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Spanish Fork company redefines public perception of pre-fab homes

(Mark Weaver/KSL-TV)

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PARK CITY — A Spanish Fork company is changing the way people build and buy houses, errecting seven-figure price tag homes that go up in just a few hours. These types of houses are known as prefab homes, but not the kind that people might typically think of.

“That’s one of our biggest challenges,” said Irontown Homes General Manager Kam Valgardson. “People think we’re building trailer houses. And you can’t charge a million dollars for a trailer house.”

Irontown Homes has been building houses since 1984, but in the mid 1990s, they started doing custom prefab designs. There are about 30 floor plans to choose from, and each can be changed and upgraded at the homebuyer’s request. The company is one of three in the western U.S. doing high-end, prefab homes. They’ve placed homes everywhere from Montana to Silicon Valley. Most of the homes that Irontown builds end up in California.

That's one of the big benefits. Building a custom home will take you 12-18 months, especially in the snow season in an area like Park City. Basically it's just a big fast-forward of the whole construction schedule.

–Irontown Homes General Manager Kam Valgardson

“We have homes that have ranged from a couple hundred thousand dollars all the way to $3 million or $4 million. We actually had one that went for $6 million the past year,” Valgardson said.

The construction begins in Irontown’s 58,000 square foot facility in Spanish Fork. It takes about 15-weeks to get the homes about 90 percent complete, both inside and out. The completed homes are a series of modules, all connected together once delivered to its permanent “home”.

“One module would contain a kitchen a living room and a dining room. Another will have two bedrooms and a bathroom. We then bring those up and set them,” Valgardson said.

On Wednesday, Irontown brought seven modules and placed them on a lot in Park City. It took a 275-ton crane to hoist the modules into place. The modules weigh as much as 43,000 pounds each. In a few hours, the 3,600-square-foot house was done. Valgardson said it’s a process that makes it much easier on the neighbors for sure.

“That’s one of the big benefits. Building a custom home will take you 12-18 months, especially in the snow season in an area like Park City. Basically it’s just a big fast-forward of the whole construction schedule.”

Irontown builds about a dozen of these custom homes a year. For now, business is good. The challenge, however, is changing the public image of what a “prefab” home is.

“(It has) all of the quality that you’ll find in a site-built custom home, but we’re able to build it in pieces in a factory, then bring it out, set it up in a day,” Valgardson said.


Keith McCord


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