Frequently Asked Questions

Construction Questions

What does "turn key" mean?

Turn key means that we handle every part of the construction process. Once you have approved the design, specifications and selected colors, we take over and manage the process from pulling building permits all the way through to handing you the keys to your completed new home.

Can I find out if the production of my home is on track?

Yes, your Northstar sales associate will be in regular contact with the building center before and while it is in production in regards to the building schedule. Your sales associate will schedule with you two times to see the house while it is at the building center, once after the walls and roof is in place and then again after the building center has completed the house but before it ships to your site. For work done on site, Northstar’s Service Department can provide you with regular updates regarding work that has been completed and the schedule for the remaining work.

Does my land need to have electric on it to have you build my home?

In order to receive a Certificate of Occupancy from your local building department, you will have to have electrical service to the house, unless there is a variance for an “off-grid” electrical system. In most cases, temporary electrical service will be needed. Installing the utilities on site is something that can be done while your house is being constructed at the building center, simultaneously, is one of the ways that you can save interest on the draws made against a construction loan.

Who are the manufacturers of the cabinets in your homes?

Our homes come with a wide variety of cabinet finishes and styles from Merillat, the recognized leader in cabinet manufacturing.

What brand of appliances can you supply?

We offer any Whirlpool appliances that are in the Whirlpool catalog.

Can we use a private contractor for my cabinets and special built-in items that we would like?

Yes you can. The building center will “rough-in” for site installed specialty items according to the specifications or cut sheets that you provide.

What does "over-built" mean?

Overbuilt refers to the extra engineering, materials, adhesives, fasteners and attention to structural detail that goes into a factory-built home so that it can be transported to the site and set on the foundation with a crane.

Can these houses go on a foundation or basement? Can we have a basement?

Our homes are designed for permanent placement on the same foundation as a site-built home, be it a basement, crawl space, garden level or tri-level. Our houses adapt particularly well to basements because the truss floor system allows for most of the plumbing, heat ducts and electrical to be IN the floor system and not hanging below the floor framing so it is not necessary to build soffits around them. The trusses are all a uniform depth while 2×12 joist vary and the bottom of the truss is 3 wide versus 1 of a 2×12 so it easier to fasten and install drywall.

Can we make changes to any of your plans? Can we bring you our floor plans for our dream home to have you build it for us?

What if I want to move a window or a wall in a house plan? All changes are OK. That’s what we do. We are a custom home builder.

What type of insulation is in your houses?

Fiberglass batts with a Kraft paper vapor barrier are used in the walls; R-19 is standard in most houses and R-21 is available. Attics have a spray-on vapor barrier with a blow-in insulation; R-38 is standard and R-49 is available.

Where can you do site work?

Before deciding to offer site work, we review each potential building site to determine if we have reliable, proven sub-contractors in that area, is it in an area that allows to monitor the progress and quality of the work being done and does it make economic sense for the customer for us to do the job.

Pricing Questions

Is financing for a modular home different than a house built on site? Do they finance the same? Will all financial institutions help with my new home from you?

Yes, some may need to be educated, especially appraisers about the differences between a mobile home, modular home and a custom factory-built home.

How much does a foundation cost?

The foundation is just one part of the work that needs to be done on site. Our sales associates can provide you with a list of required site work and we can provide you with a complete bid to do the site work. Cost of the site work will depend on a variety of variables. The site work will be the same for a building center-built home as one built on site. Our site work bids are bona-fide quotes, detailed and all inclusive. We try to make them as complete as possible to avoid change orders later in the project.

Do they appreciate in value like a stick built house? Do they appraise the same?

Yes and we find that our houses have additional equity at closing based on the appraisal because of the lower construction costs.

How much does it cost to ship one to my location?

Shipping costs will depend on several variables, including the distance from the building center to the site, height and width of the house modules and the required route determined by bridges and road conditions. Contact a Northstar sales consultant for a quote specific to your situation.

What do I need to get a price on a house?

Visit with one of our sales consultants who will review your plans and make a list of specifications. It will take a couple hours of your time, so we recommend making an appointment. There is no charge for pricing your custom home.

What’s the base price on one of the models shown in the website?

