Family-owned Kintner Modular Homes is changing the public’s perception about modular houses.
WITH MORE THAN 40 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS, Kintner Modular Homes is among the most established in the modular industry.
Based in northeastern Pennsylvania, the company specializes in custom modular homes and turnkey modular houses and provides quality modular homes to much of the region: the Poconos, Scranton, Bloomsburg, Hazelton, Stroudsburg, Tunk hannock and Wilkes-Barre.
The Kintner family has been working for decades to change how would-be homeowners look at modular options ? one customer at a time, CEO Josh Kintner says.
“There are some negative perceptions out there,” he says. “It is something we battle with every day. It is more about educating people on what the industry is and how new it is. A lot of people have misconceptions, but that is all they are: misconceptions.”
One example: Some prospective homeowners think “mobile” and “modular” are synonymous.
“That could not be farther from the truth,” Kintner says.
Mobile is only built to HUD standards. Modulars are built to state and local regulations, which are stricter and match coding requirements any builder would be required to achieve.
“It is really the same product as any other builder, and most times, a better product because we are able to use better components: thicker sheeting on our walls, thicker drywall,” Kintner says. “It is all kept in a climate-controlled environment.”
Buyers also often do not understand what modular means in general, or they have concerns about quality or customization.
“It is really just drawing out of them what they want and taking the time to sit down with them to get all the details so that, once they are done, they have the house they want,” Kintner says. “People do not know everything they can do. It is our job to educate them.”
Though the Kintner Modular Homes website offers several concepts for types of homes, Kintner says options are limited only by imagination.
“There are not necessarily floor plans,” he says. “That is another misconception. Draw me something on a napkin, and I can build it for you. Floor plans are a starting point. But if you go look at 10,000 floor plans and do not see the one you want, you may not think it is possible. It is people not knowing what they want or what they can do that leads to them thinking modular cannot offer what they are looking to build.”
Along with slowly changing homebuyer perceptions, much has changed within the industry since Kintner’s grandfather started the business in a basement, he says.
“I think the industry has changed the most, just from its capabilities,” Kintner says. “Back in the ’70s, it was more of the simple ranch homes. You could do two stories. You could do Cape Cods, but there were some limitations as far as what the factory could build. Now really, there are no limitations. Two-stories, Capes, T-ranches, bi-levels ? really anything, we have the capability of doing. You have the quality of it being in a climate-controlled factory with specialized workers. There are a lot more efficiencies you are able to take advantage of inside a factory.”
Compared to traditional home building, the cost advantage remains, too. “When you look at numbers across the industry, they like to say 15 to 20 percent,” he says. “The savings number is on the decline. Apples to apples, no question, modular still offers savings, but now it is closer to 10 or 12 percent.
“The point is, the quality and service that we offer here at Kintner Homes is unmatched anywhere in the industry,” Kintner adds.
Kintner may next be looking to build rental properties, perhaps duplexes, to adapt to a generation less inclined to lock into mortgage payments, Kintner says.
The company also is continuing its mission to educate, but in a more modern format.
“It is still a very young industry,” he says. “I think our industry especially lacks in our ability to connect with our consumers. We have an revolutionary way of doing that.”
The company is looking to mobile friendly outlets to inform, engage and educate. Aside from traditional outreach tactics such as open houses, Kintner is using social media to spread the word.
The company is creating content, to be unveiled this spring, that will flow to many online platforms.
“We will be going to the consumer rather than having them come to us,” he says. “It is going to be telling the country about what is happening with the modular industry.
“It is happening fast, and I think modular is the next generation of housing, for sure,” Kintner continues. “We want to be the hub of information when it comes to housing, from design to decorating to floor plans. For the entire housing process, I want the name ‘Kintner’ to be the most reputable name.”