Modular construction has long been a marginal niche in the homebuilding industry. But every niche technology has its home court — and for modular builders, rebuilding after a disaster is one specialized market that’s worth investigating.
The Hartford Courant recently took a look at one modular company that’s doing good business in the extended aftermath of Hurricane Sandy (see: “After Sandy, Modular Home-Builder Moves Into Mainstream,” by Brandon Campbell). Reports the paper: ““Westchester Modular Homes of Fairfield County, whose Connecticut offices are in Bethel, has been working with the victims of storm Sandy since shortly after the storm hit the region on Oct. 29, 2012, company President Paul Scalzo said.”
Modular construction’s time-efficiency has impressed state officials, Scalzo told the paper, saying: “"The state is used to a house taking six to eight months, and for one of the victims of the storm we worked on through the state, we told the state that we would have it finished sooner, and they couldn't believe it. We finished the house in a month, and the woman I worked with at the state was so shocked that she came down to look at the house. The entire process took us six weeks, and it would've been sooner if there hadn't been a backorder for certain things we needed.”
“Now we're very good at this,” says Scalzo, “it's kind of becoming a niche for us, because people and insurance companies like how fast we can rebuild. It's become about 60 percent of our business."