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Nebraska modular home business helping Marshall Fire survivors rebuild

Estimated 92% of Marshall Fire homeowners were underinsured, leaving many to look for alternative ways to rebuild
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Posted at 8:20 AM, May 18, 2023

GERING, Neb. — A Nebraska business that constructs modular homes is helping Marshall Fire Victims rebuild.

“I’d say 60-70% of our customers are from Colorado,” said Nip Fillingham with Family Built Homes.

The Fillingham family builds modular homes inside a huge factory in Gering, Nebraska, and then ships those homes all over the region.

“So the floor we’re building right here is going to be turned, rotated, and then ultimately, it’s going to go through the full production assembly, and then out the door on the other end,” Fillingham said.

While it may resemble an auto plant in Detroit, the family-owned factory in western Nebraska is pumping out 16 new homes at a time.

“We’re a modular factory,” Fillingham said. “We build things to the international residential code. Basically, my grandfather started when he was a young man in the industry.”

Fillingham's grandfather and founder of Family Built Homes, John Fillingham, is still at the Nebraska factory.

“I’ve been involved with this business for 53 years now,” John Fillingham said.

Nip Fillingham's brother, Tuck, works at the factory, too, alongside their dad, Doug, as well.

“I could not be more fortunate,” said Doug Fillingham.

What makes their story newsworthy now is that of the 16 modular homes currently on the assembly line, at least three are on their way to Marshall fire victims in Superior and Louisville, and two are headed to East Troublesome fire victims in Grand County.

“It feels good to be able to do something like that for those folks that lost so much,” John Fillingham said.

“No one asked for that,” Nip Fillingham said. “It disrupted everything. So, the sooner you can get things back to normal, that’s just better for everyone.”

The homes are built in five to eight weeks rather than the nine to 12 months it takes to complete a traditional stick build, a more traditional way of framing a home.

“The biggest savings we can offer is time,” Nip Fillingham said.

Every one of their homes is approved by the state of Colorado’s Division of Housing and is delivered by tractor-trailer.

It takes about five hours to get half the home from western Nebraska to the Denver metro area.

They start around $300,000 and up and can be less than half the cost of a traditional stick build.