stick, panelized or modular?

Old 02-03-03, 10:50 AM
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stick, panelized or modular?

I'm in the early stages of checking into the teardown/rebuild process on our lot. our current home (c 1947) is worth less than 1/3 of the land cost. It seems that modular or panelized would be cheaper to construct the new house. What are the major advantatges and disadvantages of the 3 types of construction?
Would our resale value be affected significantly if we chose modular?
anyone else been through this process?
what kind of costs per sf have you been seeing for 2-story houses in the northern VA area?
btw: I've seen model homes of the panelized type and they look fine to my unprofessional eye. I've never seen a modular home (that I know of).
Old 02-03-03, 11:45 AM
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Hi and welcome to our Forums,

SIP (Structural Insulated Panel) is a solid panel composed by rigid foam insulation between two pieces of structural board.
Regarding thermal / insulation / energy results or structural conditions, they are equal or better than the conventional system.

Last month I attended to a construction and design event. I was impressed with some new applications I learned.

About the prices: you will save money as you will make in one stage the three stages of the conventional system (framing, insulation and sheathing), but perhaps not all the contractors will know how to work with this system. SIP manufacturers use to offer assistance. You will need to be carefully choosing the contractor.

There are no esthetic differences between a SIP house and a conventional one.

As a general rule, with any system, to check the prices, you will need the floor plans first.
This means that contractors use to give their prices on the plans. And they are right: two houses with the same sq. ft may have different perimeters, and this means different works and materials.

Let me know if you need more help
Old 02-03-03, 11:58 AM
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interesting that you are from ONT. a few of the websites that I visited were Canadian manufacturers of modular houses. I know nothing about SIPs, apart from what you just told me. Is that what is used primarily in modular houses? is it common down here in the US? We have a very hot & humid climate in VA in summertime but it can also get frigid cold and damp in the winter. would SIPs hold up to those extremes?
how are those panels finished - with drywall on the inside and siding outside?
Old 02-03-03, 02:05 PM
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SIPs are custom made too. About insulation they are a great resource. Perhaps by this reason it is used here in Canada.

There are lots of firms about SIP. You can find resources, informations at:

This is a US firm.

Old 02-04-03, 06:46 AM
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anybody else out there have experience with panelized or modular residential construction? I want to find out as much as I can.
Old 02-07-03, 10:04 AM
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Hi. We have lived in all 3 types of homes. Our first 2 were traditional stick built. We lived in a modular that we rented while we were building. We built a mostly panelized home except the bathrooms are modular.
My personal experience was the worst was the completely modular. Part of that was the local builder was really cheap, but part of it was the poor quality of the modular units themselves. The windows and doors were leaky which is a big concern in Wisconsin. Also, I think people who buy modular are looking for a good price over quality, so you get the cheapest quality building materials. I learned a lot about what not to do when building by observing all of the cheap shortcuts the builder used. (For example, the kitchen light fixture was only rated for 60 watts. The plumbing was that strange, annoying plastic tubing. The toilet seats and lids were so thin you were afraid you were going to break them when you sat down. Etc.)
One of our stick homes was well built. One was a piece of junk. Depends on the builder.
As far as what we're in now (part modular), it is overall OK and was cheaper and quicker than stick built. The one thing I don't like (and you see this commonly in stick-built houses, too) is that rather than structural sheathing (such as plywood) there is only foam sheathing. This makes the house noisy and less structurally sound. Foam sheathing is very light and is an obvious choice if you are trucking whole walls down the road. But the diagonal metal bracing they use in place of structural sheathing seems inadequate. In fact I found an article on line by an engineer explaining that the diagonal metal bracing would not resist the wind as well and would result in more shifting of the walls (which is noisy and cracks the drywall). I doubt I would build this way again, though it was the best choice for us at the time (bigger and quicker for less money).
Hope this helps.
Old 03-29-05, 02:25 PM
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I've been in the home building business for 30 years and have just bought my first modular. There are good quality houses out there - this one is better than many site built houses I've seen. Materials are also as good or better than what I've been using, BUT you get what you pay for! There is a lot of junk out there still. Modular has been used mostly for cheap housing, but there is a trend to supply better quality houses as labor get harder to find. Look at the list of materials that each manufacturer uses; look at houses in progress; research, research.

If you buy on price you'll have problems with any of them- site built, panelized and modular. Pricewise they should be pretty close - mod may even be a little higher IF they are using the same material. Advantage - faster.

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