In this article we’re taking a look at 2016’s best new manufactured home design winner, The Hillcrest IV from Champion Homes.
We’ve also interviewed an industry insider about new manufactured home construction methods, helpful buying tips, and trends we can expect to see in the future.
Why You Should Consider a New Manufactured Home
New manufactured homes rival site-built homes in design, structure, and energy efficiency and are offered at prices that no site-home builder can match.
New manufactured homes use the exact same materials as a site-built home. They cost less because their construction process is so tightly controlled. The homes are build using an assembly line method within a covered building so they are not subject to weather delays, improper material management, or poor quality control.
From nails to shingles, inventory is tightly managed down to the smallest detail. All these controls create such high building efficiency that new manufactured home prices typically run 10-20% less than a site-built home of similar size using the exact same building materials.
Meet The Hillcrest IV
The Hillcrest IV is a gorgeous home! The contemporary style combined with a smart floor plan has created a home that fits the modern family perfectly.
The Hillcrest IV is built in Athens, Texas, and is displayed and distributed by Titan Factory Direct in Texas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
National Congress and Expo for Manufactured and Modular Housing
Every year in Las Vegas, the manufactured housing industry comes together for its annual National Congress and Expo for Manufactured and Modular Housing. During this 3 day expo awards are given for the year’s winners in categories such as best home design, retails sales center of the year, and manufactured home community operator of the year.
2016’s Best New Manufactured Home Design Winner: The Hillcrest IV
The kitchen in the Hillcrest IV features several modern amenities. Glass cabinet doors, stainless steel appliances, a white subway tile back splash, and an island/breakfast bar combo are today’s most popular kitchen design elements.
Like other new manufactured home models, the Hillcrest IV offers several options for buyers.
The Hilcrest IV also offers a kitchen package that is gorgeous!
The dining room includes modern built-in hutches and a bar area. Natural lighting pours through the large windows and sliding glass door.
This is a gorgeous manufactured home and an obvious winner for 2016’s Best New Manufactured Home Design.
Industry Insider Interview
Courtney King of Titan Factory Direct, the Texas manufactured home dealer that offers the Hillcrest IV, was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
I tried to ask questions that cover a wide range of manufactured home topics; the building process, buying tips, construction restrictions, and trends we can expect to see in the future.
What sets Champion Homes apart from other builders?
From my experience I haven’t seen much of a difference in the actual construction of the homes. The building materials for manufactured homes come from the same companies and for the most part the designs are very similar. Having said that, one thing I will say for Champion is that the energy efficiency is very important to them.
I think a lot of people confuse the difference in dealerships with the difference in builders. Titan really strives to build relationships with our customers the sale way a real estate agent would with their clients. We are, after all, helping them to choose a place to house their family! It’s a huge decision and commitment, whether it is a $30,000 house or a $500,000 house, we like to leave at the end of the day knowing that we provided our customers with the best possible home buying experience!
The following video shows the building process for Champion Homes:
What would you like us to know about Titan Factory Direct and your salespeople? What sets you apart from other dealers?
Our senior management team has a total of 70 years of experience in the retail side of the manufactured home industry. They came together to build their own company because they saw things they didn’t like and wanted to run a smoother, more personalized process. I think it is because of this integrity at the top that our management and salespeople continue to be so passionate about getting families into homes.
We are always looking for ways to give back and to improve as a company. We recently decided to begin volunteering as a team with Habitat for Humanity, which we are very excited about!
I read that Champion Homes was the first builder to receive the Energy Star Certification. What were the features of that first Energy Start Certified home? What new energy efficient features can we expect to see in the future from Champion Homes? What features does The Hillcrest IV have?
A lot of the changes sound small, but create huge differences in the long run. The main change that helped win the certification was upgrading the insulation! Champion focused on creating a tighter house, which would result in less air loss, thus lowering electricity bills. Increasing the wall insulation from R-11 to R-13 and the blown insulation in the ceilings from R-19 to R-30 and creating better sealing for the windows and doors is what we would attribute the certification to.
