Doublewide? Yeah a doublewide, so lose that prejudice that the real estate and construction industry have collaborated to impose on our thinking.. for their benefit$ and to conceal their failures. Totally their ignorance. Be smarter and learn the ropes.


Step 1: Find a quality Fleetwood sales person
And no I am not in anyway connected to them, I just got lucky to find one.
You will recognize such a one by the following clues..

1) They can answer questions about construction, and favor savvy upgrades that improve your bottom line, like 2x6 framing, higher insulation values, how to accommodate small design changes. Instead of fawning over fancy status symbols in cabinetry, appliances and flooring.

2) They can get you a copy of the blueprints that normally go to the bank for those using mortgages. Even tho you are not necessarily going to the bank, to the extent you are able to avoid it.

3) They can get you in touch with the engineers at the plant where the model you like is on their docket, so you can find out what weight bearing numbers you need to confirm for some special owner designed project like we wanted in order to install a radiant floor, or whatever solar, wind or some such maybe later.

4) They know the level of hassles that you will encounter in different counties, in case you have still a choice... like the septic authorities in one county may be impossible to deal with but the adjacent county's staff are decent and work with you.

5) They have a manual of all the choices in anchoring hardware for your consideration. There are hurricane quality anchoring systems that work like the chinese finger puzzle that gets tighter the more you pull.. Go for it.


Step 2: Find out how long it will take the factory to produce the model, with the design changes you want, so you can plan your work load in installing the water lines, electric line, cable line and build the footers to support the house.

Be amazed that they can have your house ready to deliver in 30 DAYS, in most cases -- not MONTHS as in stick built site-built waste-plagued construction, since factory built savings accrue from reliable work schedules, from the ability to use left over materials from one project on the next. FIFTY PERCENT OF THE MATERIALS THAT ARE BOUGHT FOR A SITE/STICK-BUILT HOUSE ARE WASTED. You don't get what you pay for in a site/stick-built house.. it went to rumpke.

Be amazed that THE HOUSE costs about $30 per square foot.. even with the higher wind strength 2x6 framing [only an extra thousand for 100mph winds not a mere 70mph wind like 2x4 framing] and another even smaller increment for the extra insulation in those thicker walls [that will pay for itself in less than a year]...




Step 3: Get the lot purchase arranged, and the driveway, and tree clearing as needed, call the electric supplier and the water company, and the cable company, and pay their membership deals as needed. Print out google's overhead of the lot and get the surveyors data and soil maps on the lot so you can do the needed lot layout planning. Get the piping, cables, and meterbase set up, including the breakerbox for the outside meter. Have the health department authorize the type of septic required. Plan to include an outdoor electric outlet setup [incl safety plugs] since you'll want that later as well for building a barn/shed whatever. Also plan for an extra temporary faucet for cleanups outdoors during construction.


Step 4: We bought a bobcat walkbehind track loader and a northstar trencher so we could dig the lines for the water, electric and cable ... as well as do the footers for the house foundation, as well as put in drainage around the house-island area [perimeter constructed wetlands] to keep the worksite decently dry for house-delivery trucks and concrete trucks.

You could alternatively simply rent such equipment in order to do that level of the prepsite work yourself if you wanted to make this educational so you know everything was done per specs and remember it later..AND you had the clear time table to get the work done expeditiously. Your choice, once you check the workload, time needed and rental prices and schedules...

We chose to buy the equipment because we wanted to also be able to do the septic work later, avoid repeated rental/hauling and the savings on the septic system work would justify the expense and leave us with the equipment to sell later. This also depends on what your health dictators specify.. Get up to speed on the equipment.

Of course if you have to do a mortgage in order to buy the house then you are stuck with the bankers' rules.... deal with your situation. We were dealing with the funds from the sale of the previous house [mortgage-free] and the drain of temporarily living in a lease apartment with more stuff in storage, other jobs and lots to learn. But you may save more by getting out of your rented apartment than doing every bit yourself, however reassuring and educational DIY can be. Nevertheless... Plan on lots of spreadsheet and drawing board work and phone and paperwork in any case.