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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • Proposed rule means manufactured home challenges

  • The Schult Homes plant is a well-oiled machine, in which each manufactured home moves from one station to the next where its employees create the quality structures that have given the local company a strong reputation in the region; a wrench may be thrown into that precision, however, as a new rule being proposed by the Minn...
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  • The Schult Homes plant is a well-oiled machine. In assembly line fashion, each manufactured home moves from one station to the next where its employees create the quality structures that have given the local company a strong reputation in the region.
    A wrench may be thrown into that precision, however, as a new rule being proposed by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry could require the manufacturing plant to add another step in the home building process.
    Officials from Schult talked about the proposed change that would require a residential sprinkler system in all new homes of any style that are 4,500 square feet and larger during a tour with local state legislators, including Sen. Gary Dahms and Rep. Chris Swedzinski.
    Schult Homes, which is hosting an open house for the public this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. allowing visitors to check out some of the latest homes being built by the company, offered a tour for legislators, as well as local city officials, to allow them the opportunity to see firsthand what it means to have a home built at Schult.
    Among those on the tour was Mark Brunner, who is the president of the Minnesota Modular and Manufactured Home Association.
    He talked about the proposed rule and the impact it could have on the industry.
    While a Schult manufactured home may not reach the 4,500 square foot requirement, Brunner said the addition of a basement to one of the manufactured homes typically puts it in the range.
    A meeting to discuss the proposal is being held Dec. 12, and Brunner said home associations and the real estate industry is going to speak against the proposal.
    The added requirement would mean either adding another station to the Schult line, which would add more expense to its operation and subsequently to the homes it sells, or having an outside vendor install the systems in the homes.
    While there may be a level playing field for homes built and sold in Minnesota, Terry Weilage, Schult Homes sales manager, said the requirement would put the company at a disadvantage outstate, as others it competes against would not have the added costs.
    Weilage said the company sells homes as far west as Wyo-ming and Colorado and sells in 12 different states in the region.
    Both Dahms and Swedzinski expressed their commitment to working to try and combat the new rule.
    The sprinkler rule would also be a disadvantage for homeowners who may opt to leave for the winter, as the added requirement also adds potential for more freezing pipes.
    Dahms said those kinds of things could add costs at the home insurance level, too.
    More about this rule, including a chance to make public comment about the rule, may be found online at www.dli.mn.gov.
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