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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 is intended to introduce you to the world block of flats. If you’re in the industry, you’re probably cringing at the word “assembled” right now. But the word has become synonymous with houses and buildings that have been partially or completely assembled in a factory setting.
I for one am excited to see the latest versions of modern prefabs emerging globally. They are well thought out, beautiful and energy efficient.
And to anyone who has any doubts about the quality of today’s prefab houses, I would ask if you would rather buy a house where all parts were made outside exposed to the elements – by hand. Or would you rather buy a factory built home with strict specifications that exceed site built homes. I say exceeding because a normal site-built home may not have to endure the rigors of traffic.
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 dwellings consisting of one, two or more subdivisions and constructed to HUD federal code. Local municipal or county zoning codes and ordinances may not permit the use of mobile and manufactured homes in all areas of their jurisdiction.
Modular refers to the way a home is constructed rather than a type of home. A modular home can be factory built from a stock modular home plan or a customized plan up to the state, local or regional codes where the home will be set up. Modular homes typically have not experienced the zoning restrictions and discriminatory ordinances applicable to manufactured and mobile homes.
Prefab homes are factory-built homes in which the panels—complete walls with windows, doors, wiring, and exterior siding—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 can already be filled with insulation when they arrive on site. Homes must meet the state or local building codes of the location where they are located.
4. Steel frame
Steel framing is equivalent to conventional wood framing or post and beam construction where the structural lumber is replaced with steel posts and trusses or steel posts and beams. The Light-Gauge Framing System consists of bolted, galvanized studs and beams, a lattice construction system built on 4-foot centers. Red-Iron Metal Post & Beam Systems feature a bolted together, pre-engineered post and beam-type framing system that utilizes red iron steel “C” beams on 8-foot centers. A prefabricated house built using this method can be one-story, two-story, and even three-story.
Unlike a conventional wood-frame house, which requires interior walls to support the roof, the higher strength-to-weight ratio of a steel house allows greater distances to be spanned with less material and fewer supports. The result is a higher floor layout and interior design flexibility.
Unlike wood, steel does not shrink, rot, warp, break, bite or get attacked by insects. This results in greater durability, lower long-term maintenance, higher energy efficiency and overall higher quality of this prefabricated house.
This category includes factory-built homes or wood-frame cabins where building materials are cut from the factory to design specifications and transported to the site for assembly. PrefabExpo.com features prefab building kits designed as wood frame (also known as balloon frame, 2 x 4, 2 x 6, or stick construction) as well as prefab home kits / cabin assemblies using the post-frame method. Homes or cabins must meet the local or state building codes of the area where they will be located.
According to Katahdin Cedar Log Homes, cedar is aromatic for people and problematic for 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 out inviting, tasty pine structures.
Cedar house kits contain everything you need to build the house itself. That is, walls, floor, ceiling, windows and doors. However, your foundation, plumbing, and electrical system are usually not part of the kit.
7. Wooden frame
Wood framing is a specific type of post and beam construction in which the frame is constructed from solid wood beams that are then joined with one of the following wood joints: mortise and tenon, dovetails, or sash secured with hardwood pins. The frame is covered by one of many cabinet systems. Normally, the wood remains exposed inside the building.
Timber frame structures exhibit strength and an aesthetic quality not found in conventionally timbered houses. The wood is pre-cut, shaped and finished in the factory, then shipped to the construction site where it can be quickly assembled by a crew that normally uses cranes to lift the bends and beams into place. The use of quality wood, enhanced by joinery that is comparable to fine joinery, maximizes the strength of the wooden structure. Joinery is the heart of the whole structure.
Log houses provide their owners with a comforting and relaxing sense of informality and simplicity. Log mass provides heating and cooling benefits and reduces noise transmission to and from the house. These are very attractive features, but there are also problems in construction and limitations in decorating. These aspects require special design considerations and have unusual maintenance requirements.
Basic sets are…
WALLS ONLY: The Walls Only log pack 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 components necessary for weatherproofing, such as exterior doors, windows and a roof system.
COMPLETE PACKAGES: Complete packages also include the interior components needed to complete the log homes. Such items include interior walls, stairs, cabinets, interior doors and trim.
The circle is the strongest geometric shape we know, and this factor has probably influenced round house builders for thousands of years. Prefab circular buildings were built as cabins, studios, houses, offices or social halls and convention centers.
Most of today’s prefab log homes and cabins offered around the country use the conventional wood frame or post and beam construction method. These homes and cabins are ideally suited to take full advantage of locations offering exciting panoramic views and to incorporate the neighborhood factor into home design.
10. The dome
The Geodesic Dome uses triangular meshes forming hexagons and pentagons to create a free-span, spacious environment of a spherical structure requiring no internal supports. This results in great flexibility for the use of interior space to realize floor designs unfettered by structural constraints. Due to the structural strength of the shape, domes have a much better resistance to tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes than the cube-shaped structures of conventional houses.
MATERIAL COSTS: Geodesic domes provide the largest floor area with the smallest area, reducing the amount of building material needed by up to 30-50%.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Due to its shape, a dome has approximately 30-50% less roof and wall area than a cube-shaped house with the same floor area. This results in less surface area exposed to the elements, resulting in lower heating and cooling costs for dome structures. Also, the spherical shape of the dome facilitates the natural flow of air, thereby achieving more even temperatures, thereby maximizing the overall thermal comfort of the interior.
Due to the complicated angles, the internal and external finishing of the dome (after the quick assembly of the prefabricated shell) is significantly more laborious than the completion of a conventional house. Finishing work also requires highly skilled or specialized craftsmen who may not be available at every location. These factors may present a welcome challenge to the skilled DIY home builder, but when factoring in hired labor, they would come at a significant cost.
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