Just like a traditional structure has various building phases commencing from initial concept and design to final delivery, the modular homes too have been known for their streamlining building phases. In this article, you will come across the details right from placing the order of your dream modular home up to the final delivery of your home on the worksite. Even though some of the building phases between the traditional and modular buildings clash, there are still a few additions considering they are constructed off-site.
The four basic stages of building phases are the planning and design work, the preparatory work, the transportation and assembly stage, and the placement and erection stage. However, the foremost factor to keep in mind is the time where the structure usually has a win-win situation. Modular buildings are constructed in a controlled, factory environment which usually takes lesser time to complete as compared to a conventional building which takes comparatively more time to build.
Planning and Design Stage
This is the time when you place an order to a modular manufacturing company. The most important considerations in this stage are the overall construction material preferences, cladding choices, interior prefab layouts, personal interior design themes, extra features, personal needs, and requirements. You could either choose from a pre-planned and pre-designed template or a customized one depending on your needs and budget. (Usually, customized options are expensive than the former ones). It is important to figure out the need in terms of functionality and space along with the clear vision of your space that needs to be explained well to the designer or the professional.
Secondly, it is important to consider the local authorities and regulations in terms of building bye-laws, paperwork, approvals, and planning regulations. Take into consideration the local availability, jurisdiction, reach, and planning terms. Post determining this is the time to settle down on a specific budget for your modular home. You can even turn to a consultant for estimation, utilities, as well as any other special requirements.
The Preparatory Stage
After finalizing the plan and design for your modular home comes a stage when the proposed design is planned and built. At this point, the manufacturers must get their hands-on the site works and all related groundworks that include foundations and excavations. Based on the drawing provided by the structural and civil engineer, the footings are proposed depending on the specific material and local topography. This execution work on the site may take from 4 up to 12 weeks. At this time, you should also expect quite some communication from the manufacturer.
Secondly, the other professionals such as plumbers, water service providers, electricians, solar panel providers, and sewage treatment companies are involved that help in streamlining the process. The structural panels are constructed in the desired material away from the site under specific controlled environments.
Now is the stage when the manufacturer would be able to suggest the scheduling and implementation of the project, developing and receiving the engineering drawings, as well as finalizing the design drawings to be able to move forward. Moreover, depending on the material chosen as per the specific size and shape are the modules constructed and assembled in the factory.
Transportation and Assembly Stage
Now is the time for transporting the pre-manufactured modules to the worksite. For transportation of the modules and structural elements, industrial trucks are used that stockpile a wide variety of components from the factory to the worksite. Before the transportation of the modular building, the first and most important task is the packaging when they take over the project and inspect for any issues etc. These components are then wrapped in plastic wraps covered with extra form padding that provides protection in case of jerks or any movement. This wrap is also a great option to avoid unnecessary moisture or dirt entering. At this point, it is highly noted to take care of the packaging so as to avoid any chances of project delay or damage to the structure.
Post packaging is the loading of the building on the truck along with the securing process. Once the modular structure is transported securely to the work site, the off-loading process begins. A forklift is used to off-load the structure from the vehicle all the way to the work site. It is quite likely for a single-family modular home to be placed within 2 days or in some cases can be extended up to one week. However, depending on the size and location of the structure, the time taken might vary.
Placement and Erection Stage
Once the building is transported to the work site, it is then reassembled and prepared for erection. By this time, the footings are installed, and the land surface is ready for the placement of the structure. Various equipments are used to lift up the structure and securely align them as per the proposed plan and the drawings given by the engineer.
Depending on the base material of the structure, the columns, beams, and the load-bearing walls are first installed post which the structural panels and modules are placed. In the case of mobile homes, the structure is completely placed as it is on the top of the footings. This complete procedure takes somewhere around a couple of weeks or could be lesser or more depending on the size of the building.
All this while, another factor to take care of is the access to the work site. Do you have enough wide roads for the trucks’ transportation? Usually, a modular building could be sized around five meters wide – so, is it possible for the truck to transport this humongous size on the pathway to your home’s land?
Meanwhile, if the conditions favor and your building are now set up – the next question is the interiors of your home unless it is predesigned by the provider. You can definitely hire a professional to design the interiors of your dream modular home. Depending on the size of your home, the interior finishes can take somewhere around weeks to a few months.
All this while when the modules are being constructed in the factory, the site work is taking place on the other hand. Time is one of the most essential factors that keep the modular structures in the limelight. This simultaneous activity in the factory and the job site is a major reason behind faster delivery and earlier move-ins by the modular homeowners and buyers. As compared to a conventional building where the two processes happen on the same plot of land, the time taken is almost more than the double which makes modular homes a clear winner.
So, What’s the Takeaway?
Understanding the core concept behind the prefab-built process is important. However, at every step, it is advised to communicate and understand the services provided by the manufacturer. Now that we know the four major stages of the modular building phase and the concurrent activities that take place, it is essential to keep a note of the checklist of the things to do.
Even though modular homes come with a promise of faster and cost-efficient delivery, you still need to assure the quality of the materials used. Generally, the manufacturer will provide a material specification list depending on the type of the home – which later needs to be double-checked. It is also crucial to involve in the designing process and clearly indicate your vision and requirements for the home.
So, are you confident about buying your next dream modular home? Now that you know the how’s and when’s of the process, it is time to take the next step. Do let us know your questions and experiences in the comments below.