Modular construction has many names. Some of these include "panelized building," "modular office," or "in-plant office." Though there are many names, all describe the same basic product which is a form of non-permanent construction that utilizes panels bound by creatively designed posts that also support your typical ceiling. Advancement in post design also allows them to be double stacked. The descriptive – "non-permanent" is the differentiator when compared to conventional construction.
You normally don't "demo" panelized construction like you would conventional construction. You reconfigure, dismantle to move, add to, double deck, etc. It is also very quick and clean as compared to typical construction. No air guns shooting nails, sanding, or painting!
Additionally, accountants love panelized construction. Why? This type of construction is not permanent, so it is treated like equipment for depreciation. Since the product can be depreciated quicker than standard construction, it serves as a benefit for tax purposes.
This question is common and always gets a quick decisive answer: "As long as you don't physically damage the structure it will last as long as conventional construction." In fact, if a panel gets damaged, it can be replaced with a new one making repairs far easier and cleaner than typical studs and dry wall.
There is a misconception that a permit is not needed for panelized construction, but this is incorrect. You most certainly do need a permit! Nearly all projects involve fire sprinklers, electrical, and HVAC. These three sub-contractors often are called in to complete the modular build, not to mention egress considerations.
For many years while pulling permits for panelized buildings, McGee would simply self-title "specialty contractor." This, however, is becoming increasingly precarious to get away with. A recent visit to plead my case with a representative of planning and development of a local county ended with a challenge of describing why building with modular components exempts you from being a licensed contractor? I had no answer because there really isn't a good one.
The good news is that we found a solution! Over the last year, McGee Storage and Handling accomplished the title of "Licensed Commercial General Contractor." This allows McGee to be uniquely qualified to supply, project-manage, and pull permits for any project.
We're excited about this development within our company and are looking forward to all the ways we can serve our customers in the months and years to come. We're also thankful for our modular construction partnership with Panel Built as our collaboration helps us to better serve our clients.