prefabricated houses

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prefabricated houses

Postby geordie » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:46 am

as most people loking at building are probably aware already prefab houses : loved by some hated by others.Are making a comeback you can nip down to that famous swedish store (ikea)buy a couple of trendy armchairs a wardrobe a bed and order up a prefab house
Looking at houses of that desighn cheap quick robust they fit the bill on one count they are quick forget the other two
having said that during the war some time ago before i arrived a good deal of ordanance was deposited unfortunately on peoples houses this led to a necessity to knock up homes cheaply and quickly so prefab was the order of the day
Us brits being a nostalgic lot have preservation orders on some of the survivors who would have beleived it fifty odd years ago that the house they were knocking out in a couple of weeks for a few hundred quid would one day become listed buildings???
Stumbling around on the internet led me to a site that has stuck with the original concept of quick cheap robust in the form of prcast concrete
Improved out of necessaty it consists entirely of concrete cast internal wall down flat in the mould the internal wall is 100mm 4" with 6 mm mesh and conduits for services are cast into it
followed with a layer/slab of polystyrene
there are rebars atached to the mesh in the first slab protruding up through the concrete and polystyrene these then have a sheet of mesh atached to them to strengthen the outer wall of
concrete wich is left rough as a scratch coat for render given a suitible curing period the slab is then stood upright and if things have gone to plan the internal side should have the service
outlets in it but should be smooth as the proverbial babys bum ready for a coat of paint
reaapeat this process several times modifying the mould to suit for doors windows ect and pretty soon your home made lego kit can be bolted together
a raft foundation is suggested as the most suitibie and the walls are simply bolted to it extending upwards is not a problem and you have the option of normal block walls internally
or stud/timber/metal/plasterboard or again cast the internal walls floors again can be timber
or concrete if you choose(makes sense over there
the thing that impressed me is that the insulation is as heavy as you want 4" 6" 8" so you should be able to keep the place at a reasonable temperature and not end up cutting rice to pay the aircon bill the outside would be treated in the same manner as any block colum house so cladding render are order of the day the internal wall are the finished item as are the sevice conduits given a suspended plasterboard ceiling all cabling should be out the way
and you should end up with a virtual bomb shelter given decent roof over hangs to shade the place blinds on the windows it should stay quite cool
But the really good news is it should last a long time with minimum maintainance and concrete is probably one of the cheapest resources to buy

Any one wanting to look (google) clantek future building systems ireland not an add the company went bust 18 months ago but have got some nice detailed info on their website
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Re: prefabricated houses

Postby geordie » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:00 pm

I was hoping for a few comments as i am probably about to use this method in the uk with geothermal underfloor heating and solar hot water having spotted a cutaway of a solar hot water panel in a national chain (UK) i will post the desigh in the relevent section and give all a laugh knock one up in half an hour for £30 minus pump but sorry i will not publish the store although i would like to shake the hand of the guy who sold them on it :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: prefabricated houses

Postby geordie » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:10 am

not one comment i am actually doing a feasability study to see if i can get through uk planning with a couple of these basically should save a fortune on finishing trades if it works might try the same over there to stop heat getting in
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Re: prefabricated houses

Postby dozer » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:21 am

I watched a video on prefab homes built by Clayton Homes prefab home company. One amazing thing about prefabs is the amount of waste, or lack thereof, that you get out of a build. From one average size home they had all of the waste in one garbage can. after building here and seeing all the waste I thought it was pretty amazing. Don't know about the design but is seems like a pretty good idea environmentally.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/engineering/architecture/4299495
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Re: prefabricated houses

Postby geordie » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:34 pm

the company i tried to contact went bust
unfortunately prefabs by nature have a dirty name cheap nasty given that they will be vandal proof (almost) i think the clantec system would have been perfect for rentals and guarenteed to outlast me but give the other a good income indefinately
the bonus was the u values and the soundproofing added to that they are recyclable
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Re: prefabricated houses

Postby niranut » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:42 am

curious if others have had any experience with any of the pre-fab companies here in LOS.

After seeing their ads in the Thai Rat paper, I went to the website for Q-Saf (www.qsaf.biz); the site is only in Thai. They advertise 8,900/sqm for medium sized houses and 9,000/sqm for larger homes. Also throw in little extras (current promotion is a/c in every bedroom). I don't know how much wiggle room there is on the pricing and am not very familiar with the pros and cons of pre-fab houses. The "Fresh" line include the concrete columns and can be done in about 4 months, while the "Wind" line can be assembled in as little as 10 hours...

Also read somewhere that the Siam Cement Group was going to start producing pre-fab houses this year or next, but they had contracts with big developers for the time being. So not available to the general public.

Are there other pre-fab companies here?