Because we are a custom builder, it is difficult to give a base price for a house because so many of the plans are custom plans and the number and type of options is so varied. We do have a few base models from the building center that we can quote an estimated base price on. A Northstar sales consultant will be happy to answer your pricing questions and provide you with a price on your custom home.

How much would it cost to put cedar siding on a certain house?

The cost of most options is dependent on the size and style of house. The good news is that the cost to add an option such as cedar siding to the house is not based on geography; the house an options not cost any more just because it is going to a mountain ski resort town. Check with a Northstar sales consultant for a price on your custom-built home.

General Questions

Can we tour the building center where the home will be built?

Yes, one of Northstar’s sales associates can give you a tour of the building center before you decide to purchase and will give you two tours while your house is being built. We encourage you to take a tour before you purchase; we know that you will be impressed with the process, as well as the structural integrity and quality of the houses.

What is the difference between a home built on site and a factory-built home?

The single biggest difference between a factory-built home and one built on-site is the building location, one is built on site and the other is built at an off-site building center with all of the advantages that goes with that. Both are built to the same building code with the same materials. A site-built home as no financing advantage, no appraisal advantage and no appreciation advantage over a custom factory-built home. Our homes have 10-year structural warranty at no additional cost, something very few site-built homes even offer. A factory-built home is over-built so that it can be transported to the site and set on the foundation with a crane.

What are the advantages of having a factory-built home?

Click Here for “Why Northstar” and Click Here for a Description of Production Process within this website

How many models do you have that we can walk through?

We have 8 showhomes at our sales center south of Loveland, 2 or 3 showhomes at Walkabout Acres, 3 showhomes at the building center and we will be opening a new location in Monument CO.

What are your warranties?

1 year building center, 2 years on Lennox furnaces, 10 year structural warranty.

Where can you put a house?

Just about anywhere that is accessible for the trucks that deliver the house. Before entering into a contract for the sale of a house, we review the building site and route to confirm that we will be able to get the house and the crane into the site.

Zoning Laws and Covenants Questions

If the local building department is not approving plans and inspecting the house, how do I know it is being done right?

The Colorado Division of Housing is the building department that has jurisdiction over all factory-built homes built in, or shipped to, the state of Colorado. The Division cooperates, or has reciprocity, with other states to insure that code requirements are met regardless of where the house is built or shipped to. The Division approves the plans for every house, including the floor plan, electrical plan, plumbing layout, HVAC design and all structural details. A house cannot be built until the plans are approved and the house must be built in strict compliance with those plans. The Division certifies each building center as being capable of constructing house that comply with the applicable building codes, approved drawings and acceptable construction standards. The Division then monitors the building center’s in-house Quality Assurance process to ensure that all houses are built correctly. The building center’s Quality Assurance process deals with much more that just cosmetics, it involves all of the structural, electrical, pluming and mechanical installations as well. Unlike quality control or quality assurance processes in other industries that rely on a random sampling of product to verify quality, the Quality Assurance process in the building center checks every detail in every house. It is very thorough.

Can zoning laws stop me from putting this house on my property?

By Colorado law, there is no zoning ordinance that can prohibit the use of a factory-built, U.B.C./I.B.C.-compliant house in stead of a site-built house.

Can covenants stop me from putting one of your houses on my property?

You must check the covenants for the area that you intend to build in. Some covenants do have language that exclude “modular” homes. The intent of most of these clauses is to prohibit H.U.D. manufactured/mobile homes. We have been very successful in helping homebuyers educating architectural control committees about our houses and having the A.C.C. approve them.

Questions About Buying Property

Do you offer land for sale?

Yes. We have a subdivision (Walkabout Acres) in Pierce, CO featuring 1/2-acre to 2 1/2-acre lots. We also have land owners provide us with information about building sites that they have for sale. Additionally, we occasionally purchase rural building sites and make those available. We do have a real estate broker in-house that can assist in searches for available land via the M.L.S. system.

What should I look for, or ask, when buying rural or mountain property?

Where in relation to the building site is the electricity, phone lines and water? If a well is necessary, how deep have other wells in the area been? What have septic systems been costing in the area? Who maintains the roads?