The Philadelphia home builders John Westrum Homes have recently built a model modular home in Seaside Heights, NJ, the area where last year’s hurricane Sandy destroyed or damaged 2,200 of 2,400 bungalows and homes. The prototype was constructed to exceed post-hurricane Sandy construction standards of modular components.

One of the key problems for the post-Sandy restoration endeavors is the fact that most homes in the area are so damaged that rebuilding is the only option. However, the lengthy timeline of a complete traditional rebuild is prohibitive for most residents, which is why modular homes are an excellent option for homeowners in the area. In general, modular homes cost about as much as traditionally constructed ones, but it takes a lot less time to build it, because the home is factory built while the demolition and foundation work is going on at the building site. Once the modules used to construct the new home are transported to the building site, it normally takes just a few days to assemble the new home.

The John Westrum Homes two-story, Cape Cod style home was transported to the building site in New Jersey in four parts and was completed in 28 days after they obtained the permit for it. Another good reason for choosing a modular home to rebuild is that construction in the Jersey Shore area is relatively inexpensive, given that the infrastructure is already in place and does not need to be created from scratch as is the case with most new home building projects.


The model home’s pilings extend almost ten feet in the air, which is one foot above the required base flood elevation. Meeting or exceeding the new base flood elevation requirements makes the new homeowner eligible for the federal flood-insurance program. The pilings used for the model home were repurposed from old telephone poles.


The prices of the houses Westrum plans to offer will range from $109,900 to $289,900, with the living areas being between 750 and 2,000 square feet respectively. The company estimates that each new modular home can be constructed in 90 days from obtaining the building permit to final construction, with the help of local contractors. They are hoping to build from 24 to 30 homes a year in the area.

The modular homes Westrum plans to offer will be constructed with hurricane protected exteriors and built to withstand possible hurricanes in the future. The homes will be tied down with hurricane straps and fitted with impact resistant windows and shutters. The windows will be Single hung low “E” glass windows with screens. The homes are also fitted with low-maintenance Certainteed siding exteriors and 30-year architectural shingles, among other functional and luxury components and specifications.