada.  Section 9 applies those projects that are the equivalent of the IRC in the US.  The application of the NBCC to off-site construction has been codified in the Canadian Standards Association (“CSA”) A277 code.
  • Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Code (US)
    This code never applies to multi-family structures, but has some use in government-purchased emergency housing.
  • Canadian Relocatable Homes/CSA-Z240, Z241 and A277 on-frame
    This code may also be invoked for structures intended to be permanent, but need an independent support structure for placement in perma-frost areas.
  • Other Codes
    Our company exports some homes outside the US and Canada, and is then subject to other codes.  Our company also builds multi-family and commercial structures in the US and Canada under the applicable codes.

The Design Phase

Here we will consider what plans and specifications are needed for a specific project in order to (a) provide you with a non-binding estimate and suggested scope-of-work allowing you to make a preliminary judgment as to whether off-site construction by Hi-Tech Housing is economically logical, and (b) tender a bid suitable for inclusion in a binding contract. 

For a simple project involving one or more relatively small structures, it may be possible to begin our discussions with a floor plan, elevations, a generic foundation plan, rudimentary plumbing and electrical information and one or more cross-sections.  Larger and more complex projects will, of course, require more detail.

Let’s first consider design in three broad categories.

Scenario 1

We all know that multi-family and commercial designs tend to be very specific to the site and unique use.  Nevertheless, it’s possible that the designs for one of our past projects may come close to meeting your needs.  You may find a suitable design in our multi-family/commercial brochure, which you can download through the “Resources” section of this web site.  In discussing your project with a Hi-Tech Project Sales Manager, we may be able to introduce you to a design from one of our past projects.   Often such designs are protected by a confidentiality agreement with the owner, developer or architect for the project, but we might be able to get permission or introduce you to the architect.  If such pre-existing designs are a basis for discussion, but require modification for your project, we may be able to develop modified plans for a modest non-refundable fee.

Scenario 2

Another possibility is that you have a design that has been optimized for off-site construction or wish to generate a unique design that will be optimized for off-site construction.  If (a) you are an architect or designer, (b) an owner or developer who has already engaged or intend to engage an architect unfamiliar with off-site modular construction and are early in the design process, we would be delighted to provide the design team with a quick seminar on how to optimize for off-site construction.  If you are an owner or developer and have not yet selected an architect, we would be pleased to introduce you to one of the firms with which we have worked successfully.  However such a design is developed, it will have the advantage of allowing us to provide you with a very cost-effective proposal.

Scenario 3

You may already have a complete set of plans and specifications, which were not developed with an original consideration for off-site construction.  We will attempt to quickly advise you which of the following conditions applies to your design:

  • The design can be executed using off-site modular construction with little or no modification.
  • The design is amenable to off-site construction with certain adjustments to the design.  Of course, those adjustments may not be acceptable.  Common adjustments include changes in the foundation plan, adjustments to some room dimensions to accommodate transport regulations, and completion of some work on-site rather than in our factory.
  • The design is simply not amenable to off-site construction.

Hi-Tech Housing’s Scope of Work

Hi-Tech Housing is highly flexible with regard to its scope-of-work. Generally, the more we can assemble and install in our factory the more cost we save and the quicker you achieve occupancy. One requirement is that we must be able to safely transport our modules and pre-fabricated components from our factory to your site.

  • We can build our part of a structure to fit and connect to other parts of the structure that are built on-site.
  • We can source and install materials or we can install materials sourced and purchased by others.
  • We can accommodate specialty sub-contractors in our plant, including sprinkler contractors and supervising licensed plumbers and electricians required by some jurisdictions.
  • Notably, we can install as much of the roof system as possible in our plant or we can install all or sections of the roof on-site, which expands our repertoire to include many more complex designs avoided by other off-site specialists.
  • We install flat and both gable and hipped pitched roofs.
  • We install a broad range of wood, plastic and rubber exterior and interior moldings and trims, or can omit any of it in favor of on-site installation.
  • We install fiberglass, rock wool, cellulose, rigid and closed and open cell spray-foam insulations or omit it for on-site installation.
  • We install a wide range of building wraps, including rain-screen systems, or omit all for on-site installation.
  • We install a variety of roofing types, including metal, shingle and membrane roofs or prepare the roof for the on-site installation of roofing.
  • We install vinyl, metal, half-log, stucco and cementitious siding or can omit all or any portion of the siding to accommodate on-site stone and masonry.
  • We install any type of wood, vinyl, fiberglass, metal and composite doors and windows available in the market, or can omit for on-site installation. We are highly familiar with a full range of commercial door hardware.
  • We typically install gypsum wall board as the primary interior wall and ceiling finish, but can also install damage-resistant, pre-finished and other specialty materials and can install acoustic tile ceilings.
  • We install sheet vinyl, vinyl composite tile, carpet, ceramic tile and rubber flooring, but can also omit all or any portion of the flooring in favor of site-installation.
  • We install a wide range of case goods of our own manufacture or purchased from others.
  • We install residential and commercial kitchen and laundry appliances, and through partners can provide a complete commercial kitchen.
  • We install a wide range of residential and commercial plumbing fixtures or prepare the building for fixtures furnished and installed on-site.
  • In smaller structures, we may be able to provide a complete HVAC system.
  • We install complete electrical systems, not just the typical NM (“Romex”) wiring, but also MC and EMT as required in many commercial applications and some jurisdictions.
  • We can install most lighting fixtures in our plant or wire for site installation.
  • We can install a broad range of communications and alarm systems.
  • In the US we can install the modules (taking them to a “weather-tight” condition typically referred to as a “rough set”).

Our estimates and bids, in CSI format as noted above, contain a detailed review of the scope-of-work.


Hi-Tech Housing’s Contract

When arriving at the point of entering into a formal contract, there are several routes from which to choose.

Long-Term Contract Covering Multiple Projects

Some HTH clients purchase multiple structures during the course of a year. In such circumstances we often enter into a long-term contract which covers the basic framework of the relationship, then issue individual sales orders which address the plans, specifications, scope-of-work and performance time of specific buildings. You can download a template for such a contract from the resources section of this web site.

Project-Specific Contract

For large, complex projects it often makes more sense to enter into a contract specific to the project. Again, there are choices:

  • We’ve developed a project-specific template that reflects our experience over many years. You can download a copy from the “resources” section of this web site.
  • We can use a standard document developed by trade associations like the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and their state and provincial chapters.
  • If you have developed your own contract document set, we can work with you to amend it to accommodate the unique characteristics of off-site construction.

Scope-of-Work and Sequence-of-Work Coordination

Particularly for projects involving architects, general contractors and sub-contractors who have not had prior experience with off-site construction, we strongly recommend investing time before contract execution in acquainting everyone involved in coordinating their respective scope-of-work. Because of the coordination of on-site fit with other structures, inter-module mechanical connections and connections to municipal and project utilities, the on-site framing and mechanical sub-contractors are vulnerable to two kinds of errors. First, we want to avoid duplication where HTH and an on-site sub-contractor have built in a cost for doing the same thing. That obviously raises total cost unnecessarily. Second, and more serious, we want to avoid something “falling through the cracks” where no-one has built in the cost to complete a necessary task. Other trades benefitting from advance review are on-site finishing and furnishings for which some work is installed in out factory, but other related work must be completed on-site where modules connect to each other and to on-site structures (e.g., flooring). A pre-contract meeting of the general contractor and key sub-contractors is often very effective.

Off-site construction inevitably involves a sequence and pace of work that is quite different than strictly on-site construction. The site must be completely prepared for the arrival of cranes and modules as soon as the foundation is ready. In tight urban settings it may be necessary to arrange for a site where modules can be marshalled, than shuttled to the building site rapidly. The site-work schedule is greatly compressed, and those sub-contractors involved in closing up the inter-module connections must be ready to deploy and complete their work quickly. For example, for large projects with flat roofs, the roofing contractor must be prepared to install the roofing system as the roof-level modules are installed, not a leisurely month later.

All of these scope-of-work and sequence-of-work details should be memorialized in the contract documents of all affected sub-contractors.

Financing Coordination

A helpful way to think about the financial arrangements for your project is to try to visualize the stream of progress payments when 60% to 80% of a project’s costs are delivered and installed within a few days rather than three to six months. Your financial institutions and investors may or may not be familiar with this dramatic compression of the building cycle. We are probably building your project in our factory simultaneously with site preparation, excavation, and foundation installation. Then, suddenly, you have a four-story building on your property and we’re asking for payment.

Traditional contract progress payment provisions rarely work with on-site construction. We can suggest terms that work, and you will want to make sure that your construction financing source is prepared to respond.

Deposits and Building Permit

As a condition of starting work, our sub-contract will require a deposit related to the amount of unique and special materials.

Depending on the plan for obtaining a building permit, we may have already obtained through a deposit to prepare sufficient drawings to obtain federal, state or provincial design approval even before we execute a sub-contract. If not, the initial deposit will also be our signal to prepare the “permit set” of drawings and obtain the government approval of our product, which you need to obtain the local building permit for your project.

Depending on the size of the project, the next progress payment is required upon the arrival of the modules at your building site. If the project involves several buildings, we will typically invoice for payments on a building-by-building project. For very large buildings, we may need one or more interim progress payments while we are producing the project, in which case, we will work with you on whatever inspections in our plant are requested by your financial source.

For US projects in which we are installing the modules with our “rough set” crew, we will include the installation cost with the same payment request occasioned by the arrival of the modules, if the installation will take place within a few days. For larger projects involving installation over several weeks, we will invoice for the installation separately, upon completion of our work.

With your financing and building contract in place, with our receipt of a deposit and the successful procurement of a building permit for your project, we are ready to move to the next phase. For our part, we need one last thing – a formal notice from you to us that we should begin.


Installation and Completion Phase

After we have finished building your project in our factory and it has been inspected, we deliver it to your site where it is installed on the foundation and other subcontractors complete it.

Delivery of Your Project

For most projects, we hire the professional home transportation company whose specialized equipment and trained dispatchers and drivers will get the modules of your project from our factory to your home site.  When the delivery of the project is in our scope-of-work, we take responsibility for the modules until they arrive at your site.  Your builder’s risk insurance then takes over.

Some general contractors have their own specialized transportation equipment or preferred transportation company.  When the delivery of the project is in your scope-of-work, you take responsibility for the modules from the time each is attached to a truck at our plant.

For some projects which will be placed in a densely developed area it may be necessary for your project to be delivered to a suitable nearby “marshaling yard,” from which the modules can be shuttled to your building site in the proper sequence and as they are needed.

Installation of the Modules on the Foundation

We work with you to synchronize the delivery of the modules with their installation on the foundation.  The goal is to minimize the risk of damage or even theft.

Structures with a permanent transportation chasses to be installed on a simple pier foundation, may be simply pulled into position, the piers completed and shimmed to get the modules level, and the modules fastened to each other in accordance with the plans and our installation instructions.

One story structures with a permanent transportation chasses or delivered on returnable carriers may be installed on a crawl space or basement foundation using a system of rails and rollers.  The modules are positioned beside the foundation, and then rolled onto the foundation.  The modules are then fastened to the foundation and to each other in accordance with the plans and our installation instructions.

For multi-story structures and for most one-story structures delivered on returnable carriers, a crane is used to lift the modules off of the returnable carriers and placed on the foundation.  Many of our projects have hinged roof systems, accommodating higher roof pitches than can be transported within typical height limitations.  Hinged roof systems will usually also entail a series of framed assemblies forming the peak, which must be installed, sheathed and shingled on the site.  The crane may be used to lift the hinged roof sections and the ridge assemblies.  Alternatively, the installation crew may use jacks and smaller booms to complete the roof.  Another use of the crane is to lift any dormers into position on the roof.

A milestone in the installation process is the “weathering in” of the project, meaning the installation of the modules on the foundation and the completion of the roof and covering of any openings so that the interior of the home is safe from rain, snow and wind.  The work up to this point is referred to as the “rough set.”  Some general contractors have the capability of performing the rough set with their own staff.  Alternatively, you may also contract with a company that specializes in rough sets.    In the US, you can also contract with us to have our crews perform the rough set.  In fact, on some complicated projects, we may require that you use one of our crews.  For complicated projects in Canada, we may recommend that you arrange for one our experts to be present during rough set.

Activities of Other Sub-Contractors

With the completion of the rough set, other local sub-contractors can carry on with their work.  At a minimum, this will include the following tasks:

  • For structures with more than one module, the siding, interior drywall and paint work, any prefinished interior paneling and interior and exterior moldings and trim at the mating line must be installed.
  • Water, drain and vent piping between modules must be connected and then connected to the municipal or private water source and sewer or septic systems.
  • Repairs to minor and commonly occurring transportation and rough-set damage such as repair to drywall stress cracks and re-adjustment to doors and windows that have shifted out of plumb-and-square positions.
  • Heating and cooling ducts and/or fuel lines must be connected.
  • Electrical and communication wiring between modules must be connected and then run to the power and communications grids.
  • Concrete flat work such as walks and driveways.
  • Final landscaping.

Other work that may be completed by your local subcontractors may include:

  • Installation of a hot water heater and any water softening or purifying equipment, especially if they are to be located in a basement.
  • Installation of the heating, cooling and ventilating systems, especially if they are to be located in a basement.
  • Framing and finishing of miscellaneous structures, such as porches, garages, storage buildings, decks, pools and cabanas.
  • Custom millwork, doors, windows, flooring, cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, light fixtures and other items available from us, but purchased elsewhere and installed on-site.
  • Finish painting and decorating.
  • Appliances available from us, but purchased elsewhere and installed on-site.
  • Sprinkler systems.

Local Inspections

The inspection of your project in our plant applies only to our scope-of-work.  Most work done on site must be inspected by your local building inspector, especially the foundation, plumbing, heating, ventilating and electrical connections, and the structural soundness of those miscellaneous structures framed by others at your site


The Procurement and Production Phase

Much is happening simultaneously after the contract is executed. Hi-Tech Housing is buying materials and starting to build your project in its factory. Meanwhile your builder is preparing the site.

Buying Materials

Our first step is to order the materials that will be incorporated into your project. We believe strongly in the efficiency and quality advantages of the “just-in-time” approach to purchasing. We maintain a small inventory of very standard materials such as certain lumber sizes, standard fasteners, drywall materials and paint. Nearly everything else, and, especially all custom materials, is ordered with a firm contract, deposit and your “go-ahead” direction.

Our plant in Bristol, IN is the center of one of North America’s largest networks of distributors of building materials. We can obtain most materials for your project within one to two weeks after we place the orders with our suppliers. However, some custom materials may have much longer lead times, perhaps as long as four to six weeks. We will generally know about these lead times during the contracting phase, and communicate them to you so that we can all plan around this built-in lag before we can start production. Sometimes there are unexpected delays related to production or supply problems at our distributors. While it is fortunately uncommon, suppliers of custom materials may abruptly announce they are no longer producing a particular product, and we may need to work with you to find an acceptable substitute.

We usually don’t need all of the materials on-hand in our plant before we begin to manufacture your home project. We schedule their arrival to match when they will be needed during the production process.

The Production Schedule

Almost daily, we update our schedule of when production will begin for each project, and where it will be in the assembly process each day until it is completed. The day on which we schedule sawing the first lumber and driving the first nail, which we call the “on-line date,” meaning the date on which it starts on our assembly line, and the date on which it is completed within the plant, which we call the “off-line date,” are based on the following conditions and events:

  • Holidays
  • The arrival dates of materials
  • Our backlog of orders
  • The date on which you tell us your site will be ready for installation of the project
  • The availability of trucks and other transportation equipment to deliver the project to your building site
  • Our pace of production, which varies considerably during the course of each year and over the economic cycle

We vary our staffing and production pace to match our backlog of orders. That means that the interval from the “on-line” date to the “off-line” date may be as little as five working days or as many as fifteen. In very slow times, we may actually halt the assembly line for a week or two. In general, the pace is slowest in winter after the holidays and fastest during the peak building season in late summer and early fall.

Inspections

We maintain a formal quality assurance system, with a written manual based on widely accepted quality control and improvement concepts and a series of inspections and tests focused on assuring that your project matches the contractual design and specifications, meets the applicable building code, and performs properly. Each employee and supervisor has specific responsibilities in our system. In addition, separate company inspectors oversee the whole process.

A quality control form, which we call a “traveler,” accompanies each module as it progresses down the assembly line. At each station, responsible employees note the completion of key tasks and make note of any discrepancies in design, specifications, code compliance or operation. All discrepancies must be followed up and a note made as to the proper resolution of the concern.

In addition, at least once, and usually more often during the production of your project, an independent inspector engaged by your state, province, or, in the case of the US HUD code, by the federal government, will inspect your project. Some municipalities require inspections by their own staff. We are prohibited from delivering your home until we have the approval of the independent inspection party as evidenced by certain signed forms and the attachment of a label released to us by the inspection authority.

Completing the Project in Our Factory

We build in an efficient assembly-line process, using as much helpful lifting and fastening equipment, jigs and fixtures as possible. We begin with the floor, and then add interior walls, exterior walls and the roof until we have a true “box girder” which can be transported safely. Then in stages, we add the interior and exterior finishes, install doors and windows and install equipment, plumbing fixtures and light fixtures. You can follow this [link] to a photographic plant tour with many more details.

