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Panelized building


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Laurie's Forum Posts: 19

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By Laurie in Elk River, MN on 3/25/2000


Has anyone used panelized building? Send me your thoughts.
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Don's Forum Posts: 22

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By Don in Mesa, AZ on 1/1/2001


Your note was back in March. What did you decide? There's a current thread under SIPs that you might add your thinking to.
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Laurie's Forum Posts: 19

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By Laurie in Elk River, MN on 1/9/2001


I priced out the SIP's and the panelized walls (these were walls built in normal fashion, but in factory and shipped out as wall units which is supposed to improve wall quality as it is built without worry of weather using more precise technology and decreased labor costs. I went with the panelized walls. It was cheaper and decreased labor costs. I was and am happy with that choice. The SIP quote I got was very expensive.
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Don's Forum Posts: 22

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By Don in Mesa, AZ on 1/9/2001


Thanks for replying about SIPs/panels. Do you recall the cost difference? What brand SIPs were you looking at? Where were they built? Were your panels local? How much was freight a factor in your decision? Glad to hear you're happy with the result. It's a big headache out of the way. Are you in the house? I'm building in AZ and looking for as much input as possible.

Don
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Alana's Forum Posts: 22

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By Alana in Manassas, VA on 2/5/2001


We are about to start using a panelized company. So far, we are very happy. The cost for them to draw up engineered plans from our graph paper doodles was extremely reasonable (1/3 cost of a similar company and a pittance compared to an architect.) In our research, the panels are better built and make a better house than conventional stick framing. Also, our shell including windows will go up in 2-3 days and be dried in which means weather- and theft-protected. This is a potential BIG savings . . .
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By Don in Mesa, AZ on 2/5/2001


Good luck to you. I've had my plans drawn by a draftsman, so the panel company will do the engineering for their product gratis. What panel are you using? We're almost certain to go with K-C Panel, Tucson - cost is $3.90/sq.ft. and the fill is Polyurethane. I'd like to look at your panels, and will, if you give me a URL. Don
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Alana's Forum Posts: 22

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By Alana in Manassas, VA on 2/6/2001


Hi Don,

We are using a panelized company called "American Standard Building Systems." Our plans were just finalized, and we don't have the actual final cost yet. When we say go, it will take about a week factory time to build the shell. This is a factory that builds for a popular local quality builder--we're bypassing the middleman. Estimated cost is waayyy more than yours--approximately $30/sq ft; but that includes windows, doors, insulation, stain-grade trim, roof felt and shingles, and floor underlayment. We are doing a custom, which is much upgraded from "systems plus" as shown on their website. Be glad to answer any further questions, we are just starting so it will be interesting to see how this all turns out!
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Don's Forum Posts: 22

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By Don in Mesa, AZ on 2/6/2001


Okay - I understand. The $3.90 is only the insulated panels, FOB factory; none of the slab, roof, doors or whatever. I'm acting as owner-builder and will sub out the work. Let's keep in touch, okay? It will be interesting to compare notes.

Don
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Alana's Forum Posts: 22

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By Alana in Manassas, VA on 2/7/2001


What geographic area are you? Southwest? I only wish this site got a lot more traffic--it would be REALLY helpful to network with other folks who are doing this.
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Don's Forum Posts: 22

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By Don in Mesa, AZ on 2/7/2001


Yes. Arizona. Living in Mesa, just outside Phoenix, and moving up to a small town - Wickenburg - out of the traffic, noise and bad air. I'm interested in the economy, ease of construction and R-ratings of the panels. I agree with you very much - it would be great if more posters were here. You're in the SE aren't you? Don
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Alana's Forum Posts: 22

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By Alana in Manassas, VA on 2/9/2001


Virginia, actually. I'm not sure of the R- ratings of the panels but I could find out. They are not insulated panels (no foam) but are just dimensional lumber with OSB sheathing. We did elect to use 2x6 walls on the main floor so that we can more than normal insulation in. I did a search and found another site by Tom Landis. There is a discussion board but it isn't that extensive. There needs to be more people doing this.
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By Jay in Bountiful, UT on 2/9/2001


Hi again Don,

Those figures did not format as I laid them out.

