The Q Cabin Kits

Earth-friendly, pre-fabricated, cabin kits

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Author: geoff monical

Why Prefabrication Is The Future Of The Construction Industry

Ultimately, prefabrication is already here and been around for decades., but there is little doubt that prefabrication is the future of construction and the construction industry.

Just now are we realizing the incredible benefits of prefabrication.

Improvements in technology and sophisticated tooling along with rising wages are driving the industry to prefabricate as much as possible.

First, let’s make some distinctions.

When the industry talks about “pre-manufactured” housing, that is different than prefabricated.

Pre-manufactured housing is completely built in the factory. Maybe it is delivered in 2 halves, but it is complete with finishes.

This style of unit is restricted by the sizes that can be driven down the road and under bridges and delivered to easy access lots only.

This means a pretty restricted product.

Examples include the classic double-wide trailer, the container house, and a myriad of other units no wider than 8′ and no taller than 12′.

Meanwhile, Prefabrication is a way of prepping materials so that they can be easily assembled once delivered.

Q Cabin Steel wall cavity

The components fall under the same road rules for delivery but the end product can be as large as a skyscraper.

In fact, today’s skyscrapers are frequently built using prefabrication techniques.

With the help of technology, CAD details can flow directly from Architects and Engineers desks to the factory floor where CNC machines can directly fabricate components to fit seamlessly with adjacent components.

The Q Cabin Kits may not be that sophisticated yet, but the concepts are all still there.

We prefabricate components in our shop for easy, precise, installation in the field.

This makes our homes capable of unlimited size and incredible creative freedom while being cost effective to erect and finish.

Let’s use the installation of a second story window in a prefabricated Q Cabin Kit versus a conventionally framed home as the example of why.

First, I want to tell you the answer.  The answer is money.Prefabricated window installation

So, in the conventionally framed home the first order of business would be to fetch the window.

It is likely down at street level somewhere and so you take a laborer with you and you identify the window and shag it up flights of stairs and into the room where it belongs.

Break time.

After catching your breath you attempt to thread the window diagonally through it’s framed opening, holding it 20′ above the ground and pulling it back into the opening without dropping it to the dirt below.


Next you must lean out the window and look back at the wall to find the fastening locations.

Easy at the sill location but not the ones on the top of the window.

Maybe just skip those.

Maybe though, you have spent thousand of dollars and you have a scaffold system set up on the outside.

Now you climb out the window scuffing the sill with your hammer as you exit onto the scaffold.

You have your assistant hand you all the tools and materials needed to attach and flash the window.

You stretch to take accurate measurements for the flashing but you cut the piece and it is too short.

Oh well, no on will see it from that height anyway.

Total time invested 1.5 man hours.  Time to go back for another one.

A prefabricated Q Cabin Kit is quite the different experience.

Two workers grab the window from the adjacent stockpile, lay it in the hole at waist level, fasten the window using their weight instead of their shoulder, and finally place the flashing around the easily reachable window from a comfortable table top level.

Total time invested 2 men 10 minutes or .33 man hours.

That is over 75% more efficient than the field installed window.

There are no mistakes from the fear of heights, there are no twisted back muscles, there are no hassles.

It is easy to install a window perfect every time.

The example of the second story window is just one activity in a long list of activities that are streamlined in the Q Cabin Kit factory that improve the overall project duration of your home.

That is why a 1,400 sqft Q Cabin Kit, fully roofed with the exterior dried in, takes 1 week versus the conventional stick built version at 4 weeks.

Time is money and money is saved with a Q Cabin Kit.

That is why prefabrication is the future of construction.

Faster, better, cheaper – A Q Cabin Kit offers all 3.

Are you ready to get started? It’s simple.

Send me an email HERE or give me, Vern, a call today at (415) 533-7094.

A finished Q Cabin


Now Is The Time To Start The Q Cabin Kit Process

If you plan to relax in your Q Cabin this summer then now is time to start the Q Cabin Kit process.

And here are the steps to getting that done and what you can expect along the way.

The first step is designing your cabin.

Together we customize a floor plan and model choice.

I use 3D modelling so that we can explore every facet of your Q Cabin.  Inside, outside, every imaginable angle.

