Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I buy a DwellTech cottage or accessory dwelling?
DwellTech’s cottages and accessory dwellings are unique, affordable, low-maintenance and long-lasting.
We have partnered with leading architectural and engineering firms including Morrison Hershfield and Mara + Natha Architecture to ensure that our models are designed and engineered to the highest standards.
We offer exceptional value by including extensive structural pre-engineering, full scale physical testing and architecturally designed layouts for optimal functionality. We also pass along significant cost and material resource savings through our on-site manufacturing process and minimal trades requirements.
What are the benefits associated with the curved metal roof?
The roof is made of painted Galvalume® (55% Aluminum-Zinc Alloy-Coated steel), which has superior long term corrosion resistance. An extensive engineering research study shows a minimum projected service life of 60 years. When factoring in our west coast climate, the study found that the projected service life exceeds 300 years.
Unlike a typical roof which collects falling branches and leaves, our roof’s curve helps to keep it debris-free. The rain gutters are near ground level, so you will never need to climb a ladder to clean them.
What does “built to lock-up stage” mean, and what’s included in the cost?
Our cottages and accessory dwellings are built to “Lock Up Stage” on your property.
This means you will effectively be able to “lock up” your new cottage when we leave.
Included in the cost of our Lock-Up Package:
- Arches by DwellTech Structural Roof/Wall System
- Arches Foundation Brackets (see below)*
- Front & back porch
- Exterior front & back walls
- Exterior doors and windows
- Exterior cladding & trim
- Interior centre wall framing
- Interior ceiling framing
*DwellTech’s proprietary foundation brackets are included in the both the Lock-Up and Turn-Key packages, however a foundation is not included. Foundation requirements differ for every site due to slope and soil conditions and must be costed on case-by-case basis as directed by geotechnical engineering.
** DwellTech’s Roadmap to Completion provides a detailed overview of the materials, tasks, and estimated costs required to complete your accessory dwelling or cottage beyond lockup stage, saving you time and money.
Also included are two complimentary follow-up site visits. If needed, we will visit your site to answer questions or provide guidance as the project progresses past lockup stage.
Do you offer a Turn-Key package for your cottages and small homes?
Yes, DwellTech can build your cottage to Turn-Key upon request. Our Turn-Key pricing reflects projects based in the Fraser Valley and Sunshine Coast. If you wish to purchase a Turn-Key package and reside outside of these regions, pricing and materials may differ and consultation will be required to determine finishes and revise costs accordingly.
Included in the cost of our Turn-Key Package is everything in Lock-Up, plus:
- Quality interior finishes, choice of paint colour
- Cedar shakes and/or Hardie planks exterior finishes
- Ikea kitchen cabinets, closets & plumbing fixtures
- Bath fans and range hood
- Electric baseboard heating
- All electrical fixtures (most LED)
- Up to two on-site follow-up consultations
Do you include a warranty?
Yes. We offer a HPO 2 – 5 -10 warranty on all of our projects: 2 years on labour and materials, 5 years on building envelope, and 10 years on structure.
How long will it take to complete my cottage or accessory dwelling?
Timelines will vary according to project, location, foundation requirements and permitting processes. Typically, once all engineering and permits are completed, most projects will take between 8 to 12 weeks to reach Lock-Up.
Do you build prefab or modular homes?
No… DwellTech’s systems-built technique combines positive aspects of prefab/modular building with the benefits of on-site construction. We prefab some non-structural components of your home in our factory, to avoid weather issues, reduce waste, maximize labour, and ensure highly standardized production. However, the exterior structural components are fabricated on-site and machine seamed using our Arches Mobile Building System which helps to minimize material waste and provide the highest quality roof. On-site fabrication and machine seaming ensures your exterior will be leakproof and increases structural integrity.
How do you make the curved roof?
Our curved roof is fabricated on-site and machine seamed using our Arches Mobile Building System. We bring a raw coil of steel to your site and roll-form it into 1 foot wide panels of any length required. The straight panel is then curved to a set radius using our machine. Each panel is machine seamed together to ensure your roof will be leakproof and provide structural integrity. Our curved roof homes are built with continuous full-span arches of cold-rolled carbon steel with an aluminum-zinc alloy coating which has superior long term corrosion resistance. We NEVER use a bolt-together arch, all our arches are continuous full-span and machine seamed.
What kind of buildings does DwellTech build? In what ways can they be used?
DwellTech dwellings make great recreational properties, like cottages or cabins, as well as detached in-law suites, guest houses, hospitality accommodations, laneway houses, secondary or accessory dwelling units.
With the unprecedented demand for rental suites, DwellTech’s detached cottages are affordable mortgage helpers. The dwellings are also perfect for in-law housing, starting a backyard airbnb rental, expanding a small bed and breakfast, or creating a new ocean-side resort.
DwellTech can also build auxiliary buildings that can be used as studios, offices, workshops or utility spaces.
Are DwellTech cottages and accessory dwellings built to code?
Yes. Our dwellings are designed and constructed to meet or exceed all applicable building codes. DwellTech has partnered with leading engineers and architects to ensure your home or cottage has been designed and engineered to the highest standards.
Do the curved walls create a low ceiling?
No, in fact you will have up to 11′ of clearance. Proper positioning of counter tops and furniture allows very efficient use of space. Less than 15% of the interior space has clearance under 6′, and that is right next to the wall where there would typically be no walking or congregating in a traditional dwelling either. The remaining 86% of space is over 6′, with more than 56% of that being over 10′ clearance.
The curved roof/walls actually help reduce the amount of costly building materials required. Why pay for extra building materials just to provide a high corner for cobwebs to collect?
See for yourself… Contact us to schedule a viewing.
Will the metal roof be noisy in the rain?
No, metal roofs are commonly used today in many residential and commercial applications. With proper insulation, it is not an issue.
What materials do you use to finish the exterior?
The curved walls and roof are made of painted galvalume (55% Aluminum-Zinc Alloy-Coated steel). The front and back exterior wall panels feature cedar and galvalume panels.
Our steel coil supplier, Steelscape provides us with the highest quality America made steel with 30 to 40% recycled content.
Do you have other designs?
Yes. DwellTech has a number of additional designs – including a 3 bedroom floorplan – that are not currently featured on our website. These designs can be viewed on request – simply contact us to learn more.
Where can you build a DwellTech dwelling?
Essentially any rural area, however, zoning requirements do vary between municipalities. Our Arches Mobile Building System is completely portable, however it does require some space to operate, so some densely populated urban areas are not ideal. Contact us today at 604.474.4095 to determine if we can build on your site.
DwellTech is a BC company, our prices are in Canadian dollars and include construction on the Sunshine Coast and throughout the Fraser Valley. Contact us today to schedule a meeting on the Sunshine Coast or in the Fraser Valley. If you are outside of those areas, please let us know that you want DwellTech to visit you in the Okanagan, Kootenays, Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island, Washington State or wherever you call home. Call DwellTech at 604.474.4095 for your accessory dwelling or cottage needs.