What to consider when purchasing a CABN
We’ve had a lot of interest from people that are eager to make a CABN their home, whether it is a first time homebuyer, someone looking for a secondary property, or a short term rental option.
CABN represents a new way of thinking about housing– arriving as a kit, our models combine the best of rapid assembly, sustainability, renewable energy, and simplicity. However, you are still building a house– there are a few more things to consider before you make your purchase. We want to ensure you’re well informed and feel confident with your new home project.
CABNs are designed to work with the natural environment, allowing placement in rural and remote locations. We love working with clients to bring a spectacular home to a stunning location. Helical piles are a great option, allowing you to create a level ground where there isn’t, saving excavation and grading times. However, we understand that this approach doesn’t work for every situation– that’s where a more traditional concrete pad can work well with CABN models.
Depending on your location, you may need to clear part of the land, add a road, and run utilities. We can coach you throughout these steps, as well as provide documentation for permitting. As the homeowner, we require you to take the lead on permitting and site preparations, potentially working with a local contractor. This maintains a local connection, while benefiting from local knowledge too! Of course, we’re always here to support you throughout the process.
All CABNs share an extended roof slope– while we love the design, this choice was primarily for functionality. The extended roof slope allows for shading in the summer, keeping you cool. When the sun dips lower in the sky during winter months, sun streams in the windows, helping to keep the home warm.
Given this important function of the home, your ideal placement for a CABN should orient the roof slope towards the south. CABNs can swing up to 45º to the east or the west with minimal impact on the performance of the home, so don’t fret if you’re off by a few degrees– we can still make things work.
No matter if you choose an off- or on-grid CABN, there will be solar panels on the roof. This setup also relies on a southern orientation for maximum solar energy production, but can accommodate up to 45º off of south as well.
If you were planning to tie into a municipal grid for energy, the inclusion of solar panels may come as a surprise. We liken it to a hybrid vehicle, one that uses solar for energy, but can draw from the grid when needed. The benefit of a solar array when you've got a grid tie-in means that you may also be able to sell your solar-generated energy back to the grid. Making money from the sun– never a bad idea!
Sometimes, the optimal views and the optimal solar orientation don’t align– we understand that. Clients have opted to forego some of the energy performance or build an external solar array to achieve their dream of a CABN in a jaw-dropping locale. These situations are all possible, and we can work with you throughout the site assessment to troubleshoot any tricky locations.
Waste and Water
At CABN, we focus on our building kits. What we have found is that every client’s site is entirely different with respect to location, amenities, and site requirements. Given this, we aren’t prescriptive in terms of waste and water solutions– we leave that to your jurisdiction and preferences.
Clients are responsible for sourcing and installing what they need, whether that is a septic or sewer connection, for example. Similarly, water wells, municipal hookups or wells need to be taken care of by the homeowner. CABN arrives with the plumbing and electrical connections laid out, allowing your local plumber and electrician to hook up to the systems with ease.
Assembly and Installation
When your CABN is delivered, the wall components come on flat-bed trucks, with components shipped in 40’ shipping containers. Each piece is marked for straightforward assembly, requiring only a crane operator and two non-specialized trades. With this, the building envelope, or shell, should come together in a matter of days.
Given the global availability of CABN, we do not offer standard assembly and installation services, but have dedicated teams to support clients as they assemble a team of trades and coordinate their contractors. Depending on your location, we also have partner assembly and install teams that we can refer you to for your build. We have also ensured that the assembly strategy is straightforward, with clear labels and instructions on how to join the component pieces.
Moreover, the benefit of working with local trades ensures that your CABN is assembled to the specifications of your regional building codes– something local knowledge is essential for.
CABN comes complete with doors, floors, windows, walls, solar, mechanical, and smart home systems. We also load our containers with the decking, cladding, and interior partition walls. What doesn’t come standard with CABN models are interior finishes: kitchen and bath cabinetry, appliances, or finishing fixtures throughout the home.
This is an intentional choice– we understand there are several different use cases for CABN, whether for full time living, part time cottaging, rentals, or hospitality. Allowing choice in interior finishing allows the client to customize their home to exactly their requirements, also offering the option to choose how they spend their budget. We’ve had clients choose straightforward, flat-packed kitchens as well as others that have chosen custom interior finishes from local designers.
Due to the prefabricated design and the standardized layout of CABNs, combined with the exactness of cross-laminated timber, designing the interior is easy, as our homes are square and dimensionally accurate.
CABN as a housing solution
We’ve worked to take out a lot of the guesswork from building your home, but know that even the most straightforward approach may feel like a big project. At CABN, we’ve got a team of dedicated project managers to work with you throughout the entire project, breaking it down into a manageable process.
CABN teams work to deliver your home in 12 months from contract signature, a faster process than traditional construction. Once on site, the home can be assembled in days and finished in weeks, with the end product using 20% the energy of a traditional build– giving you an incredible space to call home.