They say location, location, location.

While it is true, the location is essential for determining the value of a property, when you buy land for building your new home that's not the only metric you want to consider.

In this article, we'll go through 10 things to check before buying land... and I bet you didn't think of number 6.

They say eco-friendly homes must be airtight.
You might be wondering how is it possible to live in a closed box, with no fresh air ever coming in.

That'd be a legit concern... if it really was true that no fresh air is ever coming in. But it isn't.
Eco-friendly houses have "lungs".

The ventilation system is the lungs of a modern home.

In this article, I explain the most important aspects of this system and I give you the information you need to start planning your own energy-efficient ventilation system.


Here at Katus, we spent the last 10 years dealing with energy-efficient houses.

When I personally started my journey into the prefab housing world, I had no idea how energy-efficiency could be achieved.
I remember clearly the frustration I felt when I wanted to know more but didn't know where to start from...

Today, when I search on the internet anything about energy-efficiency of a new home, I can find only partial information, information that is often regurgitated from different sources and superficial at best.

I can no longer stand this inefficiency (pun intended) and so I wrote this article that tells you everything you need to know to put your ducks in a row when it comes to the energy-efficiency of your new home... 

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a wood-based construction material that has become quite popular in the past 10 years.
CLT brings together some of the benefits of building with wood and some of the benefits of building with concrete.
This makes it quite unique and versatile.

In order to help you to decide whether to use CLT for your project or to go with a timber-frame construction, we prepared this ultimate FAQ...


Building your house with a prefab system (be it pre-cut, elements or modules), will require that you do a certain amount of work on your site before the construction of the structure starts and after the construction ends.

In fact, most manufacturers are just suppliers and they limit the scope of their work to the assembly of the house shell (building envelope).

But you have to build the entire thing... so how do you deal with the rest?

You need to hire a general contractor, or a series of local companies to carry on the works for you.

Here are the important aspects you should take into consideration...


Picking windows for your house seems an easy task at first, but when you dig a little deeper, things get complicated.
Things like size and color are obvious... but what about stuff like energy performance, sun protection, safety features?

The truth is that windows are quite complex objects and, when choosing the right ones for your home, there is a lot to consider.
On top of that, you have a limited budget to work with.

So how do you make sure you don't overlook anything and you get the best bang for your bucks?

Here is how we approach this problem every time we have to pick windows for our projects...

 

When the idea of building a new home makes its way into your head, it is easy to get trapped into a fantasy.

In the very beginning, you most likely have no real plan and you have no clue how much you can afford to spend, neither how this dream house could look like.
You just like the idea of getting yourself and your family a new place, a better place.

But you know that starting this kind of venture without a sound plan is a bad idea.
So here we come in your help with the plan...


You want to build a house and your number one problem is to figure out if you can afford it. I get it.

Unfortunately, this seemingly simple question hardly ever gets an immediate numeric answer.

Shortly, this question is too vague.

If you really want to get an answer, you need to give some contexts and add a few details.
Here is how to do it...

 

When building an eco-friendly house, one question that comes to mind immediately is:

which kind of construction materials should I use?

There are a lot of options and a lot of chatter online about this topic.
Unfortunately, a lot of the information you can find when searching is pushed by marketers and it is not really objective (nor true).

In this article, we make the point on what is a TRULY eco-friendly material and how to pick the right ones for your new home.

 

Shipping container homes are indeed a trend.

We see them pretty often on social media and in online magazines ...but is the hype worth your attention and money?

Here are a few questions you might be wondering:

  • are people really building them?
  • is it a safe choice to build your home with recycled steel?
  • are they easier to build?
  • are "container-homes" really cheaper?
  • is there a better alternative to container homes?

And here are the answers...

An eco-friendly house is a type of house that utilizes significantly fewer resources than a traditional one.
Eco-friendly houses consume energy and water more efficiently than their conventional counterparts.

To make this happen, factors like building orientation, geometry/shape, building envelope, window-to-wall ratio, shading & daylighting need to be planned in great detail.
Consequently, planning and design are the most important stages in building an eco-friendly home. 

When we go shopping for food, we naturally check the quality of the groceries before we buy them. Strangely enough, when building a house, customers tend to focus 99% on the appearance of the building disregarding other important aspects.

Luckily, more and more people care about how their home is going to be built and wish to build only with environment-friendly materials.

One good example of such building material is MHM (Massiv-Holz-Mauer), a cross-layered wood panel where timber boards are joined together with aluminum pins.

MHM looks a lot like CLT (cross-laminated timber) but is produced using no adhesives or chemicals.

House manufacturers are very skilled in doing part of their job, namely producing houses.

Unfortunately, there are other aspects of the house manufacturing business where the entire Industry lacks know-how, tools and vision.

