Panelized Homes?

15 Replies

Does anyone here have any experience with panelized framing systems? It seems that the benefits are great and would be an excellent choice for spec builds. They appear to be quick build times, have already been through multiple plan checks, and would be more precise than site built. Anyone thoughts? 

@Matt C.  I've never seen those before, though seems like a great concept. Here's a link to one I was just looking at. panelized homes Though, living in California, I wonder if they would even allow them? 

thanks for the quick response @Karen Margrave  ! I tried to mention you when I first created the post but couldn't figure it out.

You wouldn't think that california would allow something like these because of all their regulations but there is a company not too far from you that is building them - RSI Homes out of Newport Beach.

From what I understand they build them start to finish but there are other companies out there who provide framing and trusses jig built in a factory. I don't think it would be something you would use for a high end property but for a $500k spec house it seems worth looking into. I'm just trying to see if anyone has any experience with them.

the company I work for has built them before.  What would you like to know?

not sure we are talking the same - modular homes? panelized

They always kind of remind me of a mobile home - walls and stuff have to fit on a truck - so it makes them look kind of a bit off.  & normally when they join the panels it ends up not looking the best

I had a house that was built with pre-fab concrete basement panels, but not the upper walls. They fit together well, came already insulated, and were set up with channels for wiring to be run, metal studs for drywall, etc.  And they cost less than block or walls poured on site. 

I have a creative contractor who had an idea to use recycled door panels for building material.  These are 2' x 6' door cut outs made of steel or fiberglass with foam in between. I was planning to go to shop with an apartment over it and he talked me into trying out his new system.  

My contractor would go to door companies and pay two dollars for some panels and get other panels for free.  My total cost on panels was around $1500, and a bunch of his time rounding them up. He didn't charge me for that though, because he really wanted to try out the system

We framed with our studs about 30 inches apart then we attached the panels.  We did double thickness with the panels on the roof and on the ends, so that we had about 4 1/2 inches thickness.   We saved expense on building materials, but ended up spending more time overall.  Cutting the panels to size was kind of a pain.

Probably the best benefit was that I didn't have to buy insulation since the panels are insulation.  The structure is 2000 SF (air conditioned) and my high electric bills are just over $100. In Texas.  The structural integrity is also excellent, it's definitely a stronger building than conventional framed construction.

This is on my place in the country, so I didn't have to worry about permitting.  I've considered doing it on spec homes in Austin, but I haven't because I don't want to fight the battle with the city.  I will probably use these again in the future, but I'm not sure about what project yet. 

It's got a Hardi-board facade. First floor shop has 12' ceilings. Loft/apartment is 1200SF.  The recycled SIPs really do make for an energy efficient building. 


We build them and are an authorized distributor for the 3d TriDiPanel System. The ONLY SCIP panel system with an ICC Approval for use in ANY municipality without reservation…. especially and including  California….. done plenty over there.  Go look at the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce building as a recent big commercial build.

You'll come to find that the building departments everywhere absolutely LOVE this system because of the ease of use and incredible durability they have to offer along with a laundry list of benefits both structural and thermal that are SUPERIOR to any other type of framing system available. 

Don't believe me? See for yourself!   I was skeptical too and trust me when I say….. there is no bigger skeptic than yours truly….

Got questions? Just ask!         

How does it price out compared to conventional building, Angel?

In searching out panelized construction, I can see that as with most things, there is a wide variation of standards. 


Lots of variables when I'm posed with this question.  And before we even attempt to find answers….

First things first…. What do you want to build and are you looking to build now?

What do you want to build and where? 

I say this because it's like asking me how much a car costs?  Or… how much is a plane ticket?

See what I mean? 

[email protected] O'Foam

Angel, we talk all the time here about what construction costs, knowing there are many variables.  My range here in Texas over the past three years has been $55-$130PSF. 

This one was $125PSF.  2013 spec build

What do you think it would be with House of Foam system?  


Nice house! Congrats that you turned a great profit for your efforts!   If I were you.... I'd be down there putting the "pedal to the metal" and stamping out A LOT MORE of them!

Building houses with straight angles is easy with the TriDipanel and  much more cost effective than using lumber for framing... which btw.... once you understand the building process using Tridipanel.... you'll never go back.

But to answer your question about costs +-....?  Our system will hover somewhere around and between $75-$85 psf for materials for a basic residential structure like this one. If you decide to use gold plated faucets and stuff like that? Well then the sky is the limit.

This project , provided the foundation is ready, should only take us about 15 days to completely frame with little to no waste.

Hope that answers your question? We're currently looking for construction financing or JV partners for some duplexes we're building here in town.... Recommend anyone?

Angel G.

@Rusty Thompson  I'm mainly trying to figure out pros vs. cons. Also I have read a lot about them but can't seem to find prices. The only price I have seen is site prep which they estimate at $100-150k. This doesn't include cost of land. That seems like an awful lot of money. Why does your company build them anymore?

@Kirk R.  These are different from modular. It is essentially a stick built home that has the framing and trusses jig-built in a factory to close tolerances with minimal waste. They actually have some floor plans with 10' ceilings.

@Jon Klaus  that's forward thinking by your GC. I like it! There is actually a company out of Austin that has some nice looking Panelized floor plans. I can't remember the name though.

@Angel Gutierrez  I have heard of tridipanel. It is a very cool idea and would be perfect for areas that have hurricanes and tornados. I think it may be a bit cost prohibitive for a spec build in Southern California but I like the idea for perimeter walls and possibly even retaining walls if they can take the load.

@Matt C.  

We are currently spending ~ 6.50$sqft. for SIPs panels, worse case scenario. The problem with asking how much wall panels cost is that there are a couple kinds of wall panels. We were building wall panels for Japan a long time ago. The were essentially ikea style flat packed buildings. It was done with standard building methods. With the introduction of SIPs there isn't really much demand for it. There a few companies that specialize in them still.

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