Panelized construction

Frequently asked questions

National Gypsum’s 1-800-NATIONAL® Construction Services Team answers questions about panelized construction.

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What’s the difference between stick-built and panelized construction?

Stick-built construction is the traditional method of building structures, whether they are framed with lumber or light-gauge steel. Workers cut and assemble lumber or steel into a frame on the job site, whether for a home, a hotel or an office building. This type of construction requires space for staging building materials, and if bad weather rolls in, work stops.

Panelized construction takes the framing work off the job site and moves it to a climate-controlled factory where teams engineer and build wall, floor and ceiling assemblies that are delivered to the work site on a truck later in the building process and assembled.

What is the difference between panelized construction, modular building and manufactured housing?

Panelized Construction - Walls, floors and ceilings are designed and built in a factory and delivered to the work site, where they are assembled.

Prefabricated or Modular Construction - Entire rooms, such as hotel bathrooms, are designed and built in a factory and delivered by truck to the work site, where they are installed in the structure.

Manufactured Housing - The entire structure, including interior drywall finishing, electrical and plumbing, windows and doors, and exterior cladding, is assembled in a factory, placed on a truck and delivered to the homesite.

What are the benefits of panelized construction?

Panelized construction reduces weather delays, improves quality control and boosts productivity, which can result in labor savings.

Fewer Weather Delays - Because the panels are constructed in a factory, they can be fabricated ahead of time and stored for delivery until the day they’re needed on the work site.

Quality Control - Precision, machine-cut framing pieces, plus the comfort of a climate-controlled workspace, resulting in better quality control and tighter tolerances.

Labor Savings - Panelized structures can be installed faster than site-built structures.

Increased Productivity - With assembly-line-style work, panels can efficiently be fabricated.

What types of buildings can be built with panelized construction?

Wood-frame single-family homes, multifamily townhomes, apartments and condominiums can all be built using penalized systems. Light-gauge steel panels, which can be load-bearing and non-load bearing, can be used to build anything from homes to midrise buildings.