Posts Tagged ‘Maine’

2019 Maine Manufactured Housing Show Insights

May 31st, 2019 Comments off


How can you be sure that your manufactured home will stand the test of time as well as a traditional, typically more expensive, stick built home? Well, for starters, the way of thinking and stigma about manufactured homes being of lesser-quality just because they tend to be less expensive is a seriously outdated way of thinking,” said 92 Moose FM about the 2019 Maine Manufactured Housing Show.  Newer or first-time visitors are reminded that MHProNews often turns quoted text bold and brown to emphasize the quote, but otherwise it is as in the original.


The event was “powered by Newport Structures,” and their website says the firm “provides portable storage solutions in Newport, ME and the surrounding areas. Specializing in mini barns, portable storage units and portable garages, our shed builders will stop at nothing to bring your unique vision to life.”  It’s smart to have that kind of strategic ally in such an event, some firm that benefits from the industry, but isn’t necessarily in the industry.

Part of the pre-event promo said, “The Townsquare Media 2019 Manufactured Housing Show provides attendees the opportunity to make an informed decision on the make, model and features in their home. Order the home of your dreams at the show! No need to drive from dealership to dealership, the Maine Manufactured Housing Show provides YOU – the buying public – with everything you want, in one convenient place.

Join us at the
Augusta Civic Center on any of these dates and times:
Friday, Feb. 1,
noon-7 pm
Saturday, Feb. 2,
10 am-7 pm
Sunday, Feb. 3, 10
am-4 pm.”

Newport Structure’s Facebook page gave no post-event report.  Nor was such information found on the Maine Manufactured Housing Show’s Facebook page.



This was a collage from that FB page to promote the show, pre-event.




We have deliberately not asked – yet – how successful this event was, though we looked for online results information. We can state with certainty that the concept of getting homes in front of the home buying public obviously has merit. That aspect we hereby applaud.




Such events are not inexpensive. Some of the pre-event promotional video from Moose 92 FM was unappealing, to put it politely.  There was no YouTube video found for the 2019 show, but there was one from a promotion from 4 years ago, which is posted below. Why didn’t 92 FM post their video on YouTube?



It is obvious that manufactured housing must do some out-of-the-box promotional efforts, or it will keep getting historically low results. We encourage trying vs. not trying.

But when someone is going to try, they should do all that is possible to insure maximum results for every marketing investment.




Let’s presume, for analysis and discussion’s sake, that they plan to repeat this show.  Why is there no post-event report?  For those who looked online, but didn’t come, they may do precisely what MHProNews did this evening, see what facts can be found from the show promoters. Nada, that was readily visible.

What impression does that leave? Or what impression is there from questions posted on Facebook that are never replied to by the event promoters?



However successful – or not – this event was, a post-event analysis could make it all worthwhile. We’ll plan a follow up report. Stay tuned.



The first link below the byline has useful insights for proven concepts necessary for those who recognize that manufactured housing needs to adapt in order to grow again.

That’s this Friday night’s final edition of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)



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Habitat for Humanity Using Factory Built Home in First

October 24th, 2017 Comments off

YouTubeHabitatModularHomesModularNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsFor much of the U.S., the on-site building season can take place almost year-round.

But not so more northern climates in the United States, or Canada, where the conventional construction season is fairly short.

So, when a widely known organization like Habitat for Humanity turns to modular construction in a state like Maine, it’s a potential win for many on a variety of levels.

The teaming up of Habitat with modular construction is reportedly a first in the state of Maine.  But it has occurred in Canada, and a few other places, as the video on this page reflects.

Per Maine’s Forecaster,Habitat for Humanity/7 Rivers Maine’s first modular home arrived in the city Oct. 11, the start of a new trend for the group that builds affordable houses.”

As of Tuesday had raised nearly $11,000  out of a $30,000 goal has been raised to support the effort, via another first for the group – a crowd-sourced funding initiative.

The homebuyer is reportedly able to afford “a certain amount to purchase the home, and Habitat is subsidizing the rest through the $30,000 campaign, according to Kathy Smith, Habitat’s director of development.”


Bath-based Dirigo Custom Structures was used to build the modular home, being sited at 167 Middle St in Bath.

The home has a “daylight basement” which the home was placed over.

They popped it on and secured it, and it’s buttoned up,” Habitat’s Smith said in an interview Oct. 17. “And now this Saturday we start with volunteers going in to complete the home.”

