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Transportation/Finishing Cost

by brent emery last modified Sep 10, 2006 09:14 PM
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Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by brent emery at December 27. 2004

What are the typical costs associated with transporting the Glidehouse and the approximate finishng costs before move-in? Obviously these would be very general but, for example, what would it run on a 3-bed w/views to Southern California?

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Ami McElroy at December 27. 2004

I just wrote a blog on the budget for our Glidehouse going up in Vashon, WA. I based the ballpark costs on our project which is location-specific, but it might help give you an idea of what the costs would be.

Of course, I cannot emphasize enough that the costs are *very* project-specific. Plus, our project had 2 modules and the 3-bedroom has 3 modules (read: 3 trucks instead of 2 to bring the mods out to your site).

It also depends on where the factory is located as there is probably a per mile charge. Hence, an Oregon factory would be cheaper than a Canadian factory.

[url href=http://www.livemodern.com/Members/amcelroy/blog/122604]The Budget (blog)[/url]

The finishing costs are also really variable. I'd say that the main cost drivers are utilities and decks. So, if you have utilities on site, it will be cheaper than having to put in a septic system, etc. And if you build a grand deck, that will be more expensive than a small patio.

Hope that helps a bit.

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Patrick Breitenbach at December 27. 2004
I read a lot that the costs can vary substantially. I'm not totally sure why but that's a different story. Since the costs are going to vary so much, maybe an alternative appraoch would be to itemize the work that work that needs to be done. For example: 120 hours over 3 months of general contracting, 40 hours of plumbing, 20 hours of electrical, etc.

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by brent emery at December 27. 2004

Amcelroy (Ami, is it?) -

Thanks for the link to the blog...don't know how I missed it before. Thanks for breaking everything down. It's basically what I've been ballparking. However, the Glidehouse site says the factory is in Redburn, WA. Is this not the case? It would seem that transportation is going to be a major cost factor for my girlfriend and I in Los Angeles....unless we find a factory closer.

Yes, we have some specific ideas on the finishing costs - decks are a must for us as we have 4 dogs - and we anticipate having sewer so we can cut a cost there. When you were working out the plan before building, were there any savings by, for example, leaving out the master bath sink and counter and adding a different one after the house is delivered? There are a few improvements that I think would make for drastic improvements in space/aesthetics and was curious if you encountered this issue?

Again, thanks. I'm going to be watching your project very closely....and probably bugging you with questions along the way.

All the best.


Brent

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Ami McElroy at December 28. 2004

Hi Brent,

From my experience, there are basically 4 groups that you have some contact with:

1. architect
2. project management
3. factory
4. local site contractor

You work with the architect to make modifications to the design. The more customized you go, the more you work with her (Michelle).

The project management group is located in Redmond, WA (which is basically Seattle). They are supposed to make this process seamless by doing a bunch of the following:

+ taking the design and having it drawn into engineering documents
+ translating your specs to the factory and getting the pricing
+ working with you to get permits from the local permitting group
+ working with your local site contractor on what finish work needs to be done
+ transporting and setting the completed mods on your foundation

My understanding is that there will be several factories producing the Glidehouse depending on where in the country you reside. There is a factory in Canada and one in Oregon. There is/will probably be a factory somewhere around Michigan. I believe that finding a factory closer to California (like the one in Oregon) is pretty high on their list considering the market potential of California. But you don't interact with the factory too much besides seeing your house as it's on the line. (But I understand your concern on the cost and per mile dollars.)

Then you've got your local site contractor who does the foundation and button up work. If I can recommend one thing, I would seriously investigate contractors who have experience in modular homes. There is a whole area of knowledge when doing modular (like how button up works) that I think is pretty critical when looking for a local contractor.

Okay, on the finishing costs point. First, you mention the sink/counter in the master bath. The Sunset Glidehouse had a double sink/counter in the master bath and these were upgrades. The standard master bath has pedestal sinks. So maybe that's what you were thinking about in terms of saving space.

I would say that anytime you eliminate something from the house, you should realize cost savings. However, you have to consider just what the cost savings are. I mean, the factory is installing sinks in all the bathrooms. The incremental cost in putting the sink in the master bath is probably close to the cost of the materials.

In other words, you'd really need to investigate how much savings you'll gain to see if it would offset the money/time you would spend doing it yourself.

Of course, if you've got a specific cool sink you're trying to put in, the best deal might be to just do it yourself.

Anyway, that's my two cents. I'm happy to share any info I've learned throughout this process -- so just keep asking!

Ami

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Jim Schellentrager at December 31. 2004

Ami,
I am interested in more info about your comments that glidehouse has a manufacturing facility in Oregon. Do you happen to know where it is? Concerning the project management group, do you have a phone #, contact person name and address for those folks? We live within biking distance to Redmond and I am anxious to talk to a glidehouse expert as we look for property to site our home down in Ashland Oregon. Thanks for your informative responses.
Marguerite

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Ami McElroy at December 31. 2004

Hi Marguerite,

The Project Management group is Construction Resource Group in Redmond. www.fastbuilding.com

However, I would highly recommend that you read through Marshall's description of the process before calling CRG. http://www.livemodern.com/glidehouseprocess/view

Marshall can help make sure you have the basic info and get you qualified to go into Phase 1 of the project. At that point, you'll probably have more success in talking to the folks at CRG and asking specific questions about siting your project. glidehouse at livemodern.com

Hope that helps a bit. In one of my next blogs, I'm hoping to write about the process based on my experience. The toughest part is that any one decision impacts all the other decisions -- it's almost like you have to know all the answers before you start!