A 4 1/2" wall will have an R-value at 75 degrees F of 14.9--at 40 degrees F it would be 16.

A 6 1/2" wall would be R-22.6 and R-24.3, respectively.

An 8 1/4" wall would be R-29.3 and R-31.6

A 10 1/4" wall would be R-37 and R-39.9

A 12 1/4" wall would be R-44.7 and R-48.3.

Hope this works this time.
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Alana's Forum Posts: 22

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By Alana in Manassas, VA on 7/13/2001


Change of Plans--just in case someday someone reads this thread, I wanted to post that we decided NOT to use ASBS but went with another panelized company in the end. Everything going well so far...
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By Steve in Washington, DC on 7/18/2001


Alana, Who did you decide to go with instead of ASBS? You sparked some curiosity in factory-built shells. How have you found the factory-build pricing compared to stick-built by framing subs? I already have the plans, but I am always looking to cut cost. We are also building in the Washington DC area. PM me and hopefully we can help each other out.
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Alana's Forum Posts: 22

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By Alana in Manassas, VA on 7/18/2001


Instead of ASBS, we are using Cavco, out of Cavetown, MD (near Hagerstown). We connected with them through a series of circumstances, and it just ended up they could give us exactly what we wanted at a good price. I would also recommend Foremost, which is in PA. We actually would have preferred them, but they were going to have to charge an extra engineering fee to figure out how to put a third-story attic in. Cavco offered to include that for free in order to get the job. Their basic prices though were very similar--and we were much more impressed with Foremost's facility. Our framer is coming from PA and does many jobs for Cavco. He was *much* cheaper than any local framers--this area is just too hot right now.

However, it is not only the direct cost savings over site-built that sold us on factory-produced panels--last summer we watched as the $500K plus houses being built near us soaked in weeks of rain, their plywood warping and much other damage from weather. Panels are *fast.* Also, they are all precision-cut and measured, which translates into a better-built structure... and it is not nearly so tempting to use sub-grade lumber with knots, checks and cracks when you are on a quality-controlled factory floor as when you are out in the sun/wind/heat pulling 2x's out of a limited pile. If you are owner-building in the DC area, I'd love to compare notes on other aspects. Please feel free to PM me.

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By Linda in CA on 7/26/2001


Hi Alana, I was interested in your comment about the panelized home being cheaper than site built as we were very interested in using panels. We attended an owner-builder seminar this past weekend and asked the lecturer about them. He is a former framer and is currently building his own home, said that none of the builders in the area used panels. We live in Sacramento, Ca., and there are not many panelized companies doing business in this state.

The other comment that was interesting was he said that there would be uneven areas and warpage, even using pre-built panels. How did you make the cost comparisons--did you receive bids for the site built framing? Please let us know about your experience with panels, as I mentioned, we are very interested. We are still in the planning stage (looking for lots, selecting a floor plan, etc.) and your information would be very helpful. Thanks.
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Alana's Forum Posts: 22

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By Alana in Manassas, VA on 7/27/2001


I have to admit that we didn't solicit bids for "just framing" before deciding to go with the panels. We did talk to a number of builders all of whom quoted us "$100/sq ft" for a "basic" house. Later, when looking for framers to put together our panels, the local ones seemed very expensive. As I mentioned above, seeing all the expensive custom homes in our area sit partially framed for weeks last summer also influenced us to choose panels. In addition, we got our plans drawn up basically for free as part of the panel deal and got lots of excellent, free advice from the salesman on design and construction.

I don't think the lecturer could be right that there is much warpage and unevenness in the panels. The warpage may be minimal, and will probably happen some if the house gets rained or snowed on or something before going under roof. But just like modular homes, the panels are built on factory precision-measured equipment, so unevenness is highly unlikely. We talked to three different panel companies just within this tri-state area and I heard there are more. So maybe panels are just bigger on the east coast. I think they save the builders money (more and more builders are using them) so I don't see why they wouldn't save the owner-builder money too.