Homes with a permanent transportation chassis are installed on the chasses with rolling gear (tires and axles) at the beginning of the assembly line. Homes without a permanent transportation chasses and which will be installed on a basement or crawl space foundation are fastened to a specialized transportation “carrier” at the end of the assembly line. These modular carriers will be returned to our plant after your home is installed on the foundation.

Any home consisting of more than one module will have open areas along the “mating lines” where modules will be joined together. At the end of the assembly line, we cover up these openings with a tough plastic sheet and literally shrink-wrap the modules for protection from the weather during transportation. Modules which will be transported by ship, ferry or barge may have additional protection. Also at the end of the assembly line we will load materials which cannot be installed until the modules are fastened together at the building site. Examples are the siding, roofing and flooring materials which will cover the “mating lines.” We refer to these materials as “ship loose” items. To assure matching colors and materials, builders will often order additional ship-loose siding, roofing, doors and windows for garages, porches and other structures that will be built at your site. For some large projects, the volume of ship-loose materials may justify separate shipment.

As each module of your project is completed, it is pulled out of our plant and safely placed in our large, fenced and secured storage yard. When all or most of the modules are complete and in the yard, the process of delivery to your building site can begin.

You are very welcome to visit our factory while we are manufacturing your project. We prefer that you make arrangements in advance. For your safety, we ask that you wear stout shoes. We require that all guests wear safety glasses that we will provide. With a little planning, we can accommodate wheelchairs.

At the Building Site

One of the great advantages of “off-site” construction in a factory is that work can proceed simultaneously at the building site and in our factory. While we are assembling your project in our factory, you can be preparing the site, excavating, and constructing the foundation system. For projects built completely on-site, construction of the home cannot begin until these preceding tasks are complete.


After Commissioning and Occupancy

What about the things that need to be fixed after occupancy?

Our Limited Warranty

We provide a written limited warranty to you. It contains a lot of information on precisely what is covered and defines what can be considered a defect that we are obligated to remedy. We only warrant the elements of your project that we produced. It covers the defined defects for one year from first occupancy.

Warranties of Our Suppliers

Many of the materials we purchase and incorporate into your project have their own limited warranty. Some, like shingles and siding, have very long-running warranties. These are “pass-through” warranties in the sense that they come to us as the original purchaser of the materials, but pass through to you as the ultimate user. We provide you with these documents. You can often find additional details on the internet web site of the original manufacturer.

Obtaining Warranty Service

Most problems covered by a pass-through warranty from us or another sub-contractor require that you contact that manufacturer directly. Telephone numbers, mailing addresses and/or email addresses are provided in the limited warranty documents.

With regard to our limited warranty, for Canadian projects we make arrangements with the general contractor to perform any warranty service for which we are obligated. In the US project owners or developers should still contact the general contractor first, even though we may undertake required repairs, replacements or reimbursements with our own employees or service sub-contractors. In many cases, the general contractor will be assisting us in resolving the problem. You can also contact us directly as provided in our limited warranty documentation.

Preventative and Routine Maintenance and Proper Operation

Most warranties, including ours, do not cover problems that arise because of your failure to properly maintain the materials or equipment or to operate the equipment in a reasonable manner. What constitutes proper maintenance and operation may be covered in part in the limited warranty documents, but you should also look at any accompanying “homeowners guides,” “operating manuals,” “installation instructions,” “maintenance guidelines,” and similar documents.


“Quality without Compromise.”

This is Hi-Tech Housing’s motto, which states the very core of our beliefs.   We sincerely want you to be satisfied with our products, since our greatest marketing asset has always been word-of-mouth testimonials by satisfied homebuyers, builders, developers and project owners.  We believe that the more you know about our products and how your project is built, the more likely you are to pass through the construction phase without undue stress and to find, when you move in, that it is truly the culmination of your dreams.


Summary:  In this section we discuss the process of involving us in a multi-family or commercial project.

  • Perspective on your relationship with HTH: To understand this whole process, it’s helpful for you to understand the alternative roles we can take on your project, and those activities in which we are not involved.
  • Research Phase:  The first step is to understand HTH’s capabilities, areas of expertise and limitations.  With that background, we can explore whether off-site construction can enhance the value of your project and whether HTH is a logical source for off-site services.
  • The Design & Specifications Phase: Learn about HTH’s pre-engineered multi-family and commercial plans and our unique infrastructure for bidding to your plans and specifications.
  • The Contracting Phase: Learn about how the building contract is developed and our role.  We’ll touch on the relationship of the building contract and your financial arrangements.
  • The Procurement, Production and Site Preparation Phase:  Much is happening simultaneously after the contract is executed.  We’re buying materials and starting to build your project in our factory.  Meanwhile your builder is preparing the site.
  • The Installation and Completion Phase:  After we have finished building your project in our factory and it has been inspected, we deliver it to your site where it is installed on the foundation and other subcontractors complete it.
  • After Commissioning and Occupancy: What about things that need to be fixed after occupancy?  We’ll discuss our limited warranty, and other warranties of importance, as well as the necessity for on-going care and maintenance.



INTERNAL LINK A
Hi-Tech Housing Capability by Occupancy & Use Classification
  
Legend General involvement
Limited to structures under 5 stories and divisible into transportable modules
Limited to specialized smaller modules within the primary structure
Class not served by Hi-Tech Housing
Notes [1] IBC=International Building Code, IRC=International Residential Code (US)
[2] NBCC=National Building Code of Canada
Classification Code Occupancy/Use 
IBC [1] NBCC [2] Category Examples
A1 A1 Places of assembly for production & viewing of performing arts and motion pictures Motion picture theaters, concert halls, TV & radio stations with audience areas, theaters
A2 A2 Places of assembly for consumption of food & beverages Banquet halls, dance halls, night clubs, restaurants, taverns, bars
A3 A2 Places of assembly for worship, amusement & misc. Amusement arcades, art galleries, bowling alleys, religious worship, community halls, courtrooms, exhibition halls, funeral parlors, gymnasiums (non-spectator), indoor swimming pools (non-spectator), indoor tennis courts (non-spectator), lecture halls, libraries, museums, transit terminal waiting areas, pool & billiard parlors
A4 A3 Places of assembly for viewing indoor sporting events Arenas, skating rinks, swimming pools, tennis courts
A5 A4 Places of assembly for viewing outdoor activities Amusement parks, bleachers, grandstands, stadiums
B D Business group Airport traffic control towers, animal hospitals, kennels, pounds, banks, barber & beauty shops, car washes, civic administration, clinics (out-patient), educational buildings for students over 12th grade, electronic data processing, laboratories (testing & research),
      motor vehicle show rooms, post offices, print shops, professional services (architects, attorneys, dentists, physicians, engineers, etc.), ratio & TV stations, telephone exchanges, training & development centers (not within a school or academic program)
E C Educational Buildings for more than 6 persons through 12th grade except accessory to religious buildings, day care for more than 5 persons older than 2-1/2 years
F1,F2 F2,F3 Factories Manufacturing and processing of all types
H F1 Hazardous Manufacturing and other processing structures and storage facilities with high hazard risk
I1 C Institutional occupancy for more than 5 persons with 24-hour occupancy, supervised care and services Boarding houses, halfway houses, group therapy, congregate care, social rehab, alcohol & drug abuse, convalescent facilities
I2 B2 Institutional occupancy for medical, surgical, psychological, nursing & custodial care, 24-hour occupancy, more than 5 persons, evacuation impractical Hospitals, nursing homes (intermediate & skilled nursing), mental hospitals
I2 B3 Institutional occupancy for medical, surgical, psychological, nursing & custodial care, 24-hour occupancy, more than 5 persons, evacuation difficult but possible Assisted living facilities, hospices (without treatment), detoxification facilities, respite centers, facilities for Alzheimer's and dementia patients, child care for children 2-1/2 and younger
I3 B1 Institutional occupancy for more than 5 persons who are under restraint Prisons, jails, reformatories, detention centers, correctional centers, pre-release centers
M E Facilities for display and sale of merchandise Department stores, drug stores, markets, motor fuel dispensing facilities, retail & wholesale stores, sales rooms
R1 C Residential occupancies containing sleeping units for persons who are primarily transient Hotels & motels, rooming houses for more than 5 persons, vacation time-share facilities
R2 C Residential occupancies containing sleeping units with more than 2 dwelling units for persons who are permanent Apartment houses, convents, dormitories, fraternity & sorority houses, hotels & motels (non-transient), monasteries, rooming houses for more than 5 non-transient persons, therapeutic residences for more than 16 persons
R3 Part 9 Residential occupancies for 1 & 2 family occupancy of more than 3 stories Single-family homes, duplexes, townhomes, attached residences separated by firewalls
R4 B3 Residential occupancies for therapeutic purposes with more than five but no more than 16 non-staff occupants Certain therapeutic facilities
R5, IRC Part 9 Detached 1 & 2 family residences of 3 stories or less and certain other small-scale occupancies Single-family homes under 3 stories, duplexes under 3-stories, townhomes under 3-stories, adult and child care facilities for nor more than 5 persons, rooming houses for no more than 5 persons, therapeutic facilities for no more than 5 persons
S1,S2 F3 Moderate & low-hazard storage facilities Storage buildings, warehouses
U F Utility and miscellaneous Agricultural buildings, aircraft hangers, barns, carports, fences of less than 6 feet, grain silos, greenhouses, livestock shelters, private garages, retaining walls, sheds, stables, tanks, towers


INTERNAL LINK B
MasterFormat®
• Division 01 General Requirements (general description of building, building code, quality standards, engineering loads (snow, wind, seismic).
• Division 02 Existing Conditions (applies to work on site by others)
• Division 03 Concrete (generally done on site by others and rarely involves our products)
• Division 04 Masonry (stone, brick and concrete block, generally done on site by others and rarely involves our products)
• Division 05 Metals (Involves our products with steel transportation frames or embedded steel beams)
• Division 06 Wood, Plastics and Composites (floor, wall and roof framing, sheathing and decking, moldings and other millwork)
• Division 07 Thermal and moisture protection (insulation, building wraps and vapor barriers, roofing, siding and sealants)
• Division 08 Openings (doors, door hardware, openings without doors, access panels, windows)
• Division 09 Finishes (drywall and other wall and ceiling finishes, flooring, paint)
• Division 10 Specialties (bathroom accessories, shelving, exterior trim like shutters)
• Division 11 Equipment (appliances)
• Division 12 Furnishings (window treatments, cabinets and countertops, occasionally furniture)
• Division 13 Special Construction (unique aspects of factory-built housing such as transportation method, materials shipped loose by us for installation by others and installation services by our own modular setup crews – US only)
• Division 14 Conveying equipment (elevators, escalators, etc.)
• Divisions 15-20 (Reserved by CSI for future use)
• Division 21 Fire Suppression (sprinkler systems)
• Division 22 Plumbing (piping and fixtures)
• Division 23 Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning  (furnaces and other heating equipment, air conditioners, ductwork, ventilation fans)
• Division 24 (Reserved by CSI for future use)
• Division 25 Integrated Automation (electronic control systems rarely used in homes)
• Division 26 Electrical (wiring and lighting)
• Division 27 Communications (wiring and fixtures for phone, TV and data)
• Division 28 Electronic Safety and Security (smoke and CO detectors and alarm systems)
• Divisions 29-30 (Reserved by CSI for future use)
• Division 31 Earthwork (on-site work by others)
• Division 32 Exterior Improvements (on-site work by others)
• Division 33 Utilities (bringing water, sewer, fuel and power to your home – on-site work by others)
• Divisions 34-49 are for public, commercial and industrial construction

INTERNAL LINK C
PHOTOGRAPHIC TOUR OF FACTORY

 


INTERNAL LINK D
LIMITED WARRANTY


How we do business

The Role of Hi-Tech Housing in Your Multi-Family and Commercial Projects

Hi-Tech Housing functions as either a material-man or subcontractor on commercial projects since off-site construction still involves significant levels of on-site work, with some materials furnished by others.  In the US, Hi-Tech Housing is able to accept the installation of the modules on the foundation in its scope-of-work, but there remains the excavating and foundation work as well as significant portions of the exterior and interior finishing and mechanicals as well as the construction of miscellaneous structures that are not cost-effectively built in a factory.

Hi-Tech Housing has functioned in all of the following roles on commercial projects:

  • Material-man or subcontractor to the project general contractor
  • Material-man or subcontractor to a construction manager
  • Material-man or subcontractor to an off-site construction specialty firm
  • Material-man or subcontractor to an architect who is also acting as construction manager
  • Material-man or contractor to an owner or developer acting as their own general contractor

Hi-Tech Housing ’s Position and Role in the Off-Site Construction Industry

Hi-Tech Housing was formed in 1990 by Charles J.  Fanaro Jr., a defensive move to build homes to his exacting high quality standards for Saddlebrook Farms… a large senior-living community founded in the Chicago metropolitan area in the late 1980’s.  At the time, Fanaro’s dilemma was that he wanted to obtain the advantages of a leasehold community using manufactured homes (with the motto “an improved quality of life at a reduced cost of living”) but concluded that the homes must have features and construction quality superior to that of a typical suburban Chicago home.  Finding no manufacturer who was willing to meet his specifications and quality standards, he acquired a recently closed housing factory in Bristol in Elkhart County, Indiana, recruited a management team, and began building homes for his active adult development.  Hi-Tech built its business model on a simple statement: “Quality without Compromise,” and Saddlebrook Farms subsequently earned numerous awards and accolades as the best senior living community of its kind in the US.  In 2014, the community had grown to over 1400 homes and will continue to grow by phases.

The twin precepts of “building what your customer wants, not what the factory wants to sell” and “quality without compromise” were somewhat revolutionary in the off-site construction industry, where arbitrary standardization, low-cost but problematic building materials and hasty construction were seen as unavoidable.  New market opportunities beyond Fanaro’s own development arose immediately after its founding.  The original homes designed for Saddlebrook Farms were coveted by other developers of high-quality communities.  Those original home designs were also appropriate as high-quality modular housing, and Hi-Tech began selling homes to builders and modular retailers, gradually expanding the offering of homes to include a broad selection of ranches, cape cods and two-story models.

From the beginning, the highly successful marketing of homes in Saddlebrook Farms required a willingness to customize the homes to the unique requirements of the homebuyer to a far greater extent than found elsewhere with off-site construction.  Hi-Tech, of necessity, had to create an infrastructure to accurately capture those unique features and specifications and then execute them faithfully in the factory.  That ability to “mass-customize” opened further markets for Hi-Tech.  Today, the company can produce a one-of-a-kind home designed by an architect, build a hotel, deliver a rugged drill-site office/barracks, a bank building and much more.

The economics of transporting completed home modules to a building-site has generally meant that individual factories focused on marketing their products within a 300 to 500 mile radius.  Hi-Tech’s unique capabilities have led to projects from the Rockies to the Atlantic and from Minneapolis to New Orleans in the US and from Alberta to the Maritimes in Canada.  Hi-Tech has also seen some demand for shipment beyond North America.

In 2007, Hi-Tech was able to acquire a larger and more modern factory in Bristol not far from its original factory.  Hi-Tech relocated that year, made further improvements to the new facility and continues to upgrade it to serve customer needs and the latest technology.

Over the years, a number of companies produced exciting home designs with lasting value and revered trade names, but, for a variety of reasons from business conditions to management succession, ceased operations.  Hi-Tech has been able to acquire the rights to a number of those design collections.  In late 2010, Fanaro, formed an independent company, Custom Factory Crafted Structures (“CFCS”) to hold and market those designs.  CFCS homes are built in the Hi-Tech factory in Indiana.  CFCS has acquired design rights from such venerable companies as Pinnacle Building Systems, Sun Building Systems, Indiana Building Systems and Holly Park.

Marketing the CFCS designs separately avoids confusion between Hi-Tech’s original designs and those acquired by CFCS and avoids marketing conflicts among retailers who choose to concentrate their efforts on one or the other.


A Brief History of Off-Site Construction in North America

The concept of achieving lower costs, better designs and higher quality in housing has deep roots in North America.  Some historians point…to the packaged building materials imported by European colonists in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  Others point to the kit homes sold by Sears, Roebuck & Co. at the end of the nineteenth century.  Spurred by housing shortages after World War II, firms sprung up to pre-fabricate wood, aluminum and steel wall sections, floor trusses and roof trusses, some offering a relatively complete package of components to builders.  A few of those “prefab” companies still exist, while the mass-manufacture of components is now carried on by lumber yards and specialty truss manufacturers.  In the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries we have seen the development of products focused on energy-efficiency such as structural insulated panels (“SIPs”).
The inception of mass-producing a relatively complete home in a factory is generally traced to the formation of the Sportsmen’s Trailer Company, later re-named Schult Homes in Elkhart, Indiana in 1934.    Their first products were relatively small structures on wheels aimed at fishermen, hunters, and campers.  It quickly became clear that there was also a market for trailers that would function as permanent housing.  This got a boost during World War II when Schult got a contract to quickly build a large number of homes for the atomic bomb manufacturing facility in Oak Ridge, TN.  While a few competing manufacturing firms were founded before WWII, the real growth erupted afterwards, often in northern Indiana by alumni of Schult.  By the 1950’s, this industry had divided into specialists in permanent housing and recreational vehicles.  Voluntary building codes were developed under the American National Standards Institute (“ANSI”) for both parts of this industry.  Conflicting state regulations and serious national concerns about occupant safety led to federal legislation effective in 1975, the Manufactured Housing and Safety Code for permanent housing.  The recreational vehicle industry continues to use various ANSI codes.  The federal code is administered by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), so homes built to that code are generally referred to as “HUD-cod homes.”  From a marketing stand-point, homes in this part of the industry have evolved from being called “trailers” to “mobile homes” and, since the enactment of the 1975 code, “manufactured homes”. A similar regulatory path arose in Canada, with the Canadian Standards Association (“CSA”) providing a model code for such structures.

