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Posted by Melissa Lynn Galland on Jun 21, 2021 1:43:00 PM
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If you are considering building a new custom home, you probably have some questions about the construction process, especially if you have never done it before. There are several ways to build a home, and as modern technology continues to evolve, even more are emerging. But some are staying the same. 

“Stick-built” is the term used for homes that use the traditional building method of bringing materials to the site and assembling the home on the foundation. There are many advantages to stick-built homes compared to manufactured homes, which are assembled in factories. Most importantly, stick-built homes are designed with your land in mind. Taking the land quality and geography of the location into account determines how a home is built, and this can’t be accomplished with the mass production process of a factory-made home. Although factory-made homes can be less expensive, they tend to be of lesser value. 

Ultimately, stick-built homes are designed with the layout, structure, design, materials, and features that are specific to your customizations. In the following article, we go over common questions and answers related to stick-built homes. 

1. How does stick building work?

After the design has been finalized, the builder can start to order the necessary materials to build the home and have them delivered to the site. When site development is complete and the foundation is poured, framing can begin. A house frame is most often built using lumber—these are the “sticks” in the frame—and then the rest of the home is built around the frame of the walls and roof. If you have ever driven past a construction site and seen a wood frame, you have seen the stick-building process.

One of the more significant benefits of a stick-built home is the fact that it’s built on-site rather than in a factory. This makes the process much more flexible in case problems arise. Plus, due to the complexity of this process, the crew and carpenters tend to be more advanced compared to crews on modular homes, which are built in a factory. 


2. What are the other building methods?

In addition to the original method for building a new home on-site, you can also use off-site construction methods. Modular homes are built in a factory, and then the boxes are shipped to the site, put on the foundation using a crane, and finished by a builder. Panelized homes have sections of the walls that are assembled off-site, shipped flat, and put together at the site. Both of these off-site methods can also have varying levels of automation incorporated in the factory.

One of the major setbacks of a modular home is the difficulty of customization. This doesn’t just apply to the design process but also to the build process. The process is far more regimented, and changes to blueprints tend to be a hassle. If you want to move away from stock modular, prices are raised because the adjustment disrupts the flow of the factory line.

For narrower plots of land, the blueprints might not fit. Plus, material and machines tend to take up a lot of space, which isn’t suitable for smaller plots. 

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a process that’s customizable and flexible, a stick-built home tends to allow you to make adjustments more easily and less expensively. 


3. Is the building code different for stick-built homes?

The majority of building codes are written for stick-built homes, so they are the regulations most local builders are familiar with. In fact, other types of building methods sometimes have additional code restrictions, so stick building often requires less red tape and fewer permitting costs.

4. Is stick building more expensive?

The answer is that it depends. The cost of any new custom home depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • The design of the home
  • The cost of materials
  • The finishes and features you have selected
  • The cost of local labor
  • Volume discounts the builder is able to procure
  • The time it takes to build the home
  • The cost of the land 

Even the exact same design can have very different estimates from multiple builders. Adair homes have been designed with efficiency in mind, so material costs are optimized and there is little waste. We also have strong relationships with all of our suppliers so we can pass the savings on to our customers. Expert builders with decades of experience keep projects on schedule to minimize labor costs and stay on budget. Adair also lets you build immediate equity by participating in the homebuilding process.

It’s also important to understand the quality and longevity of a home because it is a long-term investment. Modular home constructions tend to be less expensive and have a faster build time, but this means sacrificing overall quality and facing land issues. Fast isn’t always the best.

While the initial price doesn’t suggest it, building a modular home often ends up being more expensive. The up-front price often doesn’t include items such as the basement, heating and cooling system, water heater, major appliances, and much more.

Finally, when it comes to financing a home, modular builders require payment in full before construction is complete, which some lenders are unwilling to finance.

5. What types of homes can be stick-built?

Any type of home of any size can be stick-built. Unlike other construction methods that have limitations on the size of boxes or panels that can be shipped, stick building provides total flexibility. Whether you want single-level living or a larger home, having your home built on-site is always possible.

For both single-level and larger homes, customizations can be made depending on the property and quality of land. Customizations can also be made to the final design of the home. For example, we can add a window to a room with a view of the mountains or expand the great room for extra hosting space. This isn’t always possible, and certainly not affordable, with the stringent methods building factory-made homes requires. 

6. How long does stick building take?

Construction time varies depending on the size of the home, the size of the crew, type of land, and any delays related to weather or other issues. Check out our post on how much time the homebuilding process takes to get a better understanding of all the steps involved.

With Adair Homes, the homebuilding timeline typically takes about nine months to a year from the selection of a plan to final move-in day. This takes into account permits, actual construction, and final walk-throughs. While modular and prefabricated homes might not take as long, it’s important that the professionals take as much time as needed to make sure your forever home stays a forever home.

How can Adair Homes help?

As you explore various construction methods, feel free to reach out to Adair Homes with your questions. From day one, we have emphasized quality, customizable homes and a flexible process for our clients. 

As soon as you’re ready, our Home Ownership Counselors are here to help you navigate the homebuilding process.