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All About: Panelized Houses

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Panelized houses use building component that are partially or fully pre-fabricated. This means that they arrive on site partially put together. From door frames and window frames to fully pre-manufactured walls, panelized houses can take many different shapes and sizes.


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Panelized houses and their technology date back to the 1600s when the first panel homes were made and shipped to the United States from England. Within the foreign environs of the colonial US, English patriarchs thought it easier, and perhaps more economical and timely, to simply ship homes over rather than build them from the ground up. While some solid timber homes were built during this time, modern wood frame construction in the US using dimensional milled lumber did not start until the 1830s.


The advantages of panelized homes realized in the 1600s remain today: long term cost savings and shorter construction time. Of course, much has changed in panelized home construction since that time as well. Materials as well as machine technology and capability have advanced dramatically. Whereas hand cut wood in the past made for uneven board edges and there for uneven joints and loose fit in the panel pieces, today’s panelized house systems are efficient and exact. The efficiency of wood usage is a lending factor to the overall cost savings in building a panelized home.


The post World War II landscape, with a burgeoning population but a shortage of resources, paved the way for the establishment of the wood panel house as an American standard. From its organizational origins with the Bemis family in the 1920s and 30s, panelized home organizations grew to number in the 100s in post war America. By the 1970s some of these organizations were producing 20-30 panelized homes per day.


The technology, efficiency, and choice among panelized house systems, companies, and builders have continued to grow into the 21st century. With these factors and cost on its side, there seems no reason for its dissolution.

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