A prefabricated home, also called a modular home, can be a cost and time efficient alternative to a site-built home. They are eco-friendly, can be highly customized and built at wholesale prices. However, the largest advantage a prefabricated home has over a site-built home is the speed in which they are built.
Constructing a prefabricated home can take a matter of days and is constructed 50 times faster than a site-built home. Finishing work can take a month or two depending on the size and complexity of the house. Prefabricated homes adjust with the market and appreciate over time, just like a site-built home. Traditionally, it was thought that modular homes didn’t appreciate to the same degree as site-built homes, however prefabricated homes today are much improved and are made with the highest of quality and standards.
Many buyers are motivated to purchase a modular home based on cost savings. However, while factory made homes cost less, varying factors can increase the final cost making the total purchase price comparable to a site-built home. Some factors to consider are the costs accrued to acquire permits, county and town development costs, transport and delivery of the home, which can cost up to $10,000 especially if it will travel a considerable distance from the factory or navigate through challenging terrain. Lastly, labor for the finishing work can vary depending on the contractor and/or type of package purchased.
Before construction can commence, the buyer should have a budget and pre-approvals in place. The builders consulted for this project can work with lots of all sizes. The lot should be prepared with the required grading, land tests and site inspections. It is best to have a licensed engineer or architect with a BCIN handle the land prep. Most turnkey builders have someone onsite who will coordinate this process with the township/county. They will submit a site alteration/fill permit, which is required with the building permit application. Prepping the land involves a complex undertaking to include, but is not limited to; drawing a map showing the location of the lot, boundaries, use of land locations to include the building/structures and their dimensions, and scale drawings to show location of utilities and structures in relation to the roads. Also, the process includes working with the township and the county to cover particulars concerning conservation and/or protected land and working out developmental procedures and costs. Blueprints and site plans (house and landscape renderings) will be needed for the land prep and the building permit application.
Application Of Building Permit
The Ontario Building Code Act, requires a building permit for new construction of a building, to include additions, or alterations of any building or structure with an area of approximately 108 square feet or more. Many manufacturers will coordinate the permitting process with the buyer. There are several components to the building permit application. A licensed professional such as an architect or engineer with a BCIN will be most helpful to assist and/or complete the application to ensure compliance with applicable law.
Along with the building permit application, several additional documents are needed. Construction drawings, a site plan and/or lot grading plan (as described above for land preparation), HVAC design, roof truss layout and engineered floor system layout should be submitted with the building permit application. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in Ontario describes the building permit process as follows:
First, they recommend speaking with municipal building officials prior to applying. Next, an application should be submitted along with the supporting information, plans and fees as described above. The application is then reviewed and a decision is made within ten (10) days. If a permit is issued, construction can commence. A building inspector will check major phases of the building process through completion.
The building permit application should be submitted via the Building Services online form or via the municipal’s share file system using Adobe PDF version seven or higher with no restrictions. The reviewer should be able to search, make comments and stamps and print in high resolution. A detailed list of what should be submitted is located under the Blue Mountains Residential Building Permits page under “Submission Requirements”.
Approvals from other agencies are required in many cases and can include information pertaining to the shoring and foundation, fire protection and zoning compliance. An energy efficiency summary form, sewage system specifications, a water connection form, and the owner’s authorization form (if the applicant is not the owner) are required documents in the permitting process as well. The Sewer and/or Water Connection Permit Guide has useful information on general permit requirements and fees which have been outlined below. A general contractor, or a designated professional at the manufacturing company that provides turnkey services typically handles these tasks. The buyer/owner is usually responsible for payment of the fees.
