Case Studies

Long Island Modular Homes Inc.

Supporting supply and demand

Long Island Modular Homes Inc. (LIMH) is a custom homebuilder, specializing in modular construction. While the company is based in Long Island, LIMH also extends its services to all five boroughs of New York City and into Westchester County. The company was founded by Jonathan Davidson in 2001 and began by building modular homes ranging from 2,500 square feet to 7,000 square feet.

“Modular construction is just a method, not a product,” details Evan Lewitas, vice president of LIMH. “For too long the modular industry accommodated the lowest end of the market. We have decided to build to a higher standard.”

Lewitas came from a background in implementing solar energy and geothermal heating and cooling into new home construction. Brought in to help expand the company’s offerings into near or net zero energy homes, Lewitas was hired in 2012. Today he runs all of the day-to-day operations, as well as sales and marketing.

Change in demand

Lewitas mentions that after Superstorm Sandy, the company saw a change in demand regarding the size of the homes. “Post Sandy the niche moved,” he details. “We started doing jobs outside of our normal scope, with houses in the 1,000 square feet to 1,500 square feet range, in order to get people back into something that they could afford.”

This adjustment allowed LIMH to service more customers in less time. Lewitas explains that the company has completed approximately 12 of such smaller projects with another 20 slated for 2015.

Furthermore, LIMH has previous experience as a flood zone builder after Hurricane Irene in 2010. In an interview with CBS News, the company was noted for having one of the modular homes – built before Superstorm Sandy – sustain little to no damage following the storm. LIMH has implemented a Build Safe program that adjusted the homes’ foundations to meet or exceed the Federal Emergency Management Agency codes and the wind zone requirements.

Going green

To address the demand for homes built with an eye toward sustainability LIMH recently incorporated some green options into the company’s homes. “Modular construction methods allow our clients to add features that will greatly reduce the homes carbon footprint and energy consumption,” Lewitas explains. “For example, because we build our homes from the inside-out, we can offer a tighter home with many of the typical air infiltration points foam-sealed. Also, with lower construction costs the homeowner may have some room left in the budget for features like solar energy or geothermal heating and cooling.”

Additionally, just by building homes inside of a factory, allows the company to stay greener by being far more efficient with materials than on-site builders. Lewitas mentions that LIMH is unique in that the company also owns a factory that produces mostly multifamily or commercial projects; however, can be used to produce any of the company’s projects, along with a few other outside factories.

“Most of the factories that service our area are located near each other and have similar features and specifications,” he explains. “We try and suit the house to the right factory based on scheduling and the client’s desired features matching that factory’s offerings. If a client cannot be satisfied by the offerings of typical modular home factories, we can offer complete customization for any home, by building it ourselves- in our own factory. Expanding the company’s production to outside factories assists in meeting demand, when needed.”

Upgraded features

LIMH has recently upgraded its base specifications, which means that instead of offering the least expensive item for every feature in the house, like most modular homebuilders, LIMH will include what most modular builders would refer to as upgrades.

Examples of these changes are granite vanity tops over cultured marble, wood windows over vinyl, tile floors over linoleum and solid wood cabinets over pressboard, etc. “Anything a client could want is possible,” he continues. “It’s just up to the builder and designer to be as creative as their site-built counterparts.”

The company also utilizes its Smart Build program to better help clients. The process for this program includes the initial consultation, a design and budgeting meeting where the customer is invited to the showroom for a design consultation, material selections and custom options, detailed cost analysis and order review in which the proposal will be generated and then the building process begins.

With between 10 and 15 employees, LIMH knows how to accommodate the ever fluctuating market; whether it is with the smaller square foot options for those who lost homes during Superstorm Sandy or for those looking for much larger, custom home. The one-story and two-story floor plans showcase how opulence can be achieved without the expense of building a home on-site. LIMH also gives its customers the opportunity to put additions on existing homes, also with an individual customization program that allows homeowners the chance to customize the inside and outside of the home.

Creating awareness among prospective buyers about modular construction and the numerous benefits to homebuyers and developers is the current focus of LIMH. Besides creating awareness, Lewitas states that Long Island Modular Homes Inc. is currently entertaining the idea of opening satellite offices to extend the area served.

Published on: March 27, 2015


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