Types of Homes

Stick Built

Constructed entirely or largely on-site from a customized floor plan using any number of materials like wood, concrete, and straw. Materials are purchased as needed, transported in convenient loads and don’t require much on-site storage. The process is more time-consuming than most “package” options, so the short building season in Canada needs to be considered. With extensive hands-on experience and/or a reliable construction crew, the result can be a source of great pride and satisfaction as your custom home design becomes a reality.


These kits encompass styles like traditional framed designs, log homes, and timber-framed options; almost any style can be customized to suit your budget and requirements. All the major building components are pre-cut and prepared in a facility and shipped to the construction site for assembly. This is a good option if you have time, some building experience, and help. A basic package provides everything needed to bring your house to the “lock-up” or weather-tight stage, including windows, doors and roof. A “complete” package can cover insulation, drywall, interior doors and trims, exterior finishing, cabinets and even appliances. Detailed construction plans accompany the materials that are delivered to the site on drop-deck trailers in one or more loads. You will need to ensure site access for these large vehicles and storage for the package components, but you can expect to pay less for a kit house package because of the supplier’s bulk-buying power and the time saved in pre-cutting and sourcing materials.


These houses are built to some degree of completion in an off-site climate-controlled facility. This is a fast-growing industry that has evolved to offer both stock plans and custom-designed options.


Includes pre-built wall and floor panels that are shipped to the building site and lifted into place using a crane. The wall panels can be simply the studs and sheathing, or can include windows, doors, wiring and insulation. The package will include the floor and/or roof assemblies, prebuilt stairs, siding, doors and hardware to facilitate bringing the house to the lock-up stage in a very short time.

Geodesic Domes

These distinctive spherical structures consist of triangular shapes within circles, giving a strength and rigidity that can withstand considerable wind loads. Because they use less surface area to enclose the same volume as a box-type structure— resulting in less heat escape— domes are very energy efficient. Domes are pre-packaged and manufactured and brought to the building site for assembly. Whether the frame is made of steel, wood or aluminum, with a crew it can be assembled in half a day. Lightweight triangular Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPS) fill the frames and make for rapid construction and savings in labour costs.


These homes are built almost entirely in a factory in one or more units or modules that are joined together once delivered to the building site. Access must be available for large transport trucks and the 80’ crane needed to lift the modules onto a prepared foundation, although a helicopter can also be used. Because this construction method uses wood beams with steel posts for support rather than steel frames, the design can include multiple stories and a basement. Each module is completed with insulation, plumbing, wiring and exterior siding plus whatever level of interior finishing you desire. The roof is hinged and unfolded on site for quick weatherproofing, leaving only the “button-up” work of mechanical and electrical tie-ins, drywall and interior paint.

Ready-To-Move (RTM)

This type of house is exactly as it sounds: built completely in one piece at the contractor’s site and moved to your foundation as a fully finished home. The plans may be stock, or customdesigned with all the finishings completed as specified. Once the building is secured onto the foundation, the mechanical, electrical and water services will be installed and connected and stairs put into place. A RTM house is a good option if your area has a shortage of skilled labour and materials. However, road access is critical and cost increases with distance from the builder’s yard.

The selection of home-building packages and solutions for rural living is extensive and as varied as one property is from another. It is well worth the time to research them all, to know your land’s attributes and challenges and make an informed decision as to how you will approach the construction process.

With forethought and strength of purpose, your rural home can be built on your budget, and within your time frame, to allow for many years of enjoyment!