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Prefabricated Home Packages
This is by no means an exhaustive list of what is available in the field of prefabricated houses and buildings. This article aims to introduce you to the world of prefab. If you’re in the industry, you probably cringe at the word “prefab” by now. But the word has become synonymous with homes and buildings that have been partially or fully assembled in factory settings.
I am excited to see the latest versions of modern prefabricated buildings popping up all over the world. They are well thought out, beautiful and energy efficient.
I would ask anyone who doubts the quality of today’s prefabricated houses, whether they would rather buy a house whose parts were made outdoors, exposed to the weather — by hand. Or would you prefer to buy a home built in a factory setting that has tight specifications that go beyond site-built homes. I say it exceeds because a normal house built on a construction site does not have to endure heavy transport.
For your review, here are quick descriptions of 10 of the many categories of prefab homes available to explore at http://PrefabExpo.com – in no particular order:
Single-family residential dwellings consisting of one, two or more sectional units and constructed in accordance with the federal HUD code. Local municipality or county zoning regulations and ordinances may not allow the use of mobile and manufactured homes in all areas within their jurisdiction.
Modular refers to the way a home is built, not the type of home. A modular home can be built in a factory from a standard modular home plan or from a custom plan, up to state, local or regional codes where the home will be placed. Modular homes have typically not been subject to the zoning restrictions and discriminatory ordinances that apply to manufactured and mobile homes.
Paneled homes are factory-built homes in which the panels—complete walls with windows, doors, fixtures, and exterior—are transported to the site and assembled. The panels are made of insulating foam sandwiched between two layers of structural material. The panels are lightweight and may already be filled with insulation when they arrive at the construction site. Homes must meet state or local building codes where they are located.
4. Steel frame
A steel frame is the equivalent of a conventional stick frame or post-and-beam home design, where structural wood is replaced by steel posts and beams or steel posts and beams. The Light-Gauge framing system includes bolted, galvanized studs and brackets, a grid construction system built on 4-foot centers. Red iron metal post and beam systems are bolted together pre-fabricated post and beam framing system using red iron steel “C” beams on 8-foot centers. A prefabricated house built in this way can be one-story, two-story, or even three-story.
Unlike conventional wood-frame houses, which require interior walls to support the roof, the higher strength-to-weight ratio of steel houses allows them to span greater distances with less material and supports. The result is a higher floor plan and flexibility of interior design.
Unlike wood, steel will not shrink, rot, warp, bend, split or be attacked by insects. This results in greater durability, less time-consuming maintenance, greater energy efficiency and an overall higher quality of this prefab house.
This category includes factory-built log-frame houses or cabins where building materials are factory-cut to design specifications and transported to the site where they are assembled. PrefabExpo.com features prefab building kits designed as a wood frame (also known as balloon frame, 2 x 4, 2 x 6, or stick construction) as well as a home/cabin prefab kit using the post-frame method. Houses or cabins must meet the local or state building codes of the area where they will be erected.
According to Katahdin Cedar Log Homes, cedar is aromatic to humans and problematic to insects: The heartwood of northern white cedar produces organic compounds called thujaplicins—which create that fresh, pleasant cedar aroma. But to insect pests like moths and termites, cedar just stinks. They will shun cedar homes and instead seek inviting, tasteful pine structures.
Cedar home kits include everything you need to build your own home. These are the walls, floor, ceiling, windows and doors. But your foundation, plumbing, and electrical system are usually not included in the kit.
7. Wooden frame
Wood framing is a special type of post and beam construction where the frame is created from solid hardwood lumber that is then connected with one of the following wood joints: mortise and tenon, dovetail, or purlins secured with hardwood studs. The frame is covered with any of a number of casing systems. Usually, the wood is left exposed inside the building.
Timber frame structures exhibit a strength and aesthetic quality not found in conventional frame houses. The timber is pre-cut, shaped and treated in the factory, then sent to the construction site where the team can assemble them quickly, regularly using cranes to lift the arches and beams into place. The use of quality joinery-enhanced wood, comparable to fine cabinet making, increases the strength of the timber frame structure. Building furniture is the heart of the entire building.
Log houses offer their owners a comforting and relaxing sense of informality and simplicity. Log mass provides heating and cooling benefits and reduces noise transmission into and around the home. These are very attractive features, but there are also construction challenges and decorating limitations. These aspects require special design considerations and require unusual maintenance.
The basic sets are…
WALLS ONLY: The Walls Only Log House Package includes all exterior wall logs, including fasteners. Roof racks and stairs can be added.
STRUCTURAL RE: Shell This package includes everything in the wall-only package and all the components needed for weatherproofing, such as exterior doors, windows and the roof system.
COMPLETE PACKAGE: Complete packages also include the interior components needed to complete log homes. Such elements include internal walls, stairs, cupboards, internal doors and cladding.
The circle is the most powerful geometric shape known, and this factor has probably influenced round house builders for thousands of years. Prefab circular buildings were built as cottages, studios, homes, offices or community halls and convention centers.
Most of today’s prefab roundhouses and cabins offered across the country use the conventional wood frame or post and beam construction method. These homes and cottages are ideal for taking full advantage of locations that offer exciting panoramic views and for incorporating the surrounding factor into home design.
10. The dome
The Geodesic Dome uses triangular grids that form hexagons and pentagons, creating a free-span spherical environment that does not require internal supports. This results in great flexibility to use the interior space to implement floor designs that are not constrained by structural constraints. Due to the structural strength of the shape, domes are much more resistant to tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes than the cube structures of ordinary homes.
MATERIAL COSTS: Geodesic domes provide the largest floor area with the smallest footprint, reducing the amount of building material required by as much as 30-50%.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Due to its shape, the dome has about 30-50% less roof and wall area than a cube-shaped house of the same area. As a result, less surface area is exposed to the weather, resulting in reduced heating and cooling costs for dome structures. In addition, the dome’s spherical shape allows for natural air flow, which ensures more even temperatures and thus increases overall indoor temperature comfort.
Due to the complex angles, the interior and exterior finishing of the dome (after the quick assembly of the prefab shell) is significantly more labor intensive than the finishing of a normal house. In addition, finishing work requires highly skilled or specialized tradesmen that may not be available in every location. These factors could provide a pleasant challenge for the skilled home craftsman, but would result in significant costs when considering hired labor.
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