House Construction Process for Transportable Homes

Posted by Transportable Homes on September 19, 2010 under Portable Homes, Transportable Homes | Read the First Comment

Actually, Use A Modular House Construction Process Regardless!


Because so many new home builders opt to have their homes built using modular homes construction methods instead of traditional house construction; I have outlined the 21 Step house construction process for transportable homes below (assuming you have a block of land already).


Step 1
As with all new home builders, you should visit a variety of modular homes display sites where you can walk through open homes and talk to the consultants about features and benefits of their housing options. At this stage you are just checking everybody out and going through a process of elimination.


Step 2
Choose the transportable homes building contractor who best fulfills your building needs and who’s homes reflect your personal style.

Make an appointment to discuss your ideas further with their consultants. At this meeting you will be asked details about your block of land, budget when building a house, ideal home size and layout, etc. Take as much information as you can to assist; like photos, plans, sketches, surveys, magazine clippings, etc.


Step 3
Based on the information you provided in Step 2, the transportable homes building contractor will take about a fortnight to draw a concept sketch combining all your ideas and preferences. This part of the planning process is enormously exciting to new home builders as their concepts come to fruition.


Step 4
Revisit the transportable homes building contractor to look over the concept sketch. Tweak, modify or totally change elements that do not make sense now that you see them all compiled together as your future home. Most second drafts are free of charge. Make sure you are 100% happy and satisfied with the final draft of your future home before moving to step 5.


Step 5
Make a financial commitment towards your future transportable home by making a deposit (usually deducted from the final contract payment) and signing a preliminary agreement.


Step 6
Your chosen transportable homes building contractor will need to see your block of land (or site; some people place modular transportable homes on top of existing building) to check access, land suitability for building a house, slope, orientation, position of the home and whether your chosen design makes the most of your land.


Step 7
Adjustments (if any) will be made and your concept drawings will be finalised. Geo-technical reports will be sorted out by your building contractor to determined how engineering and construction activities will impact on your site. One of the key features for new home builders building a house in a factory setting is the distinct lack of impact on flora and fauna. Feature surveys will also be investigated to locate services like fire hydrants, kerb heights, etc.


Step 8

Contract time. A safe option for new home builders is an HIA (Housing Industry Association) contract, as it is standard in the Australian building industry. To this contract you  can add specific inclusions, identify standard inclusions you don’t want and bring formalised attention to other stipulations unique to your projects success. Usually you have a deposit to be paid at this point which covers design costs.

Now you are at the stage in the planning process when your transportable home can be submitted to Council for approval and the planning process really begins. Note: If you feel comfortable, you can cut costs in the transportable homes planning process by submitting your project to Council yourself at this point. Usually it takes about three months for approvals on average (some take up to two years if the structure of the land is complex or unstable, you wait for zones to change, etc).


Step 9
If you have settled on a standardised plan and have minimal changes, the drawings process will be very quick; as it has been done several times before. However, if you have a totally unique and customised floor-plan, then it is now when very detailed drawings will be produced (over a two week period on average) by your transportable homes building contractor to help with the planing process and with building applications.


Step 10
It is now that you need to be seriously looking for finance if you have not started out with a pre-approved loan, you should begin searching for a good deal immediately. Some larger transportable homes building contractors have their own finance available if you are building a house through them. New home builders should be aware that although this may be an easier way to get finance, it may not be as competitive; so check out the fee structure and interest rates thoroughly.


Step 11
If you are required to have a planning permit to determine the use and/or development of your land, then either you or your building contractor can arrange this. Building permits are different in that they pertain only to the construction of a development only, not what the land can be used for (either you or your transportable homes building contractor can aquire it). Usually the manufacturer of your transportable home will have their own building surveyor to make the building a house process easier; if not, they will sub-contract the work out. The building permit takes approximately two weeks.


Step 12
Your transportable home project is locked into the manufacturing plant’s schedule to enable your home construction. At this stage in your home construction, your transportable homes building contractor may need to visit your block of land if they haven’t already done so (usually it is free for the first 100 k’s). Now, you will be required to pay for the site-visit/s, deposits for milestones or benchmarks that have been reached, and for site specific permits that your Council requires. Of course, if you arranged for your building contractor to do all the compliance side of things; then you will probably have to pay for that service at this stage, too.


