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By: Alan Gabriel

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Wednesday, 27-Jun-2012 09:50 Email | Share | | Bookmark
What Exactly is a Panelized Wall System?

Panelized homes are homes that have been constructed from pre-assembled modules or sections of walls that are created offsite, and then transported to the building site. They are often compared to stick built homes which are houses that are created entirely or mostly onsite; instead of being created in a factory, stick-built homes are constructed on the site which they are intended to occupy.

Panelized wall systems have a lot of advantages over conventional framing. One of the major benefits of using a panelized wall system is that it decreases the number of people working on the actual job site. One testimonial that I read said that the builder was able to decrease his crew size from 16 men on site to just 8 men on site.

This decrease in employee headcount can lead to lower overhead costs, lower employee-related liabilities, and lower costs for workmens' compensation insurance. Another factor is that not only does it take fewer employees to construct the house, they can do it faster. This increased speed when using panelized wall systems also decreases the homebuilders' cost.

The building shell of a panelized house provides most of the load-carrying strength of the house, and this means that the flexibility of the interior design is greatly increased. The structure itself doesn't constrain the design flexibility in the way that stick-built or site-built structures do. If you want a house that has few interior walls, you can do this with panelized wall systems. If you try building a stick-built or site-built house without interior walls, you may end up with the roof not being properly supported.

Panelized systems are also less wasteful than stick-built framing, as the walls and trusses can be prepared in mass quantities inside the factory. They produce a stronger wall than a conventional (stick-built) framing of equal thickness, and they are much more energy-efficient than conventional framing is.

The major disadvantage when using panelized wall systems is that some builders and contractors are not familiar with the techniques used for shell erection or finishing of the structure. Generally, shell erection can be handled by a competent carpentry crew or contractor with little or no education in panelized systems. If there are issues with shell erection or finishing the structure, some panelized wall systems providers will recommend a qualified builder or contractor that has worked with their product in the past.


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