Our Process

How we build homes better.

Building a custom home can be daunting. It's a big project, and it can take many months. It helps to have a builder that can guide you through every step. We work as a close partner with you and your architect to make the experience comfortable, transparent, and predictable. Below is an overview of the processes we use to build a custom home, designed by your architect or one of our Design Partners, or a Standard Model you select. Note that the time ranges we include will vary and many tasks (Fabrication and Foundation & Sitework, for example) will occur in parallel.

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Custom Home Process

Building a new, custom home can be daunting. It's a big project, and it can take many months. And although we make the process more efficient and predictable, there are ALWAYS hiccups. It’s not like buying a car (wait, there can be hiccups there too!). There are three main groups with whom you’ll work:

  1. An architect to do design and permitting (someone you bring or one of our Design Partners;
  2. A General Contractor who will do your site/foundation work (your architect will help you find them and we typically have suggestions);
  3. Plant Prefab (we build your modules).

We work as a close partner with you and your team to make the experience comfortable, transparent, and predictable. We offer our services on the West Coast and in select places elsewhere. Below is an overview of our process, from evaluating the suitability of your land to that moment when your General Contractor hands you your keys.

01. Land

We can install your Plant Prefab home any place you would situate a regular house: a flat lot, hillside, or on a raised foundation. The main thing to consider is the accessibility of your property for delivery and installation. Ideally, the roads leading to your property are wider than twenty-five feet, and don't have severe curves or slopes.

02. Feasibility

2 weeks

Whether you already own your site or are considering buying a property, we will evaluate the land to make sure it's feasible for a Plant Prefab home. This involves scouting the route from our factory to your site and preparing an Access Study. The Access Study maps road configurations, power lines, trees, low bridges and overhangs, slopes, and elevation changes that could affect transportation or installation. If necessary, we'll also identify a nearby staging area to park the modules on delivery day.

03. Customize Your Design

9–18 weeks

You work with your architect to develop your floorplan and elevation. We’ll work closely with them, particularly if they have no prefab experience, to make sure they are completing a design that lends itself to the way we build. We’ll also work with them during Design Development, when you pick your finishes, fixtures and other materials, to ensure you understand the most cost-effective solutions we offer, as well as the options that we consider to be the most sustainable and healthy. IF you’ve already completed a design, we have a service where we review it and let you know if it’s feasible for prefab and if there are any changes we’d suggest to make it easier/possible to do.

04. Engineering & Permitting

15 weeks

Your architect or General Contractor will manage your site engineering and permitting. We’ll manage engineering and permitting for your modules, which is overseen by State governments, rather than local authorities. Inspections are completed in the factory and your modules come with walls sealed.

05. Financing

8 weeks

If you want a construction loan, we can introduce you to preferred lenders. Unlike home mortgages, construction loans are interest only and short-term. You can obtain a construction-to-permanent loan (also known as a "rollover") that starts as a basic construction loan and converts to a mortgage after the end of construction. Or, you can secure a construction-only loan that a lender would replace with a mortgage after certificate of occupancy is achieved. As the construction of your Plant Prefab project progresses, your lender will disburses payments to us. Typically, you can expect to receive a loan in the amount of 65% - 70% of the future completed appraised value, or 80%-100% of the construction cost.

06. Fabrication

8-12 weeks

You can visit our factory and see your Plant Prefab home come to life. We coordinate all the activities associated with the fabrication of your home, including coordinating with the General Contractor in charge of site work and foundation, resolving any design issues, and maintaining oversight and quality-control during the construction process.

Plant Prefab works with a purchasing agent to place orders for the ceiling, siding, flooring, tile, and lighting options you selected in the design process. And if you change your mind about certain details, we manage any change orders.

07. Foundation & Sitework

8–16 weeks

Sitework can be extensive and we will manage the process of securing bids and helping you select and engage the General Contractor who will complete the construction of the foundation.

08. Delivery & Install

1 DAY

The best part about prefab is that your home is moved and installed in one day! Your General Contractor secures any necessary road closure, parking, and transportation permits. On the day of the installation, the crane sets up first, then trucks arrive with modules. By the end of the day, your home is in place.

