Collective Homes Process
We’ve simplified the process of getting you from your interest in a high performance home to the construction and finishing of the home to the following 10 steps, so you can move in and enjoy all the adventures that are to come. While some prefabricated home suppliers attempt to do everything under one roof, we simply focus on taking some of the more new high performance building techniques – framing and insulating strategies, airsealing, and window & door insulation – and leave the rest up to your local trades who are likely more than capable of providing your foundation, services, and finishes with their local materials and know-how.
Step 1: Choose your home
By submitting a preorder form where you’ll answer some questions about your preferences and desires for your Collective Home, you’ll start to build a budget based on the costs of a prefabricated structural, insulated, airtight building envelope delivered and installed by Collective Carpentry to your site, as well as the additional professional costs and site work you might expect to see given the choices you have made about the features of your home.
While the cost estimations we provide aren’t perfect, they are intended to help you assess a range of costs to expect, while providing some guidance for some of the most important items to consider in constructing a high performance home. We believe that the best part of building a custom home is becoming involved in the process, while at the same finding a way to limit time spent pouring over a paradox of too much choice. You can do all of this budgeting work by yourself with the budgeting tool we provide, and it can also be helpful as you approach general contractors and talk about how you may have to adjust expectations based on what’s available locally. You’re welcome to contact us with any questions as you build your design and budget.
Step 2: Contract and deposit
It is recommended that your general contractor sign the Collective Homes contract with Collective Carpentry in order to deliver the Collective Home package as a component of your complete home construction contract. This allows your general contractor to be involved early and throughout, for their coordination of the complete construction process as well as to include the building envelope as part of a comprehensive home warranty. If you have experience with general contracting and will be acting as the general contractor, then we can of course engage in contract directly with you.
The contract will cover the Collective Home drawings, 3D & 2D fabrication documentation, fabrication, delivery, and installation (not including foundation, services, and finishes). While 20 hours for minor design modifications is included, if you require more significant changes, the architectural and 3D panelization design time can be incorporated into your Collective Home contract.
If you know you’d like to make modifications to the design and are not quite ready to move forward, we can get you started with a 30-minute complimentary consultation with an in-house designer to discuss the design, engineering, and construction cost-implications of your desired changes. You can then either proceed with the standard Collective Home contract, or we can engage in a design services contract to get you to the point where your modified Collective Home package can be priced and a construction services contract can be signed by your general contractor.
Alternatively, if you’re happy with the design but still not quite ready to commit without properly budgeting the entire build with your general contractor, the full architectural set may be released to you for a small fee without having your general contractor sign any contract with Collective Carpentry. This fee can then rolled over into the Collective Home total cost should you choose to proceed with the design. These drawings remain the property of Collective Carpentry and are not to be used to construct the structural, insulated building envelope without the involvement of Collective Carpentry.
Step 3: Finalize your design
We’ll assign a dedicated project manager to help you understand what parts of your design we can help finalize, and where you might need to bring in some outside help. We’ll work with you to incorporate your changes to the 3D model we provide to help generate information you can use to hand to your general contractor to specify and budget the right foundation, services, and finish materials. Any site surveys, engineering services, and energy modeling should be completed during this phase of the project so that the design of your prefabricated building envelope design can be developed in synchronicity with all of the other key design elements of your unique property, location, and lifestyle.
Step 4: Apply for permit
Whether you apply for your permit in collaboration with an outside local designer (or your general contractor) or you do this yourself, this is the final step required before we can finalize your prefabricated building envelope panel cost and your window and door package. As permit requirements vary widely in the different regions we serve, we don’t profess to know all the requirements in your area, but are happy to help provide any information which might be useful.
Step 5: Confirm your sitework plan
Once you have your permit in hand, you’ll check in with us regarding your plan for the site work required to prepare your project for the building envelope panel installation. Whether you are working with a general contractor or contracting the work yourself, don’t hesitate to involve us in properly communicating expectations for this first and crucial stage of your construction. Insulated slab strategies used in high performance buildings can present some of the most “unfamiliar” aspects of the site work you and your site team will have to complete (regarding thermal and airsealing continuity), but ultimately we just need to know what approach you plan to take, especially if it differs from the drawings we provide. While we won’t be there to supervise the work, we’re confident the foundation can be managed by local trades with good attention to the plans provided by us and/or finalized by your local designer.
Step 6: Schedule production and installation
Upon having a sitework plan in place, we will lock in your prefabricated panel materials pricing and schedule your production in our Invermere shop, as well as a tentative installation date.
Step 7: Confirm site readiness
A mandatory meeting one month before the tentative installation date will allow us to collectively assess how your site work is progressing and confirm the panel installation start date. We will arrange delivery, cranes, accommodation for our team, and other details at this time.
Step 8: Collective Carpentry on site
Collective Carpentry will be on site to supervise delivery and unloading, and install all panels, windows, and doors. Installs for all of our Collective Homes generally take 4-6 days for panels, and 2-3 days for windows and doors. After an optional blower door test to check the airtightness of your high performance building envelope, we will do a full walkthrough of your project to remind you and your team of exactly where our scope has stopped and what’s required as you proceed into finishing work. Once we leave, you will have a weathertight building envelope that is ready for roofing and siding by your local contractor(s).
Step 9: Finishing and occupancy
We recommend installing exterior finishes within 3-6 months of the panel and window & door installation, but aside from that, you can take as much time as you need finishing the interior finishes, plumbing, electrical, mechanicals, etc. We recommend a final blower door test to verify that any penetrations made to the building envelope during the finishing stages have been properly sealed before occupancy.
Step 10: Enjoy your home!
We hope you enjoy your new home for many generations to come. When you experience the first winter where you don’t have to turn on the heat, the first summer where you stay cool inside as a heat wave pulls through, or the feeling of constantly breathing fresh filtered air (don’t forget to wash or change your air filters regularly!), we hope you appreciate the benefits of building better. If there are any negatives, it will probably be your jealous neighbors. Take care of your home as it takes care of you, and as you’ve done for the planet in building one of the most environmentally sustainable homes in North America.
Questions? Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to help! Or submit a non-binding pre-order to have an advisor walk through your project with you.