As a matter of fact, the problem in manufacturing houses is not in the manufacturing itself, but in everything that comes before that...

When you are an architect and you run your own architecture studio, your time is divided between leading projects and dealing with clients.

As a creative person, you’d like to do more of the hands-on stuff and to spend your time designing buildings… but, to keep the business running on high gear, you have to respond to all the incoming inquiries.

You spend a great deal of time talking about possibilities and showing options and often you have to dig into the past projects to show something tangible to your potential clients.

Is this the best use of your time?

Not everyone gets the chance to live in a mansion. Therefore, having ideas on how to maximize your space and create storage areas is of the essence.
If you've been wondering how to maximize space in a small house, here are a few tips to help you out.

What would happen if the planet became a few degrees warmer?
What would the new landscapes around the world be like?

Would Paris become a desert by 2100? (hint: YES).

Are we doing enough to avoid this?
...and if the human-produced excess of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere really is the culprit (as 97% of climate scientists contend), would it not be crucial to make sure everyone in the world becomes "carbon-literate"?

This article is all about this stuff...

In an era where the Greenhouse Effect and global warming has become rampant enough to be mainstream news, it’s time for us to smell the coffee – especially in the design and construction world.

Housing is one of the most widely popular types of construction.
Studies show that even in Britain, 300,000 new homes were being built since the 1970’s, and the statistics have only increased in recent decades.
Uncontrolled development is slowly but surely taking over, and coupled with global warming, the effects are quite alarming.

It is our responsibility to build our homes in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner.
Here are 6 ways you can make your home as environmentally friendly and ‘green’ as possible.

When building a prefabricated home there is a precise process one should follow. Too often we see people trying to figure out a way to get their project off the ground without really making any progress.

From the idea of building a house to the successful construction, there is a precise series of steps to be taken. 27 steps, to be exact.

To spare you the trouble of figuring out the right way to do it (and to save you tons of time and money in the process), we put together a clear Prefab Building Checklist that will guide you through the 27 steps.

Cross-Laminated Timber is a massive wood product with excellent structural capabilities.

In the past decade, we have seen this product booming and in the past two years, it stated to replace concrete for the construction of high-rise buildings. 

We believe CLT deserves more attention... so we had a talk with Juha Virta, CEO and Owner at "Oy CrossLam Kuhmo" in Finland.

There is no doubt about it: a prefabricated house is better than a house built on-site.
That is a pretty bold statement... isn't it?

To understand why we need to have a look at the entire process of building a prefab house.

Either you are considering to build your own house or you are just curious, this article will guide you through the various stages of how prefab homes are built.

Pre-cut systems are the most basic prefabricated option available... but are they really a viable option?
We met with Indrek Kuldkepp, Owner and CEO of Avrame a-frame houses and we had a chat about pre-cut systems.

This interview is available on video as well...

Perhaps you haven't given it much thought... but how many trucks are necessary to ship a full-sized prefab wooden house?
If you think it is just one, you are way wrong.

Make your bet on the number of trucks and keep reading... 

When you think of building a new house you want to make sure you get the best value for your bucks.
Yes, it has to look nice... but it also must be performing well so that it doesn't cost you a fortune in monthly bills.
This aspect depends on how energy-efficient the house will be.

To get to the bottom of this issue, we met a successful Architect and Passivhaus Designer and we asked him to tell us more about energy-efficient buildings.

Here is what he told us...

We get it, you want to make the best decision.
You want to spend the right amount of money and get the best quality you can for the price.
So you keep looking. You contact one more Manufacturer and ask for one more price offer... or maybe two.

Do you know that all that searching is actually harming you?

Let me tell you why... 

NBGolden Tip at the end of this article!

Building a house is no joke. You put a lot at stake and you better be sure you partner up with someone you can trust.
The economic side of a project is one of the factors that weight the most on the feasibility of the entire endeavor. You need to make it affordable …so you seek for the best possible supplier, often ending up in foreign Countries.

But how can you tell if a Manufacturer is trustworthy or not?

At some point on your quest to building a custom made home, you are going to have to reach out to Manufacturers to get price offers for your building.
Unfortunately it is easier said than done...
Here are a few tips to maximize your chance to get the attention of Manufacturers and to receive a price in a reasonable time.

Prefab wooden homes are NOT for those who look for cheap or temporary solutions.
Today, prefabrication is the most advanced way to build a house and many luxurious homes are built with this system.

This Guide will tell you everything you need to know to start your journey into the world of prefab homes...

Over the course of the years, the way modular homes are designed and manufactured has changed considerably.
The introduction of new materials, machines, technologies, made possible to build houses in a controlled environment in a fraction of the time and at a lower cost.
Despite its hi-quality and affordability, is "modular" the best way to go if you want to build your own dream home?