WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING A GENERAL CONTRACTOR FOR YOUR SMARTPADS BUILD

When working with SmartPads, we take care of building the physical home for you, however, a local General Contractor (GC) is required to complete the onsite portion of the build. The General Contractor is responsible for the oversight of setting the home. The GC will take care of hiring a crane and set crew, preparation of the home site, installing the foundation (and garage, if desired), managing site engineering and permitting, and administering and observing overall onsite construction. SmartPads provides the prefab home and supports you and the GC with guidance, expertise, and introductions to partner industry professionals.  

On the day of installation, which really is only ONE DAY, your GC will secure any necessary road closures, parking, and transportation permits, as well as coordinate the crane set up in preparation for the trucks to arrive with your SmartPads modules. After your home is set on to the foundation, the GC will stitch your home together (stitching involves sealing up the marriage points to ensure insulation and congruency of internal drywall/flooring and external items including siding and roof). After this step, the GC will hook up your water, sewer, electrical, appliances, and complete any finishing touches on the interior, plus completion of any site-work including driveway, landscaping, decks, etc.  

What to consider when hiring a local General Contractor 

Experience: Has the contractor worked with prefabricated construction in the past?  

Reliability: Do they promptly respond to your calls/emails? Will they complete the work on time? Do they have any local reviews from past clients? 

Local Knowledge: It is important that the GC has a strong knowledge of building in the local area. 

Budget:  Approximately half of your costs will be with the GC to cover local labor and locally sourced builder’s materials (such as cement, electrical wiring, etc.). 

When you build a SmartPads home, there is a lot less onsite work, thus less for the GC to do. This often translates to a much lower GC fee as compared to a traditionally built home. 

Let’s get started. Please reach out today to tucker@smartpads.co or visit www.smartpads.co to find the right home for you. There are designs for all sizes and lifestyles. 

What to look for when choosing a lot to build a SmartPads home on

This is a frequent question we receive here at SmartPads. Choosing the right lot can be a tricky process when looking for the ideal site for your SmartPads home. We have three simple tips we’d like to share to help make this process as streamlined as possible, as well as cost-effective, before you get too far ahead.  

1) Land Topography – When selecting a lot, the less excavation the better. This is the largest contributor to cost overruns during site prep, and the degree of excavation required can also greatly affect the build time. Consider things such as: 

Does the land have a lot of trees or boulders that will need to be removed?  

Is the land flat, in a valley, or on a steep slope? 

How is the drainage on the lot? 

An easily accessible, level lot with utilities near the main road requires the least amount of site preparation. We also suggest a soil test before purchasing a lot. This is very important as it can have a ripple effect on the costs and the engineering required to build.  

2) Covenants – An HOA covenants is a document registered on a title to a property that may prevent the land-owner from building on their section in a particular manner. Often these restrictions will relate to the type of building, the size of it, the number of buildings, and where exactly they can be located. Explore if there are any covenants that might restrict what you want to build. For instance: 

Does the community allow prefab construction?  

Are there height restrictions or design guidelines that need to be followed? 

Are there roof pitch requirements?  

If there is a “DRB” (Architectural Design Review Board), checking with this committee is a great way to identify building requirements and restrictions. Your real estate agent should be a resource to help you with this process.  

3) Accessibility – It is important to make sure the lot can be accessible for a semi-truck as that is how our homes are shipped. Consider:  

Does the access road have any tight switchbacks or low hanging wires or branches that might need to be dealt with?  

Does the local neighborhood require parking permits or a special access road for a semi-truck to enter the community? 

Let’s get started!  

We can deliver and set your SmartPads home almost anywhere you could build a regular house. Whether you want to live close to town or off-the-grid, SmartPads and a local real estate broker of your choice will provide you with the tools to find the right parcel of land. 

SmartPads provides affordable prefab home solutions that are stylish, efficient, and smart. Our team has over 20 years of experience in real estate development, building, management, and sales. Our focus is on building highly efficient, healthy, environmentally sustainable homes in less time and for less money than traditional builds.  

