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Prefab Methods Struggle to Compete With Traditional Techniques

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Prefab Methods Struggle to Compete With Traditional Techniques


October 8, 2020
Prefab stick framing being delivered to jobsite
Photo: Ingo Bartussek

While prefab methods may seem like a quick fix to many home building problems, the transition is not as easy as it sounds. One homeowner went off searching for a custom builder to construct his family’s dream home, but when presented with an array of different price quotes, he realized there was something off. While trying to find the answer, the homeowner realized there was no standard building approach—every builder he talked to had a different way of doing things. So this homeowner went on to open his own prefab company, and further realized why it was such a challenge to get more builders on board.

The duplex he had designed was a V-shaped combination of volumes, with an angular courtyard and atrium in the middle. Adapting the off-kilter plan to the grid-centric Bone system required some long conversations with Bone’s engineering team. It also required a fair amount of convincing in the city’s building department. “They’d never seen anything like it before, so it was like speaking a foreign language with those guys,” Lasater says. “That was a little challenging.”


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