Another place to find out more is ownerbuilder.com with Tom Landis. His site links to an Oregon or Washington-based panel company. It seemed to me like their prices were pretty good. This site also has lots more helpful info for owner-builders, and includes a video interview with the owner of that panel company.
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Linda's Forum Posts: 3

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By Linda in CA on 7/27/2001


Alana, Thanks for the response! From what I've seen on the Web, panelized homes are much bigger on the east coast and have been slow to catch on here in California. The information that builders use them there is very encouraging. I have received packages from several panel manufacturers and plan to compare the costs to bids from general contractors and framers. I'll post the outcome when we get to that stage.
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John's Forum Posts: 2

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By John in Houston, TX on 9/20/2001


Hello, In case anyone's interested, the links listed below are probably the best sources for building a home from SIPs. You might wanna' save them for future reference too. For my own needs, I'm currently trying to track down existing SIP home plans as well as local architects who specialize in this building material. I live in Houston, TX. I'm also looking for structural insulated panel suppliers for our area.
sipweb.com
amazon.com
buildingadream.com
timbersmith.com

Regards,

John

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By Robb in Sonoma, CA on 10/27/2001


We're looking into Out West 'Easy-Panel Wall System'. We live in the town of Sonoma and would be interested in anything you know.
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By Susanne in Henderson, NV on 1/1/2002


Don,

I became aware of panelized building through reading this forum and have investigated the technology some. I even called KC Panel (among others) which I got off your message. It sounds great, but I have yet to talk to anyone who has personally used them. Where has you research taken you? In your most recent messages under "The Norton Home: Question and Answers" it sounds like you've abandoned the idea of panels. My husband (who comes from Arizona, by the way) and I will be building in Henderson, Nevada. We would greatly appreciate any advice you could give us! Thank you.
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By Don in Mesa, AZ on 1/2/2002


Hi Suzanne; A couple of things decided us against KC Panels. I'm convinced KC's a whole lot better product, and the KC people easier to work with, than anything offered by Premier or any of the other Styrofoam suppliers. But we couldn't find a local crew willing to work with panels. One contractor had done a job with a different panel - I think it's made back east and sold through a company in NM. He had such a hard time putting it together that he's sworn off even looking at another job, despite it's being a different product. Other contractors in town watched his progress and learned from him to stick with what they know.

Another reason for giving up on KC - and perhaps a more final reason - was their letter declaring they were going out of business. KC was picked up by another company, but who knows what could develop with the new company? I'd hate to get halfway in and be abandoned. That has happened with two other companies that made thermal building products we were looking at and we saw half-constructed houses going unfinished... Terribly hard on the O-B's. I'm not satisfied that the industry is stable enough for me to put any faith or cash into. Especially not in these trying times.
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Jeanne's Forum Posts: 32

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By Jeanne in Navasota, TX on 1/4/2002


Watch out for the SIPs reps, they are making a killing on those panels... Where are you building?
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By Bill in VA on 1/17/2002


I like what you had to say about panels. Being in the same area I am in the same boat with framers, etc. Panels look like the wave of the future. I'll keep in touch on this site with what I find out.
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By Russell & Susan on 1/23/2002


Jeanne - Who did you end up buying your SIP's from? And what did it cost? We are building a 2,500 sf home and considering SIP's, but I am finding it hard to sort through the different companies, SIP's vs. framing, etc... Would love to be able to email you about your experiences with this building product. A rep out of Vermont for Premier is pursuing us pretty heavily - saying that he can make the cost of the SIP's comparable to framing, blah blah blah.

