What is a prefab house - Trinity Building Systems explanation.

What is a Prefab Home? [Material Package vs. Turnkey Build] Prefab Material Package Vs. Modular Vs. Mobile Home


Chances are, if you’re in the market to build a new home, you’ve probably heard of prefab! 

Whether you’re looking into modular homes, mobile homes, or something a bit more customizable like a panelized or manufactured style home, the options are readily available.

Before jumping in and making the purchase decision, it’s important that you understand the differences between the types/styles of prefab and what is best for your desired structure. 

We’ll break down what “prefab” is and what it really means in the context of residential and commercial construction. Then, we will touch on the different styles of prefab and what it is that makes Trinity Building Systems material packages different from the others. Wrapping it up with a brief breakdown of turnkey pricing and the financing options available to our customers.

Let’s get started:

So, what is Prefab?

“Prefab” in the context of residential construction refers to the prefabrication of all building materials in an off-site facility. The materials are then sent to the location of the project to be assembled on-site in a streamlined manner. 

Traditional construction requires stick by stick assembly which can be a very time-consuming process. Raw materials arrive on the job site and have to be processed and cut to fit prior to assembly. Resulting in large amounts of job site waste, and increased labor expenses. 

Prefabricated material packages arrive on the job site with all materials cut to fit, tested, and structurally engineered to your local code requirements. With an experienced team, they can then be assembled at a rate of up to 80sf per hour.

What are the Different Types of Prefabricated Homes?

Considering that prefabrication (prefab) refers to the overarching process of construction, there are many different types or styles of prefab homes available.

It’s important that you choose the right style that fits the needs of yourself, your family, your budget, and the type of structure you desire. 

Residential and Commercial Material Packages (Panelized)

What we specialize in at Trinity Building Systems is the prefabrication of custom home material packages which are often referred to as “panelized homes”. 

A standard, prefabricated material package consists of ready to assemble framing components for any type of framing style; i.e. Timber Frame, Post and Beam, and even Log structures. On top of the framing, they include pre-fabricated Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) ready for window and siding installation. 

In order to finish off the structure, pre-cut and ready to install sub-floor framing systems, stair and loft framing, and all interior walls will be included.

What sets Trinity Building Systems prefabricated material packages apart from the crowd is really three things; (1) Use of high grade, kiln dried, free of heart center, Doug Fir timbers (rather than glulam beams), (2) Use of structural insulated paneling (SIPs) rather than stick framing,  in an effort to maximize energy efficiency and minimize carbon footprint, and (3) The ability to customize your project from the ground up with our in-house design team. 

Rather than being stuck with a set number of models or plans to choose from, our in house design team has the ability to take your wildest timber frame dreams and turn them into structurally engineered plans specific to your local jurisdiction. We like to think of our existing models as inspiration for future design.

Another unique aspect of Trinity Building Systems material package prefabrication is the quality of service we bring to the table. Rather than designing a structure, shipping you the materials and construction detailing, and saying “good luck”, you become part of our family and we help make sure the project moves seamlessly from dirt to doorknobs. Relying on our network of contractors and financing partners nationwide, to help keep your build under one roof. 

Modular Homes

Modular homes are homes that are prefabricated and partially assembled in an off-site facility before arriving on the job site. The house or structure is constructed as a number of individual modules that can be transferred to a job site and assembled in a very streamlined manner. 

With modular prefabrication, you can often times mix and match different modules to design a structure that fits your specific needs. 

Mobile Homes

Mobile and modular homes are oftentimes confused, but there is one major distinction that sets them apart. Mobile homes are prefabricated and assembled entirely off-site with all utilities, and can practically be set on a lot ready for occupation. Modular homes may arrive partially assembled and have plumbing/utilities installed, but still require a team for final assembly once delivered. 

Mobile homes are often much smaller in size and offer far fewer customization options when compared to prefabricated material package or modular style homes. Therefore, mobile homes are some of the most affordable prefabricated homes, but they do come with their limitations.

