What's involved in buying a factory-built home?
Some aspects of buying a factory-built home are a little different from the traditional homebuying process, depending on the type of home you choose and where it will be located. Here is an overview of what's involved in the purchase of a factory-built home. For information on the homebuying process in general, including financing, visit Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's website at www.cmhc.ca, or the Canadian Home Builders' Association website at www.chba.ca.
Finding a factory-based builder
Most housing manufacturers provide homes in a very large area, often covering several provinces, with a network of sales offices or independent companies that represent the factory builder and sell the homes. Check Where to buy for a list of member builders throughout Canada, and visit their websites for the names of sales offices or retailers that serve your community.
Visiting model homes and sales centres
Most manufacturers and their retailers have a model home or a sales centre with several display models. Touring the model homes is a great way to get a close look at the types of homes available and the construction quality, finishing touches and the features and products offered. Make an appointment for a personalized tour and a chance to discuss the homebuying process in detail.
Touring the plant
A factory tour is a unique opportunity to gain a better understanding of how the homes are built and their benefits. Make arrangements with the manufacturer or builder/retailer in advance to make sure you get a guided tour.
Working out the details of your home
Once you have decided on the manufacturer, the sales representative will assist you through the many decisions regarding your home. This includes any plan changes, upgrades and additions to the standard specifications, and colour selections (making your choice of finishes such as tiles, flooring and cabinets). All decisions must be made before construction begins.
Working out the details of your building site
If you already own a lot for your home, the salesperson will likely want to visit it to check the intended location for your home, soil conditions, wind and sun patterns, access and so on, and to help you determine what's required, such as bringing in services, drilling a well or building a laneway. The lot visit may influence the final plan for your home. Alternatively, the salesperson can assist you in finding a suitable site to buy or to lease, including advising you on landlease communities in the area.
Building your home
The actual construction of the home in the factory takes only a short time, as the home is built in a carefully orchestrated sequence, moving from one workstation to another, with a quality assurance process built into every step.
Preparing your site
Manufacturers and their builders/retailers will also look after the site work involving the home. This is called "turn-key". If you prefer, you may be able to contract the site work separately; however, it is important that the work is done professionally.
While the home is being built in the factory, the site can be prepared—e.g. excavation and creating the foundation.
Installing the home
The arrival of your home on the site is an exciting event! Depending on the house and the location, the home will be carefully rolled off a flatbed, or lifted by crane in sections, and gently set in place. In a matter of hours, the home will be securely assembled, and the finishing work begins, inside and out. It may take a few hours, a few days or several weeks before you can move in, depending on the features you have chosen.