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By Jeanne in Navasota, TX on 1/23/2002


Susan,

Nice to hear from you. I haven't put anything into concrete yet. I sent my plan into Premier Panels and the guy said it was $33K for my 2,588 sf home. $3,500 of it is miserable shipping from Arizona to outside Houston, Texas. Woohoo... I am talking to someone else who says he can get it a lot cheaper for me. Originally my plan was ICF for the walls and my guy wanted $22K vs. $7.5K for SIPs. Money will dictate my final decision, that is for sure.

Don't let anyone pressure you. The trick is shop, shop, talk, talk, interview... the Lord will lead you to the right person if you ask for his guidance. He is working for me. Unfortunately, the first bid I got on my foundation is between $24K and $25K, wayyyy more than I thought at $17K... still shopping for that. You can always PM me. Hope this helps. Stand firm and don't rush anything

Jeanne
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By Laurie in Elk River, MN on 1/28/2002


Beware of the hidden costs in the SIPs. You will still need quite a bit of stick-built framing for the house, which will add to the total cost. The sales reps are very anxious to get your business and bend over backwards to meet you (I would be leery of that). When push came to shove, the SIPs were way more expensive, but again I had to read between the lines. We did panels from Woodmaster Foundations and were very happy with their work and cost.

Laurie
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By Jeanne in Navasota, TX on 1/29/2002


Were the "panels" SIPs?

Thank you,

Jeanne
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By Laurie in Elk River, MN on 1/30/2002


No, the panels were not SIPs. They are just the "walls". The 2x4 or 2x6 walls, etc. They come ready to put into place. They are hoisted up with a crane. It saves on framing labor and the walls are built in the factory away from the weather and all that it can do to the wood. Woodmaster Foundations was a great organization to work with. We also got a wood foundation and are very pleased with it.

Laurie
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By Jeff in Kohler, WI on 6/9/2002


I am about to begin construction in Wisconsin. Because of the historic neighborhood that I am in, it is necessary to blend in (i.e not too fancy). Therefore, I decided to be frugal on the outside and get everything I want on the inside. We are using insulating concrete forms (ICF) for the basement and panelized building for the "shell".

In reading other comments, there seems to be some confusion about panelized. Although SIPs are panels, using them does not actually meet the most common definition of "panelized". I have spoken with many panelized manufacturers in the Midwest and they describe it this way. A system of building using panels consisting of at least the studs and sheathing. This usually come in lengths from 4' to 16' and are assembled on site using a crane to lift them into place. I am having just the shell constructed, but you can have the panels made complete with plumbing and electric. I would appreciate any comments.
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By Jeanne in Navasota, TX on 6/9/2002


I ended up buying a house on the lake... not because of anything, except the guy over the Architectural Control Committee was the Antichrist... I would use Premier. Pretty hard to get the insulating values with stick built... plus that cost is taken out and other things. The only expense may be finding some yahoo electrician who doesn't understand the learning curve of SIPs.

Good luck,

Jeanne
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By Shaun in Sturgeon Bay, WI on 9/15/2002


Hello Jeff,

I'm from Door County and am planning a home and would like to break ground in 12-18 mo. As you might imagine, the cost of building a home in this area is tremendous, and I have been exploring the owner-builder approach. Currently, I have been looking at constructing a timberframe home on top of an ICF walkout basement. Most of the timberframe companies use SIP's for enclosure and I would appreciate any input you may have in regards to your own progress and research.
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By Jeff in Hampton, VA on 1/28/2003


Hi Shaun, if you are looking for panelized systems you might want to look at ThermaSteel, for steel-panelized construction. Great product. thermasteelcorp.com.

Jeff
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By Morie in Robbinsville, NJ on 2/19/2003


I am getting ready to be an O-B and I am seriously considering panelizing. I live in New Jersey. I would appreciate any information on this process. I have seen a sample on Modulex-International. Has anybody heard of them? Their products are featured on Home Builders network. Please advise if anyone on this forum has used them or any panelized company with good reputation.