The following describes the applicable fees to obtain a building permit, including additional agency requirements:
1. Building permit- A fee of $1.49 per square foot (and no less than $100) is required along with the permit application. 2. Town Development Charges —Varies depending on area. Review applicable charges here. It is advised to consult with the town of The Blue Mountains for accurate development charges.3. County development charges —Varies depending on area. Review applicable charges here. It is advised to consult with the County of Grey for accurate development charges.4. Septic system fee (if applicable) -$6255. Water connection application and fee —$506. Civic Addressing Fee -$2507. Wood Burning Fireplace (if applicable) —$250
Turnkey Prefabricated Home Manufacterers
Only four builders; Royal Homes, Legendary Group, Quality Homes and Guildcrest were identified as prefab home builders who service the town of The Blue Mountains, Ontario area that also offer, turnkey services. The time frame of three months in which to manufacture and erect the home might prove difficult. The process of obtaining a building permit is the most time-consuming. A few builders (including those contacted and not included in this brief due to a lack of turnkey services) sited the COVID-19 pandemic as having cut their season in half while their books are full. Others have been met with supply chain challenges due to COVID-19 which resulted in delays because of a shortage of materials. However, depending on the scope of the project the desired time frame may be achieved.
1. Royal Homes
2014 Commerce Park DriveInnisfil, Ontario L9S 4A3Selena McConnellSelena.McConnell@RoyalHomes.com705.436.1001 Ext. 221.888.739.5122 Ext. 22
Royal Homes offers a complete turn key solution and can customize any kind of home. They will work with the township and county to prep the land and secure the permit. What is not included: Permit Fees, utility hook-ups, kitchen/laundry appliances, the sump pump, a driveway, additional landscaping, additional grading materials that aren’t excavated from the basement, A/C (please see email attachment for additional details). There is no waiting list to begin constructing the home, however obtaining the building permit can put a damper on expediting the job. The house itself can be made and delivered within days to just over a week. Royal Homes said realistically, they can have a home delivered by the beginning of November after the county and town approvals. The house would be move-in ready by mid January. If needed, they can connect their customers to a reputable real estate agent to find the perfect lot. The final cost for a complete, move-in ready four bedroom, three bathroom modern style home will cost between $325 to $350 per square foot (not including the lot).
1408 ON-11, Shanty Bay, ON L0L 2L0, Canada1-705-722-5356Laura McAdam firstname.lastname@example.org
Guildcrest is almost at capacity. When asked if they can start a job this month or next and complete the job in three months, they advised to visit their office in person for a quicker turnaround. They do offer turnkey solutions, but require the buyer to arrange site prep of the lot from a licensed contractor. They have no limits on floor plan or style. The buyer would need to arrange water and other utility hooks ups with the town/municipality which is a typical expectation of most builders.
3. Quality Homes
3311 Simcoe Road 89, Unit FS02Cookstown, ON L0L 1L01-800-265-2648 (Ext 5) email@example.com
Quality Homes offers turnkey services to some extent. They require lot prep and permits to be completed beforehand. Their onsite architect will render the drawings. Typically, the average time it takes for them to complete a house is five to six months. When asked if they can get the job done in three months, they said it’s a stretch, but may be possible depending on how complex the customization of the home is and given the permits have been secured and the municipal requirements have been addressed. The owner would need to coordinate with the municipality after the building is complete to coordinate utility hook ups. For more information they recommend speaking with a building consultant, or reaching out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org which they are actively monitoring.
4. Legendary Group (Canada Prefab)
475 Tenth Line Collingwood, ON L9Y 0W1, Canada+1 705-444-0400
The Legendary Group services the Blue Mountains area and provides turnkey solutions, however after several contact attempts, this group did not respond to our inquiries upon submission of this brief. Area builders recommended them as a turnkey solution for prefab homes and their online reviews are highly rated. The Legendary Group partners with a local contractor to oversee the project. Their website says the home can be manufactured in weeks and installed in two days. The move-in price per square foot depends on the finishes and cost between $225 to $300+.
5. Comfort Modular Homes
560 Athlone Ave.Woodstock, Ontario1-888-600-9336
Comfort Modular Homes advertise turnkey solutions and service to the Blue Mountains, however they do not provide turnkey service in the Blue Mountains. They recommended working with a local general contractor, like Barrie Contracting for those services if one were to consider purchasing a home from them. They named Royal Homes, Quality Homes and Guildcrest as turnkey options, which the research team had already identified. Comfort Homes is unsure if they can meet the three-month expectation due to challenges COVID-19 has had on their business, leaving them backlogged.