Modular home construction rises to new levels

Bonnie Fleischman in new home

Bonnie Fleischman in new home

Bonnie Fleischman stands in the beautiful kitchen of her new modular home in Oakland.

Morris and Bonnie Fleischman

Morris and Bonnie Fleischman

NEarly complete, Morris and Bonnie Fleischman look forward to staying in town for the first time together this winter.

Posted: Sunday, September 22, 2013 4:55 pm

Modular home construction rises to new levels

Curt Hineline, Editor
Oakland Independent

Washington County Enterprise and Pilot Tribune


When Morris and Bonnie Fleischman of rural Craig, Nebraska decided to make the move off of the farm and into town, the couple began to look for a place to call home in Oakland.  Although it is not uncommon for a retired farm couples to move into town, the construction of their home was not so conventional.

Bonnie Fleischman, formerly Johnson,  lived most of her life in Oakland and was a nursing assistant at Oakland Mercy Hospital for 25 years.  She lost her late husband, Gene Johnson, after he suffered a heart attack at age, 59 in 1991.

Farming has been in Morris Fleischman’s blood ever since he can remember.  He is also a skilled carpenter.  Other than a couple of year of service to his country and the time spent in Korea, the long-time bachelor has worked the land.

The couple married in 1995 and have spent the last 18 years out on their farm north of Craig.  Morris helped build their home 37 years ago for his brother and his wife.  His brother, Carl had MS and the home was specially built to accommodate a wheel chair.  

Morris has been what he calls “semi retired” for several years.  He still farms with his nephew Dennis Fleischman.  Morris spent some time in the hospital a short time ago and Bonnie realized how different it would be on the farm with out him.

“If anything happened to Morris, I didn’t want to stay on the farm.  I am a town girl,” Bonnie said.  I love it on the farm with him but I wouldn’t want to be there alone.”  

The Fleischman’s  talked about finding a place in Oakland. They considered apartments and then looked at a couple of duplexes.  “We looked at a house for sale but wanted something with no steps.  We eventually decided to build a home,” Morris said.  They decided on a relatively new method of construction- modular.  “We started at Heritage Homes in Wayne and looked around at others and decided on Heritage Homes of Wayne.  Morris being a carpenter it was a no brainer for him,” Bonnie said.

Modular homes are so designated because of their method of offsite construction utilizing a climate controlled assembly line process which equates for their high efficiency rating.  Once built, the home is then delivered and, as in the Fleischman’s case, the two halves are lifted into place by cranes.  

Morris decided to do some of the work himself.  With the help of others, he prepared the lot, dug and poured the foundation.  Meanwhile Heritage went to work on building the modular home in their factory in Wayne.  “They started from scratch with all of our specifications,” Morris said.  It took about three months to build before the two halves were delivered and set into place.  It then took them about a week to get it bolted together, raise the roof and finish the remaining details.

Morris and Bonnie’s nephew Larry Hultquist lent a helping in hand in building the attached two car garage and the addition of a front porch.

“Most people that come into the home say, ‘This isn’t no modular home.’”

The couple plan to put in an underground sprinkler and finish the lawn while adding steps and a patio for the rear of the home.

Neighbors have been excited to welcome Morris and Bonnie to the neighborhood.  “Anyone that enters our home cannot believe it is a modular home,” Morris said.

The Fleischman’s hope to make the move into their new home by harvest.  Morris said that he does not consider this to be move towards full retirement.  “This is just a change of location.  We’ll see how the good Lord leads.  It’s in His hands.”

The couple plan to hold an open house in the future for all who are interested in modular homes.

Find this story and others like it in a special Home and Acreage insert found inserted in this edition of the Oakland Independent.

© 2013 Washington County Enterprise and Pilot Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Sunday, September 22, 2013 4:55 pm.

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