Panelized construction is the process of building certain parts of a house in a factory rather than onsite. This type of construction is the happy medium between a standard stick-built home and a completely premanufactured modular home.
Panelized construction is desirable because it significantly decreases the time and waste associated with traditionally built homes, while still allowing variation in construction and design, something that is generally hard to find with premanufactured homes.
It is not uncommon to find that even homes that are marketed as “home-built” actually have some panelized parts.
Keep reading to learn more about the panelization process and its benefits.
How does panelized construction work?
According to the National Association of Home Builders, complete home panelization is the fastest growing segment of residential new construction.
Panelized construction requires a relatively high-tech approach where pre-engineered wall sections are produced for a new home in factory-controlled conditions. Once completed, they are then shipped to the building site for final construction. Within just a few days, a panelized home can be made weather tight.
The most common application of panelized construction in home building today is pre-building roof and floor trusses in a factory. These trusses are built with the help of cutting-edge automation and factory-perfect conditions. The completed exterior and interior wall panels, trusses or decking are loaded onto trucks and delivered to the homesite. Before leaving the factory, materials are marked with a code to prevent any confusion at the jobsite (ex. wall “B-4” joins wall “B-5”).
For many panelized manufacturers, their work on the construction of the home is complete once the materials are delivered to the homesite. All the field work would then be completed by the general contractor. However, some panelized manufacturers work with the general contractor by providing a crane and crews to assist in getting the home framed in. Some panelized manufacturers even go as far as supplying all necessary labor to complete the home.
What are the benefits of panelized construction?
Save Money on Labor
- Build more homes with less workers
- Less time and cheaper labor for framing-in the home
- One major supplier as opposed to several
- Parts are labeled for easier assembly on the job site
- Reduction in builder liability and overhead costs
Shorter Construction Timelines
- Home buyers can move in more quickly
- Completion and move-in dates are easier to predict and meet
- Costs that come with construction loan interest are decreased
- Elimination of delays caused by labor shortages and scheduling
- Elimination of delays caused by materials shortages, late deliveries or shipping mistakes
- Construction is more feasible year-round.
Save Money on Materials
- Elimination of waste and costly human error on the job site
- Cleaner environment due to waste reduction
- Cheaper labor cost for clean-up due to less scrap on job site
- Defects can be worked out prior to onsite construction thanks to computer-aided manufacturing process
Achieve Consistent Quality
- Automated, factory-controlled conditions for panel construction help achieve a consistent finish
- Indoor, factory-controlled conditions give framers a more comfortable environment better suited for making accurate measurements
- Less problems with materials being exposed to elements before home is closed-in
Greater Design Flexibility
The leading panelized manufacturers in the industry have expanded their product line to the extent that they can build panelized home packages from virtually any home design plan. This increase in manufacturing flexibility along with the new-found appreciation for interior and exterior design, traffic flow and amenities, are boosting the popularity of panelized homes.
The panelized home building systems of today manage to retain the best aspects of stick frame construction. The combination of tried-and-true building methods with modern technology allows the panelized construction industry to deliver customizable, energy-efficient and beautiful new homes.
As the demand for modular homes increases, a greater number of trade professionals who are adept at building the homes, preparing the site and maintaining the structure will be needed. Learn more about modular homes and if this is an untapped market that will grow your business.
At trades.org we want your business to succeed, grow and support your family. We’ll help you make sense of the requirements to become a contractor or subcontractor for building modular homes and establish a marketing plan so you find the perfect customers for your skill set. Find out how we help your business grow, establish a stellar reputation and hone your marketing strategies.