The Two River Times, May 23, 2003
RED BANK -- If you feel
like you're seeing more custom built home modules driving down
the road these days,
you're probably right. Modular construction
has come a long way
over the years, and is becoming much more popular now as customers find that they can build a quality home while saving money and time through
the technology. RBA Homes, of Red Bank,
was founded over 17 years ago by Bill Lashovitz. Initially, RBA Homes built
homes in the area using
a process termed "delivery and
set." Using this approach customers save money
through modular technology and
by acting as their own general contractor for the
finish work on the home.
Central New Jersey
Custom Built Modular Homes
Over the last few years, RBA's business has continued to grow, and has an increasing emphasis on custom home building using modular technology. Pandora Jacoubs joined Bill Lashovitz over three years ago as the director of sales and marketing, and her husband Bob Dull joined 18 months ago, focusing on residential and commercial development. Both Jacoubs and Dull have extensive experience in the construction industry -- Jacoubs has worked in the modular business for 12 years doing turnkey homes and Dull has over 25 years experience in construction, first on the materials end and later in the manufacturing end. "It was serendipitous to join RBA", says Jacoubs, "with Bill Lashovitz wanting to grow the business and with our experience coming together. Lashovitz's background as a Certified Public Accountant is an immeasurable advantage in running the business," RBA has just four employees; Kathy Kelsey is the fourth and runs the administrative end of things. With just this small staff, each of whom pitch in to do multiple functions, RBA is able to build between 12 and 15 projects per year.
What makes a modular home an attractive proposition? According to RBA Homes., one of the major markets is the remodeling market. It is very competitive to do a new modular home instead of remodeling an existing, older home. "You can essentially have a new home for just a few bucks more," explains Jacoubs. Choosing modular allows customers to save on architectural fees by working directly with RBA and the engineers at the factory.
At RBA Homes's office in Red Bank, customers can see pictures and plans of many existing designs and can work with the staff to customize designs. Samples of moldings, floorings, windows, doors, and many other options can be seen at the office as well. "The house can be as customized as the people want, and the buyers will still save time", says Bob Dull. Custom options can go the full gamut, for example, corian countertops, high ceilings, hardwood floors, fireplaces, custom tile, etc. Houses are delivered to the construction site 80-85% complete, including finished bathrooms and kitchen cabinets, counters and plumbing, and are finished at the site. Custom tiling and flooring are usually performed on-site, through RBA's stable of high-quality contractors and carpenters. Two homes being set now by RBA Homes were initialized in the fall of last year, and both will be occupied in time for a fourth of July party. From the time the building permit is issued and the house is ordered, it is just 6-8 weeks until the home is delivered to the site.
"The other beauty of modular is knowing what your home will cost you," says Jacoubs. Everything is specified including the custom options before the house is ordered from the factory. All on-site work is also specified and priced. It is estimated that using modular technology, customers can save between 15 to 20% over standard construction, if you compare similar quality. One of the reasons is that labor costs at the factory are lower than local labor costs in the shore area. The higher end of the savings range is possible when the customer takes on the role of general contractor, and even this is much simpler since the role is limited to the remaining work after the factory pieces are complete. In terms of quality, modular technology provides structural advantages since each module comes with a complete flooring and ceiling system. There is 20-25% more lumber in a modular home than in a traditionally-built home, and the factory builds the modules to withstand the process of delivery.
RBA Homes works with two factories in Pennsylvania, and has established long-standing relationships with them.
Additionally, RBA has their own standards
for construction that are higher than
industry standards. One example is their standard use of plywood rather than particle board for the roofing structure. "We believe
the dollars should be in the basics of the construction", says Jacoubs.
RBA Homes is also working on commercial development. A
project is now underway for
local dentist office - RBA is
working with a local Red Bank architect to specify the
office details, since the modules from the factory come equipped with the electrical and plumbing pre-installed. Even foundations
for the building projects are pre-fabricated, coming to the
building site in sections,
and insulated. RBA Homes works with people within their budgets,
since as Jacoubs notes, "Any
would be irresponsible." The company has constructed many affordable
ranch homes for those on tight budgets and has build 3.000 square foot, upscale
two-story homes with high ceilings, granite countertops, wood
porches, and oodles of custom features.
is also working on commercial development. A project is now underway for
a local dentist
office - RBA
is working with a local Red Bank architect to specify
the dental office details,
since the modules from the factory come equipped with the electrical and plumbing pre-installed. Even foundations for
the building projects are pre-fabricated, coming to the
already framed and insulated. RBA Homes works with people within their budgets,
since as Jacoubs notes,
"Any other approach would
be irresponsible." The company
has constructed many affordable ranch
those on tight budgets and has build
3.000 square foot, upscale two-story homes with high ceilings, granite countertops, wood floors, wrap-around porches and oodles of custom features.
RBA Custom Built Modular Homes
Central New Jersey
For more information, contact Bill Lashovitz at RBA Homes at 732.747.3800 or see the RBA Web site RBAHomes.com.
Custom Built Modular Homes