Morie
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By Robert in Saint Paul, MN on 3/14/2003


I'll be talking to a local ThermaSteel distributor tomorrow, about costs, design and engineering changes to a stick-built house plan. Any "heads up" info you can provide would be great. Things that they don't generally talk about, or that I must get in writing are what I am looking for at this time. Thanks!
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By Susan in Encinitis, CA on 3/21/2003


I am planning to build a home in Garden Valley, Idaho which is north of Boise. I am considering panelized or SIP systems. I am interested in getting information of companies and contractors working in this area. Also, since cost is a factor, I am interested in any information on comparison of different manufactures of these products. Is there any advantage to using a Canadian company?
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By Gale in Charleston, WV on 4/11/2003


Alana,

It has been a while since you posted your home-building experience with American Standard Building Systems; I'm wondering how it went. Did you find it more or less expensive than traditional site-built? Are you happy with the quality? Any problems or things you would do different? Did you hire your own subs or did you use ASBS (I understand they have a dry-in crew)? I'm located over in south-central West Virginia and have been considering ASBS. Have been researching panelized homes and like what I have found so far. Trying to contact Owner Builder Solutions (ASBS subsidiary), but they have yet to return my numerous phone calls. Any advice or recommendations you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks much!

Gale
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By Chris in CA on 5/7/2003


Hi all, I am from the Los Angeles area, and thinking about building a home using the panelized method. I already have a lot (will tear down an existing house). Doesn't seem to have a lot of choices in the west coast. Does anyone have any experiences or dealings with Pacific Modern Homes (PMHI)? What should I expect to budget for a two-story 2,500 sq ft house, wood floors, granite tops, etc. (excluding the cost of land). Decent, but does not have to be 100% top of the line interior items. Thanks in advance for your comments.
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By Janna in Dublin, OH on 5/15/2003


Hi Linda,

I wanted to reply to your post. My husband and I are O-B's and are getting ready to build in Powell, OH. We have done countless hours of research on panelized homes, and like you are still in the planning stage, although we are a bit farther along. We have land, have plans, have almost decided on a bank to use for financing and hope to break ground in July this year.

You mentioned that there were not any panelized builders in your area... the only thing I wanted to mention to you was that MOST panelized companies will ship your panels to you just about anywhere in the US and the prices they quote you are usually inclusive of the delivery charges. So look outside the state; you will be surprised how many choices you have. We finally decided to use NELSON HOMES out of Canada. They have the BEST floor plans, and the most reasonable prices and they ship anywhere. Not only that the sales reps you work with are out of Montana, but are super proactive and very friendly and have a can-do attitude. We have been super pleased with them so far.

After going through so much research and getting pricing from two other companies, (and after reading The Owner-Builder Book) we decided to cut out all the middlemen and call the guy who owns Nelson Homes, Steve Nelson. We also found the best and most cost-effective way of getting panels is to find a panelized company who has the plans you like and make minimum changes instead of drafting our own plan or having it drawn up for panels. We did this and found it to be not as reasonably priced.

OH - I am sorry for making this so long, it's just that I really wanted to share some helpful info with you and once I get started I can go on forever about what I have learned SO FAR. You are more than welcome to PM me if you need or want to.  I hope this helps just a little.

Best Regards,

Janna
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By Elizabeth on 5/16/2003


Susan -

I live in the outskirts of Boise, ID and we are in the beginning stages of planning to build. I have done some "surface skimming" investigation on Idaho Pre-Cut Homes and am impressed. They have an owner-builder program and claim to be able to do your complete shell with windows, doors, and siding for $18-$22 per square ft. from any plan you choose. They also crane-set for you, and it is included in the price. They say it takes on average four hrs. for a 2,000 sq. ft. home.