Finishing the basement, siding, a front porch, and other completion items are expected to occur over the next eight weeks.

We’re hoping to have the homeowner and family in before Christmas, even maybe mid-December, if possible,” Smith said.


Habitat’s Deal

Habitat for Humanity requires homeowners to invest “sweat equity hours into the construction process. Because the modular home is prefabricated, the three-member family has been helping out at Habitat’s ReStore in Topsham, Maine.  They will also work alongside volunteers at the home site, doing the described completion work, noted above.

Once finished, there will be about 1,500 square feet of space.

Smith said they don’t know the precise savings to be expected, which they will determine once the project is completed.  Beyond the cost savings, as factory built home professionals know, there will be “a number of months” in saved construction time.

KathySmithDirectorDevelopmentHabitatForHumanity&RiversMaineDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsHabitat expects to see some degree of savings from going the modular route, although how much won’t be certain until the project is complete, Smith said. Construction time should also be reduced by “a number of months,” she added.

The Bath home is the 45th house built by Habitat/7 Rivers in its 25-year history, the Forecaster said.  ## (News, analysis.)

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Lost Modular Jobs Set to Return?

March 3rd, 2017 Comments off

A Coastline Modular Home. Credit: Coastline Homes.

Once known for its booming modular and manufactured home industry, Oxford, Maine has been dubbed the “Manufactured Housing Capital of New England.

Sadly, a downturn in May 2016, including the shutdown of Keiser Homes, cost at least 120 workers their jobs. The Daily Business News originally covered that story here.

But now, there’s new hope.

According to the Sun Journal, the area got a boost last week when two local businessmen presented plans that many hope will strengthen the job and housing market.

The preliminary site plan application for construction of a 70,088-square-foot building has been presented to the Oxford Planning Board for the soon to be named ABS Modulars facility.

If approved, the new business may add as many as 80 new jobs to the area, said Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman.

Additional jobs may also be coming down the line, following approval of a site plan application for another new manufactured housing business in Oxford.


The future site of ABS Modulars. Credit: Sun Journal.

The Planning Board also gave John Schiavi of Schiavi Custom Builders the green light to open a manufactured home sales center, Coastline Homes of Oxford.

Ten to 15 jobs are expected to be created once Coastline Homes is up and running. Groundbreaking for the new facility is expected to take place in the next few weeks.

Construction for ABS Modulars is expected to begin this spring with an estimated completion date one year from now.

Local builders say as much as 83 percent of business was lost during the housing bust of 2008. Further, modular builder Keiser Homes, a subsidiary of Innovative Building Solutions (IBS), closed its plant in Oxford when IBS filed for bankruptcy in May, 2016.


The Schiavi Homes team. Credit: Schiavi Homes.

We’re very excited about the direction we’re going in. It’s part of the market that really suffered in the downturn,” said Scott Stone of Schiavi Custom Builders.

We’ve decided to take advantage of the upturn in modular and manufacturing housing and open up a sales lot where ‘middle America’ can again afford to buy their first home. The middle class took the brunt,” said Stone of the housing bust in 2008. “That’s what’s coming back. We’re really happy.

Coastline Homes is expected to be open in time for the 16th annual Oxford Hills Home Show in mid April.

The show draws potential homebuilders and buyers primarily from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and allows the manufactured housing industry to jointly promote its individual businesses and the industry as a whole. ##


(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Passages: Edward J. Wall

January 26th, 2017 Comments off

Edward J. Wall. Credit: Sun Journal.

Aaron Homes informs MHProNews that long-time Manufactured Housing Association of Maine member and former Aaron Homes President Edward J. Wall of Lisbon, Maine passed away January 15th at age 75 after a lingering illness.

In addition to his 47 years at Aaron Homes, Wall also owned and operated Worumbo Estates, later adding Worumbo Park, a community for sectional homes.

Wall was also very active in the formulation of legislation relating to manufactured housing in the State of Maine, and at one time was a part owner of Burlington Industries, a manufactured home builder.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, the former Constance Bedard; his daughter Christine and companion Gerald Perron; his son Edward II, and companion Karen Weber; his grandchildren, Katelyn Lacombe, Richard Lacombe, Jacob Wall, Tyler Wall, Brandi DiRenzo and Alicia Weber, and four great grandchildren, in addition to a number of brothers and sisters.