The focus of the manufactured housing aspect of off-site construction tended to focus on high affordability, with many homes placed on leased ground in mobile home or manufactured housing communities or in rural areas which lacked affordable site-built homes.   However, by the 1960’s a number of entrepreneurs and some traditional homebuilders saw an opportunity to build homes in a factory which met the same model code requirements as site-built homes, albeit this meant meeting code requirements which differed significantly from state-to-state and province-to-province.  Efforts also began to use relatively complete factory-built structures for multi-family housing and commercial structures such as office-trailers.  This part of the industry got a big boost in the US in 1969 under the “Operation Breakthrough” initiative under George Romney’s tenure as Secretary of HUD.   Nearly all states enacted regulations covering factory-built structures intended to meet the state’s version of a model building code.  While the state regulations were generally called industrialized building codes, the homes tended to be called “pre-fabricated,” “prefab” or “modular” homes, terms which have persisted.  Importantly, these regulations provided for the inspection of key components within the factory by independent inspection firms authorized by the state.

In Canada, the evolution of factory-built structures conforming to the National Building Code of Canada led to the development of factory-oriented procedures by the Canadian Standards Association and the enactment of industrialized housing regulations by the provinces.  A product niche unique to the Canadian Prairie Provinces is the Ready-to-Move (“RTM”) home.  In Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta the broad open highways enable the inexpensive transport of very large loads, and some building firms construct complete homes rather than in smaller modules, then move them to the home-site.

Some of the most spectacular advances in off-site construction are happening in Europe and, especially, in Asia, where Chinese construction firms are building huge office and hotel towers in record time.

Change, sometimes gradual and sometimes rapid, has also been a constant characteristic of the distribution of factory-built structures.  Most HUD-code home in the US and re-locatable homes in Canada are distributed through firms which were formed specifically to market such homes or by the developers of leased-land communities designed for such homes.  Such firms may purchase exclusively from a single manufacturer, but more often purchase homes from several manufacturers in order to satisfy the full range of demand in the markets they serve.  Some firms sell from multiple locations, while others from only one.  Most states and provinces license and regulate such firms and the often independent firms which install the homes on a foundation.  Since the “Great Recession” of 2007-08, most of these retailers have found it necessary to hold fewer homes in inventory and purchase more from manufacturers as needed.  In the US some manufacturers began to establish their own captive retail locations and some multi-location retailers established their own manufacturing capacity.  Most of these integrated firms, which often included a finance company, were victims of the “Great Recession,” the notable exception being Clayton Homes, which is now part of Berkshire-Hathaway and which ironically now owns the assets of industry-founder Schult Homes.

The distribution of prefab and modular homes has evolved along a somewhat different path.  While some firms were founded specifically to market prefab and modular homes, many are sold through firms that began as conventional on-site homebuilders, and may have continued to build some number of homes entirely on-site.  Beginning in the 1990’s some manufactured home retailers also began to sell prefab and modular homes.  This tendency accelerated after a severe contraction of the specialized financing for manufactured homes erupted in 1999.  In general, the firms that had their genesis as manufactured home retailers have tended to focus on more standardized and simple modular homes, whereas those with a traditional building or strictly modular focus have tended to build a much broader range of homes.  Because prefab and modular homes share most of the business characteristics of site-built structures, there has been relatively little movement to regulate them any differently than a traditional on-site builder.


Formalizing a Relationship with Hi-Tech Housing

The process begins with the submission of a “Builder Application.”  This simply collects the information we need to conduct a basic competence and credit search and to understand your form of incorporation, legal address, etc…

Assuming all is in order, we will both sign a “General Terms and Conditions” form.  Individual homes are ordered with a specific sales order.  Rather than burden each order with repetitive legal terms, we execute the “General Terms and Conditions” that apply to every sales order once each year.  Sometimes, a large and complex project deserves its own separate contract, but that is more typical of our multi-family and commercial business.  The language in the “General Terms and Conditions” form is straightforward and self-explanatory, so we will simply list here the sections and call attention to some particularly important aspects.
• Sales Order Documents: This is a definition of the documents that constitute an order for a particular home, including applicable plans, specifications and the sales order itself.  It also defines the precedence of the documents, that is, it establishes which document prevails if there are any inadvertent inconsistencies among them.  We call your attention in particular to the inclusion of the “Standard Scope-of-Work Schedule.”  Understanding the scope-of-work boundaries among the manufacturer and the on-site trades is a critical part of off-site construction, especially during your collection of bids from the on-site trades.
• Sales Order Acceptance:  This section describes what must happen for a particular sales order to become a binding mutual agreement.
• Change Orders:  This section describes the process for making a change after a sales order has been accepted.  Note that after materials have been procured and especially after manufacturing commences, it may not be possible to accommodate a change.
• Time of Performance: This section describes the process for establishing a production and delivery schedule.
• Cancellation: While rare, circumstances may arise when either you or we need to cancel an accepted order.  This section deals with the potential cost consequences of a cancellation.
• Risk of Loss: Whether your insurance or ours applies to damage or loss of the product depends on transportation arrangements as defined in this section.
• Service and Warranty: This section incorporates our standard limited warranty and service policy, both of which are downloadable documents.  Note that there are important differences between the US and Canada.
• Relationship of the Parties: This section confirms that we are each independent firms and neither has an agency or franchise responsibility for the actions of the other.
• Indemnification:  This is a mutual cross-indemnification in which we each take responsibility for our own actions, errors and omissions.
• Dispute Resolution: We agree to settle disputes through arbitration.
• Assignment: This is typical contract documentation forbidding the assignment of an order to another party without permission.
• Governing Law: Indiana contract law applies.
• Notification: Provisions for formally notifying the other party
• Whole Agreement: This is typical contract documentation for excluding verbal and written discussions which took place prior to the execution of the General Terms and Conditions.
• Waivers & Modifications: More typical contract language on what happens when the parties agree to waive a provision of the General Terms and Conditions in a particular instance or modify a particular provision by written amendment.

With our unique expertise in custom building, about 80% of our sales involve custom quotations.  We do have published prices for our “standard” product offering, which are available by request in written or electronic form to qualified builders, accompanied by necessary explanations by our sales team.  Both US and Canadian prices are denominated in US$.  We attempt to confine changes in published prices to once annually, usually at the beginning of the calendar year.  In periods of relatively rapid inflation in the cost of building materials, we may invoke a surcharge, usually expressed in terms of $/square foot for each general product category.

Since our distribution network is not particularly dense geographically and those builders and dealers who are relatively close often sell quite different products or do not rely on our standard designs, we rarely encounter conflicts.  Therefore, in our system, a formal assignment of “territories” is rarely necessary.  Nevertheless, situations in which such an acknowledgement is mutually beneficial do arise, particularly when a builder or dealer has made a substantial investment in display homes.  For those situations we are prepared to enter into a marketing agreement tailored to the specific circumstances.  In general, such agreements commit us to refraining from establishing other similar relationships in a particular geographic area contingent upon the builder or dealer sustaining an investment in display merchandise and/or achieving agreed sales volumes.  Regardless of whether we enter into a formal marketing agreement, we pledge to inform current builders and dealers in our network when we have the opportunity to recruit another distributor somewhere nearby.

Reflecting the nature of our business and general conditions in the housing market since the “Great Recession,” we do not build a cushion into our prices to support volume rebate programs and frequent promotions and incentives.  Occasionally, when economic circumstances render it desirable, we offer a seasonal incentive to all.  While rare, we do occasionally have the opportunity to build a project with a large number of repetitive units.  In that situation, we may be able to adjust our normal pricing methods to reflect the opportunity to purchase large quantities of materials at discounted prices and to achieve greater than normal labor productivity.

Documents referenced in this exploration of the process for establishing a buy-sell relationship can all be downloaded from the “Resources” section under “Builder/Dealer” on this web site.


Hi-Tech Housing’s Distribution Network

Hi-Tech Housing does not sell directly to homebuyers.  It functions as a subcontractor providing factory-built structures and some installation services to quality builders, general contractors and dealers in factory-built homes in the US and Canada… who make the sale to a homebuyer, prepare the building site and complete those portions of the home which are not built in the factory. 

If you are among the following, we would like to explore working with you.
• Seasoned builders of modular and prefab homes.
The breadth of Hi-Tech’s product offering may serve all your needs.  If you are already satisfied with one or more existing manufacturer relationships, but wondering how to capture all those custom requests you can’t serve now, our unique capabilities are a perfect fit.
• Traditional site-builders motivated to add off-site construction to their repertoire.
Our unique capabilities to match the designs and specifications which you know are successful in your market area are a perfect reason to consider us.
• Retailers of prefab and modular homes
• Retailers of manufactured homes
• Developers of housing subdivisions and in-fill housing specialists who also act as their own general contractor
• General contractors
• Developers of communities for manufactured homes

For additional insight into Hi-Tech’s philosophy of the proper relationship among off-site manufacturers, builders and homebuyers, we recommend that you read the “Finding a Builder” and “How we do Business” segments under the “Homebuyer” section of this web site.  What we hope shines through is our belief that (a) our proper mutual goal is the complete satisfaction of the homebuyer and that (b) homebuyer satisfaction can only be achieved when we forge a close, open and effective relationship with those builders and dealers who honor us by buying our products.   We are gratified that some of our long-term customers testify that from the moment they walk through our front door, they feel that they are part of a family, treated with respect and friendship by everyone from our receptionist to our office staff to our co-workers on the shop floor.

Our requirements for doing business with you are few, simple and logical.
• We look for broad construction knowledge and competence in execution.
• We require an orientation toward “turnkey” home building and the willingness and ability to intervene quickly to rescue homebuyers who insist on doing some work themselves.
• In the US, we require a willingness and ability to supplement our field service staff in performing warranty repairs.
• In Canada, we require a willingness and ability to perform all warranty repairs on our behalf.  In Ontario, we require that builders of some classes of our products are registered with Tarion®.
• We do not require our customers to invest in display models, but appreciate those who do.
• We do not require our customers to sell our products exclusively, but appreciate those who do.
• We do not require our customers to promote our brand through investments in signage or advertising.  In fact, we believe that our customer’s brand and local recognition is far more important than ours.
• We do not require our customers to offer for sale all of our products.
• We require evidence of a reasonable financial stability, conducting a credit review of all prospective customers.

We invite you to consider adding our products to your arsenal of construction and sales tools.  If you are new to off-site construction, we pledge to be at your side as you learn how to take advantage of this amazing approach to building.  We will assign your firm to one of our sales representatives, who will familiarize themselves with your business focus and needs, and the nature of homebuyer preferences in your local market.

Every week, our web site and our word-of-mouth reputation generate leads from potential homebuyers.  We put those in the hands of the closest distributor who sells products of that category as quickly as possible.


Hi-Tech Housing Products

At Hi-Tech Housing, we feel our real business is acting as a group of construction sub-contractors to assemble “off-site” portions of our customer’s project in modular form to the extent that it makes economic sense.  While about 80% of our sales… are of custom single-family, multi-family and commercial projects, we do have over 200 pre-engineered home designs that may fit your clients’ needs exactly or provide a good starting point for customization.

Our pre-engineered home designs are organized into collections based on building code and several broad categories of specifications, so we begin this discussion with an introduction to the building codes under which we build and our system of specifications.

Building codes.  Our facility is certified to build in many jurisdictions under the following model building codes…
International Residential Code (“IRC”): In the United States, this model code developed by the International Code Council for one and two-family dwellings of up to three stories has been adopted by every state, usually with local modifications, for the regulation of site-built homes as well as “pre-fabricated” and “modular” homes.  Every state has established regulations governing how the designs and specifications for “pre-fabricated” and “modular” homes are approved and how the work done in the factory is to be inspected by an authorized independent entity.  (Work performed at the building site is still inspected by a local building inspector.)  In most states, their version of the code applies everywhere, but some allow some degree of county or city variation.  An example is Illinois, where Chicago, Cook County and surrounding counties have their own building codes.  We warrant that modular homes we build will meet the state version of the code.  We ask that your builder determine if there are any local variations or applicable zoning regulations and covenants and provide us with the details.
Section 9 of the National Building Code of Canada/CSA-A277): As required by federal legislation, all provinces and territories have adopted construction standards for permanent homes built on-site based on the National Building Code of Canada (“NBCC”), which is developed by the Institute for Research in Construction, an arm of the National Research Council of Canada.  The Canadian Standards Association (“CSA”) has developed regulations for the application of the code to homes largely built in a factory and inspection of the homes in the factory.  The CSA-A277 standard specifically applies to homes intended to be permanent structures, but with significant on-site work.  Homes built in a factory under these standards are commonly called “modular” or pre-fabricated” homes.   The NBC has a strong emphasis on energy efficiency and protection from moisture damage.  There are details that vary among the provinces, which also allow varying degrees of local discretion.  There are also significant variations introduced by the various provincial hydro-electric utilities.  We warrant that the modular homes we build will meet the provincial version of the code and rely on your builder to determine if there are any local variations.
Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Code (US):  This national code was established in 1975 and replaced a hodgepodge of state and voluntary codes for what were then called “mobile homes.”  Since this code is administered by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (“HUD”), it is usually referred to as the “HUD code.”  Homes built under this code are limited to single-family homes, must be nearly completed in the factory with regard to structure, heating equipment, and finishes such as siding, roofing and interior wall and ceiling materials.  While many manufactured homes are sited on leased land and are treated as personal property, many others are placed on permanent foundations and may be treated as real estate.  However, the code requires that all manufactured homes must be built on a transportable chassis, usually a steel frame, so that they are at least capable of being relocated.  The HUD code is a national pre-emptive standard, and state and local variations are not permitted except for foundation guidelines.  HUD contracts with independent engineering firms to certify that the home design conforms to the code and to inspect the manufactured home in the plant while it is being built.  Compared to the IRC the HUD code has more sections permitting a wide variety of materials and methods that meet a performance standard and fewer sections mandating specific materials and methods, which allows some cost savings.  While it is possible to build a 1-1/2 story or 2-story HUD-code home, it is almost always not cost-effective because of the mandated transportation chassis, unless there is some local advantageous tax treatment.
Canadian Relocatable Homes/CSA-Z240, Z241 and A277 on-frame:  “Manufactured” and “mobile” homes in Canada, that is, homes with integral chasses accommodating one or more relocations, are designed and produced under several standards developed by the Canadian Standards Association (“CSA”).  These standards closely follow the National Building Code of Canada with the addition of standards for the transportation frame which emphasize structural performance and over-the-road safety.  The Z240 standard requires that the home be completed to the extent possible in the factory.  There are relatively few provincial, territorial and local variations, and most provinces have implemented Z240 with less aggressive energy-efficiency standards than for under the A277 standard.  The Z241 standard is similar and applies to smaller homes typically called “park models.”  It is possible and even common to build an A277 modular home with the Z240 transportation frame standard.  These homes are usually referred to as “on-frame modular” homes.  They must conform to all of the provincial, territorial and local variations in the National Building Code, but can take advantage of the greater flexibility of the NBC in the work performed at the building site.  This version of the A277 standard is often used in remote areas and where a traditional foundation is problematic (e.g. permafrost).
Multi-Family and Commercial Codes:  If your firm builds more than one and two-family dwellings, you may also benefit from our off-site construction expertise.  We build such structures under the International Building Code (“IBC”) in the US and under the relevant sections of the NBCC.  To learn more, see the “How we Do Business” section under the “Commercial” heading on this web site.


Hi-Tech Housing Standard Specifications

Hi-Tech Housing has developed several groupings of specifications to serve as a starting point for developing the unique specifications for each of your projects.  We base them on common tastes, preferences, and popularity as wells as building codes… and our opinion of the best materials in terms of quality, availability, value and ease of operation and maintenance.  All of these things change over time, so we need to adjust our standard specifications annually, and sometimes more often.

Hi-Tech Housing simply calls these groupings “level 3” and “level 4.”  Beginning at “level 3” they involve increasing features, complexity and, of course, cost.  The component materials are typically more costly to us and may involve more labor to assemble and install.  As just one example, consider plumbing fixtures.  In our “level 3” specification we use the widely accepted Delta™ brand.  That changes to Kohler™ for “level 4.”

Another group, arbitrarily called “level B” is used primarily for multi-family and commercial projects.  Sometimes it is the most appropriate specification group for a truly custom home, since the framing materials and methods can be anything we are capable of and materials such as roofing, siding, flooring and lighting are completely optional (and often installed on-site for custom homes).

Design Collections: Each of the levels of specifications is further divided by building code.  All of these specifications are available for viewing or downloading on this web site.  Now let’s refer back to our collections of pre-engineered designs.  We have assigned each collection to a particular specification level.  This is somewhat arbitrary based on complexity of the design and our own opinion on the most appropriate price level.  All designs can be built in a higher level.  Most ranch designs can be built to a lower specification.

Options:  Hi-Tech Housing is known for its flexibility and custom capability.  Our ability to provide options to the materials and methods described in our standard specification levels is almost too broad to describe.