They are located in Emmett - less than 15 miles from the area you are building in. They claim you can "do" a custom house for from between $35 to $55 sq. ft. depending on how much you are willing to do yourself. Have you checked them out? If so - would love to hear your thoughts and results, since it sounds as if you are farther along than I. Any others who have looked into this company and could provide insight?
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By Robert in Arlington Heights, IL on 7/28/2003


Alana,

Can you tell me what company you went with? I know there are companies that will supply you with just the outside panel wall and there are the ones that will give you inside framing and other things as well. What is your opinion?
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By Tanveer in Huntington Beach, CA on 7/30/2003


Hi Chris. I am also looking to build a panelized home in the L.A. area. I have checked out Far West Homes (based out of Oregon area) and met with a salesman about a year ago. They claim they can deliver a shell for about $25 to $30 per sq. ft. You have to subcontract locally with a contractor to actually put the pieces together on site with some assistance from their sales rep on site. It takes about two weeks to get the entire package done for a say 2,000 sq ft to 3,000 sq. ft house.

I also found that not many panelized firms serve the Southwest, but mostly do work on the East Coast. They tend to shy away from California and its earthquake issues. My dilemma is... if I use a panelized system... will my house get a stigma of a 'manufactured' home with it? And has anyone else actually built a panelized home in the L.A. area and gone through the City of L.A. plan-review process to okay it? This is critical in my decision as price AND approval process should be considered. I am currently looking to buy a lot soon.
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By Sylvia in CA on 8/13/2003


We are in the San Francisco Bay Area and looking to use the panelized system. We will be ordering the package out of state, possibly Canada. Could someone share their experience with us in finding local contractors to put up the panels? Framers over here get so busy that they are only interested in doing what they know. Is it always better to have the same contractor do both foundation and putting up the panels in case something goes wrong. Sylvia

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By Denise in Elk Grove, CA on 10/9/2003


I was wondering if the people who used the panelized home system could tell us who they used, why they chose them, and how they liked the home.

Thanks,

Denise
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By Augustin in Austin, TX on 2/7/2004


I am working Home Builders Network to put up a Modulex structure as an O-B in central Texas. We are adding 2-3 feet to width and length of standard plan. It comes to $65 per sq ft., not including land. Any reactions or warnings?

Roger
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By Beth in Sterling, VA on 4/6/2004


We are probably going to go with a panelized home for our retirement home. The lot is already purchased, in the southern panhandle of WV (PO address will be Paw Paw). My husband really likes log homes, but I'm put off by the cost. We like one of the contemporary models by Apex Homes, which is in PA. Most of the panelized models I've seen aren't what I want -- suburban design. Does anyone have any other suggestions than Apex? How hard is it to get one of these homes customized a bit?
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By Angela in Albany, GA on 1/24/2005


I am very curious to know what the difference is between SIPs and panelized walls. Can you tell me?

From what I've been able to find so far, the SIP panels look like they would save us a lot of time, labor costs, and energy expense. Are panelized walls the same way?

Does anyone know of any dealers/suppliers who would service the SW GA area?


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By Joe in Cincinnati, OH on 1/25/2005


I think what you are referring to as panel homes are what the industry refers to as pre-fab. Pre-fab walls are built in sections in a panel shop and trucked to the job. They can speed up production time, but be sure and research your panel maker. With a simple floor plan it is easier to get a good job. Beware of complicated floor plans.

Some panel shops do great custom work, but some panel jobs would have been better to stick-frame. A local non-biased carpenter contractor is your best resource for the quality of panel suppliers if you are lucky enough to find one. Your local home builders association would be the best place to start. Subcontractors and suppliers are associate members. It is a great place to start for putting together a future bidders list also.
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Mark's Forum Posts: 118

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By Mark in Los Angeles, CA on 6/17/2005


I've been posting about SIP's on the Miscellaneous threads. Saw this thread and thought I would throw in my two cents worth.

We'll be building a SIP home in the Sierra Nevada mountains at an elevation of about 4,000 ft. So, we will have some cool and occasionally cold weather.

We're going with 6" walls and 8" roof panels. They will have electrical races in the panels (where needed) and framed-out openings ready for window/door installation. On the inside, we will have to put up drywall to make the inside look wonderful.

