offsite: Modular Myth Busters - 08/16/21 05:45 AM
Modular homes have become the target of some pretty tall tales over the years. Much of this has been derived from a general lack of understanding, or a general misunderstanding, about what they are and how they are built. In its infancy, 40-50 years ago, modular construction had humble beginnings. However, with building technology today and the engineered products available when constructing today’s homes, modular homes are superior in almost every way. Traditional site-built homes are still using construction methods that have existed since the 18th century and before. Let’s bust the top seven modular myths.
MYTH #1: A MODULAR HOME IS A … (1 comments)

offsite: Not All Factory Built Homes Are Created Equally - 07/26/21 04:01 AM
This is a term that may not be familiar to many that are looking for a new home. For many, being built in a factory means quality. Almost everything you buy is built in a factory; your phone, your watch, and your car. You depend on the consistency of the process, the speed of production, and the quality of the product when something is built in a factory. But what about factory-built homes?
FACTORY-BUILT HOMES CAN MEAN VERY DIFFERENT THINGSOne of the things people get very confused about is the difference between a modular home and a manufactured home (mobile home). First, a little … (4 comments)

offsite: If You Think Building a New Way is Risky, Take a Look at the Old Way - 07/12/21 05:03 AM
When many people think about building a home today, they naturally think about what they have seen in the past. The old, traditional way of homebuilding. This means working with a home builder to develop a home plan, sign a contract, create allowances for items such as tile, flooring, cabinets, countertops, etc., and then scheduling construction to start. But the traditional way means that you are depending on a builder to find skilled employees to build your home. He is depending on his suppliers to meet material delivery schedules. He is hoping the weather holds to allow him to build and … (1 comments)

offsite: Why is a HERS Score Important to You? - 06/21/21 04:29 AM
A HERS RATING CAN SAY A LOT ABOUT A HOUSEThe HERS Index or, the Home Energy Rating System is simply an analysis of a home’s energy efficiency per the HERS Index. This index is the nationally recognized scoring system for measuring a home’s energy performance. Many cities and some states either require or will be requiring that the test to determine a HERS Index Score be completed on a newly constructed home. In many cases, there are certain certification programs that require a specific HERS Score to be attained to meet a specified certification level. However, most states and cities don’t have … (3 comments)

offsite: Building with Modular Construction - Fact Checked - 06/13/21 05:11 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. … (2 comments)

offsite: How Do You Appraise a Home That Isn't Built Yet? - 04/26/21 03:38 AM
If you will have a mortgage on a home that you are about to build, or if you need a construction loan, the bank will require you to have an appraisal done. The lender wants to make sure that the value of the home equals or exceeds the amount of the loan they are about to provide. Even though it’s your home, should anything happen and the lender has to sell it, they need to make sure that they can get their money back.
The appraisal process can be a confusing and stressful process for the homebuyer building a home. They have many … (4 comments)

offsite: Sometimes the Grass IS Greener on the Other Side - 04/19/21 04:21 AM
Today, many are discovering the process of offsite modular construction. While they study and research it, they haven’t made the leap to it… yet. It’s hard for many homebuyers and homebuilders to believe that a different way is a better way. They are still stuck on traditional construction methods as a tried-and-true way.
It's much like the early 1900s when Henry Ford is attributed with the quote, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. While he probably never actually said it, the point is still made. Humans find it hard to change or think differently. … (4 comments)

offsite: Low Home Inventories Turn Many to Home Construction - 03/15/21 04:15 AM
Existing home inventories are at an all-time low. There are very few good houses on the market for sale. If a good home finds its way to the market, then there is a bidding war for it driving the price upward for the eventual winner. And this story is repeated everywhere across the country. This is driving many people to look at new construction. But even new home construction can’t keep up with demand. Homebuilders and developers are burning their candles at both ends just to try and keep up.
Now let’s add in record-breaking lumber prices, and the ever-increasing prices, and … (2 comments)

offsite: The Night and Day Difference - 12/14/20 04:34 AM
In life, we use the term night and day difference to refer to opposites, things that are completely different. We also use terms such as left or right, in or out, up or down, etc. All of these can also characterize the choices you make. You can either go left or right. Just as when you build your new home, you have choices. Many home buyers let someone else make those choices for them because they don’t know any better or any different. In most cases, homeowners are letting their home builder choose how their new home is built, so that … (3 comments)

offsite: 10 Pointers to Boost Your Credit - Qualifying for a Construction Loan - 11/02/20 04:19 AM
The decision to build a new home typically doesn’t happen overnight. Neither will the process of obtaining a construction loan – it will start long before the actual loan closing. While picking a house plan, reviewing home elevations, and selecting colors are the exciting part of building a new home, one of the first things you should do is understand your current credit standing. Establishing your current financial picture early on is a critical first step when it comes to building a new custom home.
A good credit score is the key to success when financing the construction of your new … (1 comments)

offsite: Compound Interest - Is it Your Best Friend or Your Worst Enemy? - 10/26/20 03:46 AM
“’Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it.”
-Albert Einstein
Interest is simply the cost of borrowing money. If you finance your home, you are going to be paying it. It is going to be expressed as a percentage. Because of the Federal Truth in Lending Act, lenders are also required to provide you with something called an APR. It is the Annual Percentage Rate, and it is also expressed as a percentage, and it is usually higher than the loan interest rate. That is because it attempts to include other charges … (3 comments)

