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The Genius Homes building process explained

Building a new home is a lengthy process. Even though prefab is considered as 'quick' by most building standards it still takes a few months, which can seem like a long time but it's also made up of several stages, some of which are much quicker than others. If you haven't had a brand new home built for you before, or have never built a prefab home, the various stages can seem a little alien. It can be challenging to understand the steps that make up the new build process and you might believe that as soon as you contact the building company you're committed to buying!

In truth, there are numerous stages involved and several places you can step away if you find you don't want to go ahead or simply need more time. We thought we'd outline the steps to building a new home with us so you can work out where you are, and how much ground you still have to cover. So, without further delay, let's follow the Genius Homes process of building a brand new prefab home!

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You've already ticked this box because you're reading this! And if you've used our dream home finder then you've probably found a plan you like. If you've requested a quote on the product page then you probably have a good idea of how much that plan will start from. For some people, this is the end of their journey, for now at least. You might just be looking for rough costs and that's all but for some, you will also want to progress to the next step and understand more detailed estimates for things like delivery. You get those costs by having a brief phone consultation with one of our sales specialists. It's common to have a site already bought or in the final stages of being purchased so the delivery costs can be as accurate as possible.

This next step is particularly useful if you've found a plan that was close to perfect but needed a few minor tweaks to be your dream home. You might need the ensuite moved to a different side, have a wall relocated, a sloping roof instead of a gable roof, or maybe sliding doors onto a deck. Whatever it is, the salesperson will be able to give you more information on what's possible and what isn't. This will help you discover whether we're able to progress your investigation or whether you'll need to speak to a different company to meet your requirements.

Initial enquiry with a sales specialist

At this stage the specialist will ask a few questions, like where your site is located, any changes you might need to make to the plan, whether you'd like a garage added or a deck. They will also need to know your budget, so they can ensure their changes meet your needs and they may need to know what your financing situation is so they can offer advice and guidance on progressing with that too. Once they have all the information they need they will be able to progress with a concept design for your site and budgetary needs including features you're outlined as important.

Even if you're after one of the plans on the website there will still be the need for a more detailed quote.

Average duration: 1 week

House concept design requested

Once the outline requirements of the home and budget have been agreed on the next step is to have a concept design of the home created. This is where the dream starts to become a reality as those individual touches take life.

It's quite commonplace for concept designs to go through a few rounds of changes as something that sounded excellent doesn't quite work as expected, or a key feature requires something else to be changed!

This stage can be as quick or as long as it takes. From a month (for the initial design to come back and for you to review over a week or so) to a couple of months of going back and forth to get the perfect design.

Average duration: 1 month

Quote requested and then presented

Once the design has been finalised and agreed upon the Genius Homes team will finalise a build estimate. This includes the price, projected timeline and start date optionYou may notice that you have not yet been asked to pay for anything yet. You are able to get all the way up to this stage before a deposit or any fees are charged. Other building companies will charge for design changes and even for an initial concept to be created. There might be some back and forth around the quote and the design may be slightly tweaked if you've got some wriggle room but the next step is to sign the contract to begin work!

Average duration: 1-2 weeks

Signed contract - begin!

Signing the contract enables the team to get to work. Your home will be allocated a project manager who will see it through the drafting, council consent and build and ensure materials and specifications are available as required and you will be booked in with a design consultant to finalise some of the colours and materials not covered in the concept design.

Average duration: 1 week

Design and materials selection

The design finalisation and material selection can be done over video conference or in a face-to-face visit with samples so you can get a sense of the texture of various materials.

Counting back you can probably see that we're already several weeks from when the first conversation happened with a specialist. Something like building a house is rarely rushed and, if anything, takes longer than expected.

This stage doesn't have as much of a fixed timeframe as other stages because the finish line for choosing finishes is defined by the house's progress in build. To get an understanding of the level of finishings provided, you can view the Genius Homes standard inclusions options on our website. There is a looming cut-off time when final decisions have to be made so they can be ordered and put in the house as it gets closer to being completed!

At this stage a site mark-up visit is conducted by a member of the team.

Average duration: 2-3 weeks

Sent to drafting to collate council documentation

Once the site has been marked up and details taken the final drafting is done on your house. This is the official plan sent to the council for building consent. The house needs to comply with all council requirements and building standards and the draft outlines this.

Once finalised the draft is sent to the council to go through their approval process. This can take a while if the council's team are busy and can't be hurried. Sometimes consents can be issued quite quickly and other times it can take longer than normal. The Genius Homes team handle the consent process on your behalf and will go back and forth with the council if required.

Average duration: Drafting takes 3 weeks and council processing takes 4-5 weeks (depending on council)

Consent granted - build commences

Once your plans have entered the production line, the building process to site delivery will typically take around 10 weeks and there will be an additional 4 weeks of on-site work until the keys are handed over. While the Genius Homes team have been drafting the design and getting consent you would have been finalising the specification of the kitchen, bathroom, carpets etc and those will be ordered so they can go into your home when it reaches that stage of the building process.

If possible you can come to the factory and see yours being built by booking a factory tour. We take photos of your house going through production so even if you're not able to make it you can still stay up-to-date with its progress. Because we build inside there's not really a bad time of year for us to be building - which can be an unusual thought as some building companies avoid winter and the weather-related delays that may ensue.

Average duration: 14 weeks

As you can see building a new home is a long process and one that can't be started too soon! Many people will look to use weekends and holidays to progress their enquiries while they can focus on giving the design their attention and our sales specialists are just as able to work with you on your plans as ever. So why not get in touch to begin exploring building your new prefab home with Genius Homes.

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