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Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

General

Our perspective is that the more you know about what we do and how we do it, the better your experience will be. As a result our website is designed to educate and allow you to understand our product and process in a meaningful way. We suggest you start by downloading our Design Catalogue and Product Guide. These documents are readily available through the links in the blue bars on any page. If you download one document you receive an email with a link to all of our other documents to peruse at your convenience. Also please read these FAQs and the other content on our site. Please feel free to get in touch at any time if you have questions.

Design

Every design goes through a series of stages, being (i) conceptual drawings, (ii) permit drawings; and (iii) production drawings. The functioning systems of our designs are broken into four parts, being structure, exterior, interior, and the environmental control system.
This is your building as a system, and includes your weather barrier, air barrier, vapour barrier, thermal barrier and your plumbing and mechanical system that all work together to create a comfortable and healthy living environment.
Yes. Built Prefab can build structures to meet any energy and/or construction standards such as R2000, LEED, Energy Star, Passive House, Built Green, Living Building Challenge, or others. Energy-efficient homes are more comfortable, healthier, and less expensive to maintain and live in. Meeting these standards requires consideration at the start of the design stage of your project, which really means let's talk about this as soon as possible if it's on your mind.
The answer is that it depends. Typically we recommend that if you want to build a complex custom prefab project you work with a third party architect on your project. We will provide our various building parameters to the architect and if they are able to work within those parameters, we should be able to build your project. If the modifications are more of the straightforward variety we can help you. Get in touch if you have questions about this.
You can call or email us at any time for consultation at no charge.

Production, Delivery and Sitework

Currently we ship to any location in BC and Alberta.
Our onsite construction division can serve as the site general contractor in British Columbia but we like to stay close to home. It is ultimately your decision whether to our site company or to hire a contractor of your choice. If you are out of our service area, we offer construction management services and will work with you to find a reputable contractor and consult with them throughout the building process.
If the shipping area is outside of a radius of 200 km radius from Kelowna we will need to work with a third party contractor to take care of your foundation, installation and other site work.
We build under the CSA A277 certification which is allowed for in the BC Building Code. Where you can build a conventional home you can build a Built Prefab Modular Home. Additionally, our units can be shipped to some difficult and remote locations if necessary. We also have the ability to build to the Z240 certification which will allow for the construction of a Built Prefab Modular Home in a location where you cannot build a traditional home.
Before the project begins, we thoroughly review the possible approaches for trucking modules to your project site and assess the on-site conditions. We also draw on the expertise of engineers, contractors, and designers, in addition to truck and crane operators to evaluate the land for critical issues and provide estimates for any work in which they would be involved. Basically, we know early on whether or not our solution is right for you.
The short answer is that we can, but the long answer is that we probably won't. Minor differences in the building codes and inspection processes of various local authorities have an impact on the building process. As a result, the little things that need to be done to build outside of Canada can have an impact on our core customers back here at home. Additionally, shipping can costs can be prohibitive. Get in touch with us anyway, we've got friends in almost every state that might be able to deliver what you are looking for.
Our intention is to do as much work on the modules as possible in the factory. This means they are shipped 80 to 95 percent complete – inside and out – reducing the amount of work to be completed on site. Typically, on–site construction involves connecting the modules with drywall, flooring, and siding. The final roof covering, interior stairs, exterior decks, and utility connections can also be installed then. Depending on the complexity of the project and the number of modules, the on–site timeline is approximately 2 weeks to 2–plus months.
Typical installations, include piles (either concrete or steel), crawlspaces or basements.
Our favourite is the crawl space as it is a cost effective solution that also provides access to the underside of the modules during installation and afterward.
There are certain applications where basements may be required or useful; however, the issue we find with basements is that they cannot be finished until the modules have been installed. Additionally, once it comes time to finish the basement you have to bring the work and materials to the location, which in some ways defeats the purpose of building a home in a factory. If you are in a remote location the addition of a basement can delay and complicate your build.
We recommend that any basements be finished by local trades after we have completed the modular portion of the build and we are gone.
Your home is generally delivered to the site within three to six months (depending on size) of your building permit acceptance. Finishing of the units once installed may take anywhere from one to six weeks depending on the complexity of your structure. Keep in mind that financing, securing local permits, and other external factors may affect timing.

Cost and Finance

There are some differences with financing a prefab modular home. Mainly, a traditional construction mortgage is not typically suited to the factory built process since the stages of build are much different than a home built on site. As a result you may need to look at alternative sources of financing for that portion of the process but you can rely on a traditional mortgage for the site portion. However, once the home is on site, financing is the same as any other house and you can have a traditional mortgage, subject to typical qualification rules.
We do not offer financing, but we do partner with mortgage brokers and can assist you in discussions with your lender when financing your purchase.
If you are comparing apples to apples, most of the time the financial cost is going to be quite similar to building the same home on site; however, the main advantages have to do with enhanced timelines, off site construction and enhanced quality. Additionally, through design and manufacturing repetition we can provide fixed prices for the modular portion of the build, whereas most site contractors cannot.
The easiest answer to this question is that “it depends”. We price specific information for every unit in our Design Catalog. If you are asking "how much per square foot?" that answer is very model dependent since smaller units have a higher cost per square foot than larger units, and there are a number of other factor that can affect cost. If you would like to receive pricing on a specific model, please contact us for more information.
A fairly simple rule of thumb is that shipping a prefab modular home usually runs between $8-12 per module per km depending on the size of the modules.
Crane rates are typically dependent on the location of the project, the location of the crane, the size of the crane and how long it takes to crane the home together. Crane size will be determined by site access and how close the crane can be to the foundation and to the truck carrying the modules. If there is a suitable crane near your location the costs may be as low as $2500, but if there isn't and the lot is complicated, crane costs may be as high as $15000 or more.
The cost of our prefab modules includes all finishes and components — cabinets, fixtures, siding, trims, windows and doors, electrical and plumbing components, and heating and mechanical systems. Appliances are included in our prices.

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