One way to categorize options is to consider what we call “published options” in contrast to “custom options.”  We have pre-engineered and pre-priced many common options.  As one example, suppose that over-all you have decided that a level 3 specification works well for you, but you have your heart set on the level 4 vanity faucet.  That’s probably something we have already priced, a “published option.”  By contrast, suppose that instead of the standard linoleum for the master bathroom in level 3, you would like a unique imported ceramic tile.  Assuming we can find a source for this tile, we would develop a special price for this option for consideration by you and your builder, a “custom option.”

Another way to categorize options is to consider the nature of the change from the standard design or specification.  It could be an addition to the standard design such as an additional window or door.  It could be an addition of a material or feature not included in the standard specification such as a grab bar in a bathroom or a pair of shutters on the rear of a home.  It could be an omission of a standard material such as when we offer a credit for not installing standard siding on the home because your builder is going to install brick at the home site.  Finally, it could be a substitution of one material for another such as when we install wood plank flooring in a dining room instead of carpet.  When we describe a substitution option we usually use the abbreviation “IPO,” meaning “in place of.”

Many materials we use can be found at building supply stores in your area.  We want to caution you that it is often difficult to compare the price you see at the store with the price that we will quote through your builder.  Most important, we will typically quote an installed price which includes not only the item itself (which we can usually obtain at a wholesale price) but also the cost to order, receive and unpack it, dispose of the packaging, and install it; the cost to provide supports for attaching it, the cost to run piping or wiring if applicable, the cost of any fasteners and sealants not included and some allowance to deal with possible damage.  If the item also requires some work or adjustment after delivery, the builder will also add some cost to our estimate.

Installation Services:  In the United States, in addition to our factory-built products, we can install our IRC and IBC products on your foundation.  This is what is commonly referred to as a “rough set” in which our crew sets the modules on the foundation using a crane engaged by you, fastens the modules to the foundation and to each other, completes any roof framing (e.g., raising hinged roof sections and installing ridge assemblies) and installs enough roofing to render the structure weather-tight.  In most situations it does include installing siding which cannot be completed in the factory or completing the interior drywall and trim.  It does not include any mechanical connections.


Hi-Tech Housing System of Specifications

To help us communicate precisely with professional home designers, architects, engineers and capable contractors, we follow the most widely used language in North America, the MasterFormat® developed and regularly improved by the Construction Specifications Institute (“CSI”)… Everything is organized in 49 sections, summarized below (the most common for our products in bold print).
• Division 01 General Requirements (general description of building, building code, quality standards, engineering loads (snow, wind, seismic).
• Division 02 Existing Conditions (applies to work on site by others)
• Division 03 Concrete (generally done on site by others and rarely involves our products)
• Division 04 Masonry (stone, brick and concrete block, generally done on site by others and rarely involves our products)
• Division 05 Metals (Involves our products with steel transportation frames or embedded steel beams)
• Division 06 Wood, Plastics and Composites (floor, wall and roof framing, sheathing and decking, moldings and other millwork)
• Division 07 Thermal and moisture protection (insulation, building wraps and vapor barriers, roofing, siding and sealants)
• Division 08 Openings (doors, door hardware, openings without doors, access panels, windows)
• Division 09 Finishes (drywall and other wall and ceiling finishes, flooring, paint)
• Division 10 Specialties (bathroom accessories, shelving, exterior trim like shutters)
• Division 11 Equipment (appliances)
• Division 12 Furnishings (window treatments, cabinets and countertops, occasionally furniture)
• Division 13 Special Construction (unique aspects of factory-built housing such as transportation method, materials shipped loose by us for installation by others and installation services by our own modular setup crews – US only)
• Division 14 Conveying equipment (elevators, escalators, etc.)
• Divisions 15-20 (Reserved by CSI for future use)
• Division 21 Fire Suppression (sprinkler systems)
• Division 22 Plumbing (piping and fixtures)
• Division 23 Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning  (furnaces and other heating equipment, air conditioners, ductwork, ventilation fans)
• Division 24 (Reserved by CSI for future use)
• Division 25 Integrated Automation (electronic control systems rarely used in homes)
• Division 26 Electrical (wiring and lighting)
• Division 27 Communications (wiring and fixtures for phone, TV and data)
• Division 28 Electronic Safety and Security (smoke and CO detectors and alarm systems)
• Divisions 29-30 (Reserved by CSI for future use)
• Division 31 Earthwork (on-site work by others)
• Division 32 Exterior Improvements (on-site work by others)
• Division 33 Utilities (bringing water, sewer, fuel and power to your home – on-site work by others)
• Divisions 34-49 are for public, commercial and industrial construction


Customization

Hi-Tech Housing’s unique expertise and capability in custom construction go far beyond a willingness to make minor modifications to our pre-engineered designs and standard specifications.  Much of our business is building to your design and your specifications.

To convey the great breadth of design possibilities in our system, we’ll examine three scenarios, from simple to custom.
Scenario 1: You may well find that one of our pre-engineered designs matches your customer’s dream exactly.  Through this web site, you can search for individual plans that match certain criteria.  You can also download one of our digital catalogues containing collections of homes organized by style and complexity.  You will find everything from simple ranch homes to 1-1/2 story (“cape cod”) homes to two-story homes.  You will find homes for sprawling rural sites and narrow homes for urban infill.  You will find designs in the colonial, Victorian, rustic and contemporary styles and more.  Plan sets for these homes are available at no charge through your selected builder.  Please note that they are protected by copyright.
Scenario 2: Perhaps your customer likes one of our pre-engineered designs, but needs to make some changes so it will work in their community and on their building site or make some adjustments to truly personalize the design for their lifestyle.  For a modest non-refundable engineering fee paid though you, we can modify a standard plan to reflect these adjustments, whether it’s simply adding a window or door or increasing the size of one or more rooms, or even adding a room.  We have also pre-engineered many optional design features such as cross-gables, dormers, bay windows and many more.
Scenario 3: What if you or your customer already has a design and it isn’t similar to any of our standard plans.  We routinely work with plans from design services and can interact directly with professional architects.  We may even be able to turn your own rough sketch into reality.  Not every design can be cost effectively built in a factory.  We have to divide any design into individual sections that can be safely transported from our factory to the home site, and for some designs that cannot be accomplished.  We can tell you relatively quickly and without obligation on your part, if we don’t think it makes economic sense for us to build the home.  However, don’t jump to conclusions.  Ask us, because we have many ways to approach a design, and we may have suggestions about how to make some changes that render the design compatible with our methods.  For a truly custom design, we need to develop a preliminary set of plans “from scratch.”  We will provide you with a quote for a non-refundable engineering fee to develop the plans.  Sometimes, at this stage we are able to work directly with the plans developed by an architect, particularly if we have had the opportunity to brief the architect early in the design process.


The Order Fulfillment Cycle

Throughout the order fulfillment cycle for a specific home for a specific homebuyer, we work with you every step of the way from design consultation through order finalization, manufacture, delivery and occupancy…
Design consultation and quotation:  Occasionally you may have a home-buying client who selects one of our pre-engineered designs with little modification, rely on our published standard prices, and find that we can finalize a binding sales order in a matter of a week.  However, we’re never surprised when we find ourselves working over one or two years with several design alternatives and a series of progressive refinements.

Don’t hesitate to involve us early in the process by which you and your client examine alternative designs and specifications.  Particularly if your client brings you a design or if you will be utilizing a design service or architect, our early input on accommodating the constraints created by transportation regulations, can eliminate some wasted effort.

Eventually, your client and you will reach a point when it makes sense to develop a quote for a specific design and specification.  We’ll need a floor plan with dimensions.  We will probably need an elevation and some basic information on the plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems.  Depending on the structural complexity, we may need one or more cross-sections.  Of course, we’ll need at least some general specifications.  Under the “Customization” topic we mentioned how getting to this point may require a non-refundable engineering deposit.

Since it is common to proceed through a whole series of plans and quotes, version control becomes important, as well as the preservation of all emails, faxes and letters.  We recommend that everything be dated and that the latest changes noted in some way.

Finalizing a Sales Order

When your client and you are ready, the quote from us that reflects the final specification selections and scope-of-work and the price consequences, becomes the sales order form.  We refer you back to the earlier section on “General Terms and Conditions” and the sub-sections on “Sales Order Documents” and “Sales Order Acceptance.”  In summary, we will need to sign the applicable plans and the sales order form, and submit the necessary deposit to finalize the order.

Particular attention should be given to the documentation of the scope-of-work.  In our experience with custom work, we see lots of variation from order to order in what is done in our factory versus what is done at the home site.  Making assumptions about the current order based on previous orders is risky.

Financing Arrangements:   Another matter deserving careful attention is the coordination with financing arrangements.  If your client has a construction-to-permanent mortgage loan, which is providing financing during the construction period, it may contain important requirements for start of construction, completion of construction and certificate of occupancy.   If your client or you have a separate construction loan, it must be coordinated with the permanent mortgage loan.  Release of funds by the lender (or lenders) must be coordinated with the deposit and progress payment schedule in our sales order.  If some or all of the funds are coming from your client’s savings, they will need to move them into a liquid form according to the schedule in our sales order.  We may require proof of loan commitment and the availability of your client’s personal funds.  Proof of an adequate loan may include a requirement that the lender, your client and you execute what is known as an “irrevocable assignment of funds” that assures that we will be paid from the loan proceeds.  Your client and you may need to make arrangements for funds to be made available as a certified check.  You may encounter other legal forms as part of the financing arrangements.

Deposits and Building Permit: As a condition of starting work on the home, we will require a deposit that will vary with the amount of unique and special materials in the home.

Depending on the plan for obtaining a building permit, we may have already obtained a deposit to prepare sufficient drawings to obtain federal, state or provincial design approval even before we execute a sales order.  If not, the initial deposit will also be our signal to prepare the “permit set” of drawings and obtain the government approval of our product, which your builder needs to obtain the local building permit for the home.

To move to the next step, we need one last thing – a formal notice from you to us that we should begin.

Buying materials:  Our first step is to order the materials that will be incorporated into the home.  We believe strongly in the efficiency and quality advantages of the “just-in-time” approach to purchasing.  We maintain a small inventory of very standard materials such as certain lumber sizes, standard fasteners, drywall materials and paint.  Nearly everything else, and, especially all custom materials, is ordered upon your “go-ahead” direction.

Our plant in Bristol, IN is the center of one of North America’s largest networks of distributors of building materials.   We can obtain most materials for the home within one to two weeks after we place the orders with our suppliers.  However, some custom materials may have much longer lead times, perhaps as long as four to six weeks.  We will generally know about these lead times during the contracting phase, and communicate them to your builder so that we can all plan around this built-in lag before we can start production.  Sometimes there are unexpected delays related to production or supply problems at our distributors.  While it is fortunately uncommon, suppliers of custom materials may abruptly announce they are no longer producing a particular product, and we may need to work with you to find an acceptable substitute.

We usually don’t need all of the materials on-hand in our plant before we begin to manufacture the home.  We schedule their arrival to match when they will be needed during the production process.

The production schedule:  Almost daily, we update our schedule of when production will begin for each home, and where it will be in the assembly process each day until it is completed.  The day on which we schedule sawing the first lumber and driving the first nail, which we call the “on-line date,” meaning the date on which it starts on our assembly line, and the date on which it is completed within the plant, which we call the “off-line date,” are based on the following conditions and events:
• The date on which you tell us the site will be ready for installation of the home
• The arrival dates of materials
• Our backlog of orders
• Our pace of production, which varies considerably during the course of each year and over the economic cycle
• Holidays
• The availability of trucks and other transportation equipment to deliver the home to your location

We vary our staffing and production pace to match our backlog of orders.  That means that the interval from the “on-line” date to the “off-line” date may be as little as five working days or as many as fifteen.  In very slow times, we may actually halt the assembly line for a week or two.  In general, the pace is slowest in winter after the holidays and fastest during the peak building season in late summer and early fall.

Inspections:  We maintain a formal quality assurance system, with a written manual based on widely accepted quality control and improvement concepts and a series of inspections and tests focused on assuring that your home matches the contractual design and specifications, meets the applicable building code, and performs properly.  Each employee and supervisor has specific responsibilities in our system.  In addition, separate company inspectors oversee the whole process. 

A quality control form, which we call a “traveler,” accompanies each module as it progresses down the assembly line.  At each station, responsible employees note the completion of key tasks and make note of any discrepancies in design, specifications, code compliance or operation.  All discrepancies must be followed up and a note made as to the proper resolution of the concern.

In addition, at least once, and usually more often during the production of your home, an independent inspector engaged by your state, province, or, in the case of the US HUD code, by the federal government, will inspect your home.  We are prohibited from delivering your home until we have the approval of the independent inspection party as evidenced by certain signed forms and the attachment of a label released to us by the inspection authority.

Completing the home in our factory:  We build in an efficient assembly-line process, using as much helpful lifting and fastening equipment, jigs and fixtures as possible.  We begin with the floor, and then add interior walls, exterior walls and the roof until we have a true “box girder” which can be transported safely.  Then in stages, we add the interior and exterior finishes, install doors and windows and install equipment, plumbing fixtures and light fixtures.  You can follow this [link] to a photographic plant tour with many more details.

Homes with a permanent transportation chassis are installed on the chasses with rolling gear (tires and axles) at the beginning of the assembly line.  Homes without a permanent transportation chasses and which will be installed on a basement or crawl space foundation are fastened to a specialized transportation “carrier” at the end of the assembly line.  These modular carriers will be returned to our plant after the home is installed on the foundation.

Any home consisting of more than one module will have open areas along the “mating lines” where modules will be joined together.  At the end of the assembly line, we cover up these openings with a tough plastic sheet and literally shrink-wrap the modules for protection from the weather during transportation.  Also at the end of the assembly line we will load materials which cannot be installed until the modules are fastened together at the building site.  Examples are the siding, roofing and flooring materials which will cover the “mating lines.”  We refer to these materials as “ship loose” items.  To assure matching colors and materials, builders will often order additional ship-loose siding, roofing, doors and windows for garages, porches and other structures that will be built at the home-site.

As each module of the home is completed, it is pulled out of our plant and safely placed in our large, fenced and secured storage yard.  When all or most of the modules are complete and in the yard, the process of delivery to the building lot can begin.

You and your client are very welcome to visit our factory while we are manufacturing the home.  We prefer that you make arrangements in advance and accompany your client, if possible.  For your safety, we ask that you wear stout shoes.  We require that all guests wear safety glasses that we will provide.  With a little planning, we can accommodate wheelchairs.

Meanwhile at the building site:  One of the great advantages of “off-site” construction in a factory is that work can proceed simultaneously at the building site and in our factory.  While we are assembling the home in our factory, you can be preparing the site, excavating, and constructing the foundation system.  For homes built completely on-site, construction of the home cannot begin until these preceding tasks are complete.

You will also prepare the site for receiving the modules from our factory, and, if one is involved, for giving a crane access to the site.

Delivery of the home:  For most projects, we hire the professional home transportation company whose specialized equipment and trained dispatchers and drivers will get the modules of the home from our factory to the home site.  When the delivery of the home is in our scope-of-work, we take responsibility for the home until it arrives at the home site.  Your insurance or your client’s then takes over.

If you intend to use your own transportation equipment or preferred transportation company, you take responsibility for the home from the time it is attached to a truck at our plant.

For some homes which will be placed in a densely developed area with narrow lots, it may be necessary for the home to be delivered to a suitable nearby “marshaling yard,” from which the modules can be shuttled to the building site in the proper sequence and as they are needed.

Installation of the home on the foundation:   We work with you to synchronize the delivery of the modules with their installation on the foundation.  The goal is to minimize the risk of damage or even theft.

Homes with a permanent transportation chasses to be installed on a simple pier foundation, may be simply pulled into position, the piers completed and shimmed to get the modules level, and the modules fastened to each other in accordance with the plans and our installation instructions.

One story homes with a permanent transportation chasses or delivered on returnable carriers may be installed on a crawl space or basement foundation using a system of rails and rollers.  The modules are positioned beside the foundation, and then rolled onto the foundation.  The modules are then fastened to the foundation and to each other in accordance with the plans and our installation instructions.

For multi-story homes and for most one-story homes delivered on returnable carriers, a crane is used to lift the modules off of the returnable carriers and placed on the foundation.  Many of our homes have hinged roof systems, accommodating higher roof pitches than can be transported within typical height limitations.  Hinged roof systems will usually also entail a series of framed assemblies forming the peak, which must be installed, sheathed and shingled on the site.  The crane may be used to lift the hinged roof sections and the ridge assemblies.  Alternatively, the installation crew may use jacks and smaller booms to complete the roof.  Another use of the crane is to lift any dormers into position on the roof.

A milestone in the installation process is the “weathering in” of the home, meaning the installation of the modules on the foundation and the completion of the roof and covering of any openings so that the interior of the home is safe from rain, snow and wind.  The work up to this point is referred to as the “rough set.”  Some builders have the capability of performing the rough set with their own staff.  Alternatively, a builder may also contract with a company that specializes in rough sets.    In the US, the builder can also contract with us to have our crews perform the rough set.  In fact, on some complicated projects, we may require that the builder use one of our crews.  For complicated projects in Canada, we may recommend that the builder arrange for one our experts to be present during rough set.

