“Where is Unity able to build?” This is one of the most common questions we receive, with folks nationwide wondering if building one of our high performance homes is a possibility in their state.
In principle, Unity (a brand of Bensonwood) can build anywhere in the country, as Bensonwood has for decades. However, most of our homes are built in the Northeast, since the colder climate is an ideal match for our well-insulated, energy-efficient home shells. We have built houses as far west as Wyoming and as far south as North Carolina. As you research where to build your home, there are several factors listed below that are worth considering. As always, reach out with any questions!
Cost of Shipping
Shipping building components to a site that is far from our headquarters in Walpole, New Hampshire is an important factor that can impact the total cost. The closer the build site to our state-of-the-art factory in southwest New Hampshire, the lower these trucking costs will be for the homeowner. This is something you’ll know early on when building with us, as we can provide trucking estimates for potential sites during the initial planning process.
We have built homes in tight urban infill lots and on islands only accessible by ferry or barge, however we do need enough room to deliver panels by truck and set up a crane to assemble those panels. Driveways and access roads that are steep, have tight turns or low overhead obstructions can create obstacles. If you have concerns about your potential building site, you can contact us to discuss the feasibility of working with us.
Local Labor Costs
While Unity’s team designs, prefabricates, and installs the shell of the house, every client must partner with a general contractor who will be instrumental with the foundation prep and finish work. The cost of local labor in some areas can be much higher than the national average. Your overall budget for completing the house should take the local costs into consideration. The benefit of working with Unity is that the bulk of the home construction is done by us with the pre-fabrication and installation of the shell, which adds labor predictability to the raising process.
Local Building Codes
We understand the impact that local and state building codes have on our projects and geographic range. States and municipalities have their