Step 13
As each new benchmark or milestone is reached in the home construction process, you will be obligated to pay further financial installments. Normal house construction for a transportable home is three months. It is advisable to visit your transportable homes building contractor; to inspect the progress of your home construction and check it is living up to your expectations. Building a house using modular building methods is fast and may require a few visits (some people formalise a couple of visits in their contract to be extra safe; coinciding with their home construction)


Step 14
During your transportable home construction, the footings need to be done on site. Your transportable homes building contractor can do this in about two days (for a price) or you can do-it-yourself (DIY) to save yourself some hard earned money. There are several foundation options available.


Step 15
Organising of utilities (power, water, sewage, gas, etc), so when your transportable home has completely finished the house construction phase and been delivered on-site; you will be able to connect to these services. Most transportable homes building contractors can include all of this in your contractor if you want to pay extra, or you can do his yourself and save money.


Step 16
In the final stage of your house construction, visit your transportable homes building contractor’s manufacturing plant and walk through your new home. Are you 100% happy with it? If not, amendments will need to be made before it leaves the factory’s production line. Otherwise, if everything is fine; you can sign it off. Depending on whether or not you have purchased to lock-up or not, you may be required to make another payment; usually this is the largest single payment you will make during the house construction process.

Truck freighting transportable home moduleStep 17
Trucks arrive at your transportable homes building contractor’s manufacturing plant and load the individual modules onto flat-decks; the more modules, the more trucks and possibly pilot vehicles to alert traffic on the journey to your block of land.


Step 18
If you have paid for installation services to be performed by your transportable homes building contractor, then they will be on-site before the trucks arrive. If you live a long distance from your building contractor’s factory and you have enlisted local Tradesmen or have bravely chosen to do-it-yourself, then you (or they) must be on-site before the module/s start arriving.

Some trucks have hy-abs, or a crane may be required to lift the modules into place (to be organised by you or your building contractor; depending on how many services you want the professionals and experts to do).


Step 19
Once assembled, the modules need to be joined and finished by the crew of building tradesmen. This can take a day; or for a large project with many modules, the ‘finishing’ part of the house construction process can take up to a week (maybe two). If you included a driveway, landscaping and a swimming pool in your contract; then obviously your transportable homes building contractors are going to be on-site for longer (or local tradesmen, if you live a long distance from your building contractor’s manufacturing plant).


Step 20
Inspection time. Go through your brand-new transportable home meticulously with your transportable homes building contractor. Once you are happy; sign off and make another progress payment.

The building surveyor (yours or your building contractor’s) will then be given the compliance certificates from either your sub-contractors or your transportable homes building contractor’s sub-contractors. When this happens, a certificate of occupancy is issued and you are due to make your final progress payment (minus any preliminary deposits paid)


Step 21
Now, you have legal access rights to your new transportable home, be able to take possession and be given the keys to your new-smelling, state-of-the-art, instant and cost effective Transportable home.



Note: All transportable homes building contractors have different processes when building a house, fluctuating  factory schedules to balance and payment expectations for benchmarks and milestones once achieved. It is important that you know exactly how they operate, what they expect and when they expect it.


In Summary
I strongly recommend all new home builders consider modular building methods as they are the ultimate house construction process; they are quick, efficient, cost effective and have less impact on the environment in most cases.


Viewing Transportable Homes During Construction

Posted by Transportable Homes on September 1, 2010 under Modular Homes, Portable Homes, Relocatable Homes, Transportable Homes | Be the First to Comment

Inspecting Your Transportable Home


Make around three appointments (depends on the duration of your construction period) to see your transportable home being built at various stages.

Seeing your portable home being made in a systemised environment is a very unique experience. Some of the automated robotic factories that produce relocatable homes are colossal in size. The employee numbers far exceed the numbers of staff and labourers you would ordinarily see working on a traditionally built home on a block of land. These types of factories are very occupational health and safety conscious; earmuffs, hard hats and safety glasses are compulsory. You will be guided through the factory to your transportable homes location on the production-line in this extremely busy workplace with many restricted areas.

