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VOL. 43 | NO. 23 | Friday, June 7, 2019

Clayton rolls with times to solve homeowner needs

By Joe Morris

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From its beginnings in 1956, Clayton Homes has been an East Tennessee company that worked to connect consumers with affordable housing.

It’s go-to product early on was manufactured, or mobile homes, and over time the company has evolved to create multiple different kinds of housing.

That caught the attention of Berkshire Hathaway, which acquired the brand in 2016, and has fueled expansion into such hot markets as tiny homes –keeping the company in a relevant position in the growing, diverse housing industry.

Here’s some history of how Clayton has evolved over more than a half-century of operations, courtesy of Paul Fortenberry, director of communications for Clayton’s Home Building Group.

The company has been around a long time; what’s your “elevator pitch” to someone who’s not familiar with Clayton?

“As one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, Clayton is committed to providing individuals and families access to affordable, quality housing with energy-efficient features and modern design.

“Our company has expanded to offer a range of housing solutions using on-site and off-site construction methods, including site-built homes, modular homes, manufactured homes, tiny homes, college dormitories, military barracks and apartments. Our innovative approach to homebuilding maximizes building efficiencies to reduce time, cost and waste. All Clayton Built homes are proudly designed, engineered and assembled in America.’’

How do you describe Clayton’s role in the housing landscape?

“Clayton believes that all Americans deserve a chance to achieve homeownership, but today’s affordable-housing crisis has kept this dream out of reach for many. By merging the best of both on- and off-site construction, we are uniquely positioned to bridge the affordability gap at a range of price ranges.’’

How tied is Clayton to economic factors, both positive and negative, compared to the in-ground housing market?

“Off-site construction savings are achieved by purchasing building material and upgrades in bulk, as well as leveraging innovative building practices, automation and economies of scale.

“By taking the modern design and high-end materials used in on-site built housing and applying them to the indoor production-line style construction methods used for off-site built housing, we can offer more savings to future homebuyers while providing a beautiful new home.’’

What have been major successes for the company? And some good lessons?

“Clayton’s success, in part, is due to our ability to blend synergies and encourages collaboration to pursue innovation and create disruption in the housing industry. Our use of robotics and material conveyance in our facilities creates a faster and more seamless building process, while relieving an amount of labor stress for our builders. We purchase quality materials in bulk and utilize an internal supply network, which allows us to build at a speed rarely attainable by traditional builders.’’

What has been the workhorse of the company’s products over the years?

“Clayton has continued to be an industry leader in building affordable, attainable homes. The average cost of a new manufactured home in the United States is a little more than $70,000 without land, and our team is constantly improving our wide variety of floor plans and features offered at this affordable price point and lower.’’

What’s next?

“Our metric for success will always start and end with our customers. That’s why we’re constantly trying new things and keeping what works. Our industry has evolved through constant innovation while continuing to nurture the mission of providing attainable housing. That will always be a core operating principle for us as a company.’’

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TNLedger.com Nashville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0