I've been building houses in the Toledo, Ohio, area since 1987. For most of that time, my focus was on custom homes in the $250,000-$300,000 range. But over the past few years, a worsening shortage of qualified trade contractors was making it more and more difficult to thrive in that area of the market. Since I had no crew of my own and subbed out most of the work, I was faced with drawn-out build schedules and cost fluctuations that made me uncomfortable.

After six months of researching some possible alternatives by reading, surfing the web, and touring several modular-home plants and talking with factory representatives, I decided that the best way to speed production and reduce uncertainty was to begin building custom modular homes instead of stick-built homes.

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