On a perfect late summer day we invited a bunch of friends to watch our first modular prefab house being set.
First off, some terminology: prefab is anything factory-built, so it could be trusses, walls, floors; but modular is when “chunks” of the building (or the whole thing if a tiny house) are built in the factory. We were interested in the efficiency and quality control of prefab, and with modular, we could get windows installed, rough electrical wiring, rough plumbing, air sealing (by using the Zip System for sheathing), cavity insulation, and drywall all done in the factory. In our case, we worked with Hi-Tech Housing of Bristol, IN since they are specifically a custom modular manufacturer, No stock plans here–you just take them whatever you’re interested in building, and they help figure out how to break it into chunks that can be transported on trucks. Once the modules are ready, a “set crew” and crane operator are hired to put it together in the field.
The general contractor, Dave Himelick, had built the foundation while the modules were being manufactured (one of the big time-savers of this method). The modules were delivered the night before, and the crane arrived early. By 9:30am, the first module was set, and by 1pm, the last big box was up, and they started working on the roof.
As you can see, interior and exterior finishes will be field-installed…we’ll post on that when it occurs!