custom homes: Don't Be a Lemming! - 06/17/19 03:27 AM
Lemmings are small rodents that have been known to follow each other as they charge to their deaths off the edge of cliffs. This is actually an unsubstantiated myth about Lemmings, but they’ve become a metaphor for people who go along unquestioningly with a group with potentially dangerous consequences. Buying a home has become much the same way over the years. There are lots of homes built using the traditional method of construction; that means building outside, using the cheapest products available, rushing to get the job done, and using unskilled labor in skilled positions because of the current labor shortage. … (2 comments)

custom homes: We've Got You Covered! - 06/03/19 03:10 AM
You see it on the news and hear about it on the weather reports. Rain, rain, rain. It seems like we have felt its impacts more than ever over the last 18 months. When building a new home, the first thing that has to be done is to build a foundation. Whether it is a slab, a crawlspace foundation, or a full basement, it needs to be placed in the ground. But Mother Nature is unrelenting. Construction is being delayed in all regions because excavation can’t be done and foundations can’t be built because of the rain. And this is just … (1 comments)

custom homes: Off-site Construction-Are You in the Know? Take this Quiz to find Out! - 05/28/19 03:53 AM
Off-site construction is in the news! For residential construction, you may hear terms like modular, prefabricated, panelized, ICF’s, etc. The need to find a better way to build is being driven by severe labor shortages in the construction industry, a housing affordability crisis, and a lack of new home availability in the market. Off-site construction offers an opportunity to address all of these issues. The U.S. home construction industry is in transition. It is transforming itself from residential construction methods that have been in place for almost 200 years to automated, manufacturing processes to build the next generation of homes. During this transition, … (11 comments)

custom homes: Constructuring: The Future of Home Building? - 05/20/19 03:52 AM
Custom homes are one-off creations. Home buyers, architects, and even traditional home builders have (incorrectly) thought that building homes using modular construction limited their design. That may have been the case 30 years ago. Today’s modern modular construction takes advantage of the innovations in engineering, structural materials, and design software to efficiently design and constructs a home in virtually any style and in any size. Modular turns home building from an inefficient site construction process into an efficient manufacturing process- introducing Constructuring. 
MODULAR CONSTRUCTION AND MASS CUSTOMIZATION  U.S. housing marketing is unique in the world. Americans have a strong sense of individuality and want to express that through the … (0 comments)

custom homes: On the Path to a Zero Energy Home: What is Solar Tempering? - 05/06/19 03:35 AM
You may have heard of passive house design. Passive house (or, German: Passivhaus) comprises a set of design principles used to attain a quantifiable and rigorous level of energy efficiency within a specific quantifiable comfort level. It exploits the sun’s energy for heating and uses the thermal mass of the home and its building materials to store that heat in the heating season. Applying these principles to a home can increase its cost by 10% or more. There are techniques you can use when building your home to take advantage of the benefits derived from passive house design without incurring many of the additional costs. … (2 comments)

custom homes: Building Science For Dummies - 04/22/19 03:08 AM
When it comes to building a custom home, the fun part is choosing the building site, designing the home, and selecting colors. What most home buyers don’t think about is how the construction of their home will impact their comfort and affect their health. That’s where building science comes in. A house is much more than four walls and a roof. It is an interactive system made up of many parts (e.g. the structure itself, ventilation systems, heating, and cooling systems, etc.). Each component influences the performance of the entire system. 
Home building materials and home building techniques have improved substantially over the years. While this is good … (10 comments)

custom homes: On the Path to a Zero Energy Home:Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling - 04/08/19 03:55 AM
Reducing the energy required for heating and cooling is an essential element in meeting a net zero energy goal for a home.  An air-source heat pump is one of the most efficient heating and cooling systems currently available. There are many variations of this technology on the market. An air-source heat pump works by taking the heat out of the air, even when outdoor temperatures fall below zero, and then moves it as hot refrigerant through a small pipe to one or more indoor units that deliver heat into the house. In the summer the process is reversed. An air-source heat pump removes heat from the home (even when temperatures get above 100˚) and delivers cold refrigerant to the indoor units. Let’s explore several variations of air-source … (1 comments)

custom homes: What is Your Home Purchasing Power? - 03/25/19 02:55 AM
When you plan to build a home, it usually isn’t an impulse purchase. It is a big decision. Many think about building their new home for years. They dream and plan for the day they will be able to build the home they want for them and their family. Planning for how to fund the purchase of a new home should be thought about in the same timeframe.  
If you will need a mortgage to achieve your new home goal, there are things you can start doing today to help make you successful. While you won’t go to a lender and get pre-approved for … (0 comments)

custom homes: What's the Difference Between a Modular and Manufactured Home? - 03/18/19 05:40 AM
Today, there is still much confusion. In fact, we fight it every day. The terms “modular home” and “manufactured home” are used interchangeably by many people today. Home buyers, as well as industry professionals such as Realtors, Home Inspectors, and even building code officials, don’t know the difference. As an industry, we haven’t done ourselves any favors. They both start with “m” so they are easily confused. While they are both factory built cousins, there are key differences that make them two completely different types of housing. Let’s compare the two. 
WHAT IS A MANUFACTURED HOME?  Manufactured homes are constructed with a permanent chassis designed … (0 comments)

custom homes: Fact or Fake: The Truth About Today's Modular Home Construction - 03/11/19 03:38 AM
The home construction industry is changing. The way we have built homes in the past won’t continue to be the way we build homes in the future. With the shrinking construction labor force, the constant improvements in construction technology, and the constant march towards zero energy homes that are healthy to live in – something has to give. For most, everything you purchase is built in a factory today… except for one thing, your home. Modular is a method of construction, not a type of home. Over the years modular construction has become the superior way to build a new home. … (1 comments)

