This month's letters discuss manufactured housing vs. stick-frame construction and ICFs.

We accept the challenge


We must thank you for waking and inspiring us.

Last year, you wrote an article about modular housing (“This is Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile,” Adventures in Drywall, W&C Feb. 2002), and how it will quite possibly take over the building market. You noted how quickly they can be produced and how their quality continues to improve. The stir this article caused was apparent in the chat board of the magazine’s Web site. All of us as contractors were seeing the writing on the wall; soon, maybe no grocery money.

Here at Jimerson Construction, we looked for a solution to this possible impending situation. We need to build a stick-built house in the same time frame, with much better quality, and more curb appeal. We were able to do this last fall.

We found excellent subcontractors who would accommodate our schedule. We fired up our crew and went for it. We built a 1,648 square-foot house with a full basement, making it almost 3,300 square feet in three months. We were able to get the price the same as a high-end modular, as well.

Since we built this house we have had a number of calls of would-be modular buyers who want us to build them a stick built. The outcome thus far is better than expected. We are thriving and growing as a construction company, in part thanks to you for keeping us all abreast of the latest and greatest in a trade that’s not just a job ... it’s our life.


Heath Jimerson,


Jimerson Construction,

Chadron, Neb.

More flashing


I read with interest the article in the current addition about insulated concrete form construction (“ICF 101,” W&C June 2003). I was disappointed, however, that no mention was made of the fact that conventional flashing methods for wall penetrations, fenestrations, and roof to wall junctures cannot be used with ICF construction and that few architects seem to be aware of the correct way to detail these transitions for ICF construction. This is an important issue in the Pacific Northwest and I am sure in other parts of the country, as well. No one wants a building that leaks!

Michael Ludwig,

Building Envelope Technology & Research,


Executive Director of the Insulating Concrete Form Association Joseph E. Lyman responds:

The article was not intended to be a technical article, rather an overview of the compatibility and desirability of using an acrylic surfacing system over ICFs. For detailed information about how to address wall openings, penetrations and other critical areas, always refer to the ICF manufacturers specifications and details.