Yes, the roof structure is included in panelized form, just like walls, floors, partitions, etc.
Roofing, such as shingles, EPDM rubberoid sheeting, standing seam enamel metal, or Ferrocement, is not included unless you specify.
Your am-cor Kit includes everything needed to assemble your building's structural shell. You only need to add sand, cement (in dry, usually bag form; not concrete), and labor.
We streamline construction of your building, by providing the following with your Kit:
- panelized steel frame design in coordination with project architect and/or engineer
- sealed steel frame structural drawings for building permit submission
- coordination with code authority to expedite approval
- illustrated am-cor Field Manual detailing shell assembly: diagrams keyed to panel marks, how to mix and apply amcorite ferrocement coat
- verified bill of lading
- complete prefab building shell: prefabricated panels and components for: walls, roofs, floors, interior partitions, rails, stairs, dormers, beams & columns
- amcorite Ferrocement additive increases workability, strength and flexibility of standard Portland cement
- structural fasteners
Yes! Prefabricated (panelized) interior partitions are included with every am-cor Kit, including:
- bearing partitions
- fire partitions
- sound attenuating partitions
- standard walls
- knee walls
- solid rails
- Bank wire transfer
- Major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX)
Electrical & plumbing need to be installed by a qualified professional. In most jurisdictions, you will be required to show proof of licensed installation in order to get your CO (Certificate of Occupancy), and be allowed to hook up to your local power grid or sewer. The am-cor Kit does make things easier in this regard, as your walls & partitions are prepunched for services; this means that the time spent by electricians & plumbers will be less, as these trades will not need to drill or chip at the walls to run their pipes, wires, etc.
A building shell is the basic structural enclosure of your building.
Your am-cor Kit provides the Ferrocement framing & sheathing for the structural shell of your house, including walls, partition frames, floors, roofs, trusses, balconies, and stairs, etc.
After assembling your Kit on site, you can finish it out to your specifications. We provide the flexibility for our clients to install whatever they want, from interior & exterior finishes, to different types of insulation and energy systems. DIY customers appreciate this flexibility, because you can build for much cheaper than with standard construction, with your customized choice of finishes.
Generally, if you are looking for someone to buy all the materials for your building & manage the subcontractors, you want to hire a builder or contractor.
We also work well with builders; if you put us in touch with yours, we'll be happy to answer any questions they have.
See Kit Contents and Getting Started for more.
Check out the Construction Sequence to get a feel for how simple it is to assemble an am-cor Kit.
These screws are included with your am-cor Kit.
- Project Planning
- Project Budget
- Building Permit Application Procedure
- Site Issues, including Solar Orientation etc.
- Your Kit Panel Placement Diagrams for each floor
- Construction Sequence
- Kit Assembly Instructions
- amcorite Application Instructions
- Service Installation Procedure
- Insulation Information
- Finishing: trim, cabinetry, accessories, finishes
- …and more!
The Moden Series & the Flex Series are the most efficient, and so least cost, of the standard structures offered by am-cor inc. The higher prices of the Solar Series are due to code, solar design, and structural requirements; for example, the Solar Cottage 3BR must be structured for supporting earth on all sides, the roof, if earth-sheltered, and the clerestory & arcade in front. In comparison, the Moden and Flex plans are much simpler, with lower ceiling heights, low slope roofs, and simpler structures, and are therefore less expensive.
am-cor Kits are pre-engineered and prefabricated to meet international building codes and material standards, specifically:
- IBC (International Building Code)
- IRC (International Residential Code)
Shipping in USA and Canada is usually not more than 1-5% of Kit cost. Shipping rates vary with fuel cost; we can put your order out to bid, to get the best rate for your Kit shipment.
In other words, if you're on the West Coast of the USA, it's still cheaper to have an am‑cor Kit shipped to you than to build with standard construction!
The Estimated Construction Price Range value, displayed for each Standard Kit, is an estimated cost (TCHC) for that am‑cor Kit.
Basically, it's an estimate of the hard costs to build that Kit, from the low end to the high end.
For example, the low end of the Price Range could be achieved by:
- DIY (Do-It-Yourself): doing all or part of the labor yourself aka "sweat equity"
- Constructing multiple units, thereby amortizing overheads & administration costs
- Building in a region with low labor & material rates (e.g.: a rural area)
- Including a very basic specification (inexpensive interiors, minimal insulation, etc.)
The high end of the Price Range could be reached by:
- Specifying luxury interiors (granite countertops, expensive plumbing & lighting fixtures, etc.)