Depending on the level of automation, your portable home may remain stationary or slowly progress daily down the production-line as stages are completed. Regardless, your home will be amongst many other relocatable homes in various stages of construction. It is very impressive to see so many people working on your home at any one time. Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, inspectors, building supplier representatives, fellow home-owners and forklift drivers all busy working on the homes as needed. Once finishing their portion of the work; they move to the next portable home. This is one of the great benefits that is unique to premanufactured modular homes; the tradesmen are hired full-time in most cases and are readily available. Unlike traditional building methods where there are quite often long delays waiting for tradesmen to arrive; as they juggle many clients projects at the one time in an effort to make more money.

Typically, you could expect to see between one and six other transportable homes being built at the same time as yours, depending on the company. The completion of a relocatable home building is between 10 and 60 working days; with 3 months being the average delivery time.


Transportable Homes Appointments

Make sure you discuss your need to view and visit the modular homes progress during construction with your premanufactured homes building contractor. It probably wouldn’t hurt to make a formalised note in your contract indicating your visits coinciding with production benchmarks.

Visiting times must be at a time suitable for both parties. From a building contractors perspective, your visit is very important to them but you must understand they are extremely busy and working towards very tight deadlines in highly structured environments, usually . If you ‘drop in’, don’t be surprised if your request for a sneek-peek is denied. Remember, if they stopped for every home owner that ‘dropped in’, your house would no longer be built as economically possible and therefore would be more expensive.


Modular Homes Designs

Posted by Transportable Homes on August 27, 2010 under Modular Homes, Portable Homes, Relocatable Homes, Transportable Homes | Read the First Comment

Modular Homes Designs


TOP 100 Series (11 to 20)

This series of transportable homes designs focuses on the country homes style. Again, I believe the greater majority of traditionally built homes have the capacity to be built in a modular fashion, from  country retreat to  family homestead.


Country Modular Homes Designs

Small Country Retreat

As a retreat for out in the country, this modular home is made from low-maintenance materials, is a simplistic design and very cost effective. What I really like about this relocatable home is the minimal impact on the land. You would be surprised at how roomy a small structure like this can feel inside when decorated appropriately. At approximately 4.5 x 14 meters wide, this style of portable home could easily have 2 small bedrooms, with fully amenities and a decent sized living area with fold out sleeping arrangements for guests. The large windows leading out into the decked area brings the outside into the home so you can fully absorb the country atmosphere whilst relaxing.


Country Style Affordable Housing

This type of country style portable home is very reasonably priced. Notice how the front verandah and the side door add character to what would otherwise be a box shape. Obviously placed on a concrete slab, this type of building is ideal for people with disabilities, hip problems, or for the aged as the small entry steps can easily be transformed into ramps for easy access. Some 3 bedroom country homes following this style have a spare room removed and an interior car-shed built instead; turning this type of home into a unit for investors or granny flat for a family member.


Country Lifestyle for a Growing Family

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Transportable Homes Prices Per Module

Posted by Transportable Homes on August 2, 2010 under Modular Homes, Portable Homes, Relocatable Homes, Transportable Homes | 2 Comments to Read

How Much is My Modular Home Going to Cost?


A very good question asked by a lot of enthusiastic relocatable home-owners-to-be. To be brutally honest, there are many factors that will impact on the price of your modular home.

To understand what makes up the price of portable homes; I have put together a quick guide, which includes but is not limited to the following:

Standardised floor-plan designs and styles will generally be more value for your money.

2-storey modular homes are less expensive per square meter because the fixed costs remain the same for the greater area; like foundations, footings, slab, building site preparation and connection to electricity, water, gas and sewage. In saying this, the modules required to make the 2nd-storey increase the cost.


