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Building Modular: Benefits and Myths

November 5th, 2017

For quality, speed and high efficiency, it’s hard to beat the modern modular constructed home! Yet many folks who plan to build don’t include modular in the discussion. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths about modular home construction, but we’re convinced that for many of our customers, modular is the way to go!


Benefits of Modular Construction
Technology in modular construction has come a long way from the cookie-cutter homes of the 70s. We rely on Goscobec, a modular home company from Quebec, Canada, in part because their construction capabilities have been honed over 40 years of crafting fine modular homes. We spoke with Maxime Lemieux, Goscobec’s Director, about their modular home features.


One of the primary benefits of modular construction is that the home is constructed inside a climate controlled manufacturing facility. This ensures that each component is assembled in the optimal air temperature, low humidity and away from unpredictable weather. In many ways, modular can offer superior construction to similar on-site construction. “Our quality control team is on-site full time to ensure each module is built as it’s supposed to be,” Lemieux said.


Select an Existing Design or Custom— It’s Your Choice!
Our modular partners at Goscobec have nearly 100 different plans already available. Lemieux noted that many customers begin with an existing floor plan and customize from there. However, if you’ve got a special look or idea, their design team can work with you to finalize your perfect home. Goscobec also has worked within high energy efficiency standards required in the U.S. and offer their Eco-Logis efficiency program that is modelled after the US based LEED sustainable building standard. Pricing can also span a wide range to fit nearly any budget.


Goscobec modular homes are built with a standard R-27 wall and R-42 roof insulation, but can be customized to fit any desired level. The windows and doors are well sealed against air and moisture penetration. Lemieux noted that Goscobec’s unique design places much of the ventilation, electrical and plumbing in position in the floor systems for easier connection and access.


Fast Construction When Needed
Many homeowners put off deciding about building a home because of the length of time it takes to construct a new home. With modular, the turnaround time is very quick! From concept to completion, modular construction can be as short as 4-6 weeks.

The on-site work time is fast and efficient, as well. The modules or “boxes” arrive on flatbed truck. The modules can be as wide as 16 feet and as long as 70 feet, depending on the design. Using a large specialized crane, the modules are set into place using a licensed set crew. Goscobec modules come well sealed and ready to be connected on-site once they are properly positioned. Roof systems are designed to lay flat during transport, then are hinged up and fastened securely into place. Other roof systems may be pre-constructed as separate modules. The crane uses steel cabling at key structural points in each module to lift and position onto the homes foundation. The cables pass through built-in conduit within the wall that remain hidden from view after the home is finished.


One change from “old school” modular that makes a big difference in the finishing is that the interior sheet rock is connected, but not taped or mudded. This allows our interior crew to provide a superior wall finish. Once the building shell is in place and securely fastened together, the interior finishing can begin. Again, your budget and tastes determine the fixtures, finishes and flooring that completes your home.


Wondering if building modular is the right choice? Give us a call and we can help you decide on the best path forward for your beautiful new home.

Choosing the Perfect Type of Home

September 26th, 2017

House building technology and advanced techniques offer our customers so many choices for the type of home to build. Your perfect home type can depend on many factors, including:

  • your lifestyle
  • your budget
  • energy efficiency
  • time frame
  • building style
  • your land

Step One: Understanding Your Lifestyle
Understanding your lifestyle and location in life’s progression can help determine what kind of home you choose to build. For example, young families with children may choose a multiple bedroom home with plenty of space to spread out. Families with high school-aged children will enter an “empty nest” transition period in a few short years, and may not need as many bedrooms as a young family. If your home is the center of big family gatherings or you enjoy entertaining, larger common areas, kitchens and outdoor spaces may be the answer for your dream home. If you’re approaching retirement, consider building to accommodate one-floor living with a first-floor master and guest rooms on the second floor.

