Friday, May 21, 2010

Clayton ehome construction varies according to location.

A reader challenged me on my assumption that Clayton "ehome" -- their new inexpensive single wide with some green features not to be confused with the ihouse -- comes with 2 x 4" sidewall construction. I assumed this because the ehome website lists the standard insulation as R11, 11, 21. That is, R11 in the floor and sidewalls and R21 in the roof. That is invariably the insulation offered with a 2 x 4" sidewall home, and the cheapest single wide homes made. By no stretch is that level of insulation "green" or energy saving. In my initial post about the ehome I recommended that anyone considering the ehome ask about the possibility of upgrading both the side wall construction to 2 x 6" and better insulation.

I called Clayton this morning to straighten it out. I was told that in areas where the code required it, like Northern California and Oregon, the ehome is made with 2 x 6" sidewalls. Beth also said that in areas where the house is built to 2 x 4" sidewalls, like New Mexico, you can ask a dealer to upgrade to 2 x 6" sidewalls AND upgrade to insulation above the minimal R11, 11, 21.

If anyone reads something on my blog that conflicts with information they got from a dealer, please write in, I will try to straighten it out.


  1. Dealer in Gainsville, TX just told me they can't do 2x6 construction on the ehome... so now I put a query in with corporate to ask them, so that I can then ask that they tell their dealers!


  2. 866 516 1152

    Above is Clayton's toll free info number for the ehome. There is sometimes confusion about a new model, probably. I think dealers -- especially now with sales so slow -- should be calling for the customer to verify information like this.

    In the configuration tool on their ehome website:

    Click on "Customize my ehome."

    Notice under an option under construction:

    "Thermal Zone 3" Insulation 22-11-30 for $375 extra. That's an upgrade from the standard 11-11-21. People would probably save $375 in fuel (AC or heating) in their first year alone getting that option.

    Also, ask about the Wind Zone options.

    However, as far as the 2 x 6 upgrade option, Beth of Clayton told me that wasn't on the website. (I told her it wasn't on the ehome website and she said she knew it wasn't.)

    Lastly, any ehome buyer should consider the drywall $1299 upgrade. Drywall is going to add to the beauty of the home, and its value.

    Anyway, if it turns out the ehome is only 2 x 4 walls in your area Travis, I say keep shopping for one with 2 x 6 walls and good insulation, like the Karsten SF-50.

    Trouble is, the Karsten is ugly on the outside compared to the ehome. The ehome is one of the best looking single-wide homes I've seen. However if it came down to not being able to get an ehome with 2 x 6" sidewall construction, but you like it a lot, at least get the "thermal" (why don't they just call it insulation!) upgrade.

  3. I am currently looking at homes- and I absolutely love the e home, 16x76, with the A, L shaped kitchen. Of course, I am going on looks, and this home is the best looking one I've seen. I am learning what to want on the "guts" of the home here. I live in TN, and am wondering how well they will hold their value. I also looked at a Clayton Blue Ridge, and the prices here are abt the same, except much more furn in the Blue Ridge. Any other thoughts you have appreciated on the e home.

  4. Hi Lynne,

    It's the high ceiling on the ehome that makes all the difference on the interior of a single-wide, isn't it. It can make all homes without one seem cramped in comparison.

    About resale value of a singlewide, if you were looking at homes in the $80,000+ range, then I'd say well-made doublewide might have a resale advantage over singlewide of similar price, except maybe the i-house.

    But, at the price-point of the ehome, then there isn't much advantage to one of similar price.

    Resale value is higher on manufactured homes on your own land, than homes in a park.

    I took at look at their drawing and specs of the "Blue Ridge" and the ehome is MUCH better looking on the outside. The only thing I like better about the Blue Ridge is their metal roof is standard. It is also 2 x 4 walls in the specs so whatever you get, try to get the 2 x 6 upgrade.

    Here would be my upgrade priority on any single-wide home if any of these aren't standard:

    1. 2 x 6" walls, higher insulation.
    2. sturdier roof or floor support, if offered.
    3. drywall instead of seamed paneling.
    4. Hardieboard siding, instead of aluminum, vinyl or other composite board products.
    5. For windy areas, metal instead of shingle roof.
    6. Flooring upgrade.
    7. Furnish sparely, on your own, deciding what you really need and want. You can research furniture on the web too.