Each module of the portable home will increase the cost because of

Transportable Homes Designs

Posted by Transportable Homes on July 29, 2010 under Modular Homes, Portable Homes, Relocatable Homes, Transportable Homes | Be the First to Comment

Evolution of Transportable Homes Designs


There was a time, not long ago, when the only deterrent for purchasing relocatable homes was the lack of design options. Companies used to have a standardised group of floor-plans and designs so they could keep the costs down to make more affordable homes readily accessible. However, these designs were plain, featureless and frankly quite boring. But as consumers discovered the benefits of modular homes and the demand increased, so did the need for homes to have more character and fabulous living spaces.

Although large transportable homes are an emerging yet steadily growing market in Australia, mid-range affordable housing in the form of relocatable homes is increasing at a rapid rate. The portable homes phenomenon is driven by the fact they include all the mod-cons of traditionally built homes and the inability to detect the difference between the two build methods.


Today’s modular homes can have –

  • splendid kitchens with central islands
  • bars
  • saunas
  • spa-baths
  • skylights
  • fireplaces
  • split-levels
  • home theaters
  • grand staircases
  • twin walk-in-robes
  • entire walls of glass
  • twin bathroom vanities
  • granite and marble features
  • very wide concertina doors
  • central vacuum cleaning units
  • and much, much more …


If you are designing your own dream home and having it built using modular building methods, then your options are limited purely by your budget. If you are creating your own design, it would probably be a good idea to look for architects with experience in modular homes design.


For people looking at standardised floor-plans, your options are vast. From a small 7 square home, up to 20 squares; which is a good sized family home with generous bedrooms and spacious living areas. Some of the homes I have seen have left me struggling to find anything I would like to change as they seem to have everything included. It is all up to preference, budget and what makes you happy.


Top 100 Modular Homes Designs (1 to 10)

Posted by Transportable Homes on July 28, 2010 under Modular Homes, Portable Homes, Prefab, Relocatable Homes, Transportable Homes | Be the First to Comment

Modular Homes Designs


TOP 100 Series (1 to 10)

As a fan of transportable homes, I believe the greater majority of traditionally built homes have the capacity to be built in a modular fashion. This series of TOP 100 homes gives you an idea of what is possible and an overview of what already exists in the marketplace.


Modern Modular Homes

A great example of bringing the outdoors in. The glass dining area is suspended to give the feeling of eating outside.

Utilising stone and neutral colours, this home blends into the natural environment.

The suspended portions of this home create less impact on the fora and fauna.

Elevated access to this modern modular home gives a unique and relatively cost effective entrance.

This home is very quite plain in design and yet has the ‘wow factor’.


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New Generation Transportable Homes

Posted by Transportable Homes on July 27, 2010 under Modular Homes, Portable Homes, Relocatable Homes, Transportable Homes | Read the First Comment

21st Century Transportable Homes


Long gone are the days of relocatable homes being referred to as trailers and thought of as housing for the poor and unemployed section of the community. No, The trailer-park mentality has gone.

Introducing the new generation of transportable homes that make architects go all hyperactive and revved up like a purebred. The new breed of relocatable homes are exciting living spaces. Living spaces suitable for an independent teenager at the back of the lawn, granny living independently, or for the whole family in glorious modular mansion.

The growth of relocatable homes in Australia and overseas has forced the building industry to seek better building solutions. Demands for faster delivery times, and most excitingly, … modular homes with the WOW factor! Large and small, budget conscious or wreckless financial abandonment; they are a far cry from twenty years ago.



What’s all the Modular Homes fuss about?

What used to be a living space resembling a plain box, is now a sophisticated, bright and airy home. Some houses consisting of up to 8 modules for a luxurious modular home, where people would never know it had arrived on a truck in several pieces and was assembled like a giant puzzle.

With the fast pace of life comes the solution of modular homes; where foundations are poured at the same time the portable home is being constructed. Making for more efficient building processes. Even the banks are happier as transportable homes are more systemised; less likely to compromise bridging loan arrangements and deadlines, if approved. Also, home-owners are not having to store their furniture and live in an expensive rental property for months on end.