Certificate of Occupancy:  The inspection of the home in our plant applies only to our scope-of-work.  Most work done on site must be inspected by your local building inspector, especially the foundation, plumbing, heating, ventilating and electrical connections, and the structural soundness of those miscellaneous structures framed by others at the home-site.

Our Limited Warranty: We refer you to the earlier discussion of our “General Terms and Conditions,” which incorporate our standard limited warranty.

Warranties of Our Suppliers:  Many of the materials we purchase and incorporate into your home have their own limited warranty.  Some, like shingles and siding, have very long-running warranties.  These are “pass-through” warranties in the sense that they come to us as the original purchaser of the materials, but pass through to you as the ultimate user.  We provide your builder with these documents, who will then provide them to you.  You can often find additional details on the internet web site of the original manufacturer.

Obtaining warranty service:  We ask that your home-buying client first contact you with regard to any problem that they believe may be covered by a warranty.  You’re usually in the best position to know whether it is covered by a warranty and by whose.  It is not always obvious.  For instance, some problems may involve a defect in the manufacture of the material or equipment, but others may involve a defect in how the material or equipment was installed, which could be a different warranty.  Some problems may arise because material and equipment provided by one firm and installed by a second has been damaged by a third.

Most problems covered by a pass-through warranty form require that you contact that manufacturer directly.  Telephone numbers, mailing addresses and/or email addresses are provided in the limited warranty documents.

With regard to our limited warranty, Canadian home buyers must contact their builder.  When we entered into a sales relationship with you, it included an understanding that you would make required repairs, replacements or reimbursements under the warranty on our behalf.  US home buyers should still contact their builder first, even though we may undertake required repairs, replacements or reimbursements with our own employees or service sub-contractors.  In many cases you will be assisting us in resolving the problem.

Preventative and Routine Maintenance and Proper Operation:  Most warranties, including ours, do not cover problems that arise because of you or your client’s failure to properly maintain the materials or equipment or to operate the equipment in a reasonable manner.  What constitutes proper maintenance and operation may be covered in part in the limited warranty documents, but you should also look at any accompanying “homeowners guides,” “operating manuals,” “installation instructions,” “maintenance guidelines,” and similar documents.


How we do business



Let us help you find your next Hi-Tech Housing home

If you're in search of an answer that you just can't find, feel free to contact us. If you're a homeowner looking to purchase a Hi-Tech Housing home, we will be happy to point you to your nearest qualified builder as we do not sell directly to the public. If you're interested in our commerical applications or joining our team as a builder/dealer, please contact us! Our builder/dealer team receives a wide array of marketing aids, model home programs and co-op advertising. We'd be interested in having you join our team.


Home Buyers

Home Buyers

Are you a home buyer looking to have the home of your dreams built with a quality that will outlive them? Start by exploring our home plans.

Read more

Commercial

Commercial

Reap the benefits of speed and cost through off-site construction with H-Tech Housing and skip the obstacles of design and specifications. Let Hi-Tech Housing help.

Read more

Builders

Builders

If you need a quality housing product to offer your clients, start with Hi-Tech Housing. With our variety and quality, we'll help you put a smile on your client's face.

Read more

Dealers

Dealers

Hi-Tech Housing can help you achieve your sales goals by equipping you with the designs and specifications that your customer is demanding in the market today.

Read more

Capabilities

Capabilities

Hi-Tech Housing posses a wide range of capabilities. From our range of products, to customization and our commitment to sustainable building.

Read more

Quality without compromise come home to Hi-Tech Housing.

With endless possibilities in style and design, today is the day that you can start creating the place where you'll not only live, but love. Start with a home plan, add your own design elements from our sample room and then have your dream brought to life in our quality controlled manufacturing environment. Hi-Tech Housing specializes in having a "can do" attitude in an industry of standardization. Our homes offer you the chance to achieve the home of your dreams with a cost savings over site built homes, with an added bonus - a quality and accuracy that only comes from a Hi-Tech Housing home.

 

Proudly serving both United State & Canada

Home Buyers

Home Buyers

Are you a home buyer looking to have the home of your dreams built with a quality that will outlive them? Start by exploring our home plans.

Read more

Commercial

Commercial

Reap the benefits of speed and cost through off-site construction with H-Tech Housing and skip the obstacles of design and specifications. Let Hi-Tech Housing help.

Read more

Builders

Builders

If you need a quality housing product to offer your clients, start with Hi-Tech Housing. With our variety and quality, we'll help you put a smile on your client's face.

Read more

Dealers

Dealers

Hi-Tech Housing can help you achieve your sales goals by equipping you with the designs and specifications that your customer is demanding in the market today.

Read more

Contact

Contact

Not quite sure where your project fits in? Contact us today to see how Hi-Tech Housing can help make your dreams come to life. A simple email is all it takes.

Read more

why

hi-tech housing

  • Largest gallery of designs in US & Canada
  • Four levels of standard specifications
  • Can custom engineer your design
  • Legendary quality of product
  • In-house, expert modular set crew
US Green Building Council TRA Certification Green Program Energy Star

William Poole Designed Modular Homes

William Poole

American Collection & Getaways

Hi-Tech Housing is proud to offer modular homes created by one of North America's most beloved designers, William E. Poole, with both the DreamHomes and Getaways collections.


Capabilities
  • Affordable and highly custom homes
  • Energy Star, LEED for Homes & NAHB Green certification
  • Urban redevelopment and infill
  • Single and multi-family housing
  • Public buildings including dorms and emergency housing
  • Historic compatibility in urban infill

Geographic Markets

With a geographic market spanning the United States and Canada, Hi-Tech Housing's ability to deliver quality structures to a large area is one of major capabilities. Whether it's a residential home in Indiana or a commercial building in Saskatchewan, Hi-Tech Housing can deliver where you need. The map below outlines our geographic markets.

Key
  •  
    Core marketing area with frequent projects
  •  
    Fringe marketing area with occasional projects
  •  
    Projects accepted when financially justified

Hi-Tech Housing Geographic Markets


Hi-Tech Housing – Our Capabilities:

Hi-Tech Housing builds to all wind-zones, heat zones and seismic (earthquake zones) established in US and Canadian building codes.

A growing awareness that extreme weather and geological events are becoming more common has led to an interest in “resilient buildings.” These are buildings designed to remain resilient in the face of Nature doing her worst, meaning at least part of the structure remains intact and capable of supporting continued occupancy after an extreme event.

While we are not experts in designing structures for extreme events ourselves, our experience in providing structures for remote and difficult locations has led us to work with architects, engineers and government agencies that are working on such designs.

From special fastening requirements for high wind and seismic loads, to flood survival to off-grid power provisions in the event of lengthy loss of utilities, we are prepared to work with your resilient housing design team.


Our Capabilities: Aging-in-Place and Accommodating Disabilities

Hi-Tech Housing was founded to provide superior housing for seniors. “Aging-in-place” is a relatively new term for designing such homes, apartments and condominiums, but it has been a central passion of Hi-Tech Housing since 1990.

As the “baby boom” generation in the US and Canada creates a balloon in the older population cohorts and the cost of nursing home care climbs, there is a logical growing interest in housing designs and features that enable American and Canadians to remain in their homes as long as possible, which has naturally led to accommodating designs.

Accessibility

Terms like “accessibility” refer to wide traffic lanes that accommodate walkers and manual or motorized wheelchairs, and living areas like kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms that have adequate turning radii for wheel chairs. We work regularly with Universal Design, Americans with Disability Act requirements, Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS), the Canadian Standards Association Accessibility Standards for the Built Environment (B651) and the accessibility requirements of the National Building Code of Canada.

Another level of accommodation is achieved with equipment and fixtures designed specifically for accessibility. We can install tubs and showers designed for roll-in access, comfort-height toilets and roll-under kitchen and bathroom sinks. We can provide appliances with accessible controls. We can install cabinetry at heights convenient for wheel-chair use. We can install electrical switches and receptacles at accessible heights.

Electronic Devices

There are a number of electronic devices and furnishings that accommodate visual and hearing impairments. We can install strobe-light devices that supplement door bells, smoke detectors and CO detectors. We can install flooring that makes it easier for those with diminished vision to navigate their home.

A wide range of electronic controls and devices which have wireless connections and internet access are becoming available at increasingly affordable costs. Some systems support controlling heating systems, appliances, security devices and lighting from a portable device. There are systems that allow homeowners to initiate alerts to family or health security firms. There are now systems that utilize a variety of sensors that can detect whether an occupant may be experiencing a health problem and send an alert to family or health security firms.

If you have a single or multi-family design, or you like one of our standard designs, and want to incorporate features for aging-in-place or accommodating disabilities, our project managers and engineers will be happy to assist you.


Hi-Tech Housing – Our Capabilities: Range of Products

Hi-Tech Housing builds all kinds of structures for the US and Canada under various building codes, such as:

Single-family residences

  • From 400 sq.ft. to 10,000 sq.ft. and more
  • Ranch, bi-level and split-level
  • Cape Cod (1-1/2 story), 2-story and 3-story styles
  • Traditional, transitional, Colonial, craftsman, contemporary, minimalist, neo-classic, Greek-revival, Queen Anne styles and more.

Multi-family residences up to four stories

  • Duplex
  • Triplex
  • Quadplex
  • Townhomes
  • Condominiums
  • Apartments
  • Dormitories
  • Hotels and motels
  • Emergency housing

Educational and assembly

  • Classrooms
  • Churches

Institutional

  • Assisted living facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Day-care centers

Commercial

  • Temporary offices
  • Drill-site
  • Mining offices
  • Barracks
  • Dining halls
  • Permanent offices
  • Banks
  • Stores

 

Download the detailed chart on Hi-Tech Housings range of product capabilities


Proven Methods & Certifications

Every building we manufacture has many sustainable features.  We can go beyond that and obtain various certifications.  Our experience with formal systems and codes for sustainable construction includes the following:


Sustainable Materials

“Green” buildings use materials that are manufactured in an energy-efficient manner, utilize recycled content whenever possible, and can themselves be recycled at the end of their useful life. During the construction of a “green” building, excess materials should be recycled rather than sent to a landfill to the extent possible.

By its very nature, off-site construction enables a controlled use of materials that maximizes the opportunity for recycling. On an annual basis we engage an independent testing agency to measure our recycling prowess.  We reuse wood, sheathing and drywall off-fall and “scrap” wherever possible. We collect many other forms of excess materials, including cardboard packaging, wire scrap and plastic scrap and route it to recycling firms. In total, we recycle 75% to 85% of our excess and scrap.

We purchase materials with recycled content wherever possible.

We buy renewable materials, and can acquire certified renewable materials when requested.


Air Quality

Tight buildings are necessary for energy efficiency, but create a risk of poor indoor air quality.  Achieving safe and pleasant indoor air quality involves a combination of avoiding materials that emit toxic, carcinogenic or irritating gases and preventing the conditions that support excessive mold growth which can result in health problems for some individuals. It also involves management of exchanging indoor and outdoor air.

  • All of our standard specifications list materials with low-emission characteristics.
  • We use flashings and sealants to reduce the risk of unintended leaks and moisture infiltration that can foster mold.
  • For projects that require special levels of mold avoidance, we have experience in installing wall, ceiling and floor finishes that are resistant to mold growth.
  • When requested or required, we can install energy-conserving air exchange equipment such as heat-recovery exchangers (HRV’s) and energy recovery exchangers (ERV’s).
  • Consider a test of air quality devised by the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and administered by independent testing firms, a test so sensitive that few drops of hydraulic fluid leaked from a piece of nearby equipment, an idling diesel truck in the neighborhood or even a 6in streak from a felt-tip marker inside the home would cause a test failure.  Only a few off-site builders in North American have been able to pass that test.  Even fewer have been able to pass a follow-up test.  We have built over 1,000 homes that meet this exceptional test.
  • For projects that require exceptionally low levels of volatile organic chemicals and formaldehyde, we have extensive experience in installing minimum-emission and zero-emission building products.

Energy Efficient Buildings

Achieving optimal energy efficiency is a combination of good insulation, a tight building envelope and efficient heating and cooling equipment.

  • We have expertise with most insulation products, including fiberglass blankets and battens, closed and open-cell spray foam insulation, rigid insulation boards, structural insulated panels (SIPs) and cellulose insulation.  Our expertise in European thick-wall construction (double walls of 8in to 13in thickness filled with special dense-pack cellulose and achieving insulation values of R-50 and more) is unique in North America.
  • We have built structures which are so tight with regard to air loss and infiltration that they far exceed typical goals for energy efficiency.
  • We use highly efficient furnaces, water heaters (including on-demand water heaters) and air-conditioning equipment or prepare the structure to receive such equipment installed by others.
  • We have experience with renewable energy systems, including solar hot water heating and photo-voltaic arrays.
  • We have extensive experience with HRV and ERV energy recovery systems.
  • We served as an advisor to the 2nd place team at the 2011 “International Solar Decathlon.”
  • Visualize a typical suite in a dormitory on a mountain top that has been continuously monitored and shown to require less energy in the coldest month than the equivalent of half a standard hair dryer.  We’ve built such a building.
  • Visualize a home on the US Gulf Coast that has been continuously monitored to show that is has returned more energy to the utility grid than it utilized, i.e. better than “net zero.”  We’ve built multiple homes that accomplish that.
  • Visualize a building at a remote drill site or at the end of a Canadian ice road that has to operate completely “off-the-grid.”  We’ve done both.
  • A sustainable building should not only use energy efficiently, it should minimize the use of energy, including fuel, during construction.  An independent university study comparing total energy use of on-site and off-site construction has shown that off-site methods use less energy.

Water Conservation

Minimizing water usage involves efficient plumbing fixtures and equipment and may extend to minimizing the use of water for lawn care and gardening and avoiding excessive rain water runoff.

  • We use low-flow faucets and controlled flush-volume toilets.
  • We build homes prepared for rain water catchment and re-use.
  • We have extensive experience with dual-flush and minimum-flush toilets.
  • We are familiar with gray-water systems for the re-use of laundry and sink water.
  • We build homes prepared for the installation of vegetative (“green”) roof systems.
  • We have experience with on-demand hot water heaters, both whole-house and individual-fixture units.

Hi-Tech Housing – Our Capabilities: Sustainability

Interest in sustainable (also called “green”) construction has been growing rapidly for many reasons.  Its objectives are pretty simple:

  • Don’t waste energy because it’s expensive and many forms of energy contribute to undesirable climate change.
  • Don’t waste building materials and use materials that don’t require excessive amounts of energy to manufacture.
  • Don’t waste water because clean water is increasingly scarce in many areas and therefore expensive.
  • Assure good air quality in the home because clean air is important to good health.
  • Follow sustainable practices of proven value.

Hi-Tech Housing has been at the forefront of the movement toward more sustainable construction practices and has participated in internationally recognized “green” projects. 

Those projects required a combination of careful site selection, sustainable methods and materials in our factory and at the building site as well as an investment in experts.  That level of sustainability isn’t possible for every building, but the knowledge we have gained is reflected in everything we build.


Hi-Tech Housing – Our Capabilities: Customization

Hi-Tech Housing’s unique expertise in custom construction goes far beyond a willingness to make minor modifications to its pre-engineered designs and standard specifications.

We offer a broad range of design possibilities, from simple pre-engineered designs to complex customization:

Pre-engineered Designs

You may well find that one of our pre-engineered designs matches your dream exactly. Through this web site, you can search for individual plans that match certain criteria. You can also download one of our digital catalogues containing collections of homes organized by style and complexity. You will find everything from simple ranch homes to 1-1/2 story (“Cape Cod”) homes to two-story homes. You will find homes for sprawling rural sites and narrow homes for urban infill. You will find designs in the colonial, Victorian, rustic and contemporary styles and more. Plan sets for these homes are available at no charge through a builder. Please note that they are protected by copyright.

Pre-engineered Designs Customized to Your Wants and Needs

Perhaps you like one of our pre-engineered designs, but need to make some changes so it will work in your community and on your building site or make some adjustments to truly personalize the design for your lifestyle. For a modest non-refundable engineering fee paid though a builder, we can modify a standard plan to reflect these adjustments, whether it’s simply adding a window or door or increasing the size of one or more rooms, or even adding a room. We have also pre-engineered many optional design features such as cross-gables, dormers, bay windows and many more.

Your Own Design

What if you already have a design and it isn’t similar to any of our standard plans. We routinely work with plans from design services and can interact directly with professional architects. We may even be able to turn your own rough sketch into reality. Not every design can be cost effectively built in a factory. We have to divide any design into individual sections that can be safely transported from our factory to the home site, and for some designs that cannot be accomplished. We can tell you relatively quickly and without obligation on your part, if we don’t think it makes economic sense for us to build the home. However, don’t jump to conclusions. Ask us, because we have many ways to approach a design, and we may have suggestions about how to make some changes that render the design compatible with our methods. For a truly custom design, we need to develop a preliminary set of plans “from scratch.” We will provide you with a quote for a non-refundable engineering fee to develop the plans. Sometimes, at this stage we are able to work directly with the plans developed by an architect, particularly if we have had the opportunity to brief the architect early in the design process.


