Many people who walk through the TR Homes display village have a basic understanding of how modular homes come to fruition but many don’t know what’s ACTUALLY involved behind the scenes. The process of constructing, transporting, delivering and building your new home on your property involves accurate and crucial planning to ensure it arrives safely, in more than one piece.
Our homes are constructed at our purpose-built, manufacturing facility in Maddington, opposed to a typical brick and tile home, which is built on-site. This controlled environment, with access to leading construction companies and loyal suppliers, guarantees we are able to construct your home faster than an on-site built home. In rural towns where trade supply is restricted in the market, we fill that void and present an alternative solution, reducing dependency on external suppliers and consequently build times.
The innovation and design of our homes is only limited by what can be delivered to site on a hydraulic trailer and truck. Modular homes are permanent once delivered to site and connected to utilities – and because of this we try to make your home look as if it was built in one piece.
All our homes and Independent Living Units (granny flats and studios) are typically constructed on one to four modules. Each concrete floor slab is referred to as a separate module. Using the Grange as an example, four concrete slabs are arranged in an ‘H’ pattern, creating a four module design (shown in red below). Where the modules join each other, is referred to as a ‘split’ (shown in green below).
The modules are set up in our yard in the same configuration that they will be positioned on your property. Once in place, we erect wall frames, trusses and roof cover, ensuring we keep each module separate from each other. Our plumbers and electricians then run all of the pipework up the walls and into the roof space, making allowances for connections across the splits once the house is delivered to site.
We continue construction, like any other house, by installing tiling, flooring, painting, cabinetry, window treatments and more. We pay extra attention to where the modules are joined together – doorways across the split, joins in the flooring and external cladding – to ensure they are concealed and consistent with an on-site build. When a TR home is complete, we prepare it for transport by securing any moveable items.
Our trusted partner in transport and logistics is Jonesway Transport, a family business that began as a towing company in WA in the early 1950s. After receiving the floor plans and approximate loading date from TR Homes, Jonesway assess the size of the modules and a route suitable for the trucks to travel through to the new home’s destination. Due to road widths, access points, trees and other obstacles, the route may not always be the most direct to the destination.
When the most suitable route is determined, Jonesway apply for permits through Western Power and Horizon Power, which evaluate the line heights on the roads of the requested route. If the load is too high (over 4.6 meters), they must seek an alternate route. If there isn’t one, the original route is taken with a Western Power or Horizon Power escort.
Once this has been completed, Jonesway send permits to Main Roads for approval to travel on the requested roads. They assess the load size and have a look at any bridges that the load may cross to see if they can travel over them at the weights requested. If not they must look at changing the route and then go back to Western Power and Horizon Power to make the appropriate changes. It’s not uncommon for Jonesway to liaise with those agencies three or more times to get a route that all parties accept.
On the day of transport, Jonesway arrive and begin the process of separating the home back into separate modules. Using a combination of tarps, claddings and flashings (weatherproofing material) the parts of the home that would otherwise be exposed, are weather proofed and protected, ensuring it will last the distance and season’s conditions without moving or being damaged during transport. Jonesway then set up their hydraulic jacks under the modules.
Working one module at a time, they slowly and evenly raise each module off the footings until they are able to carefully reverse their specialised trailers underneath. Once the module is in position, they will then use the hydraulic jacks to slowly lower the module onto their trailers, ready for the journey ahead.
With all the paperwork approved and the modules loaded onto the trucks, the home is ready to hit the road. As the drivers are only permitted to travel during daylight hours, the load may take days to get to its destination. When it finally arrives, Jonesway start the install of the home on the property, again using hydraulic jacks, which can take between two and eight hours, depending on the size of the house. Once finished, final checks of the flooring levels are carried out. Jonesway then handover the home to contractors to complete the complexing, connecting the house back together again. These contractors will finish installing a few minor items that effectively ‘hide’ the joins, blending them into the rest of the home.
When a home leaves the TR yard in Maddington, there’s always a buzz around the office. The entourage of two to four trucks heading to a rural destination always creates excitement along the way and when they arrive in town, especially the small towns.
So next time you see one of our homes on the road or get stopped by a Jonesway escort, hopefully you’ll have more of an understanding of the work that goes on behind the scenes … after all, we’re the first ones to say, our homes are so good, they stop traffic.