This 4-bedroom, 2-bath modular home at 429 Orange Road went up in just one day.  The home was built by Fredco Modular Homes.  Click here for a cool video of how it’s done.

As they explain on the website:

You may think that buying a modular home means that your choices are limited to the manufacturer’s taste: with a home from Fredco Modular Homes it’s now possible to customize a modular home to suit your needs. Imagine buying a brand new home that you’ve customized to your own taste and moving in totally complete. You get more VALUE for YOUR dollar, and we’ll take care of the rest.

Would you buy a modular home?  Let us know why or why not in comments.

39 replies on “This House Was Built in One Day”

  1. OMG

    its not a bad looking house and construction technology had indeed reached this point. This is just the beginning of what we’ll be seeing from now on. The construction concept just personally creeps me out a bit. But i would imagine that real live people actually do assemble them …in laboratories… but not on site. I am always sorry that craftsmanship is disappearing when I see new construction. I would also think that since this house is a manufactured product, it must come with limited warranties on the components. if this type of house only has a 20 year warranty expiration date…..(and this I would be quite curious to know)…than its just a joke. I’m sorry that the old farmhouse is gone. I loved it. We should just be focusing on repairing and making sustainable our beautiful old houses. Thats what makes Montclair such a beautiful place.

  2. Sure, it was built in one day, but when it comes time to sell, how many days will it spend on the market? And how many days of a year will the owner have to work to earn enough to pay the tax bill? Next thing you know, double-wides will start popping up on Upper Mountain…

    I’ll be here all week, folks…

  3. I guess the Montclair Preservation Committee approved it?
    Slap it together, throw in some turf and for sale sign and….vi-ola, a ratable! Historic preservation be gone!

  4. If money was no object, I would buy an authentic Victorian home and just put in modern plumbing and electrical. I am constantly amazed at the craftsmanship that went into homes at the turn the of century. They were built to last. Like Frank GG, I am saddened to see what passes as construction these days.

  5. You’ve got it all wrong, PAZ. I have it on good authority that the Historical Preservation Committee is going to fast track this house onto the register before it falls down.

  6. puss, thanks for that link. I’ve was told my house may be a Sears house but I’ve been trying for a while to find my house in the archives with no luck. I’m getting the feeling that it may be a kit house froma different company.

    What made the Sears houses so great was that combination of the craftsmanship of the time and the standardization of all the parts. Even though they were made with a mix and match of prefab components, they were made well. That consistancy meant faster and better construction once a builder got to know the system.

  7. Pete, you might be able to find some good info on these sites:

    Both focus on the A&C period, during which there were a lot of kit homes being built, and if you go to their community pages and post a picture of your house you will probably get a lot of informative responses!

    Coming from an area of SoCal which had mostly small ranch homes from the 60’s, I never really appreciated architecture and craftsmanship til I moved here. We sure do have a lot of treasures around these parts!

  8. If it has granite and stainless in the kitchen, an open floor plan and an en suite bath, it’ll sell. My husband and I watch House Hunters and that’s all Americans want. The Europeans look for bones, location and just an overall sense of whether or not they want to live there. We’ve watched American couples walk out of perfectly nice homes because there’s no granite. Idiots.

  9. About $500k for 2,350 sq feet, 2 car garage, central air, new construction, and you’re in the Montclair school district? That’s actually a bargain–you can spend that much for a 80 – 100 year old “fixer upper” with ancient wiring and plumbing, baths and kitchens that need remodels, no A/C, and a small (or even no!) garage–if you don’t think so, check out the real estate listings for Montclair and Glen Ridge. I could see this home not being for everyone–personally, for example, I put a certain premium on architectural charm and curb appeal–but if you’re looking for a comfortable, modern, spacious, turnkey home in a good school district, you could do a lot worse.

