Prefabricated homebuilding in the US dates back to 1908 when Sears began shipping its home kits to customers by rail. These homes have outlived many of their contemporaries and are prized for their quality and charm.
The prefabricated home market today is more advanced and widespread than you might imagine. Large homebuilders today rely on prefab components to consistently beat their competition. Prefab can be “panelized”, where wall and roof panels are factory built; it can be “modular” where entire modules are factory-built, or it can be “manufactured or mobile”, where basically the entire home comes in one piece. Tiny homes would fit into this last category.
Sheeflee relies on the first two methods: panelized and modular; however, we have the skills and interest to build tiny homes as well.
Computer-aided design and advanced processes make it possible to have truly custom homes constructed largely in the factory. Now that it is possible to build your dream home as prefab, here are some of the reasons why you would choose this:
Modular homes are carefully engineered to withstand the stress of transportation. They have heavily reinforced corners that are lag-bolted together, and include framing components which are glued as well as nailed or screwed together. Studies by FEMA have shown that modular homes withstand earthquakes and hurricanes much better than stick-built homes. Can you imagine a typical stick-built home being picked up by a crane and transported down the Interstate at 65 Miles per hour?
The process controls of a large modular and panelized factory operations are more sophisticated than for stick built homes. A design center and rigorous engineering processes help ensure that the houses are built to the highest standard. Conditions are closely monitored in the factory throughout construction. This leads to higher quality and durability.
Better for the planet
Factory-built homes involve significantly less waste. The economies of scale and factory orchestrated processes allow purchasing exactly the materials needed and not more. When wood is cut, the remainders are often reused for different parts of the same home or for other homes rather than discarded as in the field.
After a house is ordered from the factory, it can arrive in about 8 weeks. Amazingly, six of those weeks involve ordering of materials and engineering, with the physical construction being performed in less than two weeks. Such is the size and throughput of a large module and panel factory. Afterwards, delivery and setting the modules and panels take just a few days. Then the in-field construction will take another 2-3 months depending on the complexity of the home. This is compared to 10-16 months for a typical custom home.