types of construction

Selecting Type of New Home Construction

Now that you have established your investment parameters, you can determine the type of home construction. They are:

  • Conventional Home Construction
  • Prefab Homes Construction (short for prefabricated home)
  • Modular Home Construction
  • Panelized Home Construction
  • ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms
  • SIP (Structural Insulated Panels)

1) Conventional Home Construction
This is the most common type of home building. The entire home is constructed on the building site and offers the most flexibility for house designing. Today, it is common to find some manufactured home components in conventional construction, such as roof trusses, floor trusses and/or sections and wall panels. Some new homes now use complete factory-built bathrooms.

There may be some time saved when using factory built components, but often it's insignificant. What one can expect is a higher quality due to constructing the component inside in a controlled environment.

Note: Modular homes, panelized homes and mobile homes are all considered prefab homes (short for prefabricated homes) but that is not necessarily an accurate term. All are factory built, but other than that, they are all a unique type of construction.

2) Prefab Home Construction
Both modular and panelized homes are the terms used to identify this type of building. However, their construction is entirely different. Modular homes are made up of modules where panelized homes are made up of panels and components.

3) Modular Homes are factory built modules that come in various configurations and dimensions. They are finished to the extent that the drywall, light fixtures, carpeting, cabinets, etc. are already installed.

Modular homes do have some design limitations. There are module configurations and highway transportation restrictions regarding height and width. They are built much the same as conventional home construction and have the flexibility to meet municipal standards and building codes. They can be placed in the same setting as conventionally constructed homes, while mobile homes are most often delivered to a park setting and spaced closer together.

After the new home building site prep work is completed, the modules are trucked to the home site where a mobile crane will lift the modules into position. This stage is usually done in a day or two, depending on the configuration and number of modules. Modular home construction has the feature of reducing the home's construction time drastically. The completed cost per square foot of a modular home versus conventional home construction will usually vary little.

4) Panelized homes are not completely manufactured homes as are modular homes. They are built in panels or components consisting of walls, floor sections and roof trusses. Many home builders use panelized components yet don't make it known in their marketing due to old connotations that "prefab homes" are of poor quality.

Time has proven otherwise because they are manufactured to a consistent standard and out of the elements of the weather.

The panels and/or components are trucked to the home building site where a mobile crane lifts them into position. This is usually done in a day or two. Unlike modular homes, panelized homes require much more work to be done after they are erected, including installing the mechanicals, drywall and cabinets, finish woodwork, etc. Thus, little construction is saved.

One will find panelized construction used in all home price ranges, including custom homes and luxury homes. Even as complex as luxury homes have become, panelized construction presents few, if any, limitations.

5) Mobile homes differ as to their method of construction, marketing, financing, residing, site ownership and cost per square foot Generally, it's found to be considerably less. Typically, they're placed in a park setting, as opposed to panelized and modular homes that are placed on regular home sites.

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