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Low-hanging cables and troublesome tree branches can create modular migraines when delivering custom prefab homes and cottages almost anywhere in Ontario. Thank goodness Royal Homes, with five decades of experience, can turn to the hinged roof for an engineered solution.

“The hinged roof system is a godsend for us and our clients,” said Ron McNichol, plant manager at Royal’s 110,00 square-foot production facility in Wingham.“It allows us to transport our prefab modules under low cables and tree branches. It solves a lot of potential delivery headaches.”


Plant manager Ron McNichol beside prefab module with hinged roof in our production facility.

The hinged roof, which is raised up on-site by the incredible strength of the crane, saves us some pretty significant height when we transport modular homes from our factory on our custom hydraulic trailers. The full roof is still there. You just can’t see it all. It’s folded up. That’s the magic. “Sometimes the hinged roof saves us two feet, sometimes four feet, sometimes six,” McNichol said. “It all depends on the roof pitch and width.”

Hinged truss with hinge from upper cord to “king’ posts. Crane will lift the upper cord, allowing king posts to flip out for support.

Not every roof is built with a hinged roof at Royal. A lot depends on design complexity and the number of modules. But all roofs will either be hinged or flattened for the maximum travel height of 16 feet loaded on a trailer. Many factors are at play, including the width of the module and pitch of the roof, in determining whether a hinged roof is used for a custom home. Every roof can be unique, depending on the custom design of the home and the site requirements. Small homes or large homes. Of course, every roof begins with the construction of the trusses at our Wingham factory. The hinges are made by MiTek and put into place by our truss builders, like Caileigh and Blake. Our own truss press completes the process, pressing the hinge plates into place securely.

Caileigh and Blake making a truss for a hinged roof in front of our truss press.

When the roof has been assembled, it is lifted on top of the module by our overhead crane. Once finished, the module is transported onto the lot to be crane-lifted onto a full foundation. The hinged roof allows the module to pass under low-hanging branches, wires and cables. “It’s all folded up so that we can transport down the highway and still have a complete roof constructed,” McNichol said. “It’s a very simple design to lift and elevate on-site and have a finished roof in a matter of an hour — we can have the roof section put together and ready to shingle.”

The hinged roof allows prefab modules to pass under overhead wires en route to the site in Thornbury. This hinged roof saves us about four feet, nine inches in height for this particular Lyden model.

Once on-site, the crane is attached to the upper cord of wood and lifts it up. As the crane lifts, the hinged “king” post flips out to support the raised roof. “They’re all engineered and meet all the applicable codes,” McNichol said. Our experienced set crew finishes the roof on-site. Any gaps are filled by installing pre-assembled roof panels that fit down on top of the hinge panel. This is because units that are wider than 14 feet and/or have a pitch greater than 4/12, cannot have the hinged portion run the full length. During transport, they would hang over the unit on the centre of the roadside. That’s against transport laws. “It’s very effective,” McNichol said of the hinged-roof system. “It’s a good manageable way to keep the height of modules down for transport reasons.”

Crane lifts hinged roof and king posts flip out to support the roof.

If you would like to learn more about Royal Homes and our innovative process, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Let’s talk!


It was the only smart move to go with Royal!Ken
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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.

    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.