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...
NB: Golden Tip at the end of this article!
You are serious about building your house and you hired a good Architect.
Good, this sets you for an excellent start!
However, even if you hire the best Architect you can find, chances are that his Studio handles 10-20 projects per year.
In fact, the most successful Architect handle even fewer projects.
While all those projects might be remarkable, one fact cannot be denied: they are not many compared to the number of projects handled by a good Manufacturer.
A mid-sized House Producer has way bigger numbers:
- houses manufactured per year: 30-50;
- projects evaluated and negotiated: 50-80;
- projects evaluated and priced: 200-300.
It is undeniable that a Manufacturer has seen many more projects than an Architect, advised many more Clients, solved many more construction details.
Making houses is what Manufacturers do best and it does not end with the work done at the factory.
On a daily basis, a Manufacturer addresses and solves problems related to:
- project planning;
- logistics and shipping;
- on-site assembly;
- project management.
When you sign an Agreement with a good Producer, you are not only buying the house... you are also hiring an exceptionally skilled and experienced Consultant that will be with your during the entire project.
Wouldn't then be smart to get this Consultant on your side as early as possible?
...really, why would you want to postpone partnering up with someone who can spot problems when they are miles away?
Let's see how choosing your Manufacturer at an early stage will bring massive value to your project and pay you back far more than you put at risk.
NOTE: at the end of the article, we included a Golden Tip that can help you set up an Agreement with your Manufacturer and kickstart your build... with little risk on your part!
1. Figure Out Construction Details
While Architects focus on geometry, spatial planning, aesthetic, house Producers are obsessed with construction details.
When you discuss your project for the first time with a Manufacturer, you can be sure you'll be asked lots of questions about construction details.
The questions they ask are often about things totally overlooked by Architects and regular Engineers. Even a Consultant reviewing your project can often miss spotting important issues related to construction details.
But why Manufacturers are so good at this?
Simple: because they have to actually build that thing.
They do not see the house as a living space, they see it as a pile of wooden sticks and other materials that must come together and stand firmly despite gravity and natural elements.
The most commonly asked questions are:
- how do you plan to make this ceiling stand? (often rooms are too wide for wooded-only construction and steel has to be used instead)
- can we use a post here? (same as above, to avoid using steel and reducing the overall cost of the build)
- do you want this beam to be visible? ...or shall we make it hidden?
- can we make the room height a little lower? (to save on transport costs)
- how do you plan to solve the insulation here? (often asked when there is a terrace over a room on the lower floor)
- how shall the windows framing look like?
- how shall the house corners look like?
- how shall the windows open? (inside, outside)
- how do you plan the ventilation pipes to move in this space?
- how thick will the floors be?
...and the list goes on and on...
You understand that when pricing the house, knowing these details is important to quantify the price correctly.
When you contact several Manufacturers to get a price, all the details above are not yet defined and each Manufacturer makes different assumptions about them, hence the different prices.
Obviously, the sooner you figure out these details, the better.
2. Assist You on Technical Matters
Much as for the construction details, your Manufacturer can be really useful to sort out technical matters.
Typical situations requiring an expert opinion are:
- calculating energy performance of the house
- planing technical systems (heating, plumbing, electricity, ventilation, ...)
- designing and planning foundations
If you let your Manufacturer interfacing with your other Servicer Providers and Suppliers, your life will be much easier.
Also, the sooner you do it, the more you avoid creating loops of revisions of the various documents necessary to carry out the project.
3. Help You Planning
Building a house requires a lot of planning, especially a prefabricated one. There are a lot of moving parts in projects of this kind.
In fact, when you build the house in a factory, all the details have to be figured out up front and the on-site operations have to be planned with great care to avoid mismatchings and consequent works stoppages or delays.
Every experienced Project Manager can tell you that correct and meticulous planning can make or break your project.
No one better than a Manufacturer can advise you on planning activities... they've done it so many times.
Your best bet is to get a Manufacturer onboard as soon as you can and sign an agreement to make it YOUR Manufacturer.
