The new home building process offers many options and innovations that were not widely available in previous decades. Choices in building materials and methods include:
• Traditional framing
• Modular homes
• Structural insulated panels
• Insulated concrete panels
• Lightweight insulated concrete panels
• Insulated concrete forms
• Shotcrete over foam insulation and wire mesh
Innovations in the New Home Building Process: Traditional Framing
The concept of framing is very similar to creating a skeleton of wood for the home. Studs joists and rafters serve as a skeletal framework for the home. The structure is then covered with plywood sheathing. Then roofing and siding are applied to the exterior. Insulation is added between the studs, and finally drywall covers the studs on the interior. Thus, the walls have five layers or components: studs, insulation, sheathing, siding, and dry wall.
Most modular homes are built exactly like traditional stick built homes, except that they are completed in a factory, and then delivered to the lot in sections. Everything is complete when shipped, down to the carpet and wallpaper. These pieces are placed on the foundation with a crane, and then attached to each other.
Whether insulated panels are made of concrete, wood or other material the process is very similar. Panels are pre-constructed in a factory. Each panel is shaped to fit the plan. Space is left for windows, and the eves are built into the panels that will go on the ends, so that the top shows the roof angle. Meanwhile a slab foundation is poured, with rebar inserted for connecting with the panels.
Panels are placed on trucks and brought to the site. A crane assists from above, as workers wall sections into place. Panels are made to snap together easily, so that the home is quickly assembled. First the wall panels are set in place, and snapped together, then the roof panels are hoisted with the crane, and gently lowered to workers who grasp the sections and set them into place.
Forms are basically molds for concrete. They already contain the insulation but are very light weight, compared to panels. ICFs can be placed without the need of a crane. Once ICFs are in place, concrete is poured in from the top. The results are very similar to those achieved with ICPs.
Some panels are sold without the concrete applied. These panels are just foam insulation panels covered with wire mesh, and outfitted with fasteners. This considerably facilitates shipping and makes installation easier. The panels are fastened together in place, so that it appears a whole house is built of foam. Then a light liquid concrete is sprayed over the foam and wire to duplicate the same result as the panels and forms.
This process is a bit like a giant Lincoln log set. Each piece is pre-cut, to fit with other logs. The logs simply stack, one on top of the other, until the wall is complete. It is a very simple process, but the work can be quite heavy.
These new choices give a great deal of versatility to the housing market. American home building has never been so diverse or innovative in the past. Those seeking a new home should research these new materials, thoroughly to discover which type of construction they prefer. For more information download our free e-book and read other articles on this site. Please take advantage of all our free information about the new home building process.