    An extra that some people are unaware of, is something a little more under the insulation. The insulation under the floor is protected by a thick plastic "belly bag." Getting an extra nylon/synthetic sheet might be worth considering, especially if you are getting a home without a perimeter block foundation. It will offer a little extra protection.

  5. Thank you - all notes taken and will be asked about to dealer!!!!!
    I don't want any of the expensive vanity additions, like the Entertainment wall, but plan on getting all the upgrades on insulation, drywall etc. I have a call in on the 2x 6's estimate, should be interesting, and I'll post. I have to say, the e home was MUCH better built as far as the trim went, etc., and a gut feeling, was better built that the Blue Ridge.
    I was wondering about the roof. You say get the better? It has an upgrade on lbs., 20-40.
    Also, silly question, but what is OSB wrap?
    Please explain the Wind Zone options, this is all new to me.
    It is hard to believe it is priced abt the same as the Blue Ridge. Possibly wanting to sell a few?

  6. I'll call Clayton tomorrow and see if I can get an answer on OSB wrap (I tried searching for it on the web, and it wasn't what I thought it was) and also wind zone options and what that constitutes.

    I assumed OSB wrap was some kind of wrap over the Oriented Strand Board, that is under the siding. But from the few things I found, it sounds like OSB wrap are the OSB boards themselves. Well, I'm sure Clayton will have an answer for that one.

  7. I just called another dealer to see if they had the Kitchen design I wanted. He does. 10 mi away. He said that Clayton just sent out to ALL DEALERS a Bottom price on the "e" homes - they now have a huge rebate, and are priced to sell. They can't get rid of them and want to move the ones out there!
    His model had all regular bells and whistles- furn, appl, the entertainment center and the other built ins that only the e home has,(that I don't care for) for 39,000- said it was originally priced at 58,000.
    He told me it took a "special" type of person to want one that looks like that. I guess I'm "special". I'm sure this one has no add ons that are needed, such as the insulation, roof, or 2x6's, but the price is fair compared to any high end 16x76 with 9' ceilings (the Blue Ridge had that, too).
    I hope to get down there in the next few days. Anything you want me to ask him? If I buy one, I would PROB order it from a closer dealer I have come to like.
    ***NOTE ON THE I HOME: At the dealership Sat. they said that they Clayton had only actualy sold 2 I homes.... the others were "special deals" with the buyer, i.e. they practically gave them to the buyer for the price of a reg. mod to get them out there!!! (Just Gossip, of course)

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  9. I saw the e home yesterday with the L shaped kitchen. Every time I look at it, I love it more.
    the home does come with 2X6's, they had one before, they had sold. The ones with regular walling are made by White Pine; the ones made with drywall are made by Norris. The white Pine plant is about 60 miles from where I live. So the 2X 6 question is answered! YES, they make them, and have had them at dealers.
    OSB wrap is what they called the flooring, but still didn't really understand it. I have more if your interested.

  10. Thanks for that info Lynn. I called Clayton yesterday and they got back to me. Between Beth, and a local dealer, here's what I found out:

    The OSB Wrap is, Oriented Strand Board (used on all home construction today)and these sheets of OSB are placed between the siding (which is vinyl on the ehome) and the studs (the vertical 2 x 6" boards).

    I'd say it is absolute MUST HAVE, and almost as important as 2 x 6" walls and since it isn't that expensive, get it. That will add to the structural integrity of the home, and increase the insulation value.

    Interesting about the plant locations. Norris makes Clayton's top-of-the-line modular homes, all which have drywall. So, that's why they do the drywall ehomes at the Norris plant.

    If you get a deal on one from the local plant, and they can't do drywall, but can do the other things, that's probably fine. I guess their seamed paneling is fiberglass, and it certainly looks very nice in photos.

    Windzone upgrades involve heftier structure, although neither Beth or the dealer knew EXACTLY what structures, and I certainly would like to find out.

