Researching and evaluating home builders could be a full-time job. The options are endless.
There are small builders, big builders, builders of tiny homes, "stick-built" builders, regional prefab builders, international prefab builders, shipping container home builders, timber-frame builders, Passive Home builders, and on and on.
I probably talked to more than 15 companies in all categories combined, except for the tiny home folks - we're not building a house on a trailer.
I also talked to a few architects who design and act as general contractors for home building projects. I got a sense that this is not a bad option, but a more expensive one.
We decided early-on that prefab was the way to go, but here too, there are endless options.
I believe prefab builders can produce a better product since the construction of all the major components is done in their shop, in controlled conditions. And it can be faster too. Once all the pieces are built, they truck it over to the site and they assemble everything in a shorter timeframe, like a giant Lego set.
Ok, so we decided on prefab, but which company? That was also a tough decision. There is one regional prefab company that has completed many homes on Mayne Island. They were a good possible option as they have experience with local crews and the permitting process. There is another company that has more of an international reach. They had interesting designs, but I wasn't convinced our small Mayne Island project would get the attention to detail it deserved. There was a company from Ontario that clearly catered to more affluent clients with premium timber frame designs, but they were out of reach.
We like Porchlight Homes because they are a small company: two guys building high quality projects. They've built on Mayne Island in the past, one of them has a cabin there, they are trained Passive House tradespersons, so building more energy efficient homes is what they do. More importantly, we like them. We like their passion for more efficient buildings, for the design process, for better quality construction.
We had a chance to visit their workshop in Abbotsford and we liked how they are organized to build high quality home components, indoors.
Also, Porchlight Homes is the company building Mayne Island's new daycare facility, which went up in less than a week (walls + roof) the week of June 13, 2022.
(Facebook photos by Lise McLeod)
So we signed a contract with them and we started working on the home design in early June, 2022.
Working with Hudson has been great so far. We've had two design meetings, and he came to visit our property on Mayne Island to get the lay of the land, literally. We've shared a gazillion photos of designs we like with Bronson, not for him to replicate other desings, but to inspire and show him what we like.
We expect to receive the first designs later this week, so come back to visit for the rest our home-design adventure!