We have progress meetings online using screen sharing sites.

Typical duration 2 weeks.

Q Cabin 3D design

Q cabin 3D modelling

3D modelling Q Cabins

Next, comes the architectural drawings and the engineered drawings.

We provide a full set of documents ready for construction.  Our foundations are designed for your local conditions and per your local code.

Typical duration 4 weeks.

Architectural Drawing Q Cabin

Q cabin architectural drawings

Q cabin drawings

The next step is fabrication.

Your project is sent to the factory with a full set of shop drawings ready for fabrication.  The entire exterior is prefabricated and panelized.

16 gauge HD studs are covered with our specialty insulated sheathing.

The best American made windows are installed and flashed and the entire exterior surface is covered with premium ice and water shield.

Trade ready steel joists are pre cut, spiral staircases and ceiling components are configured.

All this prefabrication means your project will erect and be dried in within days not weeks.

In and out of the factory in 4 weeks.

Q Cabin wall drawing

Q cabin fabrication

Q Cabin Steel wall cavity

Q Cabins steel walls

The final step is construction.

Now, while it is not possible to predict the length of your build at this time, I can say that a Q Cabin Kit can be built 5-6 weeks faster than a conventionally wood framed home of similar size.

Anticipate a 3-6 month duration.

Q cabin construction process 1

Q Cabin Construction 2

Q Cabin construction process 3

Q Cabin construction process 4

Q Cabin construction process 5

Q cabin construction process 6

Completed q cabin construction

What does this all mean?

If you started today, February 1st, you could be celebrating with the family on the porch of your Q Cabin by the 4th of July.

And if you are not looking at this on February 1st, you’ve got a more clear idea of the time frame for getting into your very own Q Cabin.

Plus, this gives you an idea of how you can rebuild quickly and affordably with a Q Cabin if you’ve suffered property loss due to fire or natural disaster.

Are you ready to get started? It’s simple.

Send us an email HERE or give me, Vern, a call today at (415) 533-7094.

Design Horizons

A Q Cabin Kit or a Wood Framed House?

Q Cabin Kits are an all steel structure that are eco-friendly, fire resistant and structurally superior to wood frame homes. The prefabricated steel framing offers many advantages over traditional wood framing.

How so?

Let’s start by comparing the material list and length of construction time to achieve a dried in shell for a 1,400 sqft conventionally framed home versus the 1,400 sqft Mountaineer Q Cabin Kit.

The 1400 sqft conventionally framed home has over 2,000 individual components that all must be cut to length (then cut to the right length), positioned, and fastened.

Each one of these 6000 tasks takes expensive field labor to achieve.

The average conventionally framed home takes 4-6 weeks of labor billing for a 4 man crew.  The tool list required to achieve this is almost as long as the material list.  Framing subcontractors come loaded for bear with trailers of tools.  Each tool needing to be taken out and put away every day.

A factory setting like the Q Cabin Kits are built in is over 75% more time efficient than field construction.  Prefabrication is the way of the future for all construction.

A 1,400 sqft prefabricated Mountaineer Q Cabin Kit has exactly 130 field components and can be installed in 7 days by a 4 man crew.

A Q Cabin Kit including the canvas ceiling option and the spiral staircase option can save over 1000 hours of expensive and slow field labor.

Q Cabin Kits are field inspected by local building officials the same as their wood counterpart.

Next let’s compare the environmental features of the conventional wood framed home vs the all steel construction of the Q Cabin Kits.

The average conventional wood framed home consumes 15,000 board ft of lumber or 30 average sized trees. The Q Cabin Kits do use some wood, about 500 board ft or 1 average sized tree.

Our all steel construction including roof, walls, and floor are composed of over 50% recycled steel.

Q Cabin Kits are a more sustainable way to build and will outlast their wood counterpoints by decades.

Metal wall cavities do not harbor molds and are not susceptible to pests like termites.

Once mold has established itself in a wood wall cavity it will never go away, and keep in mind molds are the number one cause of unhealthy interior environments.

The cost of routine pest control adds up and structural termite damage can be catastrophic.

Finally, let’s compare the quality of field wood framing versus prefabricated steel framing.