Am interested to hear if others have any thoughts.
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Re: prefabricated houses

Postby geordie » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:57 am

the pictures look quite impresive but why still use concrete colums and on one of the houses it looked like the shell was precast and the internals conventional walls defeating the object a bit the priciple behind precast being (uk anyway) you prepare the footings services and the house turns up on a truck and bolts together minimizing the requirement for skilled labour depending on how far you want to go with the package it can turn up pre wired pre plummed
pre decorated but then you start tresspasing into the realms of ££££££££££ how mutch can i get for it rather than what is it worth with some manufacturers loosing touch with reality
in a lot of cases its cheaper to build conventional rather than prefab mainly because of greed the what can i get away with charging factor ????
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Re: prefabricated houses

Postby kknaj » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:27 am

I had a look at the qsaf website. Wasn't very impressed with the designs. Most of the rooms are too small by any standard. I see bedrooms only 2.5m wide. Hardly enough for a small bed for a small child. Its not difficult to build a 100 sq m + house for around 800,000+ baht so don't see worth it.

Also it's not too difficult to produce a high quality house for 7000 baht per square meter. A/Cs cost around 17,000 baht

In many cases I think its just a matter of doing the following:

1. Find the land you want to buy
2. Find the design that suits the land and your needs.
3. Find a builder that can produce the house you want.

To achieve the above you would need to do the following:

1. Search the area you are interested in. Look for land for sale or unoccupied land that may be for sale but not advertised.
2. Negotiate a price you are willing to pay.
3. Using the internet and other research material such as house design books, find a design that fits all your needs and has the style you are looking for.
4. Give that design and rough floor plan to an architect to transfer into real plans.
5. Give those plans to several builders that can show you their previous work. Chose a builder based on their quality and price. Recommend getting at least 3 quotes and seeing several of their previous work before deciding.

As a rough guide the above should get you a house better than any prefab construction.

Just my opinion :P
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Re: prefabricated houses

Postby geordie » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:21 am

all sound advice BUT
how many farrangs build for mum in law to get her out of a termite ridden shack
how many farrangs fall out of love quicker than they fell in
how many can AFFORD the kick in the gonads when wifey gets bored and says sling your hook

how nice would it be to pay a REASONABLE fixed price for a basic bungalow that bolts together and arives on site without the hassle of escalating costs builder lying at home drunk
roofer want more money because he's working at height(YES HE DID TRY IT WITH ME)no work because its raining

the thing is a lot of people enter into a relationship with doubts and mistrust based on rumor and hearsay and in a lot of cases look around for a nice plot a good builder prices that border on reality not inflated because you are a farrang

i started the thread some time ago because someone was staying with in laws (no nooky) at least thats what came across usually there is land in the family at least enough to chuck up one room and a toilet/shower not a big deal but a bit of privacy when needed
it can be as basic or as comfortable as you want to make it you can add to it later
at least then you have a base to put your head down and you do not have to rush into a land deal builders contract because you need somewhere to live

when you have settled you could take it with you as a guest room/workshop/garage so nothing wasted or you could donate it to the family and have somwhere to stay when you visit
and if it all goes bad you will have lost maybe less than it would cost to go on holiday for 3 weeks

try costing it out using precast for the walls corugated cement for the roof based on 18ftx12
with a wall across the back for shower toilet the walls would use less than six meters concrete
3 doors 2 windows make one side 18" higher than the other for roof slope

hmmm maybe i ought to start manufacturing
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Re: prefabricated houses

Postby fredlk » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:21 pm

The perfect pre-fabricated house at: http://www.adaptahaus.co.uk/progress.php.
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Re: prefabricated houses

Postby geordie » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:43 pm

it go,es back to what i was saying that the cost is probably more than a convetional build
prefabs were popular in the uk after the war they were popular because skills material money were short
there purpose was to provide homes for the squaddies being discharged
and replace houses that had been bombed or burnt

to work the desighn had to be simple = a box with a roof
materials were limited = concrete was available
concrete filled the third requirement = it was cheap

The desiner prefab above is very modern but has little in common with the original concept
and the shocking thing is the amount of time to build i dare not guess at the price but i regard steel framing as a temporary structure it was used in the original PREFAB house i grew up in with concrete slabs hung from it they were pulled down in droves because the steelwork box metal had rotted away making the houses unsafe and the shocking thing is it had rotted from the inside out (condensation) for 40 plus years one enterprising company bought about 300 houses all one village and refurbished them by propping them up and replacing all the outside walls no small feat but the refurbished houses are now quite desirable and not cheap

the best (my opinion) prefab i have seen was by a company called safeway home,s in america
to replace what was damaged in a hurricane they build on a production line 1 house every day
is completed put on a couple of huge trucks and shipped down to new orleans where they
put the two halves together on stilts(thai style) conect to services and move on they come finished in a decorated state ready to move into and have been built to withstand hurricanes
all panels are glued and nailed to prevnt or at least minimize damage

so on site you need a couple of labourers and a carpenter to errect framework for a couple of days
when the house arrives you will also need a plumber and an electrician to connect up i think the kitchen even had white goods installed already for use a true prefab in every sense
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Re: prefabricated houses