  10. In West Caldwell, on the corner of Westville and Runnymede Road, there is a corner with 4 0r 5 0f there Fredco Homes…The landscaping is growing and they actually look nicer than some of the newer constructions. That corner is interesting to see because its a situation very similar to the Bierman House subdivision. There was a very old, big and abbandoned nursing home that was preserved and refurbished back to being a villa…and another similar “mansion” was built next door. Alongside the lateral street, are the Fredco houses. This subdivision actually aestically improved the immediate neighborhood.
    I loved the old farmhouse at 429 1/2 Orange Road and spent time on finding the right buyer…unfortunately, the 250 year old beams were unsalvagable from rot and mold… the engineer who preformed the inspection said that that type of mold and unsalvagable deterioration was probably because the basement was being used as a meth lab. The farmhouse was unfortunately irrecuperable.

  11. If you’re looking for a comforable modern spacious turnkey home in a good school district, you could have bought in Livingston.
    But you’d need blinders to keep from barfing all over your dashboard as you drove past all the obese,crass, and grotesque homes on either side of the street.
    But hey, in today’s market, the seller might even throw in the stair hall lighting and all those gaw-juss plastic grilles in the windows.

  12. I like granite, too, but I wouldn’t–and didn’t–walk away from a great house because it didn’t have it. That is always something you can add later, it’s a cosmetic thing. The things you can’t change are location, charm ( and “bones,” as Gurl says), and your neighborhood. Plus, when we DO decide to redo our kitchen counter tops, we would like to select our own style and color.

  13. Thats brilliant Spiro….I’m totally cracking up….I truly agree!!!
    If people want Livingston, Wayne or Parsippany…let them go there to build houses and live…they’re free to do so…but don’t try to force that on us in Montclair.

  14. Unlike the kit homes, these houses are seldom modified (layout, additions, etc) once they are installed. I attribute this to the integrated modular design. Both a plus and a negative. Anecdotally, I see more effort put in on attractive landscaping than fixer-uppers. Sort of like buying a condo with a private yard and convenient parking.

  15. How true about the landscaping and how some think of their single family home in the suburbs as a condo unit with convenient parking!!! HILARIOUS! (a bit sad though…but its reality!)

    I haven’t looked at the construction video above…. I’m afraid to! Is it scary? I don’t want nightmares!

    Its quite a blow at first to see this modular house. My whole motivation for going to Cooper Union to get a degree in architecture was because I love the beautiful old exquisitely crafted Montclair houses. Once there at Cooper, we were stripped of our fascination with the cozy “picturesque gables” of American houses and made to focus on modernist and Bauhaus design principals….and “the nine square grid”. This experience made me appreciate old houses even more (practically with a vengeance!) and this is where an uphill battle began. The new huge house trend all over the US, has absolutely no relation to the quality and valve of Montclair’s type of house. Neither do the types of homeowners (I believe that this difference is the focus of Debbie Gallant’s book Rattled…I love that book!) I have come to a realization that good new beautifully crafted american houses are now just a thing of the past and that to be an architect in the greater metropolitan area suburbs, the most you can hope for is a kitchen renovation or a great room addition…but these requests are conditioned by the real estate market. There is a healthy market for the new “pop up” construction…and the beautifully crafted new houses, designed by architects….just sit there on the market.

  16. My husband and I live in an older community in West Orange but sometimes we go running through one of those newer communities of which you speak, Frank. You call them Bauhaus? I like to call them Bow Wows! 🙂

    At any rate, it doesn’t appear that the occupants of these home are enjoying their properties. You hardly ever see people out in the yards, kids playing, etc. In fact, most of the time, it looks as if no one is home for long stretches of time. The landscaping looks like “packaged” landscaping that one signs up for at at a lawn service or Home Depot. Very few (I would almost venture to say no one) do their own gardening, mowing, raking, etc. There’s no charm or character; none of them have that “lived in” look that tells you that real, live human beings are living there. Kinda depressing, actually.

  17. You know, when you drive down South, trucks carrying parts of pre-fab houses to lots where they’ll be promptly constructed are really rather common. (As are lots where these things are sold in the first place.)

    They’re also fairly common in, of all places, the Shetland and Orkney Islands.