What types of material packages do Trinity Building Systems offer?

Trinity Building Systems specializes in the prefabrication of timber frame, post and beam, and hybrid timber frame/post and beam style structures.

Timber Frame Prefabricated Material Packages

Utilizing centuries-old mortise and tenon joinery, Trinity Building Systems Timber Frame structures are timeless and decorative. 

Constructed with Frameworkplus handcrafted Douglas Fir timbers, TBS timber framing maximizes the strength, and beauty of your structure.

During the design process, our specialists will model the timbers into your design and incorporate the truss style you choose.  

We also provide the option to blend post and beam style framing with mortise and tenon joinery.

Post and Beam Prefabricated Material Packages

Our post and beam alternative is there for those that want a little rustic flare mixed with touches of modern architecture.

At Trinity Building Systems, our post and beam structures are constructed with the highest quality, kiln-dried, Doug Fir, #1 grade, free of heart center timbers.  

The joinery components are primarily black powder-coated steel which are used to mount together the timber system designed for your home.

Hybrid Option Material Packages 

Our hybrid structures are modeled to ensure we’re able to help to maintain your budget goals.

Trinity Building Systems hybrid options are there for those who want to focus on timber or log accents throughout the primary gathering areas such as the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom. 

Utilizing the budget in these main areas allows you to get the most out of the locations where you plan to spend most of your time. 

Essentially, we are able to combine different types of framing; Timber Frame, Log and Timber, and Conventional Framing.

Prefab Material Package vs. Turnkey Build Pricing

“Well, if the material package costs “X” amount, how much will the turnkey build end up costing?”

This is a question we get all the time here at Trinity Building Systems, and it can be a very difficult question to answer considering all of the variables that come in to play.

There really is no “one size fits all” pricing for material packages because each and every package is custom finished and designed to your specific liking.

Depending on where you intend to build, the local code requirements, the cost of shipping, the cost of labor, and many other factors, the turnkey pricing is going to vary dramatically. On average, we have seen our material packages built for 3 to 5 times the cost of the material package price.

When you reach out to Trinity Building Systems for a quote on your project, we help walk you through the design of your ideal structure and then price out the materials and shipping costs required. Once we have a better idea of what the final material package will cost in your local area, we rely on our parent company “TLC Log Homes” to help price out the turnkey build. 

Without all of the necessary information, it can be very misleading to offer turnkey pricing online. Too many factors come in to play, and that is why we at Trinity Building Systems like to play it safe. Ensuring we have all of the information needed on your project to supply a quote that we truly believe encompasses all of the relevant costs for your turnkey build.

If you’d like one of our project managers to start constructing your quote today, please reach out and we will be in touch for more information.

Can I finance a Prefabricated Home?

Indeed you can!

Interest rates are low and there has never been a more appealing time to finance a prefabricated house or commercial structure. 

What’s different about financing a prefab structure versus a standard stick-framed home really comes down to the materials and the delivery of the materials to the job site. 

On a traditional build, the bank supplies the general contractor with the resources to purchase the materials necessary for the project. With prefab, it works a bit differently. 

The bank has to be willing to supply you the resources upfront in order to begin the pre-procurement process for the materials needed in the build. For this reason, many banks choose not to finance prefab homes or structures. 

When you choose to build with Trinity Building Systems, we connect you with our lending partner, New Century Bank. New Century Bank is able to provide financing for land, material packages, labor, and everything else needed for the turnkey build.

New Century Bank Logo - Trinity Building Systems Partner
©2020 New Century Bank

For more information on financing your prefab home or structure with Trinity Building Systems, check out “Financing a Prefabricated Home or Commercial Structure 2020”.

Thanks for tuning In!

Thank you for taking the time to read up on what prefab is and how it relates to residential and commercial construction! 

If you have any questions about the prefabricated material packages we offer at Trinity Building Systems, don’t hesitate to reach out via our contact page, or with a direct phone call. One of our project managers will be happy to help you!