MHProNews sends its deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

ATRM Projects Improved Operations from its Modular Production

May 28th, 2015 Comments off

kbs_building_systems__modular_residential_and_commercial--bgt_by_AetriumMHProNews has learned ATRM Holdings, Inc., (NASDAQ:ATRM) which bought modular manufacturer KBS of Maine in April, 2014, has completed filings to become current with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting requirements, and has made operational changes which it says will improve its performance for the remainder of 2015.

Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the time of acquiring KBS ATRM divested itself of its test handler product line, its only operating business in Q1 2014, and received $770,000 as its first royalty payment thru Dec. 31, 2014. Future royalty payments are due quarterly, according to virtual-strategy.

ATRM’s president and CEO, Dan Koch, said the company took a loss of $500,000 for Q1 2015 due to the unusually harsh winter weather in the New England area that affected two commercial projects that were in the works at the time it acquired KBS.

Noting the company is working hard to improve operations, Koch said, “Initiatives include selective price increases, organizational streamlining, implementation of standard contracts, and improvements in operating processes, financial reporting, and controls. As we enter the peak season for our business, we believe these initiatives will lead to improved operating results at KBS in future quarters. Koch recently moved to Maine to

The company also exited its underused corporate headquarters in North St. Paul, which will improve cash flow. ATRM’s board chairman, Jeff Eberwein, anticipates the company will generate annual revenues of $40 million from its two facilities in Waterford and South Paris, Maine, where it produces modular housing units for residential and commercial applications. ##

(Photo credit: Aetrium-KBS modular residential building)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Negative views about Manufactured Housing in the media – do we just expect and accept it?

December 4th, 2014 Comments off

manufacturedhome-credit=manufacturedhomelivingnews-com-posted-mhpronews-In a recent Question and Answer column in Maine’s Tri-Town Weekly,  a commentary by news writer John McDonald was published under the headline, DOWN THE ROAD A PIECE: On the move.  McDonald’s column was in reply to an email received from “Frank,” who wrote: “We moved here from a southern state where lots of people live in mobile homes or trailers. When grouped together, as they often are, the resulting community is called a ‘trailer park.’ You’ve probably read stories about southern trailers – the things that get banged around a bit every time there’s a hurricane or a tornado.”

McDonald’s article says as part of his reply to Frank, The idea of living in a real mobile home or trailer has never enjoyed wide acceptance among the majority, who prefer to live in what might be called immobile homes.

McDonald elaborated,Makers of “trailers” never liked the name, so they began insisting that their creations be called “mobile homes.” No matter what they were called, everyone knew they were still trailers. Then in 1980 Congress officially changed the name to “manufactured home.”  But, like I said, they’ll always be trailers to the rest of us.”

What the question and reply in Tri-Town Weekly demonstrates are some common attitudes found in the media and the public at large, well known to many in MH.

First, John McDonald is clearly a good writer and knows how to turn a phrase and be funny. But he’s not accurate in much of what he asserts as true. For example, MH industry veterans know that there have been no ‘mobile homes’ built in the U.S. since June 15, 1976. The 1980 date McDonald gives in his article is flat wrong.

‘Trailers’ are pulled behind cars or pickup trucks. In residential terms today a travel trailer is a common kind of RV. They are smaller and far lighter than an MH. By contrast, it takes special equipment to move even most pre-HUD Code mobile homes. Since houses built on site use trailers to haul their parts to location, does that make on site building a ‘trailer house’ too? Both MH and site built are ‘immoble’ once installed.

Modern manufactured homes can weigh 25,000 or more pounds per section. They use the same lumber, shingles, vinyl siding, appliances, etc. that conventional housing does. Because they travel down the road to their location, as Modular Lifesyles Vice President Steve Lefler has said, they are tougher. It is like going through an EF 1 tornado and an earthquake at the same time.

Properly installed, as the video linked below proves, modern MHs are stronger than conventional housing, not weaker.

Marty Lavin, community owner and industry expert, has told the industry not to be confused. The MH industry already has an image campaign underway; and it is the media’s campaign. This article is a reminder that media accounts are often not favorable.

Clearly McDonald and Frank are misinformed on almost every level. As they try to educate each other, neither one of them has the updated information about the Manufactured Housing Industry. Neither knows that some 22 million Americans live in communities and homes throughout the nation.

But McDonald and Frank are not alone.

Until the industry learns to pull together in a campaign like what Murex Properties’ Steve Adler advocates in a new interview – or what Chairman Randy Rowe of Green Courte Partners has called for in his 5 point plan – expect that every professional or organization should stand up and correct the media when they err.