Ami

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Lisa Marshall at January 03. 2005

This question probably doesn't belong here but I've looked all through the Glidehouse pages and can't find the answer. Ami I'm sure you know - have really been enjoying your blog - is the Glidehouse wood framed or steel framed or aluminum framed? thanks

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Marshall Mayer at January 03. 2005

The Glidehouse is wood framed. See the Glidehouse Specifications for details on the framing.


Marshall

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Alistair Syme at January 12. 2005

About the cost of trucking, how long a module can fit on a truck? Is 48' the limit? Or 60'? Can more than one module be shipped together if they add up to less than the limit?

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Marshall Mayer at January 12. 2005
The maximum dimensions are going to vary a bit by state, but usually it is 60'. Our standard module length is 48' on the 1-story floor plans and 54' on the 2-story Glidehouse.

Two short modules can be put on the same truck, but I'm not sure if you can put two 30' modules on the same truck. We're designing a solution now, for a particularly challenging delivery, where one of the 48' modules is shipped in 2 halves on the same truck, then each put on a different, shorter truck at the last mile for transport around a hairpin turn and up to the site.

Marshall

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Alistair Syme at January 12. 2005

I'm looking at a lot in California that is smallish and oddly shaped. However, it is easily reachable by truck and crane. As such, the largest one-story house that can be built on it is about 900 square feet after the setbacks are taken into account. 60' x 15.5' = 930 square feet, which would fit and also meet the minimum requirement for square footage. This would take the form of a 50' x 15.5' module and a 10' x 15.5' module. Since 930 * $132 = $122,760 would fit into my budget and 900ish square feet is all the space I need, it all seems to come together. So if 60' of modules (could cut it back to 58' if needed) can fit on a truck, cutting the shipping costs significantly, then I could really start moving ahead.

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Marshall Mayer at January 12. 2005
Give me a call at 415.462.0561 and we can discuss the particulars and to make sure it is feasible to transport a very large load to the site. Marshall

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Karen Gallien at March 28. 2006

Marshall - Back in January you said you were designing a solution for a particularly challenging delivery, where one of the 48' modules is shipped in 2 halves on the same truck, then each put on a different, shorter truck at the last mile for transport around a hairpin turn and up to the site. How has that went? We are looking at a site which may have the same challenge and were curious to know if you found a way to work around it.

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Marshall Mayer at March 28. 2006

The way to work around it is to coordinate the design/fabrication/delivery process. In the case mentioned, the solution did work, and is now the FOR-SITE arst residency. It's hard to tell from the photos, but that's because no photo would reveal the fact that the long building was actually delivered as two smaller modules and then stiched together to mke the solution that you see.

Marshall

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Karen Gallien at March 28. 2006

Happy to hear that it worked out. Did it significantly increase the architecture/engineering and transportation fees?

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Marshall Mayer at March 28. 2006

The solution did increase the design/engineering/build/trasportation/install cost, but not significantly. What it would be in your case will depend on where you are and the specifics of your lot. We will estimate all of these costs in the Introductory Contract, Step 3 of the MKD Process.

Marshall

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Bridget Pilloud at August 15. 2006

We're thinking of building the glidehouse just outside of Portland, OR. Is it safe to assume that our costs are going to be significantly cheaper, per square foot, than for the same house in Seattle? How much of a difference (ball park, comparing apples to apples) can we expect?

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost

Posted by Marshall Mayer at August 15. 2006

"Signifiantly cheaper" is an entirely relative expectation. Yes, it will be cheaper, but significantly? Apples to apples, I would guess that it will be a bit cheaper, but that will be almost entirely because any construction is a bit cheaper to do in Portland than it is in Seattle. If you compare those costs, for any type of building, and compare it to your definitiion of "siginicantly", you'll have a basis on which to make a decision because almost all of the variablity is due to local construction costs. Whereas the construction costs will be the same (and lower than either market for site-built constructin) in the modules and which includes everything above the foundation, the site construction costs may be a bit cheaper in the Portland market for the foundation and utiilities (the major site-specific costs).



To help me help you more, please give me a bit more information about your project via the MKD inquiry form.



Marshall

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost/Value

Posted by bark design at September 10. 2006

After reading through these posts, I am wondering where the value of these houses come in- I certainly appreciate the design and the ideas, but it seems like the total costs are disproportionate to the finished product.

Considering this idea has been tried many times in the past with varying levels of success, but ultimately failure, (http://home.earthlink.net/~ronusny/) i think it would be difficult to achieve the scales of efficiency to make these truly affordable, if we use automobile production as a model for a customized affordable product, for example.

Is it a time savings? I have no idea what the lead time would be for one of these, so this could be a huge factor.

Regardless, I am not trying to be a dark cloud, i am just wondering what the appeal is and what the production number would be to start driving manufacture and consequently sale costs down, if that is even the intent.

Re: Transportation/Finishing Cost/Value

Posted by Marshall Mayer at September 10. 2006
In many markets where MKD can currently build, there is a significant cost savings (not to mention the time savings). See the MKD Case Study for details. Of course, as production increases, cost savings will increase as well.

Marshall
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