4. Save Time
The better you plan, the fewer inconveniences you will meet during construction.
The more time you spend on planning in the very beginning, the faster your project will progress.
The benefits listed in the three points above have a direct impact on the amount of time you can save.
Figuring out all the details at the first draft and having all the technical matter sorted out before the beginning of production, ensures excellent end results and maximum efficiency.
In a typical project implementation (when you pick the Manufacturer at the very end of the design process), several revisions of the project documentation are necessary since the Manufacturer (who was invited late to the party) will start to find flaws and shortcomings in the design.
With each revision, the Manufacturer has to adjust his price offer.
Making these changes at a late stage takes time and it also poses the risk of you going out your planned budget.
In a smart project implementation (when you pick your Manufacturer at the very beginning) everything is sorted out as quickly as possible and the Manufacturer takes an active part in checking that every tiny detail is accounted for.
You can imagine the incredible amount of time you can save here.
5. Save Money
Saving time, avoiding mistakes, avoiding delays down the road... it all leads to spending less money.
Saving money is a positive side effect (benefit) of doing things the right way.
On the other hand, when your main concern is to get the best price for the house instead of getting the best house, you are going to spend more than you should. Guaranteed.
Stop looking for too many Manufacturers and too many price offers.
Instead, start negotiating with a few - good - Manufacturers to get one of them onboard at the VERY beginning of your journey.
Your bank account will thank you.
Is Your Glass Half-Empty?
There are two types of people on this planet:
- those who see the glass half-empty;
- those who see the glass half-full.
If you see the glass half-empty, you'll be so concerned to save money and to avoid being cheated on that you will totally miss the points of the benefits we listed above.
If you see the glass half-full, then you surely understand that everything we explained above gives you a roadmap for saving money and time while improving the Quality of your House.
Spending more time searching for the "perfect offer" (if such thing exists) might save you a few thousands euro. However, the expertise that a Manufacturer brings to the table if you involve him from day one is worth much more than that.
WARNING: if you think you are going to save tens-of-thousands-euro by looking for a better offer, you have it wrong.
Generally, if you get two offers for the same object that are more than 10% apart in price... you've been offered different materials and different specifications.
If you buy the cheapest, chances are that later you'll find that lots of parts and services are missing, which will cost you more than the price offered in the quote you discarded!
We have seen this happening. Many times.
Even for the most skilled estimator is not easy to compare two price offers because the differences are subtle although, in the end, they amount to a considerable amount of money.
The best advice here is to look for assistance when comparing the offer.
...by the way, we can compare price offers for you... just use the form below to send us your email and we'll get back to you.
Signing a Contract to buy the house can be scary. Signing the Contract at an early stage, when many things are not figured out yet, can look foolish.
However, you don't have to begin with a huge commitment.
You can ask your Manufacturer to work on the Engineering Design of the house and postpone the Contract for Supply (production design, manufacturing, delivery, assembly) to a later stage.
Usually, the amount of money required for the Engineering Design is quite modest (few thousands euro) and it is a risk you can take.
Keep in mind that putting the Manufacturer in charge of the Design will relief your Architect from some of his duties (especially concerning layout drawings) and you might be able to save some money on your agreement with the Architect.
So, if you plan this smartly and in time, you can safely engage with an excellent Manufacturer at a very early stage and this will put your project on steroids (while saving you lots of time and money).
Your First Steps
- Make very clear your wants and needs for the house.
- Get a local Architect to help you figure out requirements and basic architectural features of the house.
- Get a preliminary opinion on the project from your Municipality.
- Get your draft design in a good shape.
- Contact a few Manufacturers and ask for a price offers.
Despite the warning above (it was: do not ask too many price offers), asking for price offers is a very important step in the process of building a prefab wooden house.
You shall ask for at least three different price offers and you should evaluate them carefully and with an open mind.
- Pick your Manufacturer and never look back.
- Trust him to lead the way in the implementation of the project.
If you think you need assistance finding a good Manufacturer for your house, just send us your email and we’ll come to the rescue with our expertise ;)