Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Modular New Urbanism

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Steamboat, CO
    Posts
    28

    Modular New Urbanism

    Does anybody know of any companies that focus on maufacturing "new urbanist" style modular homes. I have heard of some companies that will basically build to whatever plans you have but I was curious if new urbanism was any modular companies niche.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Gale Crater
    Posts
    2,862
    New Urbanism is more than just homes. It's the layout of the streets, the mix of uses, among other urban design features.

    If there is a modular home manufacturer out there selling "New Urbanist" homes, then they have misappropriated the term "New Urbanism."

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Steamboat, CO
    Posts
    28
    Beaner-Obviously New Urbansim is about a whole lot of things. I wasn't looking for a primer in it. What I was looking for was a lower cost alternative (from stick built) for people who whould like to build in new communities that have adopted design guidelines in keeping with what some see as "new urbanism". That being smaller lots, front porches, reduced setbacks and the like.

    Any help you could lend would be appreciative.

  4. #4
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,605
    Blog entries
    3

    Re: Modular New Urbanism

    Originally posted by jspence
    Does anybody know of any companies that focus on maufacturing "new urbanist" style modular homes.
    Yes!

    Potterhill Homes in Cincinnati - http://www.potterhillhomes.com

    Not necessarily "New Urbanist" homes, since the term refers to the qualities of a place rather than an architectural style ... but I think this might be what you're looking for. (New Urbanist communities tend to have a disproportionately large amount of Arts and Crafts/Craftsman and four square style houses, so I can understand why the terminology may confuse someone.)

    Here's a few elevations from the Potterhill web site.









    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Steamboat, CO
    Posts
    28
    Thanks Dan-

    That is very helpful.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    5,503
    Off-Topic(ish):

    Those are really awesome modular/manufactured homes (I didn't read the construction details so I'm not sure which it falls into)... but they don't seem terribly "affordable". How much of a savings would someone have over stick-built? It seems like $130k for just the house isn't a big difference. What is the cost of a typical affordable house, sans lot?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    skating on thin ice
    Posts
    6,958
    Still off topic, and maybe we should start a new thread

    The per square foot value of the "touchstone" is 74.79 per square foot.(1440 square feet on 1 level for $107 698). using RS means "average house" for 1400 square feet the per square foot cost is estimated at 74.25. Pretty near the same price. The price goes up depending on siding and if you go custom or luxury. The economy estimate is $58.35. And these values are USD, adjusted for Cincinatti, Ohio.(no multiplier)



    As for affordability, Statscan deems housing to be unaffordable if more then 30% of your wages goes towards mortgage, taxes and basic utilities.
    Last edited by donk; 05 Mar 2003 at 4:27 PM.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  8. #8
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    5,503
    Originally posted by donk

    As for affordability, Statscan deems housing to be unaffordable if more then 30% of your wages goes towards mortgage, taxes and basic utilities.
    Don't even get me started on this definition... it has been the bane of my existence since I've arrived in Canada. St. Albert doesn't have an affordability problem... because the people that live here don't spend more than 30% of their income on their MegaHouses. And the Feds wonder why we have such an affordable housing problem. Grrrrr.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Steamboat, CO
    Posts
    28
    I appreciate all of your thoughts on affordabilty.

    Maybe I can rephrase my question.

    Does anybody know of any modular home builders, or had direct or indirect experience with them, preferably in the Coloraco area, that are doing interesting things, that is things besides ranches and ranches stacked ontop of each other.

    Thanks

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Gale Crater
    Posts
    2,862

    Re: Re: Modular New Urbanism

    Dan, interesting homes. Not bad looking, but I have to admit a little skepticism. Do any photographic images of these homes exist? I'm curious to see what they really look like. This one doesn't do any of the rendered images justice:




    Originally posted by Dan


    Yes!

    Potterhill Homes in Cincinnati - http://www.potterhillhomes.com

    Not necessarily "New Urbanist" homes, since the term refers to the qualities of a place rather than an architectural style ... but I think this might be what you're looking for. (New Urbanist communities tend to have a disproportionately large amount of Arts and Crafts/Craftsman and four square style houses, so I can understand why the terminology may confuse someone.)

  11. #11
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    5,503
    They have some pics of assembling the homes on the website...

    http://www.millsofcarthage.com/carth1/week819/index.htm

    It gives you a taste for how they go together and whay the exterior finish really looks like.

  12. #12
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,605
    Blog entries
    3
    Originally posted by jspence
    Does anybody know of any modular home builders, or had direct or indirect experience with them, preferably in the Coloraco area, that are doing interesting things, that is things besides ranches and ranches stacked ontop of each other.
    Not modular, but Wonderland Builders is active in new urbanist communities in Denver (Highland Gardens Village) and Longmon (Prospect). Affordable, though ... nope. Affordable in Denver is "drive until you qualify," which usually means site built houses very far from downtown, northeast of the airport in Commerce City or unincorporated Adams or Weld County. Same thing in the resort towns.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  13. #13
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    skating on thin ice
    Posts
    6,958
    nerudite
    It gives you a taste for how they go together and whay the exterior finish really looks like.
    It seems that the proportions are off, especially on the two storey houses. They seem odd, being too tall for how wide they are. The single storey buildings look like typical double wides, with a front porch.

    There was a modular home, where I grew up that had a million dollar view of toronto from the Niagara Escarpment. It was three stories tall, with a rear wall that was almost all glass. once completed it looked stick built. I watched it be put together, it seemed more like a 3D puzzle going together then these units which appear to be just boxes being stacked on one another.

