What to Expect in the Prefabricated Home Building Process - Royal Homes What to Expect in the Prefabricated Home Building Process - Royal Homes
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What to Expect in the Prefabricated Home Building Process

Building Your Home


Getting a prefab home removes many of the variables that make building a custom house difficult. However, the actual process can vary greatly depending on the company you choose to build and deliver your prefabricated home, along with where and how you plan to build it.

From finding the perfect piece of land to move-in day, read on to learn about the major steps you’ll encounter in the prefabricated home building process – and where to watch out for differences between builders.

  1. Choosing a Location to Build
  2. Finding the Right Home Builder
  3. Designing Your Dream Home
  4. Getting Permission
  5. Prefabricated Building Process: On-Site
  6. Building In-Factory: In-Factory
  7. Getting Your Home Delivered

 1. Choosing a Location to Build

Like any home build, the prefabricated building process all starts with a location in which to build.

Now, the actual lot purchase doesn’t always happen at the very beginning. Some people pick out a builder and start the design process before they’ve closed the deal on a piece of land.

However, it’s important to know where, in general, you plan to put your home, as this can limit what you can build and who can build it for you. A prefabricated home has to be delivered and not every company can deliver to your location.

What’s more, the local zoning laws will ultimately determine what you can and can’t do with a piece of land. When you’re investigating a potential building lot, you’ll need to make sure that the zoning allows for a prefabricated home.

Are you dreaming of a growing suburb, a secluded country road, or a quiet piece of cottage country? Learn more about how to find the best lot for your custom home.

2. Finding the Right Home Builder

Some prefabricated home builders sell houses straight from a catalogue; others, like Royal Homes, build custom prefab homes. Some only provide the bare “bones” of the house, while others provide the foundation and placement as well. Utilities, like plumbing and electrical wiring, may or may not be part of the package.

When it comes to choosing a builder, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting. Keep in mind that buying a house without a foundation or utilities means you’ll be hiring contractors and trades yourself.

Here at Royal Homes, we won’t build a home if we’re not building the foundation as well; frankly, we feel it’s just too important to leave to chance.

Once you’ve narrowed down the list of potential builders, take time to vet each candidate carefully. Take it from Mike Holmes. A good builder:

  • Answers all your questions thoroughly. You can never ask a builder too many questions!
  • Has been around for a while. Expect to see an impressive portfolio of well-built homes and references from happy customers.
  • Insists on giving you transparency. This includes a clear, well-written contract and openness to third party inspectors.
  • Uses high quality building materials. Remember that the quality of the materials has a huge impact on the quality of your home!
  • Provides a detailed budget estimate. Make sure it covers everything the builder has agreed to provide, including, if applicable, the foundation.

If you’re not sure where to begin, simply call the builder or submit a “Contact Us” form on their website.This first contact will give you a good idea of the team’s professionalism, responsiveness, and willingness to help!

3. Designing Your Dream Home

You’ve chosen a builder and a location. Now, it’s time to start bringing your vision to life!

This stage should involve answering questions such as, “How many square feet of space do we need?” and, “Should the master bedroom face east or west?” If you need some inspiration, we’ve got a library packed full of floor plans and together with our design experts, you can customize them to your heart’s content.

We’ve got a library full of floor plans for inspiration, and together with our design experts, you can customize them to your heart’s content.

Once the layout is perfect, you can start customizing the home’s colours and styles to your heart’s content. You’ll choose your flooring, countertops, cabinets, perhaps even a fireplace in your new home! At a Royal Homes Design Centre, you’ll have a chance to see and touch the styles and options available for your walls, floors, cabinets, windows, lights, plumbing, brickwork, and more.

If you’re interested in a smart thermostat, solar panels, or smart home devices (like a smart bulb, or smarts outlets) into your home, you can integrate them into the design. It’s not necessary to choose a specific provider at this point, but pre-wiring your house will ensure it is ready to work with smart home systems.

4. Getting Permission

Your home-in-progress may be prefab, but that doesn’t mean it’s exempt from regulation. Before site work or factory work can begin, you must obtain permits for everything from zoning to grading. You’ll need to provide detailed plans and drawings of your future prefab home.

Local builders are in a better position to assist you in this process since they know the local by-laws and rules. The sooner you get your permits, the sooner your home can come together!

5. Prefabricated Building Process: On-Site

With the permits in place and the design complete, site workers can begin to prepare your property for your future home.

The first time you see the rough shape of your home on your property is exhilarating. When your home is staked out on site, you’ll really be able to imagine what it will be like to park in the garage, sit in the kitchen, and enjoy the view from your bedroom.

Soon after the stake-out, site work can begin in proper. This can include excavation, clearing of trees, and changing the contour of the land to accommodate your home and driveway.

Work on your home’s foundation will follow. An inspector will visit the site after the curing process is complete to ensure foundation components are installed correctly and up to code. Depending on the type of foundation (slab, crawl space, basement), this inspection may be repeated.

6. Prefabricated Building Process: In-Factory

While site workers are busy laying the groundwork for your prefab home, builders will be constructing the components of your home indoors.

Now, how much of this process you’ll actually get to see depends on the builder. Some companies work in near-total secrecy, aside from sending the occasional progress photo along the way.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, few prefabricated home builders, like Royal Homes, welcome you to visit the factory floor in-person. You can’t help but be amazed watching a crane lift the roof on your home indoors!

7. Getting Your Home Delivered

Once the site work and construction are complete, the finished pieces of your prefab house will finally be delivered! Watching your home arrive on a truck is an unforgettable experience. In the morning you have a foundation, and by evening you have a home!

Prefab homes often consist of at least two large sections called modules, but larger homes have more. Be sure that the contract you have with your builder includes placement of these modules on their foundation!

Additionally, it’s likely there will be finishing touches needed on-site before your home is ready for occupancy. There is often some roofing, cladding, and flooring to take care of. Each detail is important, and a good building crew will ensure these touches are finished to perfection.

Learn More About the Prefabricated Building Process

As you see, there’s more to getting a prefab home than picking one from a catalogue! Designing and building a home is no small feat. As exciting as it is, there are times where it can feel overwhelming.

At Royal Homes, we follow a simple 9 step process which keeps you excited every step of the way. Learn more about our prefabricated building process now!

I have a Royal Home which was built in 1993. I love my house and have never had any problems with it.Debbie
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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.