09. Fitout and Move-In!

8–12 weeks

Once your General Contractor has installed the modules, there are still a few important things left to do. They must hook up your water, sewer, electrical, and photovoltaics. They connect the appliances and put the finishing touches on the interior spaces. Your General Contractor must make sure that everything is finished so you can take a satisfying breath that says, "I'm home." Now pack up your old house and schedule those movers.

Standard Home Process

We offer our Standard Homes, designed by our Design Partners, on the West Coast and in select places elsewhere. Building a new home is a big project, and it can take many months, even when you select one of our Standard Homes. To build a Standard Home with us, there are two groups with whom you’ll work:

  1. Plant Prefab to do design and permitting and to build your modules;
  2. A General Contractor who will do your site/foundation work (we’ll help you find someone).

01. Land

We can install your Plant Prefab home any place you would situate a regular house: a flat lot, hillside, or on a raised foundation. The main thing to consider is the accessibility of your property for delivery and installation. Ideally, the roads leading to your property are wider than twenty-five feet, and don't have severe curves or slopes.

02. Feasibility

2 weeks

Whether you already own your site or are considering buying a property, we will evaluate the land to make sure it's feasible for a Plant Prefab home. This involves scouting the route from our factory to your site and preparing an Access Study. The Access Study maps road configurations, power lines, trees, low bridges and overhangs, slopes, and elevation changes that could affect transportation or installation. If necessary, we'll also identify a nearby staging area to park the modules on delivery day.

03. Select Your Standard Model

8–12 weeks

Choosing a Standard Model doesn't mean you're out of choices! Your home can express your sense of beauty and style, even as it fulfills your changing needs. You can pick and choose finishes and equipment, knowing we’ve already researched and selected the best, longest-lasting materials and systems to safeguard your health and reduce the ecological footprint of your home for years to come.

You can also swap out window locations for wood infill panels or vice versa. In many models, there are even pre-configured "expansion points" where you can add room for an office, a guesthouse for Mom, or even an entire second story!

During this time, engineering for your site and site permitting can be accomplished in parallel.

04. Financing

8 weeks

If you want a construction loan, we can introduce you to preferred lenders. Unlike home mortgages, construction loans are interest only and short-term. You can obtain a construction-to-permanent loan (also known as a "rollover") that starts as a basic construction loan and converts to a mortgage after the end of construction. Or, you can secure a construction-only loan that a lender would replace with a mortgage after certificate of occupancy is achieved. As the construction of your Plant Prefab project progresses, your lender will disburses payments to us. Typically, you can expect to receive a loan in the amount of 65% - 70% of the future completed appraised value, or 80%-100% of the construction cost.

05. Fabrication

4-12 weeks

You can visit our factory and see your Plant Prefab home come to life. We coordinate all the activities associated with the fabrication of your home, including coordinating with the General Contractor in charge of site work and foundation, resolving any design issues, and maintaining oversight and quality-control during the construction process.

Plant Prefab works with a purchasing agent to place orders for the ceiling, siding, flooring, tile, and lighting options you selected in the design process. And if you change your mind about certain details, we manage any change orders.

06. Foundation & Sitework

8–12 weeks

Sitework can be extensive, and Plant Prefab can manage all of it for you. This includes securing bids, selecting and engaging the General Contractor, and completing the construction of the foundation. We continue to work with outside entities, cooperating with all utilities, and permitting and inspection agencies. And we coordinate with the module fabrication facility, managing the preparations for the delivery and installation of your home. At the same time, we manage the construction of the foundations and the other sitework necessary to receive the modules. We also address any construction issues that may arise from drawing changes, unforeseen conditions, contractor clarifications, or owner-generated requests, making sure you approve any increase in costs before they are incurred.

07. Delivery & Install

1 DAY

The best part about prefab is that your home is moved and installed in one day! Your General Contractor secures any necessary road closure, parking, and transportation permits. On the day of the installation, the crane sets up first, then trucks arrive with modules. By the end of the day, your home is in place.

08. Fitout and Move-In!

4–8 weeks

Once we've installed the modules, there are still a few important things left to do. We hook up your water, sewer, electrical, and photovoltaic systems. We connect the appliances and put the finishing touches on the interior spaces. We want to make sure that everything is finished so you can take a satisfying breath that says, "I'm home." Now pack up your old house and schedule those movers.