Postby niranut » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:04 am

kknaj-- your numbered list of how to approach things is most helpful :)

As for Q-Saf and pre-fab-- I took a more detailed look at the site today. And it seems that just the "Wind" line is actually pre-fab (goes up in a day). The other lines take about 4 months to finish and whatever can be done ahead of time is, but there is still much that is done on site. The overall pitch is that all of their homes/apts/buildings are structurally sound and guaranteed. They use some construction technique from Japan that is supposed to hold up in an earthquake or hurricane. While we don't have those natural concerns here, I suppose that kind of guarantee would make many feel better. They also do pools, furniture, landscaping, etc. Personally, if I wasn't going to try and do this on my own, something like Q-Saf or another "start to finish" company would certainly be near the top of my list.

At the very least, some of their floor plans have given me ideas...
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Re: prefabricated houses

Postby kknaj » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:04 pm

geordie wrote:all sound advice BUT
how many farrangs build for mum in law to get her out of a termite ridden shack
how many farrangs fall out of love quicker than they fell in
how many can AFFORD the kick in the gonads when wifey gets bored and says sling your hook

how nice would it be to pay a REASONABLE fixed price for a basic bungalow that bolts together and arives on site without the hassle of escalating costs builder lying at home drunk
roofer want more money because he's working at height(YES HE DID TRY IT WITH ME)no work because its raining



No Disagreement on that at all. For a temporary house or one for someone that wouldn't be able to tell the difference or care. Sure your idea of a fast prefab sounds great especially if it can be achieved for a low price and fast install.

Whereas my comments earlier were for niranut and more serious new home searchers looking for their future dream home or long term home on the best design they could possibly get.

I've seen a few relatively new houses built for family and the house just goes to the dumps in no time flat. Some people just cant take care of or appreciate a nice house and are incapable of learning to clean properly once a week :P So a prefab house for those situations would be great :D Pig's birthing. For those that act like pigs can live like pigs (not recommended for prefab advertising campaigns LOL )
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Re: prefabricated houses

Postby kknaj » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:40 pm

niranut wrote:kknaj-- your numbered list of how to approach things is most helpful :)

As for Q-Saf and pre-fab-- I took a more detailed look at the site today. And it seems that just the "Wind" line is actually pre-fab (goes up in a day). The other lines take about 4 months to finish and whatever can be done ahead of time is, but there is still much that is done on site. The overall pitch is that all of their homes/apts/buildings are structurally sound and guaranteed. They use some construction technique from Japan that is supposed to hold up in an earthquake or hurricane. While we don't have those natural concerns here, I suppose that kind of guarantee would make many feel better. They also do pools, furniture, landscaping, etc. Personally, if I wasn't going to try and do this on my own, something like Q-Saf or another "start to finish" company would certainly be near the top of my list.

At the very least, some of their floor plans have given me ideas...


Hey Niranut,

Glad to hear the list was of some help. Its what worked for me. You may be able to find other prefab houses that do suit your needs if you find the right plan and exterior design that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside when you see it.

I took a photo of the books I mentioned earlier to help you find them at the bookstore or newsagent. The first book in the picture is the one I found our house design and modified it from there. There are no exact measurements in the book but usually its not too hard to estimate. The double beds are about 2m long so the room widths are usually 3.5m or 4m. If you like you can PM me and I'll send you some of my own floor plan rough drafts that may give you some ideas. Also try to find designs that aren't overly complicated that would break your budget. I.e, overly complicated roofs or roofs too high. Roof steel will be one of the biggest costs in house building.

From my research and observation an ideal size for a bedroom is 3.5m x 3.5m minimum. If you want build-in wardrobes its better to have a 4m x 4m room or 3.5m x 4m bedroom. For the master bedroom you may want it even bigger depending on the furniture layout and if you want a separate walk in robe. 4m x 5m is a pretty spacious size for a master bedroom. Here are some other sizes I recommend for comfort levels:

Bathrooms - minimum 2m x2m - recommended 2m x 3m
Kitchen - minimum 3.5m long - recommended 4m long (can be 2.5m wide or more, less than that it would be hard to move around in)
Living room - minimum 4m wide x 5m long - recommend 4.5m+ wide
Bedrooms - minimum 3m wide x 4m long (not recommened) - recommend as above: 3.5m wide x 4m or bigger

This is for comfort and expansion reasons as well as resale value. I've walked into a few smaller houses with small bedrooms and wanted to walk out straight away.

Remember you will feel it when you find the house that suits your needs. There will be mostly YES YES YES in your mind very few or no NOs
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Thai House design books available at most bookstores.
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Re: prefabricated houses

Postby dozer » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:11 am

One cautionary note on starting from a book plan and modifying the room sizes is that the houses are mostly all designed around a column grid system with grids at about 4 meter intervals. If you increase the room size and the distance between columns much above 4.5m it may require some special design/structural engineering work (not required in the standard grid built house).
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