8 Questions to Ask Before Buying Modular Products in California

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Albeit newer to the construction industry, modular construction has been around for over two decades and is no different than traditional construction when it comes to licensing requirements, contractor responsibility, safety, durability, and installation. For those reasons alone always protect yourself when hiring a modular company / contractor by asking the right questions, and do your research.

1. Are they a contractor?

The first thing to do before hiring a contractor is to check if the person / company you are considering is licensed to build in California. Search the Department of Consumer Affairs State License Board website by their company name, or a person’s name. If they are not listed, then run. By NOT being licensed your business will be solely responsible if something goes wrong.

Special Note: Do not let a contractor just tell you that the person doing the work is licensed or “I am using someone else’s license.” Do your research and get proof. You can’t borrow or use someone else’s driver’s license or contractor’s license in California.

2. Is the person doing the work a contractor?

There are countless stories of people losing their careers and companies getting sued because they did not check for the proper insurances and licenses. Don’t let this happen to you. Many times, sub-contractors are hired by contractors to do the work on site. Unfortunately, there are instances where untrained workers, unfamiliar with the install of modular products, are hired. Just as in traditional construction, check to make sure subcontractors are familiar with the modular product they are hired to install, and that they are insured or, on the payroll of the person you bought the product from. If this person operates their own company, make sure they have the proper contractor’s licenses, insurance and bonds necessary. That way you are covered if anything goes wrong.

3. Do they have General Liability Insurance?

More often than we’d like to think, many companies operate without any insurance at all. If they have it, the policy should clearly state the producers’ name, insured person’s name, a policy number and the effective and end dates. In addition, it will show the limits of coverage. There will also be a place on the bottom that identifies the certificate holder which is where your company name and address should be listed.  View an example by clicking this link.

4. Are they Bonded?

A contractor license bond is a very important type of security that actually serves a purpose among the different parties involved in a contractor project. A contractor’s license bond not only helps you as the contractor, but helps others who could be involved and affected by unethical or costly business decisions.

Contractor’s license bonds legally protect the following three parties: you, the contractor; the company who hired you; and the state bond issuing agency.  By getting the contractor license bond, you are ensuring that you will always provide ethical and professional services. It also protects the public in that you, and the company that hired you, are indicating that you will provide professional services that will do no harm to them. Should someone be negatively affected by an unethical decision made, then they can file against the bond for financial recompense.

5. Are they a manufacturer or a reseller?

Laws in California are very strict for Contractors. Unless they are a manufacturer you should only be asked to provide 10% or $1000.00, whichever is less, when starting a job. You should never pay for more than the performance of the work that is being completed. Remember, they are not a manufacturer you are only buying materials and labor to install. Read more about the laws in California including, what should be included in the contract.

6. Do you know who you are doing business with?

With technology today, you have the ability to find out who you are doing business with at the touch of a button. If they are operating from a house or a PO Box, you should be very cautious. Often times these businesses shut down quickly and disappear instantaneously. If you want to research more via the web, click here. If you don’t have the time, assign the research to an intern or junior employee. But never skip this step.

7. What are 20-day lien notices?

A 20-Day Preliminary Notice, also known simply as a Preliminary Notice, is filed with the County Clerk-Recorder Department by a contractor, subcontractor or material supplier to inform a property owner, direct contractor, project lender or other interested party that they are working on a project and have a right to file a Mechanic’s Lien in the event they are not paid. Preliminary Notices must be filed 20 days from first furnishing labor or materials.

This means that you should not pay the person you have a contract with until you have received confirmation that the bill has been paid. If you do pay them and they don’t pay the contractor or material provider, they can put a lien on the property and in extreme cases, seize the property, auction it off and provide the proceeds back to the land or building owner. In short, you will be paying the bill twice. Even if the person filed for bankruptcy protection, you are still on the hook.

8. Who are you buying from?

One of the easiest ways to check to see if the person or company you’re dealing with is new, or has been in business for a while is to check California’s Secretary of State website. California does a great job in making sure you can check the status of a company, partnership, LLC or corporation. The secretary of state website is a great place to start. You can also check to see if they are an entity and when they were formed.

Special Note: In California, there is no sales tax charged on construction projects that include installation. If the company is charging you sales tax, they should not be. It’s better to have these conversations up front, but if it’s too late, don’t pay the sales tax.

When you are ready to start your modular project, follow these suggestions and ask all of the right questions. You’ll be sure to save yourself a lot of trouble and money. If you’re ready to start your modular construction project today, contact Allied Modular Building Systems or visit our website for more information on modular construction, modular products, and helpful resources. You can also call and one of our knowledgeable staff members will be able to help you.

Allied Modular has been doing business in California for over 27 years and we know exactly what it takes to complete a successful project!

Allied Modular Building Systems, Inc.
642 W. Nicolas Ave.
Orange, CA 92868
CA LIC. # 730592 B
1-888-836-7850

Modular Construction In Australia

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Modular construction isn’t just big here in the states; it is being used around the world! We recently heard a great story from Architecture & Design about a modular project in Australia.

A company called Quickstart Homes is creating homes in record time. This is in large part because of the speediness that comes with using modular construction. Since the fabrication is done offsite, the production of these homes is streamlined and completed very fast. The result is that these homes are delivered, and with a few finishing touches are basically complete in just a few months, versus years!

