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Building a new private home can be a complicated process before construction even begins. Property has to be purchased, the site surveyed, the designs drawn, and the plans given an engineer’s stamp of approval. Once building begins, things get even more complicated. The owner has to find an experienced general contractor. Who in turn, on average, has to coordinate up to 30 different trustworthy carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers, and other tradesmen to build the home.
Each tradesman’s work then proceeds in a linear fashion. The walls cannot be framed until there is a foundation to build on, and the roof can’t go into place until the wall framing is done, etc. If one tradesman’s work is delayed the following tradesmen can’t begin their work. The linear construction process is the source of many new home construction delays, as the work of an individual subcontractor can be delayed by weather and permitting. Subcontractor availability is also a factor as they often work at multiple job sites and delays at one site can affect their availability to work at others.
The resulting delays can add weeks or even months to the construction schedule. When this happens, half-built homes may end up exposed to the elements for an extended time, which can compromise the integrity of the build. When work finally resumes, or a new contractor is found, the first order of business may be undoing the damage done by the weather while construction was halted. New home construction delays can be heartbreaking in the way they postpone dreams and ruin budgets. Fortunately, modern prefab construction techniques offer ways to avoid many of these new home construction delays completely.
TYPICAL CONSTRUCTION DELAYS—AND YOUR OPTIONS
Every step of traditional building can be subject to unexpected challenges. In any building project, there is significant overlap among the desires of the owner, the expectations of the city, county, or HOA, the needs of the builder, and overarching environmental concerns. Given these potentially competing interests, the resulting delays can stretch on for a surprisingly long time. Some typical sources of construction delay include.
Site Surveys: Inadequate surveying of the construction site can cause environmental and legal delays during construction. Improperly assessing site drainage, for example, may mean that construction is delayed by localized flooding or may even cause localized flooding around the site. Miscalculating property demarcation lines may prompt legal hassles that can delay construction.
Permitting: Once the site and home plans are drawn up they need to be reviewed by the local municipal or county planning department to ensure they comply with existing building codes and ordinances. If they do not, they will need to be changed and resubmitted—and the review process starts over.
Contractor: Unless you have years of experience as a builder, you will need to find a general contractor to coordinate the various subcontractors and tradesmen needed to build your home as well as order and schedule material deliveries. Currently, there is more demand for licensed, insured, and bonded contractors than there are contractors to fulfill that demand— finding a qualified contractor in your area can be difficult. Following wildfires, earthquakes, or other natural disasters, the cost for contractor services can increase dramatically due to demand and their availability is limited.
Subcontractors/Tradesmen: The general contractor has to find subcontractors such as carpenters, electricians, plumbers, drywall installers, and HVAC technicians to build and fully finish a home. These subcontractors may or may not work for the general contractor on a semi-permanent basis. If they are independent, they may work multiple projects, and their work on your new home may be subject to interruption due to scheduling conflicts.
Inspections: At several points during the building process, the local city or county government will want to review completed work to ensure that it complies with approved plans. Work that doesn’t pass muster will need to be redone. Avoiding new home construction delays means work that passes inspection the first time. Scheduling inspections in regions affected by natural disasters where a disproportionate amount of construction is occurring can also delay timelines.
However, with a modern prefab home, as soon as the production of your home’s modules begins at an indoor factory, site preparation, including the home’s foundation, also begins. The simultaneous production of the home while the site preparation and foundation work is underway saves time, and helps to prevent new home construction delays.
DVELE HOMES ARE MOVE-IN READY FASTER THAN TRADITIONAL HOMES
Prefab is short for prefabricated, which means they are built in a factory away from the construction site. Prefab homes—like the ones that California-based Dvele offers— are comprised of smaller modules that are transported and swiftly assembled into a completed home at the site. Building modules in a factory enables a greater degree of quality control throughout the whole building process, along with several other advantages.
Simultaneous Home & Foundation Production. The biggest time-saving advantage with a prefab home is that the home is being produced indoors by full-time employees so we avoid labor and weather delays. At the same time, the home’s foundation is being laid at the build site, so when the home is done, the house can be transported to the site and installed in less than 24 hours.
Higher Quality: Since our prefab modules are built in a controlled environment, every detail can be thoroughly planned, material cut and fitted, and assembly can be carried out with precision, less waste, and protected from environmental elements like rain or snow. This results in less waste and the quality of the build is able to be significantly higher than traditional home construction.
Structural Strength: Each module of a Dvele home has to be engineered to stand up to the rigors of transportation by truck and then being fitted into place with the use of a crane. This unique requirement demands a much higher level of structural strength than a traditional home, which ultimately adds to the long-term durability of our homes compared to traditional homes. In fact, all Dvele homes are engineered to remain livable, not just standing, after a significant seismic event.
Fast-Track Inspection: Another unique aspect of our home production process is that the majority of the home’s inspections take place where the home is produced at our indoor facility. And since we have so many homes in various stages of production at this location, the frequency of inspector visitation is higher, so our homes tend to be inspected and approved faster. Once the home is shipped to the site, it is mostly complete and all that is left to be done, inspection-wise, is for local authorities to approve the connections between the modules, the module connections to the foundation, as well as the water, electrical, sewer and other tie ins.
With this level of control over the details, our construction process is less vulnerable to new home construction delays.
PREVENTING NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION DELAYS WITH PREFAB HOMES
Many people dream of having a new home built specifically for their family on a carefully selected property. Avoiding construction delays that drag on and exhaust carefully-built budgets should be one of the biggest priorities for anyone looking to build their own high-end home. Unfortunately, due to weather variability and labor availability, there is no completely foolproof way to prevent delays with traditional home construction.
However, investing in a high-quality prefab home can help prevent new construction delays by having tradesmen in all fields work in the same facility to complete a home exactly to your planned specifications. Together, the direct communication among craftsmen and their years of experience building the modules of prefab homes help avoid the common pitfalls that cause the longest delays. At the construction site, precisely-built construction modules are simply connected together by qualified field crews, another way prefab homes help prevent construction delays common to new home building. A prefab home can go from final contract to move-in date in as little as seven months if you choose an experienced prefab home company.