Locations With Display Models
How It All Works
House Set Overview
Floorplan & Photo
Duplexes & Multifamily
Display Home & Stock Specials
Frequently Asked Questions
The questions below really are frequently asked, but
It is important to realize that not all questions can be answered the same, and therefore
a discussion with a Design Homes salesperson is sometimes necessary. Please feel
free to contact us at any Design Homes location at any time with
concerns and questions not adequately covered here.
Q: What is a Design Home?
A: A Design Home is a
custom-designed, factory-built home--built in a modular fashion and to state codes.
Let's break it down. Custom-designed means that we are not limited to certain
floorplans--and in fact, we allow customers to design their own floorplans at no charge.
Factory-built means that we build the home in pieces--or halves--in a factory where
quality can be controlled better--and where the home won't get subjected to weather
changes during construction. It also means that the labor is spread out over more
homes--which keeps the cost-per-square-foot down. "Modular" simply means
delivered in sections, but unlike other modular builders, a Design Home is a custom
home--and we are not limited to two-pieces. Many people think "modular"
means "not a mobile home" (now called manufactured homes). It
doesn't. Modular means delivered in sections--that's all. When we say our
homes are built to state code, that is what distinguishes our houses from
manufactured (mobile) homes.
Q: Why is a Design Home better than any other
A: It all boils down to one
thing: we sell factory-direct. All Design Homes are sold factory-direct--not through
dealers. By eliminating the dealer, there is no "middleman" making money
on your home project. We don't have to "cheapen" up the house in order to
allow a dealer to make money without raising the price. That is why other homes
don't include the furnace & ductwork, limited delivery, setup & tax--ours does! That
is why other factory homes historically were not known for quality construction--ours is!
We build all of our homes with 7" sidewalls
with compressed R-24 fiberglass batts which means a higher insulation value (R-26
walls) and R-50 ceilings.
Check out the "specifications" page for more details.
Q: How long does it take to get a Design Home?
A: The answer to this question depends on several things--some
of which we have no control over. First of all, there are 3 ways to purchase a
Design Home: 1) Every year we offer a few of our display models for sale.
These are the homes that are set up for people to walk through. By selling
them occassionally, we are able to stay fairly current with colors and options.
These are available as soon as the foundation is ready--something we have no control
over. 2) During the winter, Design Homes builds from
30 to 50 extra
homes in advance of the busy season--we call these homes "Stock Models."
These too, are available immediately--or whenever the foundation is ready. 3)
Custom ordered homes are our specialty. These are the ones you design to your needs,
and then we schedule and build them. This process will usually take a minimum
of about 12 weeks, but it is important to realize that there are many
"variables" that can affect when the home will be delivered & set.
Most people fall into the 3 to 4 month range, but customers, themselves, often stretch the
process out by making changes and getting blueprint revisions several times. The
weather, breakdowns, backorders, holidays, deer hunting (uh huh), and several other things
that we don't have control over can affect the delivery time. We do go out of
our way to make sure customers realize that it is not an exact science--variables are just
as much a part of the process as the construction itself.
Q: How do I know if there is enough room to
deliver and set the house sections?
A: On the day of the home order (or with your first
blueprints), we give you a sheet that gives guidelines about preparing the site--and
the access into it. Generally, if a semi could drive in your driveway and up to your
foundation, we can too. Our crane needs at least 35 feet of clear, fairly flat space
on one side of your foundation to lift the house sections into place. Our sheet
explains it well. Remember this: After over 35 years of delivering and setting
houses, we have never had a single home that we could not set up one way or another.
That's not to say that a property owner didn't have to cut a tree or move a
Q: What is the square-foot-price of a Design
A: The easy answer is between $60 and $70--for the most part.
Obviously, a little 36' ranch with no options isn't going to be the same price as a
76' long tri-level with $16,000 worth of options. We build both, though. This
question is actually a little misleading, though. A site-built home often costs
around $120 per sq. ft., or more--but that includes the foundation, on-site plumbing, and hookups.
When you add these things to our homes the sq. ft. price is
usually somewhere in the $80 to
$85 range--still considerably less than a stick-built home--but it has the same value as
Q: Can I make changes to the models on display?
A: Yes. Well, sort of. If you happen to purchase
one of our display models, you cannot change it because it is built and released from
production. But if you order a home like a display model, you can change
anything you like--including the size, floorplan, colors, options, outside looks, or
whatever. You can flip-flop plans--or parts of plans. And you can even
incorporate things from one house (even our competitors) into another. The only
things that affect the price, however, are the size/type of home--and the options.
Q: What about financing a Design Home?
A: Since Design Homes are built to the same code as a
site-built home, the financing is handled the same, too. You go to your local
lenders and shop interest rates and services. When you choose your lender, they will
give you a "construction loan," which is a temporary loan that enables you to
pay your contractors during the project. When all of the contractors are paid, the
lender will "roll over" (change) the loan into a mortgage loan--which is when
you start making your monthly payments. You may also be interested to
know that financing is now available
from Design Homes for customers in
Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska.
Q: What doesn't
Design Homes do?
A: This isn't an easy question to
answer because there are areas within our 10-state delivery area where we are
not allowed to do certain things. Design Homes does not provide the
building site. We also do not arrange for or include the foundation or
basement--although we do include blueprints for your local contractor to work
from. We do deliver & set the house and finish it to the point where you
can do your "hook ups" and move in. We don't install the water heater
(it's shipped in a box) or do any basement plumbing at all. We do include
and wire the 200-amp breaker panel and make the
electrical connections in the basement, but we don't swing the panel down and
mount it on the basement wall---or trench in the power from
the transformer--or include and install the meter socket. We
install the customer-supplied support posts in the basement, but we do not put
in partition walls or finish the basement in any way. In our 1-1/2 story
homes, it is our customer's responsibility to finish the upstairs level---although
we now offer story & 1/2 homes with a finished upstairs level.
Our garages are delivered and built by us, and the overhead doors are framed out
but not included or installed--and the garage wiring is not included. We
do include and install the furnace (where permitted), but we do not run the
power or fuel
line to it or do the initial "start up".
Q: Can you tell me how to get to the Cabella's Store?
A: It's about a quarter mile north of here right on the
highway--it'll be on your left.
Design Homes of Prairie du Chien, WI
Factories & Large Model Home Display)
New Location --
Green Bay, WI
New Location --
||Missouri Valley, IA
Sioux Falls, SD
||Fond du Lac, WI
(Kansas City Area)
||Clear Lake, IA
||Chippewa Falls, WI