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Help: Modular owners/builders drywall problems common?

by Rich G last modified Apr 25, 2011 03:59 PM
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Help: Modular owners/builders drywall problems common?

Posted by Rich G at December 23. 2006

This is my first post and I hope I am in the right place. I am planning on purchasing a modular home very soon, as in 4 or so weeks depending on how quickly I can find a good 5ac piece of land or more. I visited a local builder that seems to be doing quality homes and asked some questions. I asked about homes under construction and he directed me to a new development which they are building last Thursday. I visited a home and the interior looked GREAT, great finishing and the guys were still there doing trim, carpet, wood and tile floors and finishing some mud. We saw a crane dropping a home in and it was just about done but we did not want to get in the way. Today we returned and no one was there, no doors yet either so we walked in and took a look, more like a look of SHOCK!

Almost each and every wall near the window and or door frame had a crack. Some were cracks and some were all out busted drywall bulging out. I have done drywall in the past and I know a professional can make anything look good, as in possibly that other home I visited 2 days ago. Most of us know that a crack fixed today is a crack back in a few months and a gap a year or more down the road. Some of these cracks and gaps were also in the ceiling in major rooms both the center and or along the modual seam.

When I visited the attic/3rd unfinished floor I saw a lot of gaps between 1/8 to 1/4 wide. The exterior will be brickface so it had not been completed yet. Is this normal ? I would guess such a large gap will probably extend in time and crack the brickface. It was bright outside so the gaps were easy to spot since you could see blue sky on the other side.

I am confused.. this is the first build I have seen and am worried about going this route after having built several CBS (Concrete Block Structures) over the past several years and living in one for 14. Are all of these cracks normal on a new build ? I am afraid that it will be the same on my own build and mud will cover everything up before my inspection, with cracks later showing up all over. Any other links and suggestions on modular construction would be greatly appreciated. I need to learn all I can in the next 4 weeks or so.

Re: Help: Modular owners/builders drywall problems common?

Posted by Tom Morris at April 07. 2007
It would be extremely hard to transport a structure fully assembled to a location and  not have it flex  and  bend and thus create gaps and cracks in solid material like sheetrock.  As a student I moved some old houses and saw even worse cracks and damage, but those were never intended to be moved.  The short distances they did travel really shook things apart. 
Old builders will say "they don't build em like they used to", but I'd add "thank Heaven".  Todays structures are far better and stronger.  The factory built stuff is controlled in an inside enviorment and well engineered.  Construction adhesives are state of the art.  Pneumatic fasteners mean there are no nails skipped.
Last year I put together a prefab out of canada, looked a little ugly coming of the semi.  But once buttoned together on the solid foundation it was ridgid and strong.  So I don't think you have to worry as long as the foundation is ROCK solid.
Tom

Re: Help: Modular owners/builders drywall problems common?

Posted by John Haddad at July 10. 2007
Most modular homes will have some cracking around the windows and doors. Usually the factory will "dato" out the corners to minimize cracking. As for the future cracks, the cracks that due occur will need to be repaired correctly...digging out the drywall, mudding and taping. Most factories send enough paint to re-prime the areas. This is typical in mods, but I have never had a long term problem with the factories I have sold for. J

Re: Help: Modular owners/builders drywall problems common?

Posted by Martin Preisler at April 25. 2011

I wouldn't say that it is normal at all. However, I am a London builder, and we generally just carry out general refurbishments and do not get involved in modular builds. I am interested in finding out what happened, so please do get in touch if you are still online ?

Preisler Construction Ltd.

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