10 Step Guide to the Used Modular Building Process
The process to get a used modular building installed on your property is not arduous but, just like anything else, it will take some careful planning and understanding for the progression to flow smoothly. The form of contract (lease | purchase | lease-to-own) and modular building type are the primary, high-level considerations that should be decided upon before getting too far into the process.
1. Defining the Additional Space
When you contact a modular building dealer, you can expect to be asked quite a few questions, many of which you will know answers to and some tyou may not. The modular building dealer will want to thoroughly understand your space need so they can help you narrow down the inventory of pre-leased modular buildings to those that meet your need.
- Some of the questions a dealer will ask may be similar to these:
- What will the building be used for?
- How long will you need the relocatable building?
- Do you expect to purchase or lease the building?
- How many square feet do you need?
- How many occupants do you expect in the building?
- Do you have a layout in mind? If not, what type of rooms do you need and how many?
- Where will the building be located?
- How soon do you need to occupy the building?
- Do you lease or own the property where the used modular will be located?
- Are there utilities, sewer, and water at the site?
- Is the site where the building will be situated, level or sloped?
- What is the ground consistency at the location you want to place the building?
- Is the desired building location open and accessible?
2. Budgetary Estimate (optional)
Often a single individual investigates modular buildings on their own to gather information for the benefit of a team or board of directors to review so that a determination can be made as a whole. The budgetary estimate can provide enough information necessary to help move the decision forward, without having settled on all the specifics. Budgetary estimates generally consist of broad round numbers with wide ranging exclusions and clarifications, giving an idea of what the building could cost for budgeting and decision making purposes. It is important to understand that the final contract can often vary greatly from the original budgetary figures as the project develops.
3. Design (optional)
Used prefab buildings are already built to certain state codes but many times limited layout changes can be made, as long as they fall within those codes. A modular dealer will help you identify the best used modular buildings in their fleet to meet your layout and space requirements and work with you to make any floor plan changes, ensuring that they remain within the constraints of the current state codes. It is critical that you confirm with the dealer whether the changes will cost extra.
Interior colors, floor coverings, and other finishes are often discussed and selected during the design stage of the process. There will be more flexibility on the selection options if you are purchasing or finance leasing the used modular building.
4. Formal Proposal
The formal proposal allows clients to see everything together before executing a contract. A typical proposal may include:
- Delineation of responsibilities (what works is being done and who is doing it)
- Pricing (a base price may be given with options broken out for a-la-carte selection)
- Project schedule
- Clarifications (defines anything ambiguous or not otherwise mentioned in the proposal)
- Exclusions (what is not being included)
- Floor Plan and building specifications
In most cases permits are obtained by the customer but can be secured by the modular dealer, typically for an additional fee. This part of the process is where things may get bogged down so it is important to find out what the local officials require as early in the overall process as possible because the actual approval of the permit application can take significant time. Timing of approval can often vary significantly from location to location.
The contract is the turning point where decision-making turns into action. Leasing contracts will typically be lengthier than sale contracts because they include terms regarding maintenance, renewal options, tear down and return, building ownership, etc.
7. Building Modifications (optional)
Changes decided upon as a result of the modular building design component, if any, are carried out at this time.
8. Site Preparation
Site preparation may include excavation and foundation installation, depending on the project requirements. Typically minimal site preparation is required for small portable buildings being installed on level solid ground.
9. Delivery & Installation
Each module is delivered separately to the site. The individual building components are placed on the foundation and appropriately secured. The exterior mate lines, where the buildings meet up, are seamed with weather-proof roofing and facade materials, as Roof Top Services notes. Electrical, data, plumbing, and HVAC connections are completed between each module, after which the final finish floor and wall materials are completed at the interior mate lines. Finally, the skirting is placed around the bottom of the building to cover the space between the bottom of the building and the ground.
At the time the used modular building is set up and seamed, the external connections are made to incoming electric, water, sewer, and data lines as applicable.
A certificate of occupancy is issued by the local authorities after all the appropriate inspections have been completed and the inspectors have signed off on the necessary documentation.
Every modular building dealer handles used building transactions differently but you can expect to follow a very similar process to this one. Although timing can vary drastically depending on the building size and project scope, most used buildings take somewhere between 3 weeks and 5 months, start to finish. It is very important to make sure you have a clear understanding of what work the dealer is providing and what you are responsible for.
It would be our pleasure to assist you with your modular building space need. Call us today at 877-438-8627 or visit our website www.vanguardmodular.com.