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What is a System Built Home?

The term “system-built home” is a home built through some type of systemized construction process. Unlike “stick-built” homes that are constructed on-site one piece or “stick” at a time, these systems automate the home building process and can help to achieve higher levels of quality and efficiency.

To make this easier to understand, this process is a method of building in which prefabricated components are used to speed up the building process. Ultimately, this system does away with the traditional “stick by stick” method of a stick-built home and turns it into a “wall by wall” process.

Four Types of System Built Homes


A manufactured home is a single-family dwelling that consists of two or more sectional units. These homes are built on a large “trailer” and show up to the site as is. They are “wheeled” into place after which they are put on blocks or a permanent foundation. While they can be a very cost effective solution to housing, manufactured homes allow for very little customization and simply won’t appreciate in value over time the way a site built home will.

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A panelized structure is a system composed of pre-manufactured sections of walls, floors and roofs that are assembled at the building location. An example of a panelized home is one made of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). SIPs are a panelized system that are made from expanded polystyrene sandwiched between two sheets of oriented strand board (OSB). SIPs can be as large as 8ft x 24ft depending on the design of the home. 

The panels are pre-manufactured and arrive at your site numbered and ready to assemble on your foundation, with windows and doors pre-cut according to the design. 

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While wall panels are typically six and a half inches thick, the roof panels can be as thick as twelve and a half inches and provide amazing insulation values.

The panels allow builders to bypass some of the framing steps that are required to building a traditional stick-built home, by erecting the pre-manufactured panels in a wall-by-wall fashion. SIP panels are durable and help regulate the temperature, and reduce sound transmission into your home. 

Insulated Concrete Forms

Another style of a system built home that is known for its great strength, and superior insulation value, is ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms). ICFs are expanded polystyrene blocks that are stacked and filled with concrete and steel rebar. This creates an extremely strong, quiet and well insulated structure. One of the great benefits of an ICF home is its versatility.  Although it takes some specialized skill and knowledge, there are few design limitations.

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Log homes are a great option in the system built industry. Although they come with some design limitations, they offer a warm and inviting atmosphere. Along with their aesthetics, log homes offer great noise reduction and can produce heating and cooling benefits. 

Log homes qualify as a system built home because the logs for the shell are custom designed and produced in an offsite factory, the pre-cut logs then arrive onsite numbered and ready to “stack”.

timber frame buildings

Is a System Built Home Right For You?

Although there are a lot of decisions to be made when customizing your own home, it is a great and exciting experience. Keep in mind that there are construction systems that will work better for some house designs and building zones than others. 

Rest assured, though it takes time and patience, with endless possibilities you’ll find exactly what you have envisioned your dream home to be, and you’ll soon be ready to make your decisions (even the big ones) in no time!

Contact Us

At Trinity Building Systems we specialize in the custom design and pre-manufacturing of system built homes. Our mission is to simplify the building process from start to finish while making it 20-60% faster than a traditional stick-built home. 

Contact us to find more possibilities for your build!