- Superinsulating and using cutting-edge, energy-efficient equipment & appliances
- Hiring a contractor for complete, turn-key service in an expensive area
- standard 40' open flatbed
- semi (enclosed) van
- shipping container (enclosed)
- Check out Getting Started page; especially the Designs section.
- Forward plans and elevations of your proposed building for an am-cor Kit estimate.
- We'll send you an interactive Budget Estimator, to help estimate your Total Construction Hard Cost.
- Based on your designs, am-cor inc. will provide a Kit Pro Forma and a Kit Order Form.
- Select one of our Standard Kits
- Click the Kit's name under "Buy Now", on the right
- We'll send you an interactive Budget Estimator, to help estimate your Total Construction Hard Cost.
- Based on your choice of standard Kit, am-cor inc. will provide a Standard Kit Pro Forma and a Standard Kit Order Form.
- 10%-20% Design Deposit: sealed structural engineering drawings for permit submission, complete architectural set for standard Kits, locked-in raw material rates
- Approx. 40% each Material & Fabrication Deposits: illustrated Field Manual, prefab am-cor Ferrocement Kit (FOB Culpeper, VA, USA)
An am-cor Kit is your entire structural building shell, from top of footing to roof, including intermediate floor structure, walls, partitions, stairs, and railings. It comes in the form of a prefab, panelized galvanized steel frame sheathed with Carbon steel reinforcing, including amcorite Ferrocement additive to mix with Portland cement and sand. Once applied on site, this "structural stucco" creates the unibody Ferrocement shell of your building.
am-cor Kits also include:
- engineered structural drawings
- detailed & illustrated Field Manual: how to assemble, coat, and finish your am-cor Kit
- steel-to-steel fasteners
- grommets to place in holes when running pipes and wires through walls and ceilings
- on line and telephone customer construction support
- and more; see Kit Contents for details
Be sure to select equally low VOC, human and pet friendly insulations & interior finishes for your home.
Long answer: Estimating construction costs is an art. Costs for finishing a building can vary widely, depending on your region, local labor & material rates, the size and number of units, etc. Also, your choice of contractor/subcontractor, insulation, interiors, etc. can all affect construction costs. For example, a high-tech superinsulation program, or luxurious granite kitchen countertops, can bump a house out of the "affordable" price range.
For this reason, we prefer to talk about the term TCC (Total Construction Cost) when asked "How much will I pay total for my house, office, etc.?"
To see how much your am-cor Kit will cost, and for an explanation of TCHC, check out our Pricing section.
See our Pricing page for a detailed discussion of TCHC, why we use it, and how it relates to pricing your am-cor building.
- concrete finisher
The am-cor Field Manual comes customized for your Kit, and contains detailed step by step assembly instructions and diagrams, along with information about the general construction and project planning process. Owner-builders who need additional help can call our customer service for real time, up to date Kit assembly and construction advice.
am-cor Kits streamline the building process, eliminating the complication and confusion inherent in standard methods, replacing it with programmed construction and unibody building design. You get:
- simple details
- comprehensive instructions
- light weight panels for all building elements
- simple connections
- easy service installation
- and fast finishing.
In general, the am-cor System is less expensive than most other construction systems on today's market. It's possible your builder/construction friend does not fully understand the am-cor System. This is understandable, as an apples-to-apples pricing can be difficult in the construction industry!
When talking about the cost of using the am-cor System, we refer to the Total Construction Hard Cost (TCHC): The hard cost of constructing a finished building. It includes material & labor for construction and enclosure of the building shell: foundations, structure, finishes, services, insulation, basic trim, fixtures and cabinetry; but does not include costs indirectly associated with construction of the building, such as: siteworks, contractor overheads, utility hookups, taxes, permits, fees, etc.
A quick TCHC comparison of the am-cor System vs. :
- Stick built wood construction: avg. 5-15% savings
- SIPS (Structurally Insulated Panels): avg. 5-15% savings
- ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms): avg. 10-25% savings
- Reinforced concrete block/poured concrete: avg. 10-25% savings
- Metal building kits: avg. 0%-10% savings
- Our Pricing section
If you are DIYing your project, the answer is most likely No.
After placing and securing your am-cor wall panels, your next step is to apply a thin layer of amcorite Ferrocement. This rough coat of stucco is a structural coat:
- It creates the unibody Ferrocement stress skin shell, providing disaster-resistance.
- It doesn't have to look smooth, as a finish layer is usually applied (stucco, siding, panels, etc.)
- In fact, it's better if the base coat is a bit rough, as that provides "tooth" for the finish stucco coat.
- Anybody can do it! You'll get used to troweling it on in about an hour. All it takes is a little elbow grease!