The photo from Manufactured Home Living News at top comes from the #1 resource of its kind that has videos, news stories and photo galleries that dispel myths. These stories and videos are on subjects ranging from MH in hurricanes and tornadoes – or that manufactured homes are ‘only for the poor‘ – when in fact millionaires own them too.

Stereotypes and outdated perceptions keep manufactured homes from being accepted as mainstream housing. When will more people grasp what Mary McBrady of the Massachusetts Manufactured Housing Association has advocated, that industry professionals pull together to support the platforms that advance the true narrative of the industry? ##

Photo Credit: (MHLivingNews)

joseine-josie-thompson-writer-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com50x50-Article Submitted by Josie Thompson to- Daily Business News- MHProNews

Orders for Manufactured, Modular Homes Drop in Iowa

July 2nd, 2014 Comments off

Joe Kelly, executive vice president of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA), informs MHProNews only 43 manufactured homes were ordered by retailers in Iowa during Q1, 2014—just six in the month of January—a drop of 15 homes, 26 percent, compared to the same period in 2013. For the last three years Kelly notes over 50 percent of the homes sold were single section homes, but for Q1 of this year only 44 percent were for single- section homes.

Modular homes were also off in the first quarter—73 mods as opposed to 95 in 2013, falling to rank number 13 out of the 34 states in the north central region, a drop from eighth place for the quarter. Last year Iowa was in seventh place among the states for modular homes. However, the state ranked fourth in modular as a percentage of all residential construction permits for the first quarter, 2014, behind North Dakota, Maine and Montana. Iowa ranked twelfth for all of last year in residential construction permits. ##

(Image credit:

Affordable Modular Housing Sited off Maine Coast

June 18th, 2014 Comments off

For members of the Cranberry Island Realty Trust (CIRT), the three years spent negotiating the movement of two modular homes to the Great Cranberry Island off the coast of Maine has reached fruition. “It’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to make homes out here year round when they can’t afford to buy homes, or even find places to rent. So, this is really what it’s all about, it’s just giving opportunities to people to establish homes and lifestyles out here and save, hopefully save the community,” said Phil Whitney, CIRT President. The goal is to provide affordable housing for two families when the project is finished in a couple of weeks, according to what tells CIRT Board member and resident, Bruce Konusin, says, “I had 19 acres here, but I don’t really use it for anything. I thought it would be a good project for the island, and I have nobody to pass it on to, so I just thought I would donate it.” ##

(Photo credit:–modular home moving to Great Cranberry Island)

Maine Offers Energy Star Manufactured Home replacement plan for pre-1976 Mobile Home owner/residents

August 26th, 2013 Comments off

maine-state-housing-authority-MaineHousing’s tells MHProNews about their pre-1976 Mobile Home Replacement Initiative, which provides income-eligible Maine residents with an opportunity to replace the pre-1976 mobile home they own and occupy as their primary residence with a new Energy Star-certified manufactured home. The initiative combines an amortizing, interest-bearing MaineHousing mortgage loan with a $30,000 MaineHousing grant to be used to help get residents into a new energy-efficient home in the same location where they currently live. Down payment and closing cost assistance is available through MaineHousing’s Advantage option. MaineHousing spokesperson Deborah Turcotte told Maine PBN that “Persons interested in this program may meet with one of our partners throughout the state – the list is on our Web site – to get the process rolling.” ##

(Image credit: MaineHousing logo)

Manufactured Housing Numbers Climb in Iowa

June 26th, 2013 Comments off

In 2012 Iowa retailers ordered 271 HUD Code manufactured homes, well below the years from 1964 to 1982 and 1988 to 2002 when orders ran over 1000 annually, but 28 percent higher than the 212 ordered in 2011, according to Joe Kelly, executive vice-president of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association. Numbers are up for the first third of this year as well: 88 HUD Code homes have been ordered through April, compared to 51 for the same period in 2012. 90,036 homes have been ordered over the 52 years from 1961 to 2012 for an average of 1,731 homes annually. Iowa retailers brought in 95 modular homes in Q1 2013, down slightly from 98 for the same time period last year. However, modular homes comprised six percent of single-family building permits in Iowa for the first quarter, in fourth place behind N. Dakota (19.4%), Maine (19.2%), and New York (7.2%). Meanwhile, as MHProNews has learned, the creation of a revolving loan program to assist purchasers of manufactured homes and administered by the Iowa Finance Authority passed the Iowa House but did not make it through the Senate.

(Image credit: Wikipedia)