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FAQs:
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions.

Q. How do I order a Modern prefab house kit?
A. Easy! Just contact us! That starts the dialogue - so we can give you the information you need, answer the questions you have, and start the process to begin your energy efficient house kit journey. We ask that people initially contact us via email so that we can better keep track of their questions and answer them more efficiently. Don't worry, we'll be talkin' soon enough!

Q. I am looking for what the process would be for building a home using your kits. Do I hire a GC first then have him buy a kit, or how does it all work?
A. Either could happen – but a warning: often contractors will try to sway you away from something they have not worked with before (for a less efficient stick-built house, for example), in that case we / the factory are happy to answer all their questions.

Often the consumer will say, when hiring the contractor, “This is the house kit I am building, are you the person to do it? If so, I’d like to you speak with the house kit company and they can answer your questions.” We are very much of a team, and it is in all our best interests to make your home successful! My own contractor had never worked with a house kit, had never built with SIPs, and now takes his colleagues and visiting family to our house to show it to them… : ) It was my contractor’s expertise that determined how to address site conditions, how to accurately orient the house kit, how to work out our individual family’s systems needs… which has nothing to do with the house kit itself, yet is critical to a successful home project.

We are happy to get involved before you place your order - we want to be a part of the planning process!

Q. Does this kit house come complete?
A. No.

Well. That was easy to answer, wasn't it! ; )

So what DO you get?

Each house kit is fabricated by the plant closest to you geographically.

The Wall and Roof Packages are SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) which provides great insulation. In fact, the R value for the 8 3/8” roof panels has an R-value of 29.3 when tested at 75 degrees F and a 31.6 when tested at 40 degrees F.  The 6 5/8” wall panels have an R-value of 22.6 when tested at 75 degrees F and a 24.3 when tested at 40 degrees F. So how 'bout that?

Note: If you need higher R-values, we can adjust our panel thickness accordingly:

4 5/8” -- R-Value 15
6 5/8” – R-Value 24
8 3/8” – R-Value 31
10 7/16” – R-Value 39
12 7/16” – R-Value 47

Both kits are bare bones: you get beautiful design and structure (SIPs exterior walls & roof, and design documents) and you will need to finish the house with a local contractor.  We have created a list of windows, cladding & doors to order directly through the vendor to make it easy on purchasers and their contractor.  

Q. How much does the kit cost?
A. I have no idea.

You see I'm being very helpful here. : ) Never hire a girl with pink hair to write the FAQs!

Because of wide variances in local cost of materials and labor, we can not estimate a “finished price.” That is an estimate your contractor can provide.  You get gorgeous “bones” which then you can tailor to your own personal style preferences and budget with your local contractor (who would also address permits / local hurricane / snow load issues, etc. which will also be addressed by a local engineer.)  

Regarding variable costs, I am building my own casa ti with a smooth, poured concrete foundation in which radiant coils have been embedded; others might choose a different foundation.  I will be hanging reused basketball flooring on my interior casa ti walls; others might use green dry wall or other green alternatives. You can see a list of my own running costs in my blog, http://prefab-green-home.greenmodernkits.com/.

A very important consideration when looking for a home lot is our structure’s passive solar design.  In order to be their most efficient, these homes must have their designated wall facing true south, and with enough room to have their passive solar design work best.

We are building a casa ti in central Virginia- near Appomattox, and also an R1 Residential outside of Houston, Texas (you can see construction photos and the individual project blogs on our web site, under the “projects” menu item). 

If you would like to purchase a kit house, please contact us and I will be happy to give you the price closest to you geographically.

Q. What are SIPs and why are they Green?
A. SIP stands for Structural Insulated Panels.

When I first started looking into creating affordable kit homes, I explored metal buildings. Their cost was comprable to what I am offering with SIP except that my customers would then have to add insulation, adding on thousands of dollars to what they had already purchased as a kit. SIPs resolves the insulation issue, affordably.

And SIPs are green in many ways! The raw materials in our SIPs have low energy requirements to make them. The structural skins of our SIPs are made from renewable controlled growth wood resources. For years and years these structures will save fuel used for heating and cooling. The resulting pollutants from burning fuels like natural gas, oil and coal are dramatically reduced. The environment is then spared the contributing "green house" effect of burning additional fuels that conventionally built structures require.

This is a controversial topic.
I hope you will consider my own thoughts on Good Better Best.

Q. Do you sell to Canada?
A. Yes!
 

Q. Do your designs conform to IRC Standards?
A. (Answered by David Day, Architect of the casa ti house kit, in response to an email inquiry)

"Simple question, more involved answer.

I have only been involved in schematic design level drawings, partially for this reason. while the IRC is becoming standard nationwide, it's not quite there yet, and different jurisdictions have adopted different versions (years) of the code. Many have also amended that code. Granted the residential code is pretty simple and doesn't change much between versions, but I can't be certain. That's reason one why I don't guarantee the casa ti will conform everywhere, and it's way too involved for me to check each different code version/amendments.

Secondly, and much more to the point, is that the IRC has varying requirements based on local conditions - wind speeds, snow load, soil conditions, termites, etc. This house in central virginia will have different requirements than in high wind or snow areas. again, it's too involved for me to verify all the local requirements every time.

For these reasons we say you need a local professional to take this last step for code compliance/permitting. The SIPS manufacturer provides engineered shop drawings that should be sufficient for the structural component, but verify that is updated for your locality with Copeland Casati.

In general, know that the SIPS shell will far exceed structural and thermal envelope requirements, and that i've accounted for basics such as minimum room sizes and bedroom egress windows."

Q. Is there Anything I need to know about how the Passive Solar house faces/ things to consider when purchasing a lot?
A. Yes.

Our passive solar homes are designed to *work.* In order for that to happen you need to orient them correctly to the south, and make sure they have good seasonal exposure. Here is a article put out by North Carolina Solar Center that explains what to consider when purchasing a lot for passive solar and siting a passive house well that might help you as you look for lots.

Q. I like the idea, but I'm not into the "Industrial" look.
A. Our structures can be finished with Hardy Board, etc. and many Other finish colors and textures.

P.s. And If ya don't like Modern, We launched a sister site, Green Cottage Kits!

Though we are modern enthusiasts, Copeland grew up in Virginia in a home built in 1801. She understands not everyone wants mod. People kept asking... I listened.

So... I kidnapped a very talented, nice architect and here's Green Cottage Kits!. : )

Q. Do you have any restrictions?
A1. Kinda Sorta maybe.

A lot of times it's not purposeful, it's just that people don't know yet. And once people know, then they know.

Like, why would you not design a passive solar house and site it correctly if you could?

Why would you not choose colors that worked better for your environment? Lightly colored roofs and exteriors have shown to help lower a city's heat index by ten degrees. So sorry, no black, no irresponsible colors. (Of course, if you live way up in northern Canada where you would want dark colors to absorb heat, then obviously this is not true!)

And if you're building a new house and preserving acreage, why not consider net zero / off-the-grid!

A2. Are you Cranky? We may not be the Company for you.

See this post for more information.