What Does Prefabricated or ‘Prefab’ Mean?
Prefabricated homes, commonly referred to as prefab homes are a fast and effective method of homebuilding. Parts of home are assembled off-site, in a clean, dry, climate-controlled environment. They get shipped directly to the building location. This allows for a faster and streamlined construction process. It is an alternative to traditionally stick-built homes which get constructed on-site from the ground up. Prefab is an umbrella term for anything that uses this pre-constructed method of building but in reality, there are many different options within this style of construction.
Types of Prefabricated Homes
In the construction industry, when we discuss prefabricated homes, the term can get confusing. This is because it applies to several different styles and methods of homebuilding.
- pre-cut homes
- panelized homes
- modular homes
- manufactured homes
- shipping container homes
These all fall under the general term of ‘prefabricated homes’ but each one is very different. Author and environmentalist Sheri Koones mentions in her book: Prefabulous & Sustainable, “Prefab isn’t just a way of building – it’s many different ways of building.”
The variety of prefab home options offer many distinct or unique advantages. These have to be broken down by supplier. However, they share a common set of benefits. These include:
- a controlled manufacturing environment and process
- factory organization of all structural components
- reduced material waste
- fast-tracked construction timeframe
- cost savings on labour and materials
Yet, not all prefabricated homes are the same. To understand the different types of prefab homes, look at the materials, manufacturing processes and construction methods used. At Linwood Homes, we offer two different types of prefabrication in our home kits: Pre-Cut and Panelized.
Prefabricated Home Packages at Linwood
You can choose between our pre-cut or prefabricated home packages, both allow for a faster framing solution, complete customization and a safe build process.
Pre-Cut Home Kits
What is our Pre-Cut Package?
Linwood Home packages include all of the structural materials required to build the home to lock-up. The components we pre-cut are done to make building faster for the framing crew, saving them valuable time on site. Rafters in vaulted areas are plumb-cut and notched in the factory, allowing for fast, accurate placement and a better-finished look. We don’t pre-cut items like dimensional framing lumber as those are easier for the framers to cut on site.
From this point, the package is consolidated and sent directly to site, saving many trips back and forth to the lumber yard. On site, different sections of the home are organized and labelled for easy identification and use. It’s indexed to the construction drawings so that the builder will be able to easily find the materials needed to complete each part of your home.
We use only the best hi-line, framing lumber in our home kits. It is kiln-dried for maximum stability and straightness. This lumber is superior to standard domestic products. Likewise, it is not available in the general retail marketplace. It is supplied in long lengths for over-height walls, vaulted spaces, increased floor spans and greater structural strength. The final result is a better-looking and better-built home.
Panelized Home Kits
What Are Panelized Homes?
Panelized homes are built in large sections. Most often with space for windows and doors in place, using complete wall panels. These get manufactured at a climate-controlled plant by specialized automated equipment to allow for maximum precision. The panels consist of framing lumber cut to exactly the right angle, height and length. Each wall section has sheathing in place. We also use a nailing pattern that meets local engineering guides for shear and structural strength.
With panelized building, wall panel sections get attached together quickly for rapid construction. This saves framers time during construction. Using prefabricated wall panelization is popular where fast construction is required, availability of skilled labour is limited, or the homeowner wants to act as a general contractor.
Panelized vs Pre-Cut Packages
Although these two methods of construction are frequently confused and often used interchangeably, there are some key differences to each method. There are certain use cases where one method is more convenient for a client than another and that is why we offer both at Linwood Homes.
Panelized packages are ideal for those looking to build their own home. Our clients have the option to complete the construction on their own, or act as a General Contractor in order to manage the project themselves. Panels make the job much easier and faster when the sections arrive on site. The job is much safer, faster, and easier when the complete wall(standard), floor and roof panels(optional) of the home are pre-built and assembled.
Pre-Cut packages on the other hand still allow for a fast build process but are slightly more complex to assemble. With pre-cut homes, everything that you need to build the home to the lock-up stage comes packaged and ready for a builder on site. When using pre-cut homes, all of the pieces are identified, labeled, and pre-cut where appropriate, for assembly on site.
Design Flexibility over Everything
A commonly perceived downside of prefabrication is that it limits your choice of design… and this is true in many heavily standardized prefab or modular options.
However, we have always held design flexibility at the heart of our business. We build dream homes. People want their dream home to be special to them.. and that means having choice in the process. We will never sacrifice your ability to customize your dream home.
Both of our types of prefabrication have been created with custom design in mind. We focus on first ensuring that you can build what you want before getting into how easy we can make construction. We are here to help you realize your dream home first and then figure out how to build it as fast as possible.
While there is no definitive best way to build a home. We do our best to take the best of prefabrication in our home building solution.
Which is Right for You?
If you value speed in construction, panels are a great way for you to go. If you are focused on a very complex home design, then our pre-cut package may be better. No matter what, our team is here to help you make the right decisions along the way.
What’s in our package?
We’ve talked a lot about our prefab process in this post. To get more information on the specifics on our home packages, check out “What is included in your Linwood Home Package?”.
If you’re interested in building with a Linwood home package, start by looking at the hundreds of our designs and plans. All of the plans on the web site can be fully customized to suit your building lot, building material preferences, and lifestyle.
To find out which is the right choice for your home, contact us and discuss the specifics of your project with one of our consultants at 1-888-546-9663.