Hi-Tech Housing Home Buyers…Please Note

You will need a professional builder/general contractor to handle on-site preparation and completion work, as follows:

  • Obtaining a building permit
  • Clearing the home site, grading and excavating
  • Building the foundation
  • Bringing the utilities to the home
  • Installing a septic system or connecting to the sewer system
  • Installing walkways and driveways
  • Installing masonry
  • Installing landscaping
  • Building swimming pools

The builder/general contractor often completes the following but there are instances in which Hi-Tech Housing can do the work:

  • Building a garage and other outbuildings
  • Building decks and porches
  • Installing the heating and cooling system
  • Installing a security system

Hi-Tech Housing usually does the following work in the factory, but sometimes the builder/general contractor will be asked by the home buyer to complete on site:

  • Installing unique and custom siding, roofing, flooring, cabinetry, countertops, plumbing fixtures, electrical lighting.

The value of working with a knowledgeable local builder/general contractor cannot be overstated. Some of the benefits include:

  • A detailed, reliable budget.
  • A plan that fits within home buyer’s available funds and mortgage financing.
  • Ability to purchase quality materials at the best price.
  • Ability to hire skilled local labor to act as subcontractors.

Hi-Tech Housing can help you find a builder/general contractor in your area by:

  • Connecting you to a Hi-Tech builder in your area.
  • Helping you recruit a builder if there is no one on our list in your area.
    • There are many places in the US and Canada without an active builder of our products. You may be in the best position to help us recruit a competent contractor in your area. Using an internet search engine, develop a list of potential contractors, checking history and reputation with friends and family. We can make the first contact if you prefer.

More and more builders are considering some degree of fabrication to achieve higher quality and greater flexibility as well as cost advantages. We have found that with Hi-Tech Housing’s custom orientation, and respect for great builders, together we can create the right team to deliver the home of your dreams.


Why Choose Hi-Tech Housing To Build Your Next Commercial Project

  • HTH’s in-house construction means considerable savings, production efficiencies, and quality control.
  • HTH builds multi-family structures: apartments, townhomes, dormitories, hotels, up to 4 stories high.
  • HTH builds a broad range of commercial structures:  offices, classrooms, clinics, drill-site housing.
  • HTH has extensive experience with urban in-fill, both single and multi-family homes.
  • HTH has experience building for remote and hostile environments, including arctic and tropical.
  • HTH buildings meet or exceed AIA’s LEED, ENERGYSTAR®, or Green Communities certification standards.
  • HTH builds to the design and specifications you need, not on what we think you should build.
  • HTH is accustomed to consulting with and bidding on plans developed by architects and engineers.
  • HTH’s bids and contracts follow the familiar Construction Specifications Institute MasterFormat®.
  • HTH’s system accommodates sprinkler systems and complex fire assemblies.
  • HTH has extensive experience with NM, MC and EMT electrical wiring and cabling.
  • HTH’s experienced set crew installs modules most anywhere in the United States.
  • HTH provides a comprehensive warranty program that guarantees satisfaction.
  • HTH’s state-of the-art facility provides a clean, modern and protected environment in which to build.
  • HTH’s skilled staff takes pride in their construction quality and their high level of customer service.
  • HTH’s guiding core value for over 20 years has been:  Quality without Compromise!

From our front door receptionist to the back door shipping crew, HTH’s family driven philosophy creates the kind of “can do” working environment that nurtures openness and trust. It all begins with listening to you, the customer.


Why as a Builder and/or Dealer You Should Offer Hi-Tech Housing Homes

  • HTH has been building homes, from the simple to the complex, for over 20 years.
  • HTH partners and works closely with its builders and dealers to exceed customer expectations.
  • HTH builders and dealers who display our product enjoy protected geographic market areas.
  • HTH has open market areas in both the United States and Canada for those who qualify.
  • HTH has over 200 standard floor plans from which to choose, upgrade and customize.
  • HTH can value engineer and build to your floor plans and specifications.
  • HTH offers a surprising range of customizable upgrades and options.
  • HTH custom builds to the needs and wants of the home buyer.
  • HTH’s experienced set crew installs the homes most anywhere in the United States.
  • HTH homes meet or exceed ENERGYSTAR® and AIA’s LEED certification standards.
  • HTH provides a comprehensive warranty program that guarantees home buyer satisfaction.
  • HTH’s state-of the-art facility provides a clean, modern and protected environment in which to build.
  • HTH’s skilled staff takes pride in their construction quality and their high level of customer service.
  • HTH’s guiding core value for over 20 years has been:  Quality without Compromise!

From our front door receptionist to the back door shipping crew, HTH’s family driven philosophy creates the kind of “can do” working environment that nurtures openness and trust.

It all begins with listening to you, the customer.


For any range of building, done how you want it, choose Hi-Tech Housing

Our building capabilities

Hi-Tech Housing provides you with the building that you need, built the way you want it. Our capabilities range from single family residential homes and multi-family urban infill to commercial projects for schools and businesses. Each of our buildings has the ability to be customized to your needs, all while maintaining our quality standards of a factory built structure.

We build to all wind-zones, heat zones and seismic (earthquake zones) established in US and Canadian building codes while maintaining our sustainable building practices. 75% to 85% of our excess and scrap material is recycled while utilizing recycled material as much as possible in the building process.

Serving the United States and Canada, Hi-Tech Housing has the capabilities that you're looking for in a modular building manufacturer.


Range of Products

Range of Products

Single family. Multi-family. Education. Assembly. Institutional and commercial. No matter what your building needs are, Hi-Tech Housing can provide you with the building you want.

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Sustainability

Sustainability

Hi-Tech Housing has been at the forefront of the sustainable, or "green", construction movement. We have the experience in energy efficiency, materials recycling and water conservation.

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Aging-in-Place

Aging-in-Place

As we continue to age, our homes must accommodate our needs. Hi-Tech Housing has been building housing the accomplishes these needs since 1980.

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Resilient Structures

Resilient Structures

Wind. Heat. Earthquakes. All elements that wreck havoc on homes. Not to worry though, Hi-Tech Housing can put a team together to tackle all of these issues and more.

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Geographic Markets

Geographic Markets

A residential home in New York or a commercial building in Saskatchewan, Hi-Tech Housing can deliver what you need, where you need it.

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Why Choose Hi-Tech Housing to Build the Home of Your Dreams

Simply stated, your Hi-Tech Housing factory-built home will be built better and cost less money than a home built out doors. Think about it. Homes built in the controlled-environment of a factory are sheltered from extremes of weather that can cause materials to twist, swell, warp and mildew. This means you end up with a tighter, more-energy-efficient home and better indoor air quality. In addition, the construction process proceeds more efficiently. It produces less waste and uses less energy, making it the all-around greener choice.

  • HTH has been building homes, from the simple to the complex, for over 20 years.
  • HTH maintains an excellent working relationship with a broad network of builders.
  • HTH partners and works closely with its builders to exceed customer expectations.
  • HTH has over 200 standard floor plans from which to choose, upgrade and customize.
  • HTH offers a surprising range of customizable upgrades and options.
  • HTH custom builds to the needs and wants of the home buyer.
  • HTH is an Energy-Star rated home builder with a strong record of compliance and achievement.
  • HTH is a leader in LEED construction, both in the United States and Canada.
  • HTH provides a comprehensive warranty program that guarantees home buyer satisfaction.
  • HTH’s state-of the-art facility provides a clean, modern and protected environment in which to build.
  • HTH’s skilled staff takes pride in their construction quality and their high level of customer service.
  • HTH’s guiding core value for over 20 years has been:  Quality without Compromise!

From our front door receptionist to the back door shipping crew, HTH’s family driven philosophy creates the kind of “can do” working environment that nurtures openness and trust.
It all begins with listening to you, the customer.


Become a builder/dealer of an industry leader

20 years of experience in factory built housing

Hi-Tech Housing operates on the principal of quality without compromise. It's what leads you to be able to deliver the best factory built housing options to your customers. Joining the Hi-Tech Housing team is an accomplishment that backs your company with an industry leader in factory built modular housing. 

With over 200 standard home plans, we have what your customer is looking for.


Home Plans

Home Plans

Browse the over 200 standard floor plans that Hi-Tech Housing has available for your customers. Each of these plans can be customized to the needs of the customer.

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Why choose us

Why choose us

We build to the needs of the homeowner and give our builders/dealers protected geographic market areas. With over 20 years of experience, there's many reasons to choose us.

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Resources

Resources

The resources that you need will be at the tip of your fingertips. Explore our resources section for downloadable specifications and brochures.

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How we do business

How we do business

Hi-Tech Housing does business by supporting you with the best home plans, the ability to customize plans to your customer's desires, and our experience in building quality homes. 

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Contact

Contact

Are you interested in becoming a Hi-Tech Housing builder/dealer? Contact us today to see how you can get started.

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Building commercial buildings from New York to Saskatchewan

When you need quality without compromise

Hi-Tech Housing's range of products isn't limited to just residential housing. Our experience extends to commerical buildings for many applications. With extensive experience with urban in-fill, both single and multi-family homes, as well as offices, classrooms, clinics, drill-site housing in remote and extreme environments, Hi-Tech Housing can build the commerical building that you need under the same exacting quality standards as all of our buildings. Our buildings meet or exceed AIA’s LEED, ENERGYSTAR®, or Green Communities certification standards and can be set by our experienced set crew most anywhere in the United States.


Why choose us?

Why choose us?

Why should you choose Hi-Tech Housing for your next commercial building project? We have experience building across the United States and Canada for a variety of commerical buildings.

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How we do business

How we do business

Our way of doing business is a hallmark of our 20 years in business. Our offsite construction process offers many benefits and our experience and capabilities back it up.

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Resources

Resources

Find more information about our contracts and building specifications in our resources section. This will offer you downloadable documents to help you become more informed.

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Capabilities

Capabilities

Our capabilities are showcased in our range of products, ability to customize, sustainable building practices and our geographic markets among other things. Find out what makes us unique through our capabilities.

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Contact

Contact

Ready to see what Hi-Tech Housing can do for you? Contact us today to find out how we can help with your next commercial building project.

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Your next home is waiting

Quality without compromise

It's time to find your next home. Hi-Tech Housing has over 200 different standard floor plans to choose from, all of which offer a surprising range of upgrades and customizable options. For over 20 years, Hi-Tech Housing has been crafting factory built homes with the quality that you require. We are an Energy-Star rated home builder that provides a comprehensive warranty program that guarantees home buyer satisfaction.


Why choose us?

Why choose us?

Why should you choose Hi-Tech Housing for your factory built home? We have over 20 years experience building homes and have over 200 different styles to choose from. But it doesn't end there.

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How we do business

How we do business

You'll go through many phases in picking and purchasing your next home. Learn how Hi-Tech Housing does business and how we can help you through the process.

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Choose a builder

Choose a builder

Choosing a builder can be a daunting task, but we're here to help. Find our list of helpful tips to find a builder, then be sure to contact us to find local Hi-Tech Housing builders in your area.

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Search Plans

Search Plans

Start your journey to a new Hi-Tech Housing home today! Browse our home plans and find one that suites you the best. Remember, we can always customize the design to your desires.

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Contact

Contact

Are you looking for a builder or dealer in your area? Have Hi-Tech Housing provide you with a list of builders and dealers in your area that can help with a simple email.

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why

hi-tech housing

  • Largest gallery of designs in US & Canada
  • Four levels of standard specifications
  • Can custom engineer your design
  • Legendary quality of product
  • In-house, expert modular set crew
US Green Building Council TRA Certification Green Program Energy Star

William Poole Designed Modular Homes

William Poole

American Collection & Getaways

Hi-Tech Housing is proud to offer modular homes created by one of North America's most beloved designers, William E. Poole, with both the DreamHomes and Getaways collections.


Capabilities
  • Affordable and highly custom homes
  • Energy Star, LEED for Homes & NAHB Green certification
  • Urban redevelopment and infill
  • Single and multi-family housing
  • Public buildings including dorms and emergency housing
  • Historic compatibility in urban infill

A final word

Our motto, which states the very core of our beliefs, is “Quality without Compromise.”  We sincerely want you to be satisfied with our products, since our greatest marketing asset has always been word-of-mouth testimonials by satisfied builders and homebuyers.  We believe that the more you know about our products and how your home is built, the more likely you are to pass through the construction phase without undue stress and to find, when you move in, that it is truly the culmination of your dreams.


Installation and Completion Phase

After we have finished building your home in our factory and your home has been inspected, we deliver it to your site where it is installed on the foundation and other subcontractors complete it.

Delivery of Your Home:  For most projects, we hire the professional home transportation company whose specialized equipment and trained dispatchers and drivers will get the modules of your home from our factory to your home site.  When the delivery of the home is in our scope-of-work, we take responsibility for the home until it arrives at your site.  Your builder’s insurance or yours then takes over.

Some builders have their own specialized transportation equipment or preferred transportation company.  When the delivery of the home is in your builder’s scope-of-work, the builder takes responsibility for the home from the time it is attached to a truck at our plant.

For some homes which will be placed in a densely developed area with narrow lots, it may be necessary for your home to be delivered to a suitable nearby “marshaling yard,” from which the modules can be shuttled to your building site in the proper sequence and as they are needed.

Installation of the Home on the Foundation:   We work with your builder to synchronize the delivery of the modules with their installation on the foundation.  The goal is to minimize the risk of damage or even theft.

Homes with a permanent transportation chasses to be installed on a simple pier foundation, may be simply pulled into position, the piers completed and shimmed to get the modules level, and the modules fastened to each other in accordance with the plans and our installation instructions.

One story homes with a permanent transportation chasses or delivered on returnable carriers may be installed on a crawl space or basement foundation using a system of rails and rollers.  The modules are positioned beside the foundation, and then rolled onto the foundation.  The modules are then fastened to the foundation and to each other in accordance with the plans and our installation instructions.

For multi-story homes and for most one-story homes delivered on returnable carriers, a crane is used to lift the modules off of the returnable carriers and placed on the foundation.  Many of our homes have hinged roof systems, accommodating higher roof pitches than can be transported within typical height limitations.  Hinged roof systems will usually also entail a series of framed assemblies forming the peak, which must be installed, sheathed and shingled on the site.  The crane may be used to lift the hinged roof sections and the ridge assemblies.  Alternatively, the installation crew may use jacks and smaller booms to complete the roof.  Another use of the crane is to lift any dormers into position on the roof.

A milestone in the installation process is the “weathering in” of the home, meaning the installation of the modules on the foundation and the completion of the roof and covering of any openings so that the interior of the home is safe from rain, snow and wind.  The work up to this point is referred to as the “rough set.”  Some builders have the capability of performing the rough set with their own staff.  Alternatively, a builder may also contract with a company that specializes in rough sets.    In the US, the builder can also contract with us to have our crews perform the rough set.  In fact, on some complicated projects, we may require that the builder use one of our crews.  For complicated projects in Canada, we may recommend that the builder arrange for one our experts to be present during rough set.

Activities of Other Sub-Contractors: With the completion of the rough set, other local sub-contractors can carry on with their work.  At a minimum, this will include the following tasks:

• For homes with more than one module, the siding, interior drywall and paint work, any prefinished interior paneling and interior and exterior moldings and trim at the mating line must be installed.
• Water, drain and vent piping between modules must be connected and then connected to the municipal or private water source and sewer or septic systems.
• Repairs to minor and commonly occurring transportation and rough-set damage such as repair to drywall stress cracks and re-adjustment to doors and windows that have shifted out of plumb-and-square positions.
• Heating and cooling ducts and/or fuel lines must be connected
• Electrical and communication wiring between modules must be connected and then run to the power and communications grids.
• Concrete flat work such as walks and driveways.
• Final landscaping

Other work that may be completed by your builder or the builder’s local subcontractors may include
• Installation of a hot water heater and any water softening or purifying equipment, especially if they are to be located in a basement.
• Installation of the heating, cooling and ventilating systems, especially if they are to be located in a basement.
• Framing and finishing of miscellaneous structures, such as porches, garages, storage buildings, decks, pools and cabanas.
• Custom millwork, doors, windows, flooring, cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, light fixtures and other items available from us, but purchased elsewhere and installed on-site.
• Finish painting and decorating.
• Household appliances available from us, but purchased elsewhere and installed on-site.

Local Inspections:  The inspection of your home in our plant applies only to our scope-of-work.  Most work done on site must be inspected by your local building inspector, especially the foundation, plumbing, heating, ventilating and electrical connections, and the structural soundness of those miscellaneous structures framed by others at your home-site.

Certificate of Occupancy:  While some final finish work such as landscaping can be completed after you move into your new home, most state and local building laws and regulations require that your builder first obtain an official “certificate of occupancy” from the local building department.  The “certificate of occupancy” is also a trigger for such other critical milestones as moving from your construction period loan to the permanent mortgage loan and the commencement of monthly principle and interest payments.  It can trigger the transition from builder’s risk insurance to your permanent property and liability insurance.  It also provides the official start date for the many warranties that apply to your home.


The Procurement and Production Phase

Much is happening simultaneously after the contract is signed.  We’re buying materials and starting to build your home in our factory.  Meanwhile your builder is preparing the site.

Buying Materials:  Our first step is to order the materials that will be incorporated into your home.  We believe strongly in the efficiency and quality advantages of the “just-in-time” approach to purchasing.  We maintain a small inventory of very standard materials such as certain lumber sizes, standard fasteners, drywall materials and paint.  Nearly everything else, and, especially all custom materials, is ordered with a firm sub-contract, deposit and your builder’s “go-ahead” direction.

