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Panelized Kit Homes

nsaph's picture

Yahoo and other media sources ran a few articles on kit homes. Anyone have experience with kit homes? Are they really that more cost efficient than stick built homes?

Can you link to an article or (post #207344, reply #1 of 12)

Can you link to an article or company that you're thinking about?  There are a lot of companies out there, and they do different levels of things.

Yeah, there are a number of (post #207344, reply #3 of 12)

Yeah, there are a number of different schemes, from "pre-cut" to "panelized" to various degrees of "pre-fab".  Don't know that it's still done, but outfits like Sears, many decades ago, would just sell a pile of lumber and a blueprint for some of their kit homes.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

I kow all about Sears homes.  (post #207344, reply #4 of 12)

I kow all about Sears homes.  Used to live in one.

And Carlinville Illinois - Where I grew up - Has one of the largest collections of Sears homes in the world.

They were probably fine 80 or 90 years ago. But they have tiny bedrooms and usually only one small bathroom.  The closets are typically something like 16" by 30".  (Going from memory)   And they're usually poorly insulated.

Hard to live in these days.

Well, any home built 80 years (post #207344, reply #5 of 12)

Well, any home built 80 years ago would be poorly insulated and would lack the features we've come to expect.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

This is the company I'm (post #207344, reply #6 of 12)

This is the idea I'm looking into.  They offer custom panelized homes with walls already in place. I don't have the article anymore, but it was an article on yahoo sometime last year.   According to the article, it seems like panelized homes are the most cost efficient. If so, why aren't more people doing this?  Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Like most anything (post #207344, reply #7 of 12)

ads can be deceiving.

Manufactured homes have been around quite a long time and there are a few operations that really do take a large step above a trailer building company. 

However, they don't take the process from foundation through door knobs.  Even if they were to supply a quality product, caution must be taken in the assembly of all the parts of home construction.

The more parts and different hands touching your home increases the ability for someone to say-'not my problem'.

 

If you do talk to them, mention that first impressions do make a difference.  They should proof that first page of their site.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Generally (I'm sure there are (post #207344, reply #8 of 12)

Generally (I'm sure there are exceptions), any sort of pre-cut or panelized construction will be less expensive and better quality that the same structure stick-built with the same on-site people.  There is less waste, and less wasted motion, and fit-and-finish can be better.

It's not used more for several reasons:

  1. Building codes vary too much, even within a single state in some cases, making it hard to build one product that suits every area.
  2. The designs tend to be less flexible.  With many suppliers you must either stick with a stock design or limit design parameters somehow.
  3. Transportation costs are greater.
  4. Contractors are unfamiliar with the concept.
  5. Contractors don't trust the concept, or there is local labor opposition to it.
  6. Home purchasers don't understand the distinction between these structures and "pre-fab", which traditionally has been a glorified term for trailer (er, "modular") homes -- which have a partially-deserved reputation for being drafty and generally unpleasant.

I suspect that #4 is the biggest reason in most urban areas.  Most homes are spec built, so contractors choose the technology.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

For all the reasons listed (post #207344, reply #10 of 12)

Is the reason I am no longer in the prefab business.  The prefab business was best suited during that period shortly after WW11 during the 1950's and 60's when there was a big demand for housing of any kind. 

As Boss  mentioned the typical home was more just basic shelter than today.. We had a 3 BR, 1 bath, kit/dining and a LR w/ 1car carport/garage as small as 816 sq.ft. Try to sell that today.

An experienced 6 man crew could, on an existing foundation, dry in a 1200 s.f. house in an 8 hour day.  It allowed a builder to build  many more houses per year than stick built.   It would take to long to describe our typical package.  We shipped into 5 states.

Offhand I'm not impressed.  (post #207344, reply #11 of 12)

Offhand I'm not impressed.  They claim they can save you 29% to 50% on your home costs, which is utterly ridiculous. So if they're lying right off the bat I don't have much respect for them.

IMHO you might save 1% or so doing panelized construction. I did a comparison once when I worked for a GC, and that's what I came up with.  So I think it's reasonably accurate.

 

If you like this company or want the guidance they can offer it might be worth considering. But if you think it will save you big bucks - Forget it.

 

 

 

 

So there's no point in buying (post #207344, reply #12 of 12)

So there's no point in buying premanufactured trusses?


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Well, they've been around for (post #207344, reply #2 of 12)

Well, they've been around for about 100 years.  Used to be 3 tiny ones a few blocks from here (and, not coincidentally, only a block from the RR station), but two got torn down and one has been changed so much you can't recognize it.

30 years ago a coworker (with contractor) built a good-sized "pre-cut" home, and it turned out very nice.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Look into SIPs (post #207344, reply #9 of 12)

I looked at the link you provided. 

For what they are doing, I would look at the cost efficiency of Structural Insulated Panels. 

Start by finding manufacturers close to you, and then ask them for references to contractors who are experienced in the use of SIPs. 

A lot of folks who haven't done them are nervous about how to work with them, and inflate their bids accordingly, only to find out that they are actually pretty easy to work with once you get used to them. 

Tuanton published a very good book on SIP construction, that is well worth reading.