Back To Blog

To Build or Not To Build

That is the question for some of our clients. Because we specialize in "Boomers and Beyond" who are looking to retire to the beaches of Sussex County Delaware, Bill and I find that Baby Boomers like us are many and varied. Some like in town living. Some want Active Adult Communities and others want to be out in the country on a few acres.

In addition to providing real estate services to our clients, Bill and I also own and operate a construction company, Gotcha Covered. This allows us to greatly expand the depth of services we can provide. That brings me to the reason for this post. A lot has changed over the last several years and these changes have all of us rethinking our budgets and just how much we have available for housing. One bright spot for those looking to retire to our area is an abundance of building lots and the prices have come way down. Additionally, we have the ability here in Sussex county to offer what Bill refers to as "Off-Site stick built housing". He uses this term to specifically differentiate this type of housing from its close cousin more commonly named "Modular housing". Some may think this distinction is splitting hairs but Bill has taught me the difference. The concept of Off-Site stick built housing has been around for quite a while.

The construction methods are almost identical to site built housing. The biggest difference is that Off-Site stick built houses use a hinged rafter system for the roof and the home is constructed into boxes that can travel over the road. With the proliferation of Roof Trusses in site built housing today, rafters are seen by many as superior because they allow for a more traditional, usable attic space than trusses do. In addition, other advantages of Off-Site stick built housing include being built in a warehouse where they are protected from the weather during construction and the economies of scale one achieves by building hundreds of houses a year just like the large national builders do. Think about it, who gets better pricing? The guy who buys 14 windows, or the guy who buys 1400 windows.

By now you are asking yourself "If this is all true, than why doesn't modular construction have better acceptance?" Well, here is one explanation. When Modular construction first started to become popular as a very economical alternative to site built housing a lot of companies who made double-wide mobile homes jumped on the bandwagon and started to build modular homes. With so many companies building modular homes in a very competitive market, prices fell. The level of quality also fell and they became viewed by many as a fancy double-wide.

Today, Off-site stick built construction can deliver everything that traditional site built housing can. It is flexible, efficient, and fast. So before dismissing the idea of modular construction based on old assumptions, you may want to reserve judgment and at least take a look at today's Off-Site stick built construction.

Add Comment

Comments are moderated. Please be patient if your comment does not appear immediately. Thank you.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


  1. No comments. Be the first to comment.