We've chosen to do business with a company in Canada by the name of Insulspan. They used to be Energreen, but they bought Insulspan and changed their name.

Essentially, the home will be 60'x50'. Walls will be 10' high, The pitch of the roof is 6/12.

All of that will cost us about $38,000 for the panels. Freight of about $3,000 will be added. The area square footage cost is less than $3/sq. ft.

I refuse to build a "panel home", as I find it to be the same as stick framing. Lots of heat and cooling loss.

Mine will be a retirement home. So, we are building the lowest monthly cost home we possibly can, because we want the least amount of monthly costs that we can possibly get.

So, there you have it.

Mark


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By Gen in Mt Pleasant, SC on 6/19/2005


Mark,

Would you recommend a contact person at Insulspan?


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Mark's Forum Posts: 118

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By Mark in Los Angeles, CA on 6/21/2005


Give Dave Stevenson a call, and if you don't mind, please tell him that I hooked you up with them.

Good luck!


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By Victor in El Paso, TX on 6/23/2005


Mark, could you post Dave's contact number? Also, are they shipping out of Canada? Thanx for the info.
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By Mark in Los Angeles, CA on 6/23/2005


Here you go!

Insulspan - Aldergrove
3294- 262nd Street
Aldergrove, British Columbia
Canada V4W 2X2
Phone: 604.856.0600
Fax: 604.856.0608

website:  insulspan.com

You'll reach an automated phone system and you'll get an option to contact Dave Stevenson.

Good luck!


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By Mark in Los Angeles, CA on 6/23/2005


BTW, check their website to see other shipping locations. They may not service Texas out of BC. It could come from one of their more easterly locations.

Mark


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By Victor in El Paso, TX on 6/23/2005


Thanks, I'll give him a shout as soon as my designer finishes the plans...
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By Victor in El Paso, TX on 6/23/2005


I forgot to ask what you're doing for your garage, Mark. I'm assuming you have one at your new house. Are you gonna stick-build this? It would seem like a waste of money to go top of the line SIPs if even SIPs at all for an area that is just gonna house cars and tools. I also wanted to ask you if you had a hard time finding a crew to commit to install the SIPs. Sounds like most carpenters/contractors swore off SIPs years ago. Finally, are you using SIPs on top of your floor joist (are you building a two-story)? If not would you recommend using SIPs? I'm looking at Spacejoist w/Huber OSBs.
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By Mark in Los Angeles, CA on 6/23/2005


You are correct, sir. I am not using SIPs on the garage. The only place/s I'm using them is in the exterior walls (including the garage wall between the house and garage) and the roof. No floor panels. I'll be using radiant floor heating.

I've just begun talking to general contractors. I'm doing it as a GC/O-B kind of arrangement. The two that I have been able to talk with have been receptive to SIPs. In fact, I think it's working to my advantage, because I need to get the house closed in before winter and these guys are really very busy. But, if they see a chance to make some $$$'s and not spend much time doing it, they seem eager.

Are you building your house in Texas?

Also, please be sure to mention my name to Dave when you call  him.

Thanks.


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By Victor in El Paso, TX on 6/24/2005


My wife and I are building one, although we're still in the design phase. We have to meet w/the designer this weekend to hammer out some more details of the floor plans. Go ahead and check out the link I have below my name here on the left. It'll take you to my construction blog. I'll make sure I mention your name, Mark.

Are they also cutting out all the chases for plumbing, electrical, and HVAC? This to me would seem like it would be the hardest thing to do on site or rather that the trades would complain the most about doing. Exterior walls is also what I was thinking. I might have them quote me all walls except for garage and floors and then one for just exterior walls and see if there is a huge difference. Thanks for all your info so far, Mark. I'll get back w/you when I have something new (question or update).
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Mark's Forum Posts: 118

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By Mark in Los Angeles, CA on 6/24/2005


I'm not 100% sure on the races. I know that they do cut out the races for electrical. I suspect they do the same for plumbing, too. But, I'm not sure, at all, about the HVAC. Recommend that you call Dave and broach the subject with him, sir.

