Curious about the “wide load” multi-sectional homes I often pass on highways, I
toured the Champion Home factory where I saw first-hand how they build the roof
in reverse order, starting with the ceiling! I was surprised to learn that York,
unlike other small towns, has a number of “factory” or business tours that
visitors can take. This includes watching mobile and modular homes being built
at Champion Home Builders Company, the world’s largest builder of manufactured
Other tours include seeing the machining of aerospace parts at Hamilton-Sundstrand; learning about the production of ethanol from corn and milo at Abengoa Bio Energy Corporation; viewing the sorting, drying, shelling, conditioning and bagging of corn at Pioneer Seed Corn; and
Curious about the “wide load” multi-sectional homes I often pass on highways, I toured the Champion Home factory where I saw first-hand how they build the roof in reverse order, starting with the ceiling! They lay out the sheet rock for the ceiling, put the trusses on top, frame it all up, and put holes in the sheet rock wherever there are light fixtures or vents to go through the roof. Then both sides of the rafters are sprayed with a foam product with adhesive in it. This glues the sheet rock to the rafters with no nails or screws used. Finally the electric wires are run. Then this unit will be picked up and set in a bay with two support walls for the ceiling to be textured and painted, and the light fixtures hung.
Everything at the Champion factory is streamlined. Siding is put on in full sheets with window and door openings routed out later. Six guys working together shingle a roof in about an hour and a half. Still the process takes about 4 to 5 days from start to finish depending on how many homes are being built at a time. With several draftsmen on staff who re-engineer floor plans to the customer’s specifications, Champion’s York facility does a great deal of custom work.
By Anne Hattes
To learn more about Champion Homes visit them at 3200 Enterprise Ave. in
York, NE. It's best to call a week or two in advance to arrange a visit. Ask
for the Safety coordinator, who generally will be the one acting as your
For other factory tours and events visit the York Chamber of Commerce at http://yorkchamber.org/.