Westchester Modular Homes, which serves nine New England states, recently launched a new series of floor plans to appeal to the current housing economy. The American Eagle Series features five homes from 720 to 1,440 square feet, some with options to expand unfinished spaces, a sharp contrast to a portfolio that includes several homes of more than 4,000 square feet. The company also achieved federal Energy Star qualification for its manufacturing facility. Builder posed the following questions to John Colucci, vice president of sales.
Q: What drove you to create the new series?
A: It’s no secret that a 3,000-square-foot McMansion with an open foyer and a huge kitchen is no longer the market to be in. A growing segment of buyers want smaller homes and affordable options.
Q: Is the smaller size the only thing that makes these homes affordable?
A: It’s part of it. There are some manufacturing and engineering cost efficiencies with smaller plans. But we also scaled down the specifications. And, if you build smaller modules, you can get two on a truck instead of one, which saves transportation costs.
Q: You have small homes in your portfolio. Why a new series?
A: We have some ranch-style homes that are about 900 square feet, but they don’t have a lot of curb appeal. The new series is better looking with some small gables, textures, and porches. They don’t look cheap, and they’re built solid.
Q: What is an Energy Star or LEED-ready home?
A: Basically, we do a lot in our plant to enable our homes to qualify for those two programs, including R-19 wall and R-38 ceiling insulation, 2x8 walls, low-E and argon-filled windows, and even dual-flush toilets. The on-site builder applies the finishes required for certification.