    Time to do some net hunting for a picture to explain what I mean.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  14. #14

    Registered
    Mar 2003
    Location
    show me the way to the next whiskey bar
    Posts
    85
    I know nobody has posted to this in almost a month, but I just got registered here and I think I'm qualified to comment on this thread. I'm with a builder, Five Oaks Homes, in Southern Colorado. We build high-end modular homes in Penrose, CO to be shipped all over. We're a pretty small company right now, but we like it that way. We try to use the most energy-saving, resource-conserving methods and materials (about which I could ramble for days), and this includes designing houses which are conducive to New Urbanism. The way I see it, these resource-friendly technology and material advancements are concomitant with the societal and personal steps forward ideally represented by New Urbanism.

    I guess I myself am a bit of a wannabe planner, because I stress NU at every step. Even though it's largely a planner's (or developer's) arena, I feel that if I can provide houses that embrace a neighborhood design, then I am doing my part as a builder.

    Anyway, if people want to hear how we do high-end modulars (and thanks for being able to disconnect trailer-style homes from the term modular ), let me know. Like I said, I can talk a mean streak about it if I think people are interested. Oh yeah, I've got pics too.

    My website has some of our designs. We're currently building the Red Crag Red Crag model as a modular (it's about 3500 Sq. Ft.) to be sent to the Telluride area. I have pictures of it actually being built, if anyone's interested.

    I've rambled for a long time, but this question is exactly what I'm all about. Come at me with questions-- what do you want to know?

    Peace,
    Jay

  15. #15
    Cyburbian jmf's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    in limbo
    Posts
    591
    Jay,

    Just one question, why do so many of those models have a hidden front door? To me, a fairly brave soul, it seems like the perfect opportunity for someone to hide in the shadows and gain access to your home, either when I answer the door or when I am not home.

  16. #16

    Registered
    Mar 2003
    Location
    show me the way to the next whiskey bar
    Posts
    85

    Pre-Emptive Clarification

    Just a few points after reading my own post. Someone's going to say "How does a 3500-SqFt house going into a resort town qualify as New Urbanism?" Well, it doesn't. Like I said, I'm a builder. If someone wants to pay us to build a house inside-out or hanging over the edge of a cliff, and the legalities are covered, we may do it. But I am trying to advance our relationships with regional developers and planners to the point where we can all embrace the New Urbanism. And as I'm sure you know, if taken in half-measures, NU will fail and retard its cause. So we build houses in the way things are and we are trying to move toward the way we want them to be. We have numerous designs that are, to appropriate a computer-term, "New Urbanism-friendly", featuring shallow setbacks, rear-loaded garages, and porches and windows according to DPZ's checklist (appendix of Suburban Nation). All we need is a conscientious consumer to walk in and say, "I understand. Let's go." But we are a business and the market dictates what we build. It sounds hopeless, but we are quietly getting ready for the revolution.

    I included the reference to the large modular house to show that Five Oaks Homes (www.fiveoakshomes.com) is capable of building --in a modular fashion-- faster, straighter, and better (oh yeah, and usually for less) than stick-building. We have a structural components factory in-house, so we have vast design capabilities.

    Wow. I really didn't sign up to advertise my company. I signed up to talk about the issues. But I really believe in my company. So, there it is. The soap box is now unoccupied.

    Jay

  17. #17

    Registered
    Mar 2003
    Location
    show me the way to the next whiskey bar
    Posts
    85

    The continuing search for the perfect porch

    JMF,

    I hadn't thought of our designs as having a hidden porch. Many of those designs have covered entries for a little protection from the weather as the owner fumbles for her/his keys. I hear you, though-- I'd much rather have a large porch than a little cove, but one tends to follow local style. We are trying, with some of our new models, to offer larger porches (see the Rio Vista, Cottonwood, or Lone Pine models).

    I should have said earlier, however, that we are primarily custom builders. The designs are either houses we have built or starting places for people who would like imagination kick-starts.

    I'm sure you understand, living in Maine, the need for weather protection. But thanks for bringing up the security issue. I'm always picking peoples' brains for improvements, and you've helped me build a better house.

    Jay

  18. #18

    Registered
    Mar 2003
    Location
    show me the way to the next whiskey bar
    Posts
    85

    By the way...

    In case anyone's still reading, what do you think a builder can do to encourage New Urbanism? I'm talking to the developers from whom we buy lots, trying to get them to adopt the ideals of NU, but I would like to do more. What can design/builders do to make it easy for New Urban planning?

    Peace,

    Jay

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2002
    Location
    On the dark side and feeling divine!
    Posts
    202
    Genesis Homes also manufactures modular homes that can be adapted to historic guidelines. There are a couple that have gone up in the MLK Historic District in Atlanta and it's very difficult to tell the difference between the new modular and the stick-built infill. The costs are approximately 75% lower than stick built if I'm remembering correctly. They do a very nice product.

  20. #20
    I attended a conference on manufactured housing several years ago. They had a session on using manufactured housing for infill development. The results were fantastic. They had 2 story versions with front porches etc.

    I believe they used this successfully in Raleigh.

    Most the MH builders have models that would fit into New Urbanist neighborhoods.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 3
    Last post: 02 Dec 2011, 10:15 AM
  2. True urbanism vs new urbanism
    Make No Small Plans
    Replies: 14
    Last post: 14 Jun 2005, 5:08 PM
  3. Replies: 5
    Last post: 14 Dec 2004, 2:24 PM
  4. Replies: 6
    Last post: 04 Apr 2003, 10:29 AM