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What's A Good Set-Up Worth?
By George Porter
According to the industry journals, in 2001 this industry sold
just a little in excess of 4.75 billion dollars worth of homes.
Each factory I speak to tells me that they generally try to allocate
2% of their gross to service work; however, most of them say,
particularly in the case of multi-section homes, it's running
4% or more.
Using four as a figure, that means this industry spent 190
million dollars on service work last year, and that's only from
the factory, not including what the dealer himself may pay out.
It also does not include legal fees for either one of them.
Those factory service representatives say that of all the service
complaints they get, 75% of them are set-up related. The homes
aren't blocked right, or they aren't blocked enough, or they aren't
blocked level, or they are sitting in a low spot with water under
the foundation, or there is no foundation, or there aren't bolts
in the roof in the right place, or bolts in the floors in the
right place, if at all . . . and the list goes on.
So using that 75% as criteria, which means 142.5 million dollars,
was spent by the manufactured housing industry as a whole last
year to try and correct the problems of an improper installation.
Now certainly, this figure will never, ever go to zero. Suppose
it could be cut in half. That means this industry could have 71
million dollars to do something else with, besides reblock, relevel
and realign already existing homes. All that's necessary is to
have the installers understand what the engineers at the factories
already know about the design and support of the structure, and
have the engineers at the factory understand what the installers
know about the practical side of getting it done.
All that's necessary here is communication and the reward would
be at least 71 million dollars a year. Now what could we do with
this kind of money?