Please contact us at tucker@Smartpads.co  for a free, no-obligation consultation. Or visit www.smartpads.co to explore our designs and for FAQs. 

Financing Your SmartPads Home Is Easy, Seamless, and Less Expensive

As far as banks, lenders, and appraisers are concerned, financing your SmartPads prefab home is the same as any site-built home. Firstly, you’ll obtain a construction loan, which will require you to “put down” approximately 20% of the total estimated construction costs which includes the SmartPads home in addition to all other on-site work and permits required to complete the build. Then once approved you start to pay monthly interest on the outstanding balance of the loan as it increases. Unlike home mortgages, construction loans are interest-only and short-term. 

With a SmartPads home, you’ll find that financing the construction period is typically faster, easier, less cumbersome, and less expensive. Here’s how! 

With a traditionally built home, the General Contractor (GC) required payments often every 2 week and these payments draw down from the construction loan for the duration of the building period, which is typically 12 to 18 months. This is to cover the cost of things like new materials, appliances, and labor. With each draw, you will need to work with the GC to reconcile each payment to the line items in your budget. It’s a time-consuming and cumbersome process, but essential to keep track of your budget and to be alerted to new contingency costs popping up on the horizon.  

With a SmartPads home, you only have four draws (each which are about 25% of the total build cost) over the approximately two months it takes us to build your home. You will receive plenty of savings on interest because our homes are built faster. Both you and bank lenders will appreciate that the SmartPads home is sold at a fixed price, therefore no contingencies on a large portion of your overall budget, which lowers the risk for you and the bank. 

When the home building process is completed, you will move from a construction loan to a mortgage.  This is the case for both modular and site-built homes. 

We would be pleased to introduce you to partner lenders. We’ve been successful in helping to get loan service fees down (which are typically around $500 to $1500) because the lender does not have to do continuous site visits. We send them photos directly from the facility where your home is being built. We currently have a relationship with Vectra Bank with a “one-time close” product. This allows for lower amounts down and a turnkey rollover from a construction loan to a mortgage without having to make another loan application and paying double origination fees. Overall, it’s more seamless and more cost-effective. 

Are you interested to learn more? Contact us today – call Ryan Cox at (970) 819-5359 or email Ryan@SmartPads.co. Or check out our growing portfolio of designs

SmartPads Prefab Homes Gain Traction Throughout Colorado

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. – Oct. 29, 2019 – PRLog — Home-grown Steamboat-based prefab building company, SmartPads LLC, is gaining fast traction throughout Colorado since opening for business in 2018, with sales closing in Leadville, Nathrop, Winter Park, Steamboat Springs, and Hayden. The sales in Steamboat Springs, Hayden, and Leadville set new records for prices per square foot in those markets. SmartPads has found a unique opportunity in presenting homeowners with a more affordable building option that also resells at a premium.

Since starting in 2018, SmartPads is surpassing all expectations on price and quality of prefab homes as demonstrated with recent sales:

  • Earlier this month, a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom SmartPads home sold in Leadville for $279,000, which was the highest price per square foot on record in the city limits for new construction sales.
  • In September, a developer sold 10 tiny SmartPads homes (1 bedroom/1 bathroom) in Hayden for $1.52 million. The property, known as the Hayden Village Townhomes, sold at $360 per square foot, which is the highest-priced sale per square foot in Hayden’s history.
  • In August, a single-family 3 bedroom/3 bathroom SmartPads home in the new Sunlight subdivision of Steamboat Springs sold for $874,000. The house sold for $461 per square foot, which is the second-highest sale on a price per square foot and actual sales price basis for the subdivision.

