Profile on Pieter Venema, President of Royal Homes - Royal Homes Profile on Pieter Venema, President of Royal Homes - Royal Homes
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Profile on Pieter Venema, President of Royal Homes

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What’s a day in the life look like for the president of Royal Homes? “A bit of everything,” says Pieter Venema.

One day, you’ll find him working with sales staff at one of the five Royal Homes design centres across Ontario. The next, he’s busy coordinating schedules and making sure deadlines are met. And occasionally — despite his best efforts — he’ll get caught up in a meeting or two.

Whether he’s working in the field or back home in Wingham, ON, Pieter Venema is always on his feet. He always makes a point of being available to support his employees and help resolve day-to-day problems. This hands-on approach has helped shape Royal Homes into an industry leader in custom prefab homes.

Pieter’s experience in the prefabricated building business goes back even before his time with Royal Homes. After studying business at McMaster University, he spent ten years in the prefabricated steel building industry, working in finance and sales. Opportunity struck in 1989, when the son of the founder of Royal Homes was looking for a partner with Pieter’s expertise.

Shortly after he came on board, Pieter saw the need for a change in the prefabricated home industry. The Canadian housing market took a blow from the economic recession of the early 1990s, and many builders in Ontario were having a hard time selling homes.

In response, Pieter looked to what he saw as a constraint in the prefabricated home building business.

“The industry in Canada at that point was pretty well all modeled on the U.S. model: try and get the lowest cost with the longest production run and the most similar type of product,” he explains. “We many times told clients we couldn’t provide them what we wanted to, couldn’t provide the customization, because the factory had its limitations.”

Pieter set out to change that. “I looked at it and said, rather than being constrained by the factory, we are going to open up all of our software development and our entire operating structure to accommodate custom home building.”

Royal Homes would still build with prefabricated components, but in multiple configurations and with on-site work where required. This marked a bold shift from a production-focussed business to one that put the client first — something no other prefabricated home builder was doing in Canada. “We were definitely a market leader,” says Pieter.

Today, at least 75 to 80 per cent of a Royal Homes house is factory-built. But when the job calls for components that cannot be built in the factory, such as a high-pitched roof with multiple peaks and valleys, Royal Homes builds it on-site.

“We’re a client-oriented custom home builder first. We love building prefab, we’re good at it, and whenever it makes sense to do so, we build prefab.”

Royal Homes still produces the most customized prefabricated homes available in Canada. The company is built on this client-first philosophy from the ground up, starting with production through to marketing and client care.

“Our biggest marketing strength that keeps coming back over and over is referrals. Word of mouth,” Pieter says. “We do what we say we’re going to do. We do it at a fair price. We value the services we provide.”

Pieter’s commitment to fairness and honesty is reflected in the business’s ranks as well. He always makes time to communicate with his employees, and the company culture is a point of pride for him.
“One of the biggest satisfactions I have within the company is when I see people come in and be able to grow,” he explains. “We have so many people who started on the shop floor and are in various positions right up to senior management.”

As a result, Royal Homes benefits from low employee turnover and has long-serving employees who know the business inside and out. “It’s great for the company and our clients benefit from all that experience,” says Pieter.

 

The passion and attention to detail that the Royal Homes team has is incredible. Their pre-fab homes and cottages and have never been anything short of stunning and top quality. I would recommend this company in an instant, without a shadow of a doubt.Jessica
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  • FAQ

    Where can I get a price list or How come your website doesn’t show pricing?

    Prices vary geographically, depending on where you are building. With the amount of options available, price lists run into thousands of options. Prices change with the options you choose. The best way to get an idea on pricing would be to contact our Design Centre nearest to where you are building.

    What is your average square foot selling price?

    Prices for a complete home, including foundation vary from $200 sq-ft to over $300 because our homes are all custom built, we can design a home to fit your budget.

    Why should I buy from you over a conventional or "Stick-Builder"?

    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.

    Do your homes include a foundation?

    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.

    Do you build garages?

    Yes. Garages are built on site after the home is delivered.

    Are the homes energy efficient?

    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.

    Where can I put a prefab home?

    Anywhere in Ontario you like.

    Can I really customize my prefab home?

    Yes, we use state of the art custom design software, today no two homes are built alike.

    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.