One of our most recent changes was adding LED lighting, which puts off less heat. Each light bulb saves $0.25 per month, which adds up over time!
I think the next big change is going to be home automation, which will improve energy efficiency even more.
I love the trey ceiling in the living room. Low ceilings are a popular complaint about manufactured homes. Are there engineering or architectural issues that prohibit higher ceilings in modern manufactured homes?
The main reason behind low ceilings in a manufactured home is the building material used by the factory. Because it is a lot cheaper, most companies use a 7 ft. side wall, which results in seeming small.
Our standard is 8 ft. side walls, which can be upgraded to a “site built” 9 ft. All our homes come with the options of a vault or flat interior ceiling, which I also think makes a huge difference in the overall look of the home!
Even with creative engineers there are still limits. There is a cap on the height a home can be for transportation, which is why you don’t see two story homes going down the highway! They would have to be delivered in sections and stacked on site, which would increase cost and manufactured homes would no longer be the affordable solution to site built homes anymore.
What would you like potential home buyers to know about manufactured homes before they set foot on a lot? Any particular topics that home buyers should research most?
I think the two biggest factors we wish our customers would research and consider before coming in would be first, where they want to place their home. So much goes into this decision like, school districts, building codes, whether or not they want to be in a manufactured home community, that It is almost impossible to make in even a single day.
Secondly, whether or not they want to finance the home. We sit down to work out a budget analysis with the customer, but coming in with a firm idea of what your family can afford is a huge advantage for them, because then we know where to start! Also, as I’m sure you’re aware, some financing options are only available with modular homes.
What are the steps or stages that architects/designers use to develop a new model? Do you take changes or upgrades made by buyers into account? How are the models named?
The models come to us as just letters and numbers, the Titan marketing department gives each home a name. We felt that the homes felt a lot more personalized that way, and it’s fun to think up new names as the homes come in! It is a lot easier to remember that you really liked the kitchen in the Trinity versus the Ruger than the R-1234 versus the R-1987!
We like to give them names that our customers will recognize and enjoy. A lot of them are named after Texas cities, rivers and counties, although one of our employees is a Florida State fan and snuck in a model named after the gators!
What do you think sets The Hillcrest IV apart from all the others? Why is it 2016’s Best New Manufactured Home Design Winner?
I think the floor plan itself is very similar to others we have, but I think the new features are what is setting it apart from the rest. Barn doors, LED lighting, pot filler faucets, a farmhouse sink and shakers cabinets all give the feel of a modern home, which I think a lot of our customers appreciate.
I think that the manufactured housing industry has really stepped up their game as far as what goes inside the house to make it feel just as good as any site built home.
I know the manufactured housing industry leads the way for trends in site-built housing. What are your most popular upgrades in the last year? Any particular trends we can expect to see?
I would have to say our most popular upgrades last year would be the barn doors, electric fireplaces, LED lighting, pot filling faucets, and under counter lighting. I think the biggest trends right now are anything that looks modern!
The open floor plans, white and grey options on cabinets, and the chef designed kitchens are all things we’re very excited about here at Titan! This year we plan to roll out some very exciting new features, I can’t spoil the surprise, but I will hint at more energy efficient and site built appearance options and home automation!
The Hilcrest IV family room:
Summary for 2016’s Best New Manufactured Home Design Winner
The Hillcrest IV is a beautiful home! There’s no doubt it is 2016’s Best New Manufactured Home Design award winner.
This model proves the entire manufactured housing industry is working hard to offer homes featuring popular design trends and great energy efficiency at affordable prices.
Thank you for reading Mobile and Manufactured Home Living!
Please note: We were not paid for this article and we do not have a personal opinion about Champion Homes or Titan Factory Direct. We simply wanted to share 2016’s Best New Manufactured Home Design Winner with you and provide information that can be helpful to current manufactured homeowners and potential buyers. Thank you!