    I questioned Beth if the "Thermal" (insulation) upgrade wouldn't mean 2 x 6" studs in the wall because how would they fit R22 in a 2 x 4" wall? She couldn't answer that.

    Eventually, I'll get with someone that can answer all my questions.

    By the way, here is a good site for some general information about buying manufactured homes, from Consumer's Union.

  11. Lynne, also, thanks for the tip on price reductions. Undoubtedly, it is VERY hard times for Clayton and all home dealers/builders, and if a person can get an i-house or ehome at a greatly reduced price, why not take advantage of their slow sales and interest in getting sales on their energy efficient new homes going.

    And the ehome is new, so even any lot models on special sale haven't sat there for 3 or 4 years, which can happen.

    Sometimes dealers are misinformed though, and they are just wrong.

  12. Thanks to readers who asked questions, I discovered I had an ehome dealer quite close to me, and I toured and videoed it and will be writing my review and posting video of it in the next few days. LOVED some things about it. It is a home worth seeing.

    Anyway, the manager at the dealer explained some of the upgrades.

    Somehow, I got confused about insulation figures. In a three figure R display, the first figure is floor, the middle is wall, and the last is roof. R22(floor) 11,(wall) 30(roof). That's the upgrade that can be done on an ehome with 2 x 4" sidewalls. You want one with 2 x 6" walls and R19 to R21 in the walls.

    Roof load upgrades mean tighter spacing of rafters.

    Wind zone I'm still not clear on.

    Upgrade from 2 x 4" walls to 2 x 6" walls was less than $900 on the largest model ehome! Don't buy an e-home without that.

    Also, I'd suggest that serious ehome shoppers take some trips and to see models with different kitchen and master bath configurations. The kitchen layout would change the look of the open kitchen and living room, a lot, and one might be ideal for you compared to the others.

  13. Hi again!
    I have 3 dealers looking into things for me, and no one can come up with the wind zone difference. I have a quote coming back from the factory on a L shaped kitchen, Opt. B Bath, with no factory built ins for entertainment or bdrms, with the following additions:
    The OSB wrap that is on the model.
    Under Construction options- Thermal Zone 3 (22-11-30) $375 add on
    Option to have the back door with a screen door?? $$$
    Option to upgrade the water heater to 50 gal or higher? $$$
    The option “Gas furnace upgrade” – Is that where the heat pump flips to gas when it goes below or over a certain temp???????
    25 oz carpet $$ 345
    Drywall throughout $$1299
    Bi fold doors $100
    Upgrades on Appliances, to Stainless Steel , flat top stove, refr. Side by side, microwave ??
    Shut off valves at ea. area for water.
    Cost of upgrade to 2x6’s
    Metal Roof, the heaviest option.
    $$$Clarification from my previous post. The dealer gave us the 39,200. No delivery or set up. Going to the E tool, this was exactly $3737 below what the home built to the e tool specs had, minus $8795 installation. I've never had one installed and set up, but I am thinking it would cost that much at least to do it right? Not sure $3737 is the "steal" they were making it out to be. I will post my direct quote from the dealer when I receive it.

    Anyone who is serious about this home might re-think the island kitchen option. Yes, it's adorable, but do you really want your stove 6 ft. from your couch? I am adding an island in the L shaped, there's plenty of room.
    Greentrotter, looking forward to hearing your thoughts and video, I am hoping you toured a L shaped one!!!

  14. Hi Lynn,

    On the ehome, don't forget 2 x 6" sidewalls upgrade which would allow more insulation than they have for Thermal Zone 3, because the middle figure is R11, and R11 in the walls is nothing. You want to ask about R19 to R21 in the walls.

    I saw the largest model, e1140, with the "B" kitchen, sink in island. In about two seconds, I saw how that configuration really made the dining area too narrow, compared to the other three.

    If the breakfast bar overhang weren't there, it wouldn't be bad though. Some people really LOVE those breakfast bars.

    You are right in the "A" kitchen L gives the most space and the best separation of kitchen from living room. Even with a quiet refrigerator, it is better to have it as far away as possible from the TV.

