The Turkel Design prefab process: step by step

Known as one of the “Grandfathers of Prefab,” Carl Koch described building a home as the most expensive, most complicated, and most emotional of all consumer purchases.

There’s a direct line from Carl Koch’s work to ours, but it’s this insight that has most informed our approach to what we do. From the very first days of our practice, we were determined to find ways to guide our clients through the expense, intricacies, and even the emotions of building a home.

To that end, we have developed a process to get you through all the steps from the analysis of your site to selecting the plumbing fixtures for your new home, that ensures a level of predictability commonly not associated with the building trade.

So, what does that mean for you? Clarity, peace of mind and confidence in your finished home. As one of our clients, you will have clear line of sight on every step of the process including what we will do, what decisions will fall to you, and how much it will all cost.   

We’ve broken the process into seven phases, some of which overlap with each other. Here’s a brief outline:

1 | Preparation

Once you’ve found a site you love, we’ll work with you to see what sort of house can be built there. We perform a detailed analysis of the site and the regulations affecting it. We meet with you online to review these and help you select a design to serve as a starting point—or start down the path of creating a custom home. We’ll also work up an eventline for your project and give you a preliminary cost estimate.

2 | Design

We begin the phase by applying all of the information that we have gathered about your site, the regulations surrounding it, and your wishes for your new home to our initial schematic proposal for your home. After you have had a chance to consider our first design iteration and have provided us with your thoughts, we prepare a revised and more developed design. We meet online to review this next version. This process continues until we have created a design that suits you, your site, and your budget.

3 | Pricing

As we progress through our process, the design of your home becomes increasingly better defined. With additional information (related to the design and specifications for your home), the accuracy of our pricing estimates increases. Once your home’s design is determined, we can give you a quote for the prefabricated structural shell, as well as the specification items that we provide. We can also help you engage with a local contractor, who will build the house’s foundation and install its interior and exterior finishes. With the builder’s estimate and our quote, you’ll have a firm sense of your home’s final cost.

4 | Permitting and Construction Documentation

As we further refine the design, we begin Construction Documentation, during which we produce a set of drawings detailed enough to submit to your local planning and building departments. We work with local officials, preparing the drawings necessary to get a permit to build. To increase efficiency, we draw from our vast library of standard details, which we incorporate with the bespoke details unique to your home.

5 | Site Preparation and Fabrication

Now your local contractor can begin preparing the site and building the foundation on which the prefab structural shell will be assembled. Simultaneously, with a detailed 3D digital model of your home in hand, we will begin fabricating the prefab components in one of our specialized facilities.

6 | Delivery and Assembly

With the foundation complete, the prefab package is delivered and assembled, after which your local contractor uses our detailed drawings to install the house’s mechanical and electrical systems, and all the exterior and interior surfaces.

7 | Cabinetry and Specifications

During these phases, we will have worked with you to specify your home’s interior floor and ceiling finishes, its exterior cladding, and its cabinetry—all of which we design and supply. Much as we did with the design of the house, we’ll work through a series of iterations, allowing you to visualize these crucial elements of your home.

Want to know more about Turkel Design’s approach to guiding each project?



Photography: Chase Daniel