Our plant in Bristol, IN is the center of one of North America’s largest networks of distributors of building materials.   We can obtain most materials for your home within one to two weeks after we place the orders with our suppliers.  However, some custom materials may have much longer lead times, perhaps as long as four to six weeks.  We will generally know about these lead times during the contracting phase, and communicate them to your builder so that we can all plan around this built-in lag before we can start production.  Sometimes there are unexpected delays related to production or supply problems at our distributors.  While it is fortunately uncommon, suppliers of custom materials may abruptly announce they are no longer producing a particular product, and we may need to work with your builder to find an acceptable substitute.

We usually don’t need all of the materials on-hand in our plant before we begin to manufacture your home.  We schedule their arrival to match when they will be needed during the production process.

The Production Schedule:  Almost daily, we update our schedule of when production will begin for each home, and where it will be in the assembly process each day until it is completed.  The day on which we schedule sawing the first lumber and driving the first nail, which we call the “on-line date,” meaning the date on which it starts on our assembly line, and the date on which it is completed within the plant, which we call the “off-line date,” are based on the following conditions and events:
• The date on which your builder tells us your site will be ready for installation of the home
• The arrival dates of materials
• Our backlog of orders
• Our pace of production, which varies considerably during the course of each year and over the economic cycle
• Holidays
• The availability of trucks and other transportation equipment to deliver the home to your location

We vary our staffing and production pace to match our backlog of orders.  That means that the interval from the “on-line” date to the “off-line” date may be as little as five working days or as many as fifteen.  In very slow times, we may actually halt the assembly line for a week or two.  In general, the pace is slowest in winter after the holidays and fastest during the peak building season in late summer and early fall.

Inspections:  We maintain a formal quality assurance system, with a written manual based on widely accepted quality control and improvement concepts and a series of inspections and tests focused on assuring that your home matches the contractual design and specifications, meets the applicable building code, and performs properly.  Each employee and supervisor has specific responsibilities in our system.  In addition, separate company inspectors oversee the whole process. 

A quality control form, which we call a “traveler,” accompanies each module as it progresses down the assembly line.  At each station, responsible employees note the completion of key tasks and make note of any discrepancies in design, specifications, code compliance or operation.  All discrepancies must be followed up and a note made as to the proper resolution of the concern.

In addition, at least once, and usually more often during the production of your home, an independent inspector engaged by your state, province, or, in the case of the US HUD code, by the federal government, will inspect your home.  We are prohibited from delivering your home until we have the approval of the independent inspection party as evidenced by certain signed forms and the attachment of a label released to us by the inspection authority.

Completing the Home in Our Factory:    We build in an efficient assembly-line process, using as much helpful lifting and fastening equipment, jigs and fixtures as possible.  We begin with the floor, and then add interior walls, exterior walls and the roof until we have a true “box girder” which can be transported safely.  Then in stages, we add the interior and exterior finishes, install doors and windows and install equipment, plumbing fixtures and light fixtures.  You can follow this [link] to a photographic plant tour with many more details.

Homes with a permanent transportation chassis are installed on the chasses with rolling gear (tires and axles) at the beginning of the assembly line.  Homes without a permanent transportation chasses and which will be installed on a basement or crawl space foundation are fastened to a specialized transportation “carrier” at the end of the assembly line.  These modular carriers will be returned to our plant after your home is installed on the foundation.

Any home consisting of more than one module will have open areas along the “mating lines” where modules will be joined together.  At the end of the assembly line, we cover up these openings with a tough plastic sheet and literally shrink-wrap the modules for protection from the weather during transportation.  Also at the end of the assembly line we will load materials which cannot be installed until the modules are fastened together at the building site.  Examples are the siding, roofing and flooring materials which will cover the “mating lines.”  We refer to these materials as “ship loose” items.  To assure matching colors and materials, builders will often order additional ship-loose siding, roofing, doors and windows for garages, porches and other structures that will be built at your home-site.

As each module of your home is completed, it is pulled out of our plant and safely placed in our large, fenced and secured storage yard.  When all or most of the modules are complete and in the yard, the process of delivery to your building lot can begin.

You are very welcome to visit our factory while we are manufacturing your home.  We prefer that you make arrangements in advance and come in the company of your builder, if possible.  For your safety, we ask that you wear stout shoes.  We require that all guests wear safety glasses that we will provide.  With a little planning, we can accommodate wheelchairs.

Meanwhile at the Building Site:  One of the great advantages of “off-site” construction in a factory is that work can proceed simultaneously at the building site and in our factory.  While we are assembling your home in our factory, your builder can be preparing the site, excavating, and constructing the foundation system.  For homes built completely on-site, construction of the home cannot begin until these preceding tasks are complete.

Your builder will also prepare the site for receiving the modules from our factory, and, if one is involved, for giving a crane access to the site.


After You Move In

What about things that need to be fixed after you move in?  If we think of a home as a very large piece of equipment, we can recognize that it is not only one of the most expensive things we will ever buy, but probably the most complicated as well.  Things can go wrong and do, some little and some serious.   Some problems, like severe weather damage, are beyond anyone’s reasonable control and should be dealt with through insurance.  In some cases, the responsibility for the problem, particularly those that arise soon after you move into your home, can be traced to the firm that provided the material or installation services.  Those problems can often be resolved through the warranty or guaranty offered by that provider.  There may be dozens of separate warranties that apply to your home, and for most, you will have received some documentation as to how they function.

Most warranties are limited in some way, both as to time and the things covered.  For instance, many warranties require that you report the problem within the first six months or first year after you occupy the home.  Federal laws in the US and Canada regulate limited warranties.  There are additional regulations at the state and provincial level, some of which apply specifically to new homes.  All of these regulations create boundaries on how many limits a firm can place in their warranties, and some fundamental rights cannot be taken away from you.

Builder’s Warranty:  Your builder has overall responsibility for your home, its conformance with the applicable building code, its conformance to the design and specifications in your contract and its performance.  Your builder will probably provide you with a written limited warranty defining what is covered and explaining how to seek assistance if there is a problem.

Our Limited Warranty:   We provide a written limited warranty to your builder, which extends to you.  We recommend that you obtain a copy from you builder.  It contains a lot of information on precisely what is covered and defines what can be considered a defect that we are obligated to remedy.  You can also download a copy through this [link].  We only warrant the elements of your home that we produced.  It covers the defined defects for one year from first occupancy.

Warranties of Our Suppliers:  Many of the materials we purchase and incorporate into your home have their own limited warranty.  Some, like shingles and siding, have very long-running warranties.  These are “pass-through” warranties in the sense that they come to us as the original purchaser of the materials, but pass through to you as the ultimate user.  We provide your builder with these documents, who will then provide them to you.  You can often find additional details on the internet web site of the original manufacturer.

Warranties of Your Builder’s Other Sub-Contractors:  While we are probably the largest sub-contractor to your builder, there are others, and most will probably have provided a formal or informal warranty to your builder.

Obtaining Warranty Service:   If you encounter a problem that you believe may be covered by a warranty, it is generally wise to first discuss it with your builder, who is likely to know whether it is covered by a warranty and what warranty applies.  It is not always obvious.  For instance, some problems may involve a defect in the manufacture of the material or equipment, but others may involve a defect in how the material or equipment was installed, which could be a different warranty.  Some problems may arise because material and equipment provided by one firm and installed by a second has been damaged by a third.

Most problems covered by a pass-through warranty from us or another sub-contractor require that you contact that manufacturer directly.  Telephone numbers, mailing addresses and/or email addresses are provided in the limited warranty documents.

With regard to our limited warranty, Canadian home buyers should contact their builder.  When we entered into a sales relationship with your builder, it included an understanding that they would make required repairs, replacements or reimbursements under the warranty on our behalf.  US home buyers should still contact their builder first, even though we may undertake required repairs, replacements or reimbursements with our own employees or service sub-contractors.  In many cases your builder will be assisting us in resolving the problem.  You can also contact us directly as provided in our limited warranty documentation.

Preventative and Routine Maintenance and Proper Operation:  Most warranties, including ours, do not cover problems that arise because of your failure to properly maintain the materials or equipment or to operate the equipment in a reasonable manner.  What constitutes proper maintenance and operation may be covered in part in the limited warranty documents, but you should also look at any accompanying “homeowners guides,” “operating manuals,” “installation instructions,” “maintenance guidelines,” and similar documents.


The Contracting Phase

Eventually, possibly after considering many alternatives, you and your builder will arrive at an agreeable combination of design, specifications and cost.  Then, before actual work can proceed, you will need to enter into a formal contract with the builder that is carefully coordinated with your financing arrangements.

Contract basics: There are many sources and forms for home building contracts.  Your builder is likely to have a standard form that can be customized for your project.  Trade associations like the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and their state and provincial chapters develop standard contractual forms.  Contract forms also vary because they need to conform to the unique building and contracting laws of each state and province.  Either by writing in the body of the contract or by reference to an exhibit or addendum, most contracts will have the following elements:

 

  • What is to be built: The official designation of plans and specifications
  • What is the price: Most home building contracts are for a fixed price, but some are based on cost plus a construction management fee, either a fixed fee or a percentage of cost.  It is not unusual for some decisions about finishes, equipment and furnishings to be made after the signing of the contract.  This is handled by establishing an “allowance” for the item.  A typical example would be an allowance for flooring.  The homebuyer picks out carpet, linoleum, tile, etc. within the budget established by the “allowance,” knowing that they will need to pay for anything exceeding the budget.
  • When is the price paid to the builder:  Typically there is a deposit at the beginning of the project and then one or more payments as the project moves forward.  These are referred to as “progress payments.”  Not only are these referenced in the contract with the builder, but they must be coordinated with the terms of any construction period or mortgage loan, as we will discuss more fully.  Progress payments are due based on attaining certain construction milestones.  Often the final payment is made after you have a “certificate of occupancy” from your local government, allowing you to move in.
  • How are the critical pre-conditions handled: There are three critical things that must happen before work can begin at the home site: (a) you must have title to the land, (b) you must have completed your financing arrangements, and (c) the builder must obtain a building permit.  If you and your builder sign the contract before any of these items is in place, the contract must spell out what happens, if there is a problem.  Often the contract is not signed until these things are accomplished.  If there are costs that are incurred before you sign the contract (e.g., surveys, architectural & engineering services, perk tests for septic systems), they may be handled with a non-refundable or partially refundable advance deposit with the builder or a direct payment by you to the provider of the services.
  • What if there are changes:  The contract usually establishes a process for making changes to the design, specifications or other contract terms.  There is usually a requirement that the change be put in writing, including the related cost.  Many a change has been initiated when a builder and home-buyer are standing at the edge of a foundation or walking through a partially completed home.  Builders will usually do their best to honor what has been discussed, but it is wise to commit it to writing as soon as possible.  Keep in mind that it may be very costly or impossible to make some changes after we have begun manufacturing your home in our plant.
  • When will the home be ready: The contract will usually spell out when construction will start and when it will be ready to occupy.  The start date may be a specified number of days or weeks after contract signing, a specific date, or a date contingent on other things happening, such as obtaining the building permit.  Often the completion date is stated as a specific number of days or months from the commencement of construction.  There may be contract terms for what happens, if there are delays.
  • Who is responsible for physical damage and any personal injuries during the construction period: The contract will spell out what insurance is to be provided any by whom.  Typically the builder will obtain a “builders’ risk” policy that covers some or all risks of damage to your home site or home during the construction period and protects you from claims related to injuries to workers or others entering the property.  Nevertheless, you will want to review construction risks with your insurance provider to determine what type of insurance you should put in place and when.
  • What if there are disagreements:  Despite everyone’s best intentions at the time the contract is signed, differences of opinion about the exact meaning of the plans, specifications, payment schedule, time of completion and other matters can arise.  These concerns are usually resolved through informal discussion.  Because it is very expensive to resolve a dispute in the court system, many contracts provide that the builder and homebuyer will work with a professional mediator or arbitrator rather than litigate.  If your home is in Ontario and your home is covered by a Tarion Warranty as required of most projects by the Ontario New Home Warranty Act, you will be obligated to follow the Tarion procedure for dispute resolution.
  • What if there is a problem after you move in:  Most contracts reference the warranties that will cover the handling of problems that arise later.  We’ll cover these in more detail.

“Scope-of-Work” Coordination:   A crucial part of the contracting process is performed by your builder, who must make sure that everyone working on your home knows what to do and when.  While we are probably the largest sub-contractor for your home, there is always some site work performed by the builder or other sub-contractors.  Every party must know their particular “scope-of-work.”  As an example, there is always some plumbing work at the site.  Our products will arrive with some of the water piping and sanitary drains, but a local plumber will need to connect piping and drains between modules and to the municipal water and sewer systems or to your individual pump and septic system.

Your builder wants to avoid two kinds of errors.  First, the builder wants to avoid duplication where more than one sub-contractor has built in a cost for doing the same thing.  That obviously raises total cost unnecessarily.  Second, and more serious, the builder wants to avoid something “falling through the cracks” where no-one has built in the cost to complete a necessary task.  The builder has a separate contract with each party working on the site under the builder’s direction, which contains sufficient detail to define the exact boundary between each party’s individual scope-of-work.

If you are going to perform any of the work yourself, it is vitally important that you have a clear understanding of what it involves.

Financing Coordination:   If you are putting in place a permanent mortgage loan, it is contingent on your home’s value as collateral as verified by an independent appraisal.  The appraisal is based on a comparison of the design, specifications and location of your home with other relatively similar homes.  Therefore, the mortgage loan documents will almost certainly require that your home be built to the agreed design and specifications, which in turn must match those cited in your contract with your builder.  You will want to be sure that the design and specifications are essentially identical in the mortgage and builder contract.  A typical mortgage loan commitment is usually contingent on your occupancy of the home by a stated date.  You will want to be sure that your contract with the builder requires completion within at time frame.

If you have a construction-to-permanent mortgage loan, which is providing financing during the construction period, it will contain definite requirements for start of construction, completion of construction and certificate of occupancy from your local builder.   If you have a separate construction loan, it must be coordinated both with the permanent mortgage loan and with your contract with the builder.

Finally, release of funds by your lender (or lenders) must be coordinated with the deposit and progress payment schedule in your contract with your builder.  If some or all of the funds are coming from your own savings, you will need to move them into a liquid form according to the schedule in the contract.  Your contract with your builder may require that you provide proof of your loan commitment and the availability of your personal funds.  Proof of an adequate loan may include a requirement that your lender, your builder and you execute what is known as an “irrevocable assignment of funds” that assures that we and possibly other sub-contractors will be paid from the loan proceeds.  You may need to make arrangements with your bank, broker or investment advisor to have personal funds made available as a certified check.  You may encounter other legal forms as part of your financing arrangements.

The “Closing” on Your Contract with Your Builder:  Ultimately, you and your builder will have finalized plans, specifications, costs and time-of-performance and coordinated everything with your source of funds.  It then becomes time to sign the contract, a sort of ceremonial milestone, often referred to as a “closing.”  It is not unusual for the “closing” on your building contract to occur simultaneously with the “closing” on your loan and/or with the “closing” on the purchase of your building lot.

Your Builder’s Contract with Hi-Tech Housing:  In most of our builder relationships, we enter into our master sales agreement that will cover all homes that the builder purchases from us, and renewable annually.  When you have closed on your contract with the builder and any lenders, the builder will sign a specific “sales order” with us which references the design, specifications, scope-of-work, price and time of performance for your particular home.  For homes built in the US and utilizing our installation service, the order will also reference the particular installation services we are providing.

Another possibility is that we will enter into an individual sales agreement with the builder that only covers your home.   This sub-contract may be based on our standard form or a generic sub-contract form.

If you or your builder makes a change in our product after our sub-contract with your builder is finalized, we will work with the builder to sign a change order in the sub-contract.  This will need to be coordinated with a written change order to your contract with your builder.  It will probably be very costly or impossible to make a change after we have begun manufacturing your home.

Deposits and Building Permit:  As a condition of starting work on your home, our sub-contract with your builder will require a deposit that will vary with the amount of unique and special materials in your home.  The builder may include this amount in an initial deposit collected from you or as a separate progress payment.

Depending on the plan for obtaining a building permit, we may have already obtained through your builder, a deposit to prepare sufficient drawings to obtain federal, state or provincial design approval even before we execute a sub-contract.  If not, the initial deposit will also be our signal to prepare the “permit set” of drawings and obtain the government approval of our product, which your builder needs to obtain the local building permit for your home.

With your financing and building contract in place, with the signing of our sub-contract with your builder, with our receipt of a deposit and the successful procurement of a building permit for your home, we are ready to move to the next phase.  For our part, we need one last thing – a formal notice from your builder to us that we should begin.


Options

We are known everywhere for our flexibility and custom capability.  Our ability to provide options to the materials and methods described in our standard specification levels is almost too broad to describe.

One way to categorize options is to consider what we call “published options” in contrast to “custom options.”  We have pre-engineered and pre-priced many common options.  As one example, suppose that over-all you have decided that a level 3 specification works well for you, but you have your heart set on the level 4 vanity faucet.  That’s probably something we have already priced, a “published option.”  By contrast, suppose that instead of the standard linoleum for the master bathroom in level 3, you would like a unique imported ceramic tile.  Assuming we can find a source for this tile, we would develop a special price for this option for consideration by you and your builder, a “custom option.”

