questions & answers / links
What should I know before buying a modular building?
- Determine what type of activities you plan on doing inside your modular building. This will dictate the type of occupancy or code a building is built too (office, educational, etc.).
- Determine how long you will need to use your modular building. Short term? Long Term? Unknown?
- Contact the local building department and ask what type of permits will be required to install a modular building. Secure all permits before ordering the building.
- Ask the local building department if they require ADA access and what type of foundation (temporary or permanent) will be required.
- Contact MBC for further information.
How long does it take to build and install a new modular building?
Project details, complexity, plan approvals, permit process and options all determine the time frame of a modular building project. We have completed projects in as little as 45 days and as long as 9 months. In most cases, modular construction saves between 30-50% over the traditional “brick and mortar” (site built) construction.
What do I need to do in order to prepare for delivery of a modular building?
- MBC recommends preparing a building “pad” which extends at least 5’ away from the footprint of the building. The “pad” can be dirt, decomposed granite “DG”, asphalt or concrete.
- The pad should be flat, level within 2% in each direction and easily accessible for a freight truck delivery.
- Stake the four corners of the building on the pad before delivery.
- Utilities such as water, sewer, and electricity should be clearly marked or staked prior to delivery.
- For more information on delivery preparation please contact your MBC representative today.
What agency oversees the modular building industry?
The State of California Department of Housing and Community Development oversee modular building construction. Each building that is built is approved by the state and inspected at the factory before delivery.
What is the current State of California Department of Housing and Community Development building code for modular construction?
2016 California Building Code, 2016 California Electrical Code, 2016 California Mechanical Code, 2016 California Plumbing Code, 2016 California Energy Code based on compliance with Title 25, Article 3, Section 4369B.
Can I have my owned modular building (s) moved and or set-up by MBC?
Yes, MBC offers services such as transport, set-up, foundations, ramps and accessories for customers who own their buildings.
Does MBC perform service calls on customer owned building?
Depending on the nature of the service, MBC can provide service on customer owned buildings.
Are steps, ADA ramps, foundations, parts and other materials available for purchase through MBC?
Yes, contact your MBC representative for more information.
How do I know what size building to order?
For determining estimated square footage use the following guidelines;
- Office space: 100 - 125 sq ft per person
- Assembly space: 15 - 20 sq ft per person
- Classrooms: 30 - 40 sq ft per student
Do I need a permit to install a building on my site?
In most cases yes, contact your local building department for more information.
Who connects sewer, water and electrical utilities?
We encourage customers to hire their own contractor to connect utilities. MBC can provide a list of qualified contractors on request.
Is the building pre wired for phones or data?
No, although some in-stock buildings come with empty j-boxes for future phone/data wiring and jacks. New buildings also can be ordered with empty j-boxes.
What is the cost per square foot to purchase a building?
Prices vary depending on size, floor plan and specifications. Call MBC for pricing.
What is the cost per square foot to rent or lease the building?
Prices vary depending on lease term and size of building. Call MBC for pricing
Does the building include stairs and or ramps?
Standard steps, Custom steps, OSHA approved steps or ADA ramps are optional.
My site is not level, is that a problem?
If the site slopes more than 1% - 2% in any direction (6”-12” in 60’) contact MBC for further discussion. Slopes exceeding 2% may require a change in installation method and possibly an increase in costs. Site inspections are recommended for slopes exceeding 2%.
What size buildings are available?
Standard building widths comprise of one or multiple combinations of 8’, 10’, 12’ and 14’ wide modules. Standard lengths included 20’, 30’, 40’, and 60’. Custom sizes are also available.
How soon can I get a building to rent or lease?
“In-stock” buildings can be delivered as quickly as in 24 to 48 hours assuming no modifications are required.
Do the buildings available for rent or lease include offices, restrooms etc?
We stock buildings with and without offices and restrooms. Call MBC to discuss your specific requirements.
I need a specific floor plan. Can you modify the interior layout to meet our needs?
Yes, contact you MBC representative for modification options.
Can I modify the building if it’s on rent?
No. Lessee should contact MBC for further information.
What upgrades are available?
Roof mansards, lap siding, epoxy flooring, custom carpet, upgraded light fixtures, foundations, high ceilings, textured walls, stucco siding, etc. Most anything that is available for conventional construction can be incorporated into a modular building.
How long do modular buildings last?
When properly maintained, modular buildings can last as long as site conventional constructed buildings.
Can the building be installed permanently?
Yes. Any modular building can be installed on a permanent foundation. Permanent foundations include concrete, block or pre approved steel piers.
How do I know the building will fit on my site?
Most sites will accept a modular building. However, confined sites or sites with minimal access should be inspected by MBC before a building is ordered. Contact MBC for further information.
Association, Codes, & Standards Links
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
- American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
- Modular Building Institute
- National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
- National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
- National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS)
- Occupational Health and Safety Association (OSHA)
- U.S. Access Board (ADA)
- U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
- U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)