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Couple’s dream home started with an online search

Just one look is all it took for Don and Susan Brown to know exactly what they wanted their new home to look like. A combination of family experience and online research led the Browns to contact Royal Homes to get the job done. After retiring from a long-term position in Ontario, Don took a short-term consulting contract to work overseas. They had a property to move back to when the contract was over, but not the home they wanted on it. So they began looking at pictures of homes online to get inspired. They eventually found images of their dream home. “I fell in love with it,” says Susan, who then showed Don. “And Don fell in love with it. Because it was perfect, with southern windows, a walkout, and the open concept we wanted.”

Susan’s parents had previously purchased a home from Royal Homes and had a good experience. So, the couple connected with a representative, and the process began. Working with a Royal Homes sales and design consultant while they were still overseas, the Browns emailed the picture. “He said, ‘it’s not like anything we have, but we can do it,’” recalls Don. Within a week of returning to Canada, the design and planning process really started moving. Speed was important – Don and Susan were living on a trailer on their property without running water or electricity while the process was underway. “But it was worth it to get this,” says Susan, and smiles as she looks around their home.

Prefab Fabulous

Don and Susan’s initial thoughts about a prefabricated home were that it would be built in a factory, come in a few pieces, and be erected in a couple of days. The reality is a bit more complicated, particularly with a custom design. The home is, indeed, built in the Royal Homes facility, shipped to the site, and then erected. But it does take a bit more than a couple of days of onsite work to achieve the level of detail Royal Homes achieves. Don says the process further cemented the company’s reputation in his mind. “I did project management for a lot of years. There are four pillars of project management: safety, quality, cost, and time. They nailed it in every regard.” Work was done quickly but safely; the quality is incredible; the agreed upon price didn’t change; and they hit their deadline. “They promised Susan she would be out of the trailer by December 20th and they did it.” Living in their trailer throughout the build, Don and Susan got a closeup view of the team’s work ethic.
“We were here through the whole thing, so we saw everything being done,” Susan says, adding that they also toured the factory to see their home being built.

Solid planning

Although the final design was true to their vision, Don says the Royal Homes team made some suggestions for modifications along the way. Don and Susan are delighted with the results, especially with a cozy office space that gets lots of use. “They said, ‘you’re going to want a bigger master bedroom,’” says Don. “’Make an office and two bedrooms upstairs.’ But the basic footprint and look of the house were exactly what we wanted.” One of the most impressive details is the way both the design and construction manage to conceal the “marriage walls” – the walls where two modules join. “When people come in here and we tell them it’s a modular home, they always ask, where are the marriage walls?” says Don. Some are concealed in closets and dividing walls, while others are hidden in plain site as architectural details. A little more challenging was the cathedral ceiling the Browns wanted in their main room, but Royal Homes made it happen. Don says the designers adjusted the plan from a 4/4 pitch (a low slope) to a 4/8 pitch (steeper), which gave them the cathedral ceiling without sacrificing other elements of the design. Similarly, the couple’s preferred location for a woodstove would have meant an awkward-looking chimney installation. The Royal Homes team had a better idea, explored the options with Don and Susan, and came up with a solution that fit their goals for the way the home would look and function. Don says he was also impressed by the attention to detail, whether it was a piece of fascia out of place that the untrained eye wouldn’t notice, or an area of flooring needing a touch-up. “They went through this house with a fine-tooth comb before they put their stamp on it.” It all started with a picture on the Internet. Now the Browns are living in their dream home and Royal Homes made it happen.

Published November 2021




We love our house and wouldn't change a thing if we had to do it all over again.Cynthia
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    The advantages of prefab include building in a climate controlled environment, using environmentally friendly products which reduces waste and a CSA monitored quality controlled program. There is less time start to finish, with less disruption to neighborhood. We also sell at a firm price.

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    Yes our homes include full foundation and basement.

    How long does it take to build a Royal Home?

    It takes less than two weeks to build a home in our factory, but the process from start to finish is very dependent on the timing of obtaining a building permit. For most of our clients the process from start to delivery is twelve to sixteen weeks with move in eight to twelve weeks thereafter.

    What size homes do you build?

    As a custom builder we can build any size home but generally the average size range is between 1300 and 3500 sq feet.

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    Building a prefab home in a factory assures the highest attention to sealing the building envelope and ensures that the cold stays out.

    Since your homes are so energy efficient and air tight, how do you get fresh air?

    All our homes have HRV heat recovery ventilator air exchanger to remove stale air, and introduce fresh air.

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    Do you finish the basement?

    Yes. We can customize your basement to the finishes you desire.

    Are Royal Homes built to code?

    All Royal Homes are individually designed to meet all provincial and municipal building codes for your specific lot location.

    Do you build stick-built or conventional homes as well?

    We are a custom home builder first and use prefabricated components wherever we can, because it is a better way to build. If you have a remote site or custom home design with large open spaces we would look at what makes most sense for that design and location. This could include prebuilt panels or partially site built specific rooms.

    What makes the building process environmentally friendly?

    Waste in the factory is separated and recycled, reducing the impact on landfills. This has less disruption in terms of noise and time at job site. Building prefab allows for higher energy efficient homes and reduced heating costs.

    How is your home delivered?

    Our home is delivered by way of custom designed hydraulic flatbed trailers and precisely craned onto the foundation.

    Can you make changes or custom design?

    Yes, clients are given preliminary plans to review and changes are welcome and easily accommodated.