“There’s a long-held preconception by home buyers and real estate brokers that prefab or prebuilt homes sell for less and are lower quality,” said Darrin Fryer, Co-owner of SmartPads. “Recent sales of SmartPads homes demonstrate that this view is no longer current. With modern designs, quality construction and finishes, and energy efficiency, these homes are outperforming traditionally built homes. On the back end, SmartPads homes resell at a premium which makes them a great investment opportunity as well.”

“The SmartPads prefab homes are built more efficiently which means shorter build times and reduced cost variability,” said Ryan Cox, Co-owner of SmartPads. “We sell at a fixed cost, and we’ve found that when our clients partner with the right local General Contractor, there are real-time and cost savings for the owner. There is no contingency required on their biggest line item – the SmartPads home – which is a breath of fresh air for those involved in the home building process.”

“Tiny homes, like the Hayden Village Townhomes, are a great solution for developers who own a land parcel or for investors looking for a high-yield rental return in a demand-centric rental market,” said Fryer. “SmartPads, which also builds high-end custom prefab homes, is gaining fast traction throughout Colorado. In addition to the sales already closed in Leadville, Nathrop, Winter Park, Steamboat Springs, and Hayden, we are in robust discussions in Fraser, Eagle, and Avon.”

The SmartPads homes listed above were sold by the Fryer Group from Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty. SmartPads is co-owned by Darrin Fryer and Ryan Cox.

Custom Prefab Home Interiors – Building the Home of Your Dreams

When you picture the home of your dreams, what comes to mind first? While some think of the exterior or the location, most people will agree a home really comes from the feeling you get from inside. You dream of the kitchen tiles and finishings, the layout of your living room, your floors, and the details that make your home distinctly yours. All of these features are at the heart of everybody’s “dream home.”

At SmartPads, you have the freedom to pick out all of these details and tailor them to your dreams. With every project, we discuss every detail with our client when it comes to designing their dream prefab home. Although a lot of our clients come in unsure whether the interior of their prefab home can be tailored to the level they want, we assure them every time that it is possible!

With hundreds of finishings to choose from, we are able to provide even greater flexibility than what conventional residential construction allows. Almost every detail of the interior, including all the finishes and appliances, is your blank canvas. You and only you choose all interior finishes. Countertops, cabinets, flooring, and more are yours to select. This brings fun, excitement, and enjoyment into the prefab experience.

With traditional construction, high-level customization of your home requires a lot of money. Many forms of customization are restricted to a premium price point which is often out of most buyers’ reach. At SmartPads, we select affordable, yet high-end finishings that allow for luxurious style and more money in your pocket. The choice is yours!

Contact us today to find out more. We’ll be glad to show you what prefab can do.

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5 Reasons why Prefab Homes are More Sustainable

In America, green building solutions for homes and developments are rising in popularity – and for good reasons. Builders, designers, and homeowners are experiencing some amazing benefits from choosing sustainable design strategies that not only impact their health but the land too.

Prefab models and tiny homes are one of the biggest trends in the sustainable building movement. They are energy-efficient, good for the environment, healthy and clean, and often really stunning with luxurious finishes. Read below to find out the top five ways prefab homes are contributing to a more green world.

1) Waste Reduction: Since our homes are being built through a factory-controlled process, the construction phase is naturally more material- and resource-efficient. Our homes are assembled in a controlled environment. In the facility, we are eliminating the waste that comes from weather factors and construction-site theft, reducing overall construction waste by up to 80%. Furthermore, since our homes are delivered in a nearly-completed condition, we limit any onsite waste.

2) Energy-Efficient: With a SmartPads home, say hello to lower energy bills. Our homes are built with more exact tolerances reducing air infiltration, which accounts for up to 20% of the heating and cooling cost of a home. Lastly, our homes typically use low-energy light bulbs, including CFLs or LEDs, which are more durable and saves you more energy.

3) Whole House HEPA Filtration Units: These ensure healthy indoor air quality and are effective at removing particles down to .3 microns and larger. They collect dust, mold, spores, and viruses. HEPA filters are the #1 choice of physicians and are often used in hospital operating rooms, where clean air environments are required.

4) Energy and Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV’s / ERV’S): These are an energy efficient way to achieve, healthy, fresh air in a super insulated home. They exhaust the stale, humid air and bring in fresh outside air to keep your home fresh and healthy.

5) Better Built: A prefab home is built to a higher degree of accuracy. They are built to stricter tolerances and are more energy efficient. In addition, because factory-built components are built to withstand shipping, they are generally built stronger than site built homes.

Make your new home a cleaner one today with SmartPads. Contact us to learn more.

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Are prefab homes the answer to Colorado’s housing shortage?

Is Prefab the Answer to Colorado’s Housing Shortage?

Colorado is in the middle of an affordable-housing crisis that cities across the state, especially mountain towns, are struggling to solve. According to a 2018 report by government-backed mortgage giant Freddie Mac, “the amount of housing in Colorado that was affordable to people making less than half of the median income had plunged by more than 75% between 2010 and 2016 — one of the biggest decreases in the country.”

It is clear that Colorado needs new housing, but our local building industry is not big enough to meet the supply, nor is it affordable for many. The number of construction and higher-skilled workers like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians are decreasing. With the demand for Colorado homes increasing at a rapid rate and the number of industry workers decreasing, prices of building a new home in Colorado are at an all-time high.

Transitioning from Traditional On-site Construction to Prefab

Prefab homes could be the solution to Colorado’s high demand for affordable housing. Compared to new construction homes, prefab homes are typically more affordable. The total cost of prefab homes can greatly change based on size, amenities, and location. However, buyers can expect to pay anywhere between $170 and $230 per square foot, which often includes the interior finishings and amenities of the home.

According to the United States Census Bureau, prefabs and modular homes account for almost 70% of new homes costing less than $150,000. And in January 2018, the average sale price for a prefab home without land was $93,000, which is 88% less than the average cost for a mountain home in Colorado.

With the cost difference alone, prefab homes and developments can address Colorado’s affordable housing crisis in a revolutionary way.  Prefab homes provide the ability to produce quickly and at scale. Not only is this a solution to Colorado’s shortage of affordable living, but it is increasing the rate at which new homes are completed and ready to be lived in, without compromising their modern design and quality.

The SmartPads Solution

Here at SmartPads, we specialize in creating cutting-edge real estate solutions for Colorado buyers that provide more value at less cost and in a shorter time frame. Through our innovative building strategy, we eliminate more than 50% of construction line items while elevating quality through our phased construction timeline. While our homes are being built in an indoor facility in Utah, site preparation work can be simultaneously done on the land.

Learn more about how SmartPads can fix the Colorado housing shortage. Contact us today.

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Is it Really Possible to Build a Home in Less Than Four Months?

Once you’ve decided to build the home of your dreams, you want to move in as soon as possible. But in most situations, building a home takes a long time. From contractor delays to weather factors and changes in plans, there are a lot of issues that prolong the move-in date for your new home.

However, there is a better and faster way you can move into the custom home of your dreams. At SmartPads, we can decrease your construction time in less than half through our unique prefab solutions and provide significant savings. For instance:

  • We have a fixed bid for home design, engineering, and build so there are minimal contingencies.
  • The shorter timeframe also provides for a shorter interest rate period on your loan.
  • This also results in significantly less construction draws, saving time and bank charges.
  • All architectural costs are included and capped, as are engineering fees.

What Makes It Go So Fast?

At SmartPads, we eliminate more than 50% of construction line items while simultaneously elevating quality through our phased construction timeline. While our homes are being built in an indoor facility in Utah, site preparation work can be simultaneously done on the land. And since the homes are built in a controlled facility, they avoid any delays due to weather (e.g., snow and thaw/freeze) or insufficient and damaged materials.

There’s nothing worse than your framer being five days late for the job so you must move the start date and consequently he’s now on a different job. Every sub change can move the deadline of a traditional stick build home and the ripple effect continues down the line. At SmartPads, our facility is like a clean baton change in a relay race. As soon as the framing is finished, our plumbers and electricians are ready onsite to start. It’s 100% synchronized.

Our prefab modular homes are delivered and completed onsite much faster than stick-built homes. The entire home is usually completed in 30 days or less.

Yes, It Really Is Possible to Build a Home in Less than 4 Months

From start to finish, our designs take approximately four weeks to build. That includes the concrete foundation, the core infrastructure, and a fully completed exterior and interior for all doors, windows, roof and finishes

Take the first step of building your SmartPads home today.

Contact us to find out more.

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Why Prefab Is Perfect for the Mountains

According to Zillow, Colorado home prices have been soaring for years, with today’s median mountain home price climbing close to $800,000. With the housing shortage in Colorado, all signs point to prices climbing even higher in the near future.

Purchasing and building a Colorado mountain home is increasingly attractive for a new generation of adventure seekers, second-homeowners, and growing families. With the increasing prices make it more difficult to build and own homes in the mountains, homeowners need to think outside of the box to make smarter, savvier decisions.

The scary reality for people is blowing their budget and contingency plan due to general contractors having no caps on their budget line items, leaving many overages. SmartPads homes are fixed bid. Your price is locked in.

More Colorado Homeowners are choosing Prefab

SmartPads modern and affordable prefab home designs fit mountain lifestyles. The owners of SmartPads have a background in building high-end, custom mountain homes and draw from this design and aesthetic experience to deliver the same level of contemporary living experiences, but blended with the benefits of prefab homes.

The benefits of prefab:

  • More cost-effective, move-in ready in months, and easy to maintain
  • Provide a high-quality, high-end modern aesthetic design
  • More sustainable and energy-efficient

SmatPads has aa firm vision of quality and luxury and are turning to prefab structures to address the costly effects of the Colorado housing shortage.

Why Choosing SmartPads Is Right for You

Prefab Homes Are Sustainable and Energy-Efficient

SmartPads designs are built with more exact tolerances reducing air infiltration, which accounts for up to 20% of the heating and cooling cost of a home.

Prefab Homes Are More Affordable and Faster

Our construction method reduces waste and expensive onsite labor. We pass these savings on to you. Additionally, we have an array of building material choices which will require less maintenance, meaning the long-term cost of ownership is far lower.

Prefab modular homes are delivered and completed onsite much faster than stick-built homes. The entire home is can be completed in 4 months or less.

Prefab Homes Are Stylish, Modern, and High-Quality

Each SmartPads prefab home is an architectural vision that includes contemporary luxury designs with a host of designer-worthy finishing options. Our prefab homes are built to the highest degree of accuracy and are designed to withstand shipping and crane delivery; they are often stronger than site-built counterparts.  

Prefab Homes Are Sustainable and Energy-Efficient

SmartPads designs are built with more exact tolerances reducing air infiltration, which accounts for up to 20% of the heating and cooling cost of a home. We have options of closed-cell foam insulation – the very highest standard in the industry, as well as being supported with ERV circulation to ensure appropriate airflow throughout the home.

From the environment to your bank account, all these features make SmartPads the perfect choice for building a new mountain home in Colorado.

Contact our team today to learn more about our cutting-edge prefab solutions in Colorado. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have!

SmartPads Used in Colorado Tiny Home Development

We are excited to utilize on of our smaller modular footprints for this innovative development concept in Hayden, Colorado. The proposal is to have a 10-unit tiny home neighborhood in the town of Hayden which is just 20 minutes West of Steamboat Springs, a well known ski mountain town. This coming January, the Routt County Regional Building Department is prepared to begin evaluating building permits and plans for tiny homes in the area. The tiny home movement is really taking off and now is the time to be a part of it. We are honored to be a part of the local movement and expect to see lots more action in the coming years. The Steamboat Pilot newspaper published an article today featuring our founders. Have a look below at the article for more information.