Home: Wall
Prefab Walls For Houses   (+5)  [vote for, against]
Saving Time For The Rank Amateur Handyman

Being now four weeks into a planned two-week office remodel, I am prompted to offer this concept - if only to give my fingers something to do besides homiciding the contractor. . .

Every office or room I have ever been in has had walls. All sorts of walls. Different sizes; some with windows; some not; ditto electical outlets, doors. . .you get the idea. Why then do we not have prefabricated walls?

I picture a system of prefab wall sections very much like the cubicle dividers in offices, except these would be built for load bearing. Walls are, fundamentally, a frame system with both vertical and lateral supports added. To these are attached the electrical lines, ventialtiuon, plumbing etc. Building them 'stick by stick' is time wasteful and costly.

Interior walls could come in hundreds of design varieties which would be specified before the older walls are removed. For a simple wall with maybe an ordinary door or electrical outlet, catalogs could have a ready-to-ship unit with your choice of covering. More complex designs would have to be custom made. Exterior walls could start with prefabs, but be added to with brick, sidinfg etc. as desired.

If nothing else, it might help a few contractors live longer.

Excuse me for now. . .the contactor is here and I must go find something blunt and heavy. . .
-- Moonguy, Jun 15 2008

Porta-walls Porta-walls
My take. [phoenix, Jun 16 2008]

http://www.standardprecastwalls.com/ Like this? [jutta, Jun 16 2008]

House in a box 2 http://www.houseinabox.com/
[4whom, Jun 16 2008]

(?) WallPanel Design http://www.wallpane...ign.com/index.shtml
Wall Panelization [talldave, Jun 21 2008]

Fish House Made of Garage Doors http://garagedoors....ss.com/tag/recycle/
House made of 5 garge doors. Double wide if you have family. [popbottle, Jun 08 2013]

Not sure I'd want to live in a house where a rank amateur handyman had been playing with the load bearing walls.
-- Wrongfellow, Jun 16 2008

How is this different from a temporary wall?
-- DianeRuth, Jun 16 2008

[DianeRuth] a 'temporary' wall, by definition, is one not intended to be kept for very long. A prefab wall is one that was manufactured somewhere else and installed to be permanent.

A lot of office cubicles are comprised of sections with many different shapes and functional attributes. That is where the prefabs similarity to cubicles or temporary walls ends. They are in every sense peramnent walls. . .
-- Moonguy, Jun 16 2008

[+]For houses, this is already baked in terms of the framing. And even in office buildings that have metal framing, sometimes the crews will build the skeleton structures in advanced while other parts of the project take precedence. But in terms of the wiring, plumbing, etc. that would not work in the real world. There are too many variables.
-- Jscotty, Jun 16 2008

Why is that better than sharp and heavy?
-- Voice, Jun 17 2008

I remember watching a video of a US military team set up a very nice insolated igloo with windows, door, and smokestack. It took them less than an hour. They inflated a rubber weather balloon half full of air and sprayed it with liquid foam insulation that hardened in minutes, even at artic temperatures. Using a hand saw to cut openings the prefab doors, windows, and smokestack were installed within minutes. They had lights on inside so I presume there must have added some degree of electrical too.
-- CwP, Jun 17 2008

How about hybrid walls? In college I worked as slave labor for the university I attended. Building the framing for pre-fab non-load bearing walls were standard practice except in very custom installs. This included double width walls used for sound insulation. The frame structures were almost always light metal and thus lightweight enough for the slaves to carry to the job site. It took an hour to drywall, an hour to plaster, and the rest of the day/night for paint to dry. One slave for 8 hours could easily put up an 8x10 foot wall in a shift. Insulation cut into our goof off time. Five slaves = 1 lab in one shift, door and insulation included, with time to study.
-- CwP, Jun 17 2008

Hmmmmm. . . I'll get back to you on that one. . .
-- Moonguy, Jun 18 2008

random, halfbakery