Regards,

Mark


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By Anonymous on 9/22/2005


Wow, thanks for the info Mark. I'll have to give him a call too. It seems you got quite a deal considering I just got pricing from Landmark that came in at $33/sq ft for their panels, no windows or doors.


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By Jim in Plumas Lake, CA on 9/23/2005


Mark,

I am using SIPs to build my small home too. Just wondering where you are, because I am building at 4,000 ft in the Sierras too! I am using Precision Panel out of Klamath Falls, Oregon and they have their own crew and crane. I will be using SIPs for the walls and roof.


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By Claudia in Glendale, AZ on 11/21/2005


I've been reading a great deal about using SIP's. I am a first timer, and I am afraid to go for the SIP and prefer to stick with the open panel. Is there a great savings if I do the SIP? Is the savings mostly in the labor? I am also looking into selecting a company with a good product with a fair price. I am in AZ, I am afraid of the shipping. Any suggestions?
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By Jim in Plumas Lake, CA on 11/22/2005


The savings with SIPs is faster construction and savings on labor (depending on the complexity of your design - and long-term savings on energy costs from the super-insulating values and airtight construction. The materials cost tends to be higher, plus there's shipping; but I believe there is an SIP manufacturer in your area. Check out sipweb.com/forum.

Some companies offer fabrication and an installation crew.

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By Claudia in Glendale, AZ on 11/22/2005


Please help!!!!

Thanks Jim - I'm going to contact Insulspan. Has anyone else had a good experience with this company besides Mark?

SIPweb did not identify any distributors in my area.

The area we are building is in New River, AZ. The lot is hilly and two washes run through it. We will have to go over one wash to get to the pad, so I am afraid of the added expense to carry it over to the building pad. Are the panels pretty heavy?

Can a crew of men carry a panel? The home is a territorial (southwest) and the interior ceilings are 10 ft. It is a 1,600 sq ft home. Fairly simple design.

As a result of the added expense for the alternative septic ($15K-$25K), a deep dig for the well ($15K), and the excavation costs ($15K-$20K) (lots of moola), we have to be very careful with the $$ we have left to build.

I want to use SIP's for the exterior of the home, and one wall in the garage and on the roof (remember, I'm in AZ). If I do this, do I stick build the interior walls, or do they come in the SIP home package like that?

I will be pouring a concrete slab.

Is there anything else I should look into for cost savings?


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By Jim in Plumas Lake, CA on 11/22/2005


The panels come on one or two trucks, as long as the truck can get to the site, then that's all you need. I have heard that Insulspan is very good. I have got a lot of info from Precision Panel in Klamath Falls - they are a little closer to you. There is also a company in Colorado - I think it is Premier Bldg. that may be closer - they have their own crew too.

I may not be building with SIPs - as much I want to, because while the cost isn't that much more, my budget is so tight I don't have any choice. I'm waiting for a bid from a stick-build contractor, so I can compare and make the final decision. Another benefit of SIPs is the perfect straight walls, and the extra "quiet". I'm sure it is a superior way to build. Good luck.


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By Drue in Henderson, NV on 12/7/2005


Have a look at this website: kama-sip.com. My architect gave me their number and address (if you go to the section that says "Versatile" that house is one of his designs). I spoke to the owners and they are very friendly and knowledgeable, I am going to sit down with them next week. It is a different type of SIP, steel and EPS, but there is no bridging at all, you would still need OSB on the outside, but they also supply the inside walls unlike most SIP homes, and they can do any shape walls. Imagine every wall in your home soundproofed, insulated and grooves cut for all your electric and plumbing. They normally build in AZ, and as they say, you can put the walls to a 5,000 sq ft home up in one day. 


Drue

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By Michael in Satellite Beach, FL on 12/10/2005


Has anyone built with Sunlight Homes SIP's? Please provide info on your experience with them.

Thanks,

Mike


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