I think it is quite obvious that today’s lumber is substandard.  It comes to the jobsite wet and ready to twist.  The cull rate on a bunk of stud material is 20%.  Most lumber yards will replace that 20% but what a waste of material and time.

If you laid a steel stud and a wood stud in a field you would see in about a week that the wood stud is unusable and that after 20 years the metal stud would still be straight and strong.

It is nothing for a wood framed building to have a 1/2″ difference in the center plain of 2 studs right next to each other.

This results in terrible finishes that cause problems for the lifetime of the house.

When a problem arises with a wood framed wall like cracked sheetrock or stuck windows and doors it is always blamed on shrinking lumber that is drying out as the house ages its first year.

That same wet wood is making mold inside the wall cavity that worsens for the entire life of the house.

The Q Cabin Kit walls are perfectly straight and true and remain that way forever.

As you can see, there are all sorts of really good reasons to choose prefabricated steel framing when it comes time to build your next home.

You can see all of the benefits of choosing an option like Q Cabins Kits on the home page.

Want to make it super easy to get started? Or maybe you have more detailed questions?

Send us an email HERE of give me, Vern, a call today at (415) 533-7094.

Q Cabins Steel walls

Rebuild Quickly and Affordably With Q Cabins

Last time you heard from me we talked about the fire resistant features of the Q Cabins, and why that is so important.

Today I want to get a little more local.

Were you impacted by the 2017 fires? Do you have family or friends that were impacted by the fires?

It doesn’t even need to be the recent fires. Landslides? Fires from a few years back?

I’m asking because the Q Cabin Kits are likely your best option to get back into a home and rebuild quickly and affordably.

A completed Q Cabin home is under $275/sqft and can be completed faster than traditional stick built homes.

Design Horizons is here to handle your permit coordination and provide construction estimates to get your project moving.

We are a licensed California contractor (Design Horizons CA #812762) and we have crews available to start your foundation immediately.

A Q Cabin will give you the peace of mind that you will never suffer a total loss again from fire. Q Cabin homes are non-combustible.

If you know of anyone who has the need or the want to build or rebuild quickly, they need to see this and learn more about our great product.

Please forward this on to them.

To learn more about all of the great benefits of Q Cabins and how you can rest easy with your investment, visit out the Home page HERE or go ahead and give me – Vern – a call now at (415) 533-7094 and I’ll be happy to answer any and all questions you might have.

If you prefer, you can also send me an email HERE.

And this is not JUST for those who have suffered loss.

Q Cabins are perfect for anyone who has some land and wants to quickly and efficiently build a home that is environmentally friendly and will last a lifetime. Or longer.


Fire Resistance And The Q Cabin Kits

Fire resistance and the Q Cabin Kits go together.

As so many of us have learned during this devastating 2017 fire season, things can change in a blink of an eye. Your home, all your possessions just gone in an instant.

Hopefully this hasn’t happened to you or your loved ones this year, but for those of us in California and the mountain west, it really has become a way of life – every single year.

One thing you can do to protect your real estate investment is build a fire resistant structure, whether that is your primary home or a cabin in the woods.

That’s why a Q Cabin is the perfect solution.

For the last 4 years in a row we have been approved in 4 different California “Wildfire Urban Interface Zones”.

All without requiring any changes to our standard kits.

Our cabins are built using heavy duty 2 x 6 steel studs, 2 x 12 steel floor joists and 18 gauge steel Quonset material with a 50 year warranty.

We have lost enough trees in California and our cabins do not consume more.

Q Cabins are the economical, eco-friendly and fire resistant solution for your home or cabin needs.

Put simply, your investment in a Q Cabin will survive a wildfire better than any stick built home.

Q Cabins are a kit home that are designed to be erected quickly and efficiently on your land, so if you have lost to a fire this season, you can be back in your home or cabin faster than traditional building methods.

If you know of anyone who has lost their home to fire in the past, they need to see this post and learn more about our great product.

Please forward this to them.

To learn more about all of the great benefits of Q Cabins and how you can rest easy with your investment, send us an email HERE or go ahead and give me – Vern – a call now at (415) 533-7094 and I’ll be happy to answer any and all questions you might have.