    The model I saw had the B bath, double sinks. Thought it was a great layout with the separate shower and tub, and $500 more than the standard. Might be worth it for some.

    I hate the dark floors...the laminate wasn't so bad. The model I saw came loaded with every dark cabinetry option, including the stone-surround entertainment thing. (Good if your TV catches on fire.)

    In photos anyway, peculiarly, the models with the seamed board walls on the inside, show the crown molding not at the joint between wall and ceiling. I saw a model with drywall, and the molding is the right place, at the joint, yet again, molding was dark, and I would definitely get the lighter color option.

    Anyway, feel free to write to me directly, if there's anything you want to share with just me.

    I have a few things I just don't want to tell everyone here in the comments, but you might find them interesting.


    Anyone can write to me privately, of course. Keep in mind, that Clayton people do read my blog, which is fine, but if you ever want to delete one of your comment posts for whatever reason, I can do that for you too.

    It is good to read your comments though, because people need to know they are the only ones that go through these things in the buying process. Also, this is more open than the Clayton facebook page, where people are more timid about saying anything critical.

  15. About some of your question Lynn, not guaranteeing that any of my answers are totally right but...

    Electric furnace is standard on the ehome so a gas one is an upgrade? In many areas, an electric furnace would cost three times as much as gas, to use that is.

    A higher volume hot water heater, provides more hot water heater to a big family, BUT, the smaller the heater, the lower the energy usage simply because a large heater keeps a larger volume of hot water stored and on the ready.

    That's why point-of-use makes sense.

    A one or two person household can use a 20 gal. hot water heater, and save considerably from a 30, 40, or 50 gallon heater.

    I forgot to look for shut off valves at every sink, toilet etc. With the Karsten homes, they were included. I thought they were pretty much on all manufactured homes now.

  16. A note on the Furnace. Where I live, a heat pump just doesn't cut it during the winter, your home feels cold when it's below freezing. The gas is actually a gas split- You use the heat pump until the temp goes below, say 30 degrees, (you can set the temp) and then flips to gas to give you that warm feel.


    Heat pumps may be new for some readers. The above link explains how they work. The "air" type is used mostly in climates without big temperature fluctuations.

    The geothermal type can be used in more climates.

  18. Hi,
    I live in SC and just ordered an Ehome. Although it has been the worst experience I have ever encountered as a customer - these guys are so slow about everything. I have to stay on them constantly reminding them of all my requests. I am so worried it will not come as expected. I tried for the metal roof and 2x6 sidewalls but I was told those or the siding options listed on the website were not offered in this area. I was a bit disappointed but really like this home and proceeded with the order anyway. My wife and I struggled with the decision to go with a single wide and the "stigma" that seems to follow but we really like this home. We are both working professionals and choose to live below our means whenever possible. Plus we special ordered a number of items: Rear end sided as the front, stainless appliances, kitchen C, Patio doors, complete tile backsplash in the kitchen, and no middle bedroom. We also tinkered with the window placement. We probably paid more but we are getting it the way we want it.
    To the poster above...when I was in my twenties before going back to school I spent five years in Clayton plants. Two at the Norris singlewide plant and was involved in building the White Pine facility, working there for another three - so I have some experience in the industry.

  19. Thank you for your comment, and please let us know how you like the ehome after you move in.

  20. There are certain people who want to have an eco-friendly homes. But as of now, I really don't have an idea if what's a lot more affordable. As of the moment, we are renovating the exteriors of our home. We replaced the doors, the windows, the color of the walls and the metal roofing. Miami is where we live and as we all know, Miami has tropical weather so we have to consider the things that we will use to improve our home including Miami, Florida roofing, doors, etc.

  21. Installation of Green Homes varies in location. For example, in a sunny place or in the places near the equator can use solar panels to conserve energy like electricity and the heat that that electricity gives out will surely not harm the environment. My boyfriend turned his new house into a solar paneled home with the help of DIY Home Building Kits. Construction of the house was short enough to install the panels on the roof. He feels so grateful that DIY Dream House team made it all possible.

  22. Location plays very important role in building house so always gives first priority to location, in this blog post you have given such a nice stuff about real estate property.


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