Prefabricated House Manufacturer Research
I need help locating prefabricated house manufacturers who can custom-design and manufacture a house, deliver parts and assemble everything together in North Vancouver, BC (Indian Arm).
My site requires a custom-made house.
At this time we are in the very beginning of the process trying to understand whether our project is realistic at all.
Specific issues are:
- Variances will most likely be required from the district (of North Vancouver, BC).
- Design must somehow go together with the process of obtaining a building permit, so ideally we are looking for a manufacturer with experience in solving such issues.
- The site has some access difficulties. To keep construction cost reasonable, we are thinking about a custom-designed house made in a factory, delivered by pieces on-site and put together with a crane.
- The location is an uneven rock at this time, some blasting will probably be required, some concrete pouring will be required too, to make a foundation.
- A driveway, and possibly a retaining wall must be designed and approved by the district.
I need help with obtaining initial information from pre-manufactured home builders who are willing to consider our project. Need to understand whether they can design and build such a house, whether they can help with a building permit and variances, and what would be an approximate cost per square foot.
The location of manufacturer is not important. Ideally, we prefer working with someone local with experience in similar projects. With that said, we will also consider remote manufacturers, if they can assist us all the way through the entire construction project. Dealing with the district / obtaining a building permit is an important part of this.
Customer is apparently facing a complicated project in front of them. If they decide to go ahead with it, one of the critical things to know is a realistic budget for it. Depending on what the approximate cost is, they may further decide whether to go on with house design and construction, or instead focus on improving their financial capability.
Customer considered traditional house design / build process in the past for the same site, unsuccessfully, because of high cost (year 2012 quote from one of the builders was CAD $450 / sq. foot).
Customer is considering a prefabricated house at the moment (year 2015), apparently thinking that pre-manufactured parts in factory can significantly reduce overall cost of the project.
We have found several prefabricated home builders in BC on behalf of the customer. The following ones were contacted by email:
We received a phone number / contact info from all of them quite soon. Then we tried to obtain more or less realistic per-square-foot prices of an average similar project, by email.
This is where a problem arose. With the only exception of Karoleena, all of the above mentioned companies failed to communicate back their prices, or any other relevant information. Apparently, communication with potential customers by email is not their strongest point.
Karoleena, did provide a reply, with a suggested budget $450-$575/sqft, and also a reference point for a barge-delivered home on one of the nearby islands at about $550/sqft.
What does it all mean for the customer? Some more quotes would definitely help here. But assuming $450-$575 is a realistic price range per square foot for their project, then it is no better than the "traditional" original quote.
- Companies do exist in BC that specialize in prefab homes.
- It looks like some of them may have experience with similar projects. However, obtaining accurate information and references to already completed projects will require extra effort, as many companies don't take email requests seriously.
- There are some costs in the project such as driveway, septic system, blasting to prepare the site, optional retaining wall, which represent a significant portion in the overall project cost, and are not related to the house itself.
- Price per square foot for a good quality prefabricated home may be higher than traditionally built home, at least with one quote we obtained. However, we may be comparing apples with oranges here. Ultimately it's up to the customer to confirm quotes and see already completed projects for a reference. In the end: a high-end prefab home is not necessarily cheaper to build.
Hi there. I randomly came across your site just now and noticed an error in your summary: the price range we (Karoleena) quoted was inclusive of the driveway, blasting, septic and foundation. This is the reason for such a range. Our larger homes are all in the $275/sqft range from the factory.
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