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December 2023

Home of the Month Interview



You’ll find the December 2023 MHBA Home of the Month in a 4-box cape in Westport, Massachusetts. This location is terrific for summer vacations and Northeast living, with easy access to rivers and Massachusetts’s natural beauty. Southeastern Development Co., LLC, constructed the home with a longtime manufacturing partner, Westchester Modular Homes. This Westport modular home emphasizes efficiency, attention to detail and client satisfaction.

Celebrating Milestones

Westchester Modular Homes and Southeastern Development are familiar faces in the MHBA. This partnership earned Home of the Month honors in January 2023, November 2020 and other instances.


The two companies have a long-standing relationship, and John Colucci, the VP of Sales and Marketing at Westchester Modular Homes, credits Dana Nilson, the chief designer and builder at Southeastern Development, for this Westport home’s attention to detail.

Home of the Month Summary

Builder: Southeastern Development Co. LLC

Manufacturer: Westchester Modular Homes

Location: Westport, Massachusetts
Stories:  2
Bedrooms:  3
Bathrooms:  3


This home is a 4 Box Cape that includes Low E Heatlock windows from Andersen. 1' Foam board on the outside. A Walkout Reverse Gable. With Merrillat Kitchen and real Quartz countertop installed at the factory.

Contact Southeastern Development Co. LLC

Contact Westchester Modular Homes


“I attribute some of this to just Dana’s ability to do a great job with design upfront with the cut and with the client — some of the details that he puts into layout,” Colucci says. “ For example, the fireplace with the cabinets and with the bookshelves.


“All of those little things that a lot of people just don’t think about.”


Success over the years has led Westchester Modular Homes to the 8,000th home constructed in its history. The company delivered the milestone-achieving home in Martha’s Vineyard and celebrated with a video diary.

MHBA’s December 2023 Home of the Month


The December 2023 Home of the Month is a beautiful two-story, three-bedroom, three-bathroom house. The interior features a large kitchen with quartz countertops and an island for entertaining guests. Outside, you get large yards with plenty of room for kids and pets to play. The rural setting is ideal if you desire a quiet, peaceful place to live.


One aspect of the Westport home the construction team takes particular pride in is its energy efficiency. The structure has Anderson HeatLock windows to enhance insulation. Winters can get rough in New England, so the house has a 1-inch foam board on the outside to keep occupants warm and manage heating bills.


The Energy Information Administration (EIA) says the energy use per home has declined due to improved insulation and appliances. Energy efficiency is a priority for Nilson due to code requirements becoming stricter and for the customer’s sake. He says it’s becoming a more significant priority for customers — even more so than the home’s appearance.


“I spend a lot of time talking with folks about energy efficiency because we have to, and it’s a strategy,” Nilson says. “I view it as very important, and the aesthetics get talked about less and less every year.


“It’s more about how to satisfy their needs of getting to have something that they want, that they can afford and meet building code.”

Getting a Boost From Modular Building


Modular building has often been at the forefront for Colucci and Nilson as they take on projects. The past few decades have seen increased adoption of modular construction, providing advantages for builders and manufacturers. These three reasons demonstrate how modular building assisted this Westport home and other projects.

Accurate Estimates


One of modular building’s primary advantages is its cost-saving opportunities. The builder and manufacturer save money by accurately estimating how much they’ll need to spend on materials, equipment and labor. Nilson says programs like Chief Architect are integral to working out the details digitally before starting construction.


With this information, the company can give clients a more precise estimate and increase transparency. Customers appreciate the openness in costs, considering the median home price still exceeds $400,000 in 2023. Modular building benefits all involved parties by shortening timelines and using advanced technologies like 3D printers.

Increased Efficiency


Modular construction benefits the builders by increasing efficiency regarding both energy and the project timeline. The Westport home only required about three months after the house arrived to have it ready for the customer.


Nilson says construction occurred with a generator due to the lack of formal electricity. Still, the project took less time than your typical stick-built home. The latest U.S. census indicates houses have taken nearly 11 months to complete on average in the last four years.


Building a modular home means you won’t see as many weather delays, considering about 90% of the manufacturing occurs inside a climate-controlled facility. While slowdowns in the schedule may come from obtaining permits and equipment, the construction will be efficient.


Heightened Customization


Another key benefit of modular construction is the enhanced customization of each project. This building method lets Nilson and builders alike hash out every detail with the customer and ensure the home is to their liking.


What makes these projects unique is the amount of flexibility the customer has when designing their dream modular structure. There isn’t a preset or rigid format they must choose when building a home.


“A lot of people will start with a design that might be one of our standards, but more often than not it might be an offshoot of something that the builder built before,” Colucci says. “It might be something that the customer came to us with a sketch or a concept of what they were looking for.


“Maybe they say a couple of different houses in a magazine, and they bring that to Dana and describe to the builder what it is they’re looking for.”

Creating a Customer-Oriented Experience


Tailoring each house to the client is how Nilson creates a customer-oriented experience with each project. You can see direct collaboration between the builder and the end user from the beginning, even if the involved parties are hundreds of miles apart. With Chief Architect, builders communicate their plans and walk through the process in computer-aided design (CAD).


“They do a lot of that detail work upfront with the Chief Architect with the customer,” Colucci says. “The really cool part is they don’t even have to do it in Dana’s office.


“If the customer is from out of state and they’re not local, they can actually do a lot of this design work online for the customer. So by the time he gets done… we’re ready to basically go directly to stamps.”


Modern technology gives you a more hands-on approach when building and buying modular homes. Customers have more insight and can voice their preferences with many house details.


“They’re amazed at what we can do and what we can show them with virtual tours through the house in real time,” Nilson says. “I don’t love drawing with people online, but in those instances when you do it, they’re just amazed.”

Moving Forward With Modular Building


Technology has advanced construction and will elevate the industry further in the coming decades. Modular building is rising due to 3D printing, advanced building software and forward-thinking leaders in the industry. December’s Home of the Month in Westport, Massachusetts, is only one example of the efficiency, customization, and satisfaction that modular building can bring.

Explore more of MHBA's Homes of the Month submitted by modular home builders and manufactures around the country