While we don’t create modular homes here at Allied Modular, we do use similar production methods for all of our products. This means we can fabricate them quickly and get them shipped and installed at your facility with lightning speed!

Head over to our website to learn more about this process.

Allied Modular Press Boxes

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Allied Modular’s modern modular solutions are used on a daily basis by people all over the world. Our products are made in the USA, and we offer some very unique products.

Amongst our modular building products, we have created several products that are specifically designed to work with schools and universities. These products include press boxes, modular walls and ticket booths.

Our press boxes have been installed in high schools, colleges and sporting areas around the world. From these modular press boxes you can get a great view of the field down. From this modular building atop the bleachers you can film the events down below as well as provide a space for reporters, announcers and others to work.

Like our other modular products, our ticket booths, modular walls and press boxes can all be custom color matched to your facility. They can also be customized in a variety of other ways to match your style.

Would you like to learn about our press boxes and other specially created products? You can visit our website for more information, or you can call us at 888-836-7850.

Modular Construction For Senior Living

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We love seeing how modular construction continues to grow in popularity, and we recently heard about a modular project in Southern California which will create affordable senior living to the community.  This project  will encompass 86 apartments in the city of Redlands, CA.

What makes this project unique is that unlike other methods of building, modular will have this project completed very quickly.  Some estimates gauge seniors will be able to live in this community months sooner than traditional “stick built” construction methods.

The affordable living senior community will be composed of 73 modules which will eventually make up 13 different apartments.  These apartments will be a mix of 5, 6 and 9 unit buildings, and the whole project will encompass 105,317 square feet.

Although Allied Modular is focused on working in the commercial sector, many of the same methods of construction used in the project are also used by us.  We start by building all the main components under factory- controlled conditions and ensuring they are built to the highest standard of quality control.  Then they are shipped to the job site where our expert installation team finishes the job.  This process is quick, hassle- free and virtually eliminates downtime and disruption that comes with traditional building methods.

Would you like to learn more about modular construction?  Contact us today for more information.

h/t MH Living News, Photo via US Modular

Top 5 Myths of Modular Construction

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Most people have heard of modular construction, but aren’t familiar with how it works or what it looks like. There are many myths surrounding modular construction, and this article will shed some truth on how beneficial modular construction can be.

Myth 1: Modular buildings aren’t good for the environment.
This statement couldn’t be further from the truth! Modular walls are fabricated away from the construction site in a specialized factory by trained professionals. Because these walls are made off site, there are far less wasted materials, and the materials used are far more “green” than traditional methods.

Myth 2: Modular buildings can only be used as temporary structures.
Many have seen modular buildings used as temporary structures for schools that need to quickly add some extra classrooms. Although modular construction can be used for this purpose, modular construction can actually do much more. Modular buildings have track records of being used for decades, with durability that is as good as structures built by traditional methods.

Myth 3: Modular buildings lack an aesthetic appeal.
Another common misconception is that modular buildings are lacking a certain creativity and architectural beauty. With modular construction the sky is the limit! There are a vast amount of customizable options that are often easier to design than traditional construction. Modular construction offers a host of accessories such as doors, lighting, windows, and fixtures.

Myth 4: Modular buildings are built poorly.
Since modular buildings are fabricated off site, they are built with exceptional quality. Modular walls are built within a controlled environment by factory trained professionals. These walls are built to be durable, as they need to be transported to the job site. As previously mentioned, modular walls have a reliable track record of lasting decades.

Myth 5: Modular construction takes too long.
Quite contrarily, modular construction is actually built and assembled quite quickly! Modular projects are often completed 20% – 40% faster than traditional construction. Design and engineering time is also significantly decreased, and installation quickly and efficiently accomplished.

Modular construction is a great option for your next construction project. Do some additional research and see how modular construction can benefit your company.

The Convenience of Prewired Raceways

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For our customers’ convenience, we provide several electrical options for our modular buildings. Our hollow raceways which form part of the framing for our modular walls can house all sorts of electrical components, such as phone and data lines, AV jacks, power outlets, light switches, and even power-saving motion sensors for lighting. Our raceways are easily accessible with removable covers in case of removals, installations, or maintenance.

We provide blank raceways in case our customers have their own projects in mind, and we also provide pre-wiring services for customer convenience. We can provide modular electrical systems for ease of use and prewired conduits and electrical boxes to house building electrical.

Our raceways are also UL approved. The Underwriters Laboratory is a certification organization that rigorously tests products for safety. UL approval is a coveted badge of confidence on electronic products, and our walls are UL approved. Such approval allows our customers to be sure of their quality, and most important of all, their safety.

So to give you an idea of the big picture and how convenient modular construction is, we’ll summarize the general process. You come to us with a project in mind and we work with you in designing the perfect building to fit your needs. We manufacture all of the components needed to build your building and then ship the components to your build site. Then all of the components are quickly and cleanly installed. The framing that holds the modular wall panels together are actually hollow raceways, where all sorts of electrical wiring can be added, such as power and data. Your modular building is installed on the spot and ready to go complete with lighting, wiring, and whatever else you need to carry out your business. A great way to do construction!