The custom home building process is indeed a process.
A completed custom home represents many months of work with plenty of milestones, from working with a client to design a home that meets all their expectations to completing finishing work.
Like any large project, finding ways to save on time and labor has a compounding effect for streamlining work and timelines. Even a little bit of efficiency goes a long way in a custom home project.
Panelized construction brings a new level of optimization to the entire home building process without compromising on choice or experience for the client. A hybrid of stick and modular building methods, the panelized home construction method allows builders to complete a project with an efficient, client-centric method.
Panelized Home Construction Method: Efficiency in Action
An alternative building method for homes that’s rooted in efficiency and precision, panelized construction upgrades the custom home building process. Improving key aspects of a project from the beginning, panelized building allows for:
- Easier customization
- Faster construction
- Less labor
- Less waste
1. Easier Customization
Every client is different. Likewise, their wants and needs for a dream home are, too.
For panel home builders, tailoring a house’s floor plan to meet clients’ visions for the perfect home is easy. Unlike other construction methods, panelized building allows for 100% customization.
Altering an existing floor plan or designing a home from square one is a simple and straightforward process.
2. Faster Construction
With a streamlined construction timeline, it doesn't take long for a panelized home to take shape.
A panelized home’s construction starts in a factory where its wall panels and trusses are fabricated – a process that takes around six weeks. Once the components are ready, they’re shipped directly to the build site according to your schedule ready for immediate construction.
Within two weeks the structural components go up and the home is made weather tight. Nothing except the house’s exterior is left exposed to the elements and weather delays are all but eliminated. Work to the inside of the home happens uninterrupted.
3. Lower Labor Costs
Labor costs are one of the biggest variables in any construction job. Any savings can result in lower costs that can be passed along to the future homeowner and increase your margins.
Because home panels are made in a factory, time spent at the build site is minimized. This has two immediate benefits for your project and your clients’ wallets:
- Your team needs fewer members to complete the actual construction.
- Your team spends less time completing the build.
4. Less Waste
With the high price of wood, unused lumber gets expensive. Construction of the average stick built home can result in more than 3,000 pounds of wood waste.
Panelized construction, however, is synonymous with precision. Since the panels and trusses of a house are made in a factory to exact measurements and use only the materials needed, there’s little waste.
For a custom home builder, this means providing a more cost-effective project as clients won’t pay for materials that will ultimately become scrap.
Besides the cost savings, panelized homes are more eco-friendly.
How Panelized Construction Benefits Your Business
The last thing a custom home builder wants is to use a home construction method that prevents their business from reaching its full potential.
Panelized custom home construction eliminates many of the impediments – and headaches – those in the home building industry regularly contend with. Providing a streamlined and precise process, panelized home building allows your business to:
- Finish a project faster and move on to the next
- Juggle multiple projects with existing resources
- Avoid supply chain issues common in other building methods
- Provide nearly unlimited design options
- Consistently deliver a quality finished product
- Reduce your supply chain
While these benefits are ideal for the custom home builder or dealer to grow and scale their business, they ultimately lead to the most important thing in home construction: client satisfaction.
Prefab Building Method Comparison: Modular vs. Panelized
For any custom home builder, adding a construction method that streamlines processes is a no-brainer. Who wouldn’t want to save time and effort where possible?
While modular home construction (another prefab building method) does upgrade some of the construction process, it does come with a few significant trade-offs worth considering.
The panelized custom home construction method holds a significant edge over modular construction mainly due to its high degree of customization and flexibility. Unlike modular homes, which largely come in pre-designed sections leaving little room for bespoke features, panelized construction allows homeowners to infuse their unique taste and preferences into the design. From the initial planning stages to the final build, every aspect can be tailored to meet the specific needs and style of the homeowner, creating a truly personalized living space.
Furthermore, panelized construction employs technologically advanced processes that enhance the accuracy and efficiency of the build. Each panel is precision-engineered in a controlled factory environment, thereby minimizing waste and maximizing quality control. This pre-fabrication process also leads to fewer weather-related delays, leading to a faster build time compared to modular construction. Additionally, unlike modular homes, panelized homes do not face the same transportation restrictions, providing greater flexibility in terms of design size and complexity.
Still, there’s no reason to choose one prefab home building method over another at your dealership. Even if you’ve been a modular builder all your career, offering panelized construction options only expands your portfolio and capabilities to meet clients’ needs.
Panelized Construction: A Proven Building Method
For the home builder or dealer looking to expand their business’s offerings or add a new level of efficiency, panelized homesis a worthwhile addition.
Streamlining custom home building, panel construction makes it easier to complete projects faster and service more clients.
Bring New Efficiency to Your Custom Home Projects Beyond Construction
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This article was originally published in March 2022 and was recently updated to reflect industry trends.