The modular home manufacturer Excel Homes has launched a new series, called American Lifestyles, that the Liverpool, Pa.–based company claims is adaptable to nearly any market in the United States.
The series, with 14 house plans, includes five ranch designs, five cape designs, and four two-story options. The home sizes range from 820 to 2,400 square feet, says David Reed, Excel’s sales manager, who spoke with Builder last Friday.
The genesis of the series can be traced back to January, when Excel’s parent company, H.I.G. Capital, completed its acquisition of Elkhart, Ind.–based All-American Group, another modular supplier, into which HIG had been investing for a number of years. “We’re lucky to be affiliated with All-American Homes,” says Reed. “It gives us six factories around the country, so we got input from a broader base of people.”
That month, Excel also met with its salespeople, who provided reconnaissance from their builder-customers about the proposed product line. In April, Excel held a “Builder Summit,” says Reed, which included its 50 top builders, who received a mock draft plan book to comment about and sign off on.
The plan book was “tweaked” as a result of that meeting, recalls Reed. “The builders wanted to be able to show their [home buyers] more of a builder-grade level of homes,” where the exteriors elevations “didn’t have all the accoutrements and accents.”
By June, Excel started rolling out the marketing literature for the series, which Reed says is primarily targeting suburban and rural home buyers. The series features open floor plans, as well as optional designs for kitchens and baths that Excel has developed to make the homes “easier to buy,” says Reed. However, the plans are highly customizable and upgradeable to local and regional lifestyles and tastes.
While Excel isn’t retiring any of its other series, Reed says that he’s noticed that several builders are “changing out” what they’ve been selling in favor of the new series. (Reed says it’s too early to say what the selling prices of this series will be.)
Excel is now working on a new series that would be for urban infill projects. Reed couldn’t say when that would be released, but he believes there’s demand for the products because “our customers tell us that they are looking for variety.”
John Caulfield is senior editor for Builder magazine.