Weather isn’t a factor. It could be snowing or having a heat-wave; it makes no difference to modular homes. When relocatable homes are built undercover, the internal structure of the home is protected. How many times have you seen the frame of a new home standing out in the wind and rain for weeks waiting for the weather to be more favourable? This doesn’t happen with portable homes.

The great advantage to having transportable homes is when you are growing weary of your surroundings, you just load your home modules onto trucks and move to a better location. With computers, the internet and the ability to work online; people are becoming more and more transient. Even the older generation in Australia is increasingly mobile and choosing to live in smaller modular homes with large sheds attached to accommodate their motor-homes. Motor-homes are predicted to reach 4.1 million seniors exploring Australia within the next 10 years (according to KPMG and Sixty Minutes).

It seems everybody wants the stress and inconvenience of home building to become a faster and stress-free experience; leaving people free to enjoy their life.


Transportable Homes Internal Walls

Posted by Transportable Homes on July 25, 2010 under Granny Flats, Portable Homes, Relocatable Homes, Transportable Homes | 2 Comments to Read

Double Walled Insulation of Modular Homes


In general, relocatable homes have more building materials included in the construction. Built to withstand the riggers of multiple moves and demanding conditions.

Once the modules of a portable home are assembled, there is a ‘double wall effect’. Where the modules meet, as each module is a mini building in it’s own right, when sandwiched together, the internal walls are effectively doubled.


The benefits of doubled internal walls are –

  • extra insulation properties
  • sound proofing effect
  • additional structural strength


These insular properties are especially valuable if you live in a hot or cold climate, as the extra insulation helps to further regulate internal temperatures. Providing a more comfortable living space whilst reducing your heating and cooling costs. Or, if you live near an airport, highway or industrial area with high noise, the double walling makes your home a lot quieter inside. Great for night-shift workers who sleep during the day, or an elderly family member who is poorly and frail.

An exception to the rule would be granny flats, as they are usually one module and therefore do not have the doubled wall effect.




Land Access for Transportable Homes

Posted by Transportable Homes on July 24, 2010 under Modular Homes, Portable Homes, Relocatable Homes, Transportable Homes | Be the First to Comment

Can A Truck Deliver Your Portable Home Easily?


Many blocks of land are a challenge to access without causing potential damage to relocatable homes. It is important to discuss the accessibility to your block of land with your building contractor well in advance of signing contracts.

A portable home on a steep section of land can pose problems and even a road entrance for a level site can have its problems.


Some things to look out for include –

  • letterboxes
  • fences
  • deep storm-water drains
  • gates
  • overhanging and close trees
  • mud or soft land
  • power lines
  • water ways
  • trenches
  • utility paths (power, water, gas, etc)
  • french drains or other sewage lines, tiles or tanks
  • under ground tanks
  • swamp or soft soil
  • garden
  • other buildings
  • pergolas
  • narrow driveways
  • concrete/brick/stone walls


If your building contractor is unable to visit your block of land, consider providing video-footage of the site,  photographs, maps and an indication of soil type and drainage. The more information you provide your building contractor with, the better. Obviously a site visit would be preferable.

Solutions to problems may include –

  • temporarily removing letterboxes, gates and fences
  • pruning or rope-down tree branches
  • reinforcing deep storm-water drains and building a makeshift bridge
  • making a new alternative driveway entrance to the property, specifically designed for the delivery of modular homes.


How Long to Get a Transportable Home? [VIDEO]

Posted by Transportable Homes on July 23, 2010 under Modular Homes, Portable Homes, Relocatable Homes, Transportable Homes | Be the First to Comment

From Signing a Transportable Homes Contract to Having it Delivered.


Transportable Homes Video – Tracey explains the ordering process.



Once you have signed a contract to have a Transportable Home built by a pre-manufactured homes building contractor, it usually takes 3 months, (on average) to have it delivered to your block of land.

There are however, circumstances which can make the process of building modular homes much faster. For instance, if you were to select a relocatable home from a standardised floor-plan and not alter or modify it in any way. Also, depending upon the  manufactured homes factory scheduling, as they may be producing similar modular homes in a run. If this was the case and everything fell easily into place, you could get a transportable home in as little as two weeks!