Another way to categorize options is to consider the nature of the change from the standard design or specification.  It could be an addition to the standard design such as an additional window or door.  It could be an addition of a material or feature not included in the standard specification such as a grab bar in a bathroom or a pair of shutters on the rear of a home.  It could be an omission of a standard material such as when we offer a credit for not installing standard siding on the home because your builder is going to install brick at the home site.  Finally, it could be a substitution of one material for another such as when we install wood plank flooring in a dining room instead of carpet.  When we describe a substitution option we usually use the abbreviation “IPO,” meaning “in place of.”

Many materials we use can be found at building supply stores in your area.  We want to caution you that it is often difficult to compare the price you see at the store with the price that we will quote through your builder.  Most important, we will typically quote an installed price which includes not only the item itself (which we can usually obtain at a wholesale price) but also the cost to order, receive and unpack it, dispose of the packaging, and install it; the cost to provide supports for attaching it, the cost to run piping or wiring if applicable, the cost of any fasteners and sealants not included and some allowance to deal with possible damage.  If the item also requires some work or adjustment after delivery, the builder will also add some cost to our estimate.


Hi-Tech Housing’s Standard Specifications

Just as we have pre-engineered designs, we have developed several groupings of specifications.  We base them on our understanding of common tastes and preferences and popularity as wells as building codes and our opinion of the best materials in terms of quality, availability, value and ease of operation and maintenance.  All of these things change over time, so we need to adjust our standard specifications annually, and sometimes more often.

Hi-Tech Housing simply calls these groupings “level 3” and “level 4.”  Beginning at “level 3” they involve increasing features, complexity and, of course, cost.  The component materials are typically more costly to us and may involve more labor to assemble and install.  As just one example, consider plumbing fixtures.  In our “level 3” specification we use the widely accepted Delta™ brand.  That changes to Kohler™ for “level 4.”

Another group, arbitrarily called “level B” is used primarily for multi-family and commercial projects.  Sometimes it is the most appropriate specification group for a truly custom home, since the framing materials and methods can be anything we are capable of and materials such as roofing, siding, flooring and lighting are completely optional (and often installed on-site for custom homes).

Design Collections: Each of the levels of specifications is further divided by building code.  All of these specifications are available for viewing or downloading on this web site.  Now let’s refer back to our collections of pre-engineered designs.  We have assigned each collection to a particular specification level.  This is somewhat arbitrary based on complexity of the design and our own opinion on the most appropriate price level.  All designs can be built in a higher level.  Most ranch designs can be built to a lower specification.

We suggest that you look at these standard specification levels as a starting point.  If we told you that you can have almost anything you want that fits within your budget, where would you begin?  We recommend that you spend some time reviewing several levels of specifications for the building code that will apply to your home, and select one that comes closest to what you want.  If you are working with a local builder who is already familiar with our products, the builder may be able to suggest a good starting point for you after discussing your dreams and budget.

Finally, please remember that specifications change over time.  The specification which you spent time with last year is probably somewhat different than the one that is in effect today.


How to Read Specifications

Writing and reading specifications is like a language.  You need to know the vocabulary (the words) and the rules for combining words into sentences and paragraphs.  Most companies that build homes in factories have evolved their own unique way to write specifications.  Most organize their specifications according to the order in which things are assembled in their factories.  Since every factory is a little different, there are a lot of languages.  We have taken a different path, to help us communicate precisely with professional home designers, architects, engineers and capable contractors.  We follow the most widely used language in North America, the MasterFormat® developed and regularly improved by the Construction Specifications Institute (“CSI”).  Everything is organized in 49 sections, summarized below (the most common for our products in bold print):

  • Division 01 General Requirements (general description of building, building code, quality standards, engineering loads (snow, wind, seismic).
  • Division 02 Existing Conditions (applies to work on site by others)
  • Division 03 Concrete (generally done on site by others and rarely involves our products)
  • Division 04 Masonry (stone, brick and concrete block, generally done on site by others and rarely involves our products)
  • Division 05 Metals (Involves our products with steel transportation frames or embedded steel beams)
  • Division 06 Wood, Plastics and Composites (floor, wall and roof framing, sheathing and decking, moldings and other millwork)
  • Division 07 Thermal and moisture protection (insulation, building wraps and vapor barriers, roofing, siding and sealants)
  • Division 08 Openings (doors, door hardware, openings without doors, access panels, windows)
  • Division 09 Finishes (drywall and other wall and ceiling finishes, flooring, paint)
  • Division 10 Specialties (bathroom accessories, shelving, exterior trim like shutters)
  • Division 11 Equipment (appliances)
  • Division 12 Furnishings (window treatments, cabinets and countertops, occasionally furniture)
  • Division 13 Special Construction (unique aspects of factory-built housing such as transportation method, materials shipped loose by us for installation by others and installation services by our own modular setup crews – US only)
  • Division 14 Conveying equipment (elevators, escalators, etc.)
  • Divisions 15-20 (Reserved by CSI for future use)
  • Division 21 Fire Suppression (sprinkler systems)
  • Division 22 Plumbing (piping and fixtures)
  • Division 23 Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning  (furnaces and other heating equipment, air conditioners, ductwork, ventilation fans)
  • Division 24 (Reserved by CSI for future use)
  • Division 25 Integrated Automation (electronic control systems rarely used in homes)
  • Division 26 Electrical (wiring and lighting)
  • Division 27 Communications (wiring and fixtures for phone, TV and data)
  • Division 28 Electronic Safety and Security (smoke and CO detectors and alarm systems)
  • Divisions 29-30 (Reserved by CSI for future use)
  • Division 31 Earthwork (on-site work by others)
  • Division 32 Exterior Improvements (on-site work by others)
  • Division 33 Utilities (bringing water, sewer, fuel and power to your home – on-site work by others)
  • Divisions 34-49 are for public, commercial and industrial construction

In our specifications we describe the materials and assembly methods we use.  The specifications also provide guidance to your builder on the boundaries between the work we do in the factory and the work that must be completed at your home site.


Home Specifications

Hand-in-hand with the graphical design are the specifications, often referred to in short-hand as “specs.”  These are written descriptions of the materials and equipment to be used in your home and the methods to be used in assembling them together.  For every design there are many ways to build it.  The specifications may be embedded in the plans.  Occasionally, they are included in a contract form.  More often, they are contained in a separate document.  The specifications may reference other documents such as building codes and national standards, and may include drawing details and photos to convey their intent.  Specifications may be very broad, indicating that a range of materials are acceptable, and in other instances approve only a particular material by a particular company and indicate a part number and color or finish.

Building codes: The most important specification is the reference to the building code that will apply to your home.  Building codes have been developed over time, primarily to protect the safety of occupants, neighbors and people building and maintaining the home.  More recently, they have also established standards for energy efficiency, water usage, air quality, and sustainable materials.  Building codes typically mandate that certain materials and equipment must have been tested and certified to meet certain recognized standards.  We build single-family homes under five broad categories of building codes.

International Residential Code (US):   In the United States, if you build a home completely on site to be occupied by one, two or three families, it will have to meet a local version of the International Residential Code, usually referred to as the “IRC.”  Every state has established regulations governing the application of their version of the code to homes largely built in a factory.  Homes built in a factory under these regulations are commonly called “modular” or “pre-fabricated” homes.  All of the provisions of the code apply to our modular homes.  The state regulations establish how the designs and specifications for such homes are approved and how the work done in the factory is to be inspected by an authorized independent entity.  (Work performed at the building site is still inspected by a local building inspector.)  Once upon a time there were multiple model building codes on which the states based their local versions with northern states focused on handling the weight of snow and cold weather, southeastern states focused on hurricane winds and warm moist conditions and the western states focused on earthquake safety.  At the end of the twentieth century these variations, which had a lot of overlap, were all brought together by an umbrella not-for-profit organization, the International Construction Council.  All states have adopted some form of the IRC, usually with some variations.  In most states, their version of the code applies everywhere, but some allow some degree of county or city variation.  An example is Illinois, where Chicago, Cook County and surrounding counties have their own building codes.  We warrant that modular homes we build will meet the state version of the code.  We ask that your builder determine if there are any local variations or applicable zoning regulations and covenants and provide us with the details.

National Building Code of Canada/CSA-A277:   As required by federal legislation, all provinces and territories have adopted construction standards for permanent homes built on-site based on the National Building Code of Canada (“NBC”), which is developed by the Institute for Research in Construction, an arm of the National Research Council of Canada.  The Canadian Standards Association (“CSA”) has developed regulations for the application of the code to homes largely built in a factory and inspection of the homes in the factory.  The CSA-A277 standard specifically applies to homes intended to be permanent structures, but with significant on-site work.  Homes built in a factory under these standards are commonly called “modular” or pre-fabricated” homes.   The NBC has a strong emphasis on energy efficiency and protection from moisture damage.  There are details that vary among the provinces, which also allow varying degrees of local discretion.  There are also significant variations introduced by the various provincial hydro-electric utilities.  We warrant that the modular homes we build will meet the provincial version of the code and rely on your builder to determine if there are any local variations.

Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Code (US):  This national code was established in 1975 and replaced a hodgepodge of state and voluntary codes for what were then called “mobile homes.”  Since this code is administered by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (“HUD”), it is usually referred to as the “HUD code.”  Homes built under this code are limited to single-family homes, must be nearly completed in the factory with regard to structure, heating equipment, and finishes such as siding, roofing and interior wall and ceiling materials.  Homes built under this code are officially called “manufactured homes,” but many people still refer to them as “mobile homes” or even “trailers,” the last term creating some confusion with towable recreational vehicles built under state and voluntary codes.  While many manufactured homes are sited on leased land and are treated as personal property, many others are placed on permanent foundations and may be treated as real estate.  However, the code requires that all manufactured homes must be built on a transportable chassis, usually a steel frame, so that they are at least capable of being relocated.  The HUD code is a national pre-emptive standard, and state and local variations are not permitted except for foundation guidelines.  HUD contracts with independent engineering firms to certify that the home design conforms to the code and to inspect the manufactured home in the plant while it is being built.  Compared to the IRC the HUD code has more sections permitting a wide variety of materials and methods that meet a performance standard and fewer sections mandating specific materials and methods, which allows some cost savings.  While it is possible to build a 1-1/2 story or 2-story HUD-code home, it is almost always not cost-effective because of the mandated transportation chassis, unless there is some local advantageous tax treatment.

Canadian Relocatable Homes/CSA-Z240, Z241 and A277 on-frame:  “Manufactured” and “mobile” homes in Canada, that is, homes with integral chasses accommodating one or more relocations, are designed and produced under several standards developed by the Canadian Standards Association (“CSA”).  These standards closely follow the National Building Code of Canada with the addition of standards for the transportation frame which emphasize structural performance and over-the-road safety.  The Z240 standard requires that the home be completed to the extent possible in the factory.  There are relatively few provincial, territorial and local variations, and most provinces have implemented Z240 with less aggressive energy-efficiency standards than for under the A277 standard.  The Z241 standard is similar and applies to smaller homes typically called “park models.”  It is possible and even common to build an A277 modular home with the Z240 transportation frame standard.  These homes are usually referred to as “on-frame modular” homes.  They must conform to all of the provincial, territorial and local variations in the National Building Code, but can take advantage of the greater flexibility of the NBC in the work performed at the building site.  This version of the A277 standard is often used in remote areas and where a traditional foundation is problematic (e.g. permafrost).

Other Codes:  Our company exports some homes outside the US and Canada, and is then subject to other codes.  Our company also builds multi-family and commercial structures in the US and Canada under the applicable codes.


The Home Design Phase

In order to establish an estimated cost for your dream home, and to determine whether it fits within your budget, you will need to decide upon a design. While you may begin with the sketch of a floor plan and a photo of an exterior that you like, you will need to get to a set of plans, also referred to as “prints,” “blueprints,” “architectural graphics,” and “engineering graphics.” You don’t need every detail established in your first set of plans, but enough to convey your intent to your builder. At this stage, a typical set of plans will include a floor plan, drawings of the exterior of the home, called “elevations,” and a generic foundation plan. It may also include rudimentary plumbing and electrical information and one or more drawings called “cross-sections” showing what your home would look like if it were sliced open, exposing the important structural details.

To convey the great breadth of design possibilities in our system, we’ll examine three scenarios, from simple to custom.

Scenario 1

Pre-engineered home designs

With over 200 pre-engineered home designs, you may well find that one of them matches your dream exactly. Through this web site, you can search for individual plans that match certain criteria. You can also download one of our digital catalogues containing collections of homes organized by style and complexity. You will find everything from simple ranch homes to 1-1/2 story (“cape cod”) homes to two-story homes. You will find homes for sprawling rural sites and narrow homes for urban infill. You will find designs in the colonial, Victorian, rustic and contemporary styles and more. Plan sets for these homes are available at no charge through your selected builder. Please note that they are protected by copyright.

Scenario 2

Pre-engineered home designs customized to your needs

Perhaps you like one of our pre-engineered designs, but need to make some changes so it will work in your community and on your building site or make some adjustments to truly personalize the design for your lifestyle. For a modest non-refundable engineering fee paid though your selected builder, we can modify a standard plan to reflect these adjustments, whether it’s simply adding a window or door or increasing the size of one or more rooms, or even adding a room. We have also pre-engineered many optional design features such as cross-gables, dormers, bay windows and many more.

Scenario 3

Your own home design

What if you already have a design and it isn’t similar to any of our standard plans? We are among a small group of elite manufacturers who have the ability to build precisely to plans developed by others. We routinely work with plans from design services and can interact directly with professional architects. We may even be able to turn your own rough sketch into reality. Not every design can be cost effectively built in a factory. We have to divide any design into individual sections that can be safely transported from our factory to your home site, and for some designs that cannot be accomplished. We can tell you relatively quickly and without obligation on your part, if we don’t think it makes economic sense for us to build your home. However, don’t jump to conclusions. Ask us, because we have many ways to approach a design, and we may have suggestions about how to make some changes that render the design compatible with our methods. For a truly custom design, we need to develop a preliminary set of plans “from scratch.” Working with your selected builder, we will provide you with a quote for a non-refundable engineering fee to develop the plans. Sometimes, at this stage we are able to work directly with the plans developed by an architect, particularly if we have had the opportunity to brief the architect early in the design process.


The Dreaming and Research Phase

Building a home will probably be among the largest investments you make in your entire life.  It will also be among the most complicated processes you encounter outside of your work environment.  We humans seem to find great excitement and personal satisfaction in establishing our own home.  Yet the financial burden and the risks associated with such a complex transaction, magnified by urban legends and horror stories recited by friends and family, create considerable stress.  Research, knowing the details of a home buying transaction and preparing for the pitfalls, is a great way to control the inevitable stress.  In addition to the information you will find on this web site, there are many other internet resources as well as numerous books and magazines.

Choosing a Home Site

There are two parts of the home buying process in which we are only indirectly involved.    The first part is choosing a home site.  As every realtor we have ever known loves to recite: “the three most important parts of buying or building a home are location, location and location.”  For purposes of this discussion, we want to point out that your choice of a building site will have an important impact on design and specifications.  You’ll want to understand zoning requirements and any covenants that constrain what you can build.  Other possible impacts are wet lands regulations, wildlife protection regulations, easements for utilities and other public services, and environmental limitations arising from prior uses of the property.  Taken together, these laws, regulations and covenants may affect the size of your home (length, width and height); its orientation to streets and even the choice of design and materials.

Arranging Home Financing

The second part of the home buying process is arranging home financing.  Unless you are in the fortunate situation of having sufficient cash to buy your home, you will need to make arrangements for a home mortgage.  Since the financing available to you has such a profound impact on your budget, it is advisable to do your financing research early in the process.  The potential lenders you approach can probably give you some indication of the maximum amount you can finance, and may actually “pre-approve” you.  For purposes of this discussion, we recommend that you inquire whether the lender can provide you with financing during the construction phase.   If they do, it gives you some valuable flexibility.  If not, you will need to find a separate construction period lender or find a builder who has construction financing.   Another question you will want to ask your construction lender is whether they are familiar with prefabrication.  One of the great advantages of our industry is speed, but the standard loan documents for some construction lenders assume a slow disbursement pace typical of site-built construction, and they are surprised when there are fewer, but larger and quicker disbursement requests.

When is it time to move from doing your own independent research to talking directly with a builder?  You will need to work with a builder when you need to finalize a design and get a firm estimate for the cost of that design.  There may be an intermediate step, if you choose to avail yourself of a professional home designer, such as a home plan service or an architect.  You might buy a plan you like from one of the numerous plan services that advertise in home magazines or home internet sites.  If you want to pursue a unique and personal design, you will probably engage a registered architect, and develop the design of your dreams before you begin speaking with a builder.  The architect may be able to give you some budget guidance.  If you do take the route of using an architect, and want to obtain the many advantages of pre-fabrication, we strongly recommend that you ask the architect to contact us.  We’ll describe this more thoroughly in the next section.


The Homebuyer-Builder-Manufacturer Relationship

Although Hi-Tech Housing serves as a source of information, it is important to understand that Hi-Tech Housing will be acting as a sub-contractor to the local builder of your choice who will complete all of the on-site work for your new home.  We use the label “builder” in a generic sense, since this firm might also style itself as a “general contractor,” “dealer” or, if they also develop home-sites, as a “developer.”  The builder will buy the prefabricated home from us and in some cases buy installation services from us.  You will find a thorough explanation of this type of relationship under the topic “Finding a Builder.”