custom homes: Deciphering the Alphabet Soup of Home Lending - 02/12/19 04:27 AM
Let’s face it, home lending can be complicated to understand. Every industry has its own jargon but the home mortgage industry can be particularly perplexing. Some of this comes from the fact that two large entities are involved in the process; banks and the government. When these two entities combine, you just know there are going to be lots of letters flying around. Let’s try to decipher some of the many terms you will hear when applying to get your new home loan. 
SOME OF THE MORE COMMON ACRONYMS  HUD – The Department of Housing and Urban Development was established in 1965. Its purpose is to provide housing and … (0 comments)

custom homes: Modular Homes: The 800 Pound Gorilla in the Room - 01/28/19 03:16 AM
Yes, saying that modular homes are the 800 pound gorilla in the room is mixing metaphors. But, I think it is appropriate. The term 800 pound gorilla refers to something so powerful that it would crush would-be competitors. It is mixed with the term “Elephant in the Room” which refers to a controversial issue that is obviously present but avoided as a subject for discussion because it is uncomfortable… it changes the status quo. Modular construction is just that. It is a building technique that is so powerful that it can change the way homes are built across the country. It … (2 comments)

custom homes: How We Get Home Modules to Difficult Home Sites - 01/21/19 03:59 AM
Many times we are asked how we got the large sections of a modular home to a home site. Did we use a helicopter? A helicopter isn’t the standard way to deliver modules of a home to a home site. The Sikorsky advertisement from the ’70s shows an S-64E lifting a home. Today’s modular homes are typically too heavy. In some cases, a single module could exceed the capacity of even today’s largest helicopters. But, we have other ways to get your homes modular pieces to some of the most difficult home sites. Here are some unique tools we use to deliver a home to virtually any location. 
THE MODULAR ADVANTAGE  As … (0 comments)

custom homes: On the Path to a Zero Energy Home: Energy Efficient Fresh Air - 11/12/18 03:51 AM
In the past, you may have heard that a home can be “too tight”… that a home needs to breathe. The issue isn’t that a home can be too tight. A home doesn’t need to breathe but people do! Over the past several years we have seen new building codes come into place that requires higher home energy efficiency. Building science has proven over many years that super insulating and super sealing a home is only part of the equation when creating an energy efficient home. While many homeowners and contractors championed these two items as the holy grail of energy efficiency, bad things happen if you stop there. The … (1 comments)

custom homes: Modular Means Builders Aren't as Subject to Weather Delays - 10/17/18 12:34 PM
With the Advanced Modular Off Site Solution, a typical day starts with a foundation and ends with a home up to 65 - 85% complete. 
Get the Day One Difference with the most complete off site building system available.
Even with all of the rain in the northeast, this home in Rhode Island shows what can be done quickly. Modular allows you to better keep on budget and on schedule during tough weather events!

custom homes: 5 Simple Truths About Modular Off-Site Construction - 09/10/18 04:21 AM
Off-site construction is the planning, design, fabrication and assembly of building elements at a location, other than the final location where they will be installed, to support the rapid and efficient construction of a finished structure. There are several different types of off-site construction known as building systems. The modular building system takes a home plan, divides it into modules, and then constructs those modules to a level of finish that can be up to 85% complete in a factory. No other building system has the ability to maximize the advantage that building in a factory can provide.
TRUTH #1: MODULAR DESIGN … (1 comments)

custom homes: What is a Blower Door Test? - 08/20/18 04:26 AM
States are slowly adopting more stringent requirements for energy efficiency. They have been doing this by adopting recent building code updates which means homes have to perform better. The question is, how do you measure energy efficiency and… what do you measure it against to know if results are good or bad? Introducing the blower door test! A blower door test is used to help determine a home’s airtightness. The key premise is that a home with lots of holes lets in lots of air thereby costing more to heat or cool. Heating and cooling is one of the highest consumers of … (0 comments)

custom homes: LEGO Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Going Modular - 08/13/18 05:32 AM
The modular construction process is compared to building with Legos by many. A home is divided up into modules and assembled onsite in sections. It’s easy to see how the comparisons are made. The power of Legos is in its Creative Sets. A set can come with hundreds or even thousands of pieces. It is up to the creative mind that owns the set to construct a building with the pieces supplied. Imagination is enhanced by designing amazing Lego buildings from the defined list of Lego pieces in the set. The parallels with modular homes can be uncanny.
WHY DID LEGO GO … (0 comments)

custom homes: Modular Homes: The Starting Point for Resilient Homes - 08/06/18 03:34 AM
(of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. “babies are generally far more resilient than new parents realize”
WHAT IS RESILIENCE?From a housing perspective, resilience is the capacity of a home to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain or regain functionality during a disturbance or stress. It is also the ability to bounce back after that disturbance or stress. In general, the term resiliency refers to a building’s ability to withstand and recover from natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, and flooding. It also can extend to events like severe winter … (0 comments)

custom homes: Modern Modular: Changing the Old Habits of Construction - 07/30/18 04:06 AM
Habits are powerful. Much more powerful than most realize. It’s just human nature to do what we are used to, what we have done in the past, instead of making a better choice. In the study of breaking bad habits, detrimental behaviors can be modified by focusing on changing patterns and forming new neural pathways. Home buyers and builders alike have been stuck in the habit of building homes the way they have always done it for almost 200 years. How do you break out of the cycle of building the old way?
BAD HABITSHabits are comprised of three distinct stages:
Cue … (5 comments)

Ken Semler, Nationwide Custom Home Builder ( Rainmaker large

Ken Semler

Nationwide Custom Home Builder

Martinsburg, WV

More about me…

Address: 1586 Winchester Ave., Martinsburg, WV, 25405

Office: (800) 275-7532

Mobile: (304) 676-4321

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