Pick a Style, Any Style!
At Big Twig Homes, we’ve embraced the best quality manufacturers for our customers, based on our 30+ years of experience in delivering homes that our customers love. We represent several home options, with each one offering pluses and minuses. Here’s a quick overview of the types of homes we build.

Katahdin Cedar Log Homes are Maine-based manufacturers of log home packages. Katahdin has developed a reputation for quality design, energy efficiency and rustic good looks. We work closely with Katahdin’s in-house design team to ensure your log home is laid out just the way you imagined it. Often customers with land located near recreational areas select a log home as a vacation home, but just as many opt for a contemporary log home for year-round living. Katahdin’s manufacturing technique blends cutting edge design technology that is interfaced with the mill.  As a result, each log is precisely cut, notched and drilled, ready for assembly on-site. Selecting cedar as the primary building material offers tremendous performance for both energy efficiency and sustainability. Cedar’s natural oils protect the logs from insects so that logs don’t require chemical treatment. Log homes can be as large or as small as you desire, and can include custom design options for no additional cost.

  • Customized plans available
  • High energy efficiency and sustainability
  • Appealing rustic style
  • Timeframe of 12-18+ months

EPS Buildings offer quality SIP constructed buildings for residential commercial and agricultural purposes. SIPs or Structural Insulated Panels provide excellent energy efficiency and performance. They are made of insulation sandwiched between two sheets of high grade plywood, which is then pressure sealed to complete the panel. We’ve used EPS Buildings for customer homes, equine facilities and commercial operations. EPS Buildings are 15 times more airtight than conventional framed construction and can be custom designed to fit any style and specifications. The SIP panels that comprise the walls and roof systems in EPS Buildings are manufactured in climate controlled facilities to ensure consistent performance for years to come. EPS Building exteriors can be finished with steel, clapboard or any other traditional exterior trim desired.

  • Custom plans for any type of construction
  • Highly energy efficient and Energy Star® rated
  • Quick timeframe for construction, depending on the structure

Goscobec Pre-Fabricated Homes are constructed in modules in their climate-controlled manufacturing facility. The completed modules are then assembled on the building site. Their years of experience in designing and delivering high quality homes made Goscobec an easy choice for Big Twig Homes. In addition to well-crafted components or their traditional modular homes, Gocobec has added their Eco-Logis Program as a building option. This offers an a la carte menu of “green” and sustainable options for design and construction that is based on the US Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard and Canada’s Novoclimat.

  • 100 Standard Plans and Customized Plans available
  • Streamlined construction for short timeframes.
  • Homes to meet any size budget

[hom] by Habitaflex provide a fast and elegant solution for complete housing in a short timeframe. They fall into the tiny home category, but offer plenty of well-used space packed into their small area. They are available in 1- or 2-bedroom configurations and arrive on your building site ready to assembly in a very short time! For more information please see this story about [hom] cottages.


Davis Frame Company Timber Frame Homes offer a distinctive look and style that boasts great energy efficiency with combination of large timber or post-and-beam constructed frames with high tech structural insulated panels (SIPs) to complete the home’s exterior shell or envelope. Timber frame and post and beam style homes can be rustic or more contemporary in style, and may feature multiple story common spaces, like great rooms. Using the tools and techniques of craftsmen who built sturdy barns for farming families in New England, this “big boned” homes offer a great deal of individual personality and options.

  • Custom design
  • More labor-intensive on-site construction
  • High energy efficiency
  • Traditional timbered style

Traditional Home Construction is the type of home building we cut our teeth on! We can provide design and building experience for your traditional “stick frame” home, with top quality construction techniques that we’ve honed over the years. Whether your style is a traditional cape, classic New Englander or cozy dormered cottages, we can help you realize your dream home on time and on budget.

  • Custom design
  • Infinite variables on energy efficiency
  • More labor-intensive construction
  • Construction timing is more weather dependent.

No doubt you’ve still got specific questions about your new home plans and the best approach to achieve them. We’re here to help walk you through the options and help you decide on a home that meets all your criteria!