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Prefabricated Home Packages
This is not a complete list of what is available in the area of houses and prefabricated buildings. This article is to introduce you to the prefab world. If you’re in the industry, you’re probably cringing at the word “prefab”. However, the word is a word that has become synonymous with houses and buildings that have been partially or fully assembled in a factory setting.
I for one am glad to see the latest version of the modern prefab emerging globally. They are well thought out, beautiful, and energy efficient.
And for anyone who has doubts about the quality of prefab homes today, I ask, would you rather buy a home where all parts are made outdoors exposed to the elements — by hand. Or, prefer buying a home built in a factory setting to strict specifications over a site-built home. I say beyond, because a house built on a normal site does not have to suffer the hardships of transportation.
For your review, here’s a quick overview of 10 of the many categories of prefab homes available for browsing at http://PrefabExpo.com – in no particular order:
A single-family dwelling consisting of one, two or more subdivision units and constructed to Federal HUD codes. Zoning regulations and ordinances of the local Municipality or County may not allow the use of mobile homes and factories in all areas of their territory.
Modular refers to the way a house is built, rather than the type of house. Modular homes can be factory built from stock modular home plans or from customized plans, to the state, local or regional codes where the home will be set. Modular homes are typically not subject to the zoning restrictions and discriminatory regulations that apply to manufactured and mobile homes.
A panelized house is a factory-built house in which the panels – the entire wall with windows, doors, cables, and exterior siding – are transported to the site and installed. The panel is made of insulated foam sandwiched between two layers of structural material. The panels are lightweight and may already be filled with insulation when they arrive at the site. Homes must conform to state or local building codes where they are located.
4. Steel frame
A steel frame is similar to a conventional stick frame or post & beam home design where structural wood is replaced with steel studs and trusses or steel posts and beams. The Light-Gauge Framing System features a galvanized stud-and-truss construction system, built on 4-foot centers. The Red-Iron Metal Post & Beam System features a bolt-together, engineered post-and-beam. – type of frame system that uses red steel-iron “C” beams in the middle 8-feet. Prefabricated houses built using this method can be one-story, two-story, and even three-story houses.
Unlike conventional wooden houses that require interior walls to support the roof, the higher strength-to-weight ratio of steel houses allows for greater spans with less material and less support. The result is a higher floor layout and interior design flexibility.
Unlike wood, steel will not shrink, rot, fade, buckle, split, or be attacked by insects. This results in greater durability, lower long-term maintenance, higher energy efficiency and overall quality of these prefabricated homes.
This category includes factory-built log homes or cabins where the building materials are factory-cut to design specifications and transported to the site for assembly. PrefabExpo.com provides prefab building kits designed with wood frames (also known as balloon frames, 2 x 4, 2 x 6 or stick-built construction) as well as prefabricated house / cabin kits using the post-frame method. The home or cabin must meet local or state building codes in the area where it will be placed.
According to Katahdin Cedar Log Homes, cedar is a scent for people, and a problem for insects: The heartwood of the northern white cedar produces organic compounds called thujaplicins – which create a fresh, pleasant cedar smell. But for insect pests, such as moths and termites, cedar only smells. They will avoid cedar houses and look for pleasant pine structures.
Cedar home kits include everything you need to build your home, yourself. That is, walls, floors, ceilings, windows and doors. But your basics, plumbing and electrical system are not usually included in the kit.
7. Wooden frame
A wooden frame is a specific type of post and beam construction where the frame is made of solid wood that is then connected by one of the following wood joints: mortise and tenon, dovetails, or scarf secured with hardwood pegs. The frame is covered with one of several enclosure systems. Usually the wood remains inside the building.
Timber frame structures exhibit strength and aesthetic qualities not found in conventionally framed homes. The lumber is cut, shaped, and finished in the factory, then shipped to the construction site, where it can be quickly assembled by crews, routinely using cranes to lift the beams and beams into place. The use of quality wood, enhanced by joinery that compares to making a fine cabinet, maximizes the strength of the timberframe structure. Joinery is the heart of the whole structure.
Log houses provide the owners with a sense of informality and simplicity that is pleasant and relaxing. Log mass produces heating and cooling benefits, and reduces sound transmission to and throughout the home. This is a wonderful feature, but there are also challenges in construction and limitations in decoration. These aspects require special design considerations and have unusual maintenance requirements.
The basic package is…
WALLS ONLY: The wall-only log home package includes all logs for exterior walls, including fasteners. Roof beams and stairs can be added.
STRUCTURAL SHELL: SHELL This package includes everything in the wall-only package, plus all the necessary weatherproofing components, such as exterior doors, windows, and roof systems.
COMPLETE PACKAGE: The complete package also includes the interior components needed to complete the wooden house. These items include interior walls, stairs, cabinets, interior doors and trim.
The circle is the most powerful geometric shape we know, and this factor may have influenced the builders of round houses for thousands of years. Prefabricated circular buildings have been built as cabins, studios, houses, offices or community halls and convention centers.
Most of today’s prefabricated log homes and cabins offered across the country use conventional log or post & beam construction methods. These houses and cottages are ideal to take full advantage of the location offering breathtaking panoramic views, and incorporate environmental factors into the home design.
Geodesic Dome uses a network of triangles that form hexagons and pentagons and creates a free and spacious environment with a circular structure that does not require internal support. This results in great flexibility in using interior space to implement floor designs that are not limited by structural limitations. Because of the structural strength of the shape, domes have a record far more resistant to tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes than the cube-shaped structure of conventional houses.
MATERIAL COST: Geodesic domes provide the largest floor area with the least surface area, reducing the amount of building materials required by 30-50%.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY: As a result of the shape, the dome has about 30-50% less roof and wall area than the cube-shaped house of equal floor space. This results in less area exposed to the elements, resulting in lower heating and cooling costs for the dome-shaped structure. In addition, the circular shape of the dome facilitates natural airflow that produces a more even temperature and optimizes overall interior temperature comfort.
As a result of the complex corners, finishing the interior and exterior of the dome (after quick assembly of the prefabricated shell) is more labor intensive than finishing a conventional house. Also, finishing work requires skilled or specialized tradesmen that may not be available in every location. These factors may present a challenge to the skilled craftsman – home builders, but they will create significant costs if hired labor is considered.
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