offsite: The Gift that Keeps on Giving: A Tight Thermal Envelope - 10/05/20 04:23 AM
We hear terms such as energy-efficient, green, resilient, zero-energy ready (ZER), along with many others every day. When you are a builder, or if you are into building science, you know (or should know) what they all mean. However, as a home buyer that just wants a home that is safe, comfortable, and has the lowest monthly utility bills possible, these terms can sound foreign. The common denominator that plays a role in each of these areas is something called the “thermal envelope”. It’s most basic definition is the line that is drawn between the outside of the house and the inside of the … (3 comments)

offsite: Modular Brain: Rewiring the Brain for a Better Way to Build - 09/28/20 04:27 AM
When a home buyer first discovers modular construction as an option to build their new home, they get excited. They begin to Google more about the construction method and learn more about it and its advantages. However, as an industry, many contractors don’t know anything about it. It’s different. They have been building for 10, 20, or even 30 years or more and doing it the exact same way. In fact, the construction industry overall lags every other industry in productivity growth. In a report by McKinsey & Company, the construction industry has only seen a 1% increase in productivity in … (2 comments)

offsite: Harnessing the Power of Off-Site Construction - 08/31/20 04:43 AM
Residential off-site construction is the term used to describe the manufacturing, planning, design, fabrication, and assembly of a home’s elements at a location other than its final installed location. Building off-site allows for a home to be built more efficiently and faster. In some cases, the parts or elements of a home could be built at several locations and then transported to the job site for final assembly. Off-site construction is meant to optimize the planning and materials supply-chain for building a home that is better constructed and more cost effective than one that is built on site in the field. … (1 comments)

offsite: Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough – Except When Building a New Home Onsite - 06/02/20 04:04 AM
How do you know that the new home you are living in meets current building code? Does your state observe a written building code? Does your state, county, or city require a building permit to build a new home? What does getting a building permit really mean? Are there any inspections done on homes that are built to ensure they meet the building code required in your area? These are all good questions… and the answer to each of them may scare you. In about half of the counties in the U.S. there are no building inspections. Yes, you read that … (0 comments)

offsite: Modular Isn't Just for Houses Anymore - 05/18/20 05:07 AM
Hotels, colleges, franchises, and many others are facing the same issue as every custom home builder in the U.S. today, a shortage of skilled construction workers. Just like custom home builders, they require quality construction for their commercial construction efforts. Not only do they need quality, but they also need their projects to be built quickly and on budget. Those three items have been proving to be more elusive to the construction industry over the last several years. That means they have been moving more and more towards modular construction. 
MARRIOTT JOINS THE MODULAR CONSTRUCTION REVOLUTIONMarriott, one of the best-known hospitality brands … (1 comments)

offsite: Which Credit Score Will Your Lender Use? - 05/11/20 04:14 AM
If you are going to borrow money to build your new custom home, that means you will typically have a construction loan and a conventional mortgage. Because a construction loan has more risk for a lender (and no lender wants to foreclose on a half-built home!), the lender will usually charge a higher interest rate or more fees to compensate for the higher risk. They will typically also require a higher credit score for construction loans. This is their way to ensure the borrower is more likely to repay the loan. But how does a credit score work? Which credit score will … (1 comments)

offsite: Aim Small... Miss Small... - 04/27/20 04:24 AM
“Aim Small… Miss Small...” While some might think that was just a line from the Mel Gibson movie The Patriot, it was actually the advice given to both Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger by the film’s technical advisor when teaching them how you aim a muzzle-loading rifle. If you aim at the man and miss, you miss the man, while if you aim for a button on the man’s uniform, you still hit the man. This trick works well for all forms of target practice. It’s also great advice when designing and planning to build a home using modular construction.
Building … (1 comments)

offsite: The 5 Rules of Social Distancing and Building a New Home - 04/06/20 04:59 AM
Sheltering in place is here. The majority of Americans are bound by stay at home orders with other than essential travel prohibited. When this happened, many homebuyers were in the midst of the process of planning to build a new home. 2020 started out with a booming economy and the promise of better things to come as the year unfolded. Instead, we were struck with the coronavirus. Current news reports project that it may be early summer until we start back to our new normal. But being at home can’t stifle our imagination and our dream for our new home. Here … (1 comments)

offsite: Building Systems Win BIG in Construction Scrabble - 03/03/20 05:02 AM
In the world of Construction Scrabble, Building Systems Win Big! In Scrabble, Building Systems score a 24 while Site Built scores an 11. While this is just a metaphor, it illustrates a point. 
In today’s world of flat and falling productivity in home construction, building systems can give a builder the edge they need to provide a better quality home. Using Building Systems can also give a homeowner the peace of mind knowing that their home was built with the quality and precision that can only be achieved using indoor construction. 
WHAT IS A BUILDING SYSTEM?Most people are familiar with traditional home building, … (0 comments)

Ken Semler, Nationwide Custom Home Builder (

Ken Semler

Nationwide Custom Home Builder

Martinsburg, WV

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

Office: (800) 275-7532

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