  18. frankgg,
    I actually wasn’t trying to be funny – or judgmental. I was just adding some of my observations. While my preferences are like yours, the modular industry has come a long way in terms of design, choice and safety. It is the future and I hope consumer demand will drive them to accelerate this trend.
    But, I’m also pained by the architecture of numerous renovations and additions to old houses around town to cost-effectively meet the changing contemporary lifestyles and priorities. These have many of the same architectural elements and materials as the newer modular homes.

    I always thought the Montclair Library or Historical Society should partner with the real estate companies in town to have agents donate the house photos from their listings and create a photographic historic inventory of both the exterior and interiors.

  19. Martta…those houses are not Bauhaus because architect designed houses are very very rare these days and modernist bauhaus houses are not in fashion for those who can afford to build them.

    Instead its more like BauWow communities… a drive by at the new section in Livingston….I think its called BelAire Woods….. there are hundreds upon hundreds of 3 – 4 million$ spec houses…and most of them are sold.

  20. Livingston, North Caldwell, West Orange, Short Hills…they’re even encroaching into Essex Fells! Not as many but they’re there. Spreading like kudzu.

  21. The more that I think of how the new pre fab house looks, compared to the re managed ruin of the original farmhouse, I actually think that the builders took some time in considering to match what the old house sort of looked like, and since the farmhouse was not salvageable, they actually did a good job…considering. I think the farmhouse could have been re habilitated for about sevenhundredK so that would have made it an unmarketable property. We should not allow for the demise of our old houses. They are valuable craftsmanship!

  22. Frank you always post the most interesting things!! I just got lost in that Historical application for the last 45 minutes or so, don’t tell my boss. Plus I was excited to see my nabe mentioned! 🙂

  23. Kay-
    Step one: befriend Frank GG (throw a fabulous party and he will come)

    Step two: Follow him around your house and take notes. He is the house whisperer.

    Questions? Just Ask Holly in comments.

    Holly loves her some Frank GG!

  24. Oooh, Holly! sneeeaky!

    I would just like him to come over to my house and exclaim within earshot of a certain male resident, “oh my gosh, who picked that awful color for the handrail?!”

    hee hee

  25. Merci beaucoup! Je ne suis vraiment flattée!!!! But please….no fabulous dinner parties, banquets or galas required…. (warn the readers, Holly, how none of your guests were eating those wonderful stuffed peppers that your husband made so I just gleefully devoured the entire platter full, all by myself) I just LOVE houses so I glady house whisper incessantly…
    Don’t worry Kay…I’ll do that and even bring my book of color swatches and Walleroo if you can stop shivering….you can take the before and after pictures for Walleroo Vogue.

  26. The GR Historical society museum keeps files on most of the houses in town. You can make an app’t to see the folder of your house and might be surprised how far the images go back. This really helps to keep your house as it was originally planned. Most of the older pictures were taken by a realtor (Russell?) in town around the turn of the century. I’m surprised that Montclair doesn’t have this kind of archive.

  27. Thanx for the Dwell link, Jerseygirl! They’re quite nice! I’m thinking that perhaps I could design pre fab homes for a new endeavor! Thomas Edison is probably one of the first to create pre fab prototypes. His were in Portland Cement and we here in Baristaville, have his world’s first concrete pre fab houses ( the first in history!!)…one is his garage in Llewellyn Park…one is on Valley Road near Wachung and the other is on North Mountain….

  28. Frankgg….Edison also did Apt. houses, one was 7 St. Luke’s Pl. in Montclair across from the museum. I lived there many years ago and the only way to hang pictures in your apt. was to use a cement drill bit!

  29. Thats interesting to know that 7 Saint likes is cement, Paz…it seems to be from the early twenties, so thats quite early in Edisons cement experimenting. The Rockliffe,built in 1938 on top of the hill at Crestmont Road is one of the first concrete cavity wall constructions in history. The Rockliffe interiors are entirely of concrete. When I lived there, I gave up trying to drill cement so I proceeded to hang pictures with wires from the top moulding. The mountaintop is quite breezy so they used to sway in the wind, practically even with the windows shut. When that microburst happened a few years ago, it blew the windows in and flooded my third floor unit. Since, I have moved to lower, safer, dryer ground.

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