Frequently asked questions

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General

Can I see a display model in person?

FABPREFAB has built a prototype of Minima. This can be viewed at their factory in Somersby, on the NSW Central Coast. All viewings are by appointment-only and should be arranged with our team.

The Courtyard House prototype has been installed on a site in the town of Hawks Nest on the NSW Mid North Coast. We can arrange an inspection with advance notice. Alternatively, the house is available for short-term rental on Airbnb through its owners.

How long does it take to build a Minima or Courtyard House?

Minima itself has a build duration of eight to 10 weeks. From time to time, core items, such as cross laminated timber (CLT) and custom joinery items including doors, windows, and internal furnishings, may have a lead time too. Durations for which can be determined at the time of order and advised on enquiry. Generally, in as little as three months, we’ll have made your selected Minima design ready.

Our Courtyard House typically has a factory build time of 15 weeks for construction. Lead times are determined at the time of order.

Overall, delivery and lead times will depend on our workload at the time of engagement and will be outlined during a preliminary consultation. We will, however, do our best to work with our clients to accommodate their desired time frames.

Can FABPREFAB arrange a planning application for us?

Yes, FABPREFAB can arrange the approval process, or we are happy for the client or their consultants to run this process. A fee for this work can be determined following the initial consultations and the site feasibility review.

Do you deliver to remote locations?

Yes, we deliver Australia-wide. We see modular construction as particularly well-suited to rural and remote areas. It is common for remote areas to have trade shortages and the construction of modules in our factory means that we have highly skilled tradespeople, all in one place, who can deliver a highly detailed architectural design.

prototype-house

What materials does FABPREFAB use?

FABPREFAB has a strong focus on sustainability and reducing our company’s carbon footprint. We utilise cross laminated timber (CLT) for the structure of the Minima and as the mass timber structural element in the Courtyard House. This is manufactured in Australia by XLam at Wodonga and the timber for the CLT is sourced locally from sustainably managed pine forests.

Timber is the most sustainable construction material as it stores carbon for its entire life. Our timber products are all sourced through reliable and ethical Australian suppliers, ensuring the longevity of the world’s environment, flora and fauna and habitats. Within the interior, all paints and coatings are all low volatile organic compound (VOC).

What’s unique about FABPREFAB?

Our ongoing collaborations with leading Australian, multi-award-winning architects, TRIAS and CHROFI, provide us with designs that are clever, considered, sustainable and unique. With our high-quality sustainable approach and attention to detail, we believe our products will help increase awareness of prefabricated dwellings as a viable, sensible, and quality alternative to conventional on-site construction.

What are the benefits of prefab construction?

Prefab construction is a highly sustainable means of building, as material usage and waste are easily controlled. Building off-site results in reduced weather delays and materials and finishes are kept dry throughout the building process. It also provides a much safer working environment with shaded, dry, and level working surfaces.

Quality is also much easier to control as all work is supervised and under the one roof. These factors are undoubtedly appealing to clients and homeowners as they have a clear view of the process ahead with both fixed costs and programming and a stress-free building process. For regional and remote areas, prefab also offers designs and finishes that may not otherwise be achievable or available given limited local resources.


Design

Can I customise the design?

We are currently focused on delivering the designs we have refined and perfected with CHROFI and TRIAS, so – at this stage – we do not offer major structural changes to our existing designs. We also believe this is the best way to keep within our efficiencies and align with our modular ethos. This process ultimately offers you a great saving on preliminary costs, such as design.

We can, however, offer a proposal for custom design services, which can be worked on in collaboration with either TRIAS or CHROFI. Please contact us to receive further information on this process.

Can I go off-grid?

We do offer off-grid versions of Minima and the Courtyard House, which can include solar and battery storage, a rain-harvested water tank (with or without filtration systems), and a bio-septic treatment system, which in turn, treats waste and irrigates surrounding gardens. We would be happy to provide further information on these systems and their benefits, on request. Our off-grid systems are ideal for sites that aren’t connected to services. This means that your home will be fully self-sufficient without town supplies and ongoing energy bills!

Transport

How do you transport the completed modules and what size are they?

The modules within the Minima range are typically 3.5m-wide by 7m-long, which makes delivery into metropolitan areas easier. They are generally craned off the truck and placed in the final site position, though in some cases, we can lift them off with a truck-mounted crane.

The Courtyard House modules are 4.5m-wide by 11.9m-long. These can still be installed in suburban areas with adequate access, and additional escort vehicles are required. These are craned off the truck into position on-site. We can offer logistics advice to determine what is possible and the best access route.

Is a crane required?

Yes, we install all of our modules with a crane. This cost is included in our delivery fees.

What are the access requirements?

Access will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and will be considered in the site feasibility report.

How much does transport cost?

Transport costs are determined on a case-by-case basis, as they depend on your site, access and so on. We can provide a more accurate estimate of these costs during our initial consultation.

Site work

Do FABPREFAB do site preparation and excavation?

Yes, we can arrange any site levelling, excavation and service installation that’s required.

What foundations do you use?

In most cases, we aim to install stop digging screw piers, in order to minimise site and environmental impacts. This avoids the need for concrete installation to the ground. We will arrange an inspection of the site with a geotechnical engineer, in order to understand what is beneath the ground (i.e. rocks, silts and clays.) They will provide us with a report and give us the information required to make an informed assessment of what structural support is required.

Do we need to arrange services to a Courtyard House or Minima?

You can arrange site services and connections independently of us if that is your preference. Alternatively, FABPREFAB is happy to carry out these works for you too.

What bushfire ratings do your homes achieve? Is it possible to increase the rating if required?

The Minima was originally designed for metropolitan areas and for that reason has no Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating. However, with increasing interest from those in rural and regional areas, options to upgrade to a higher BAL rating are available.

To enable this, a BAL report will be required to determine the site requirements. FABPREFAB can assist with this process on request. Often, a BAL upgrade can be as simple as a cladding change, with some other minor tweaks.

Courtyard House has been designed to BAL29 standard, which offers substantial protection. However, a further upgrade can be offered and assessed on request through FABPREFAB.

Who can we speak to for further technical advice?

Please send an enquiry to info@fabprefab.com.au and our team will endeavour to provide you with any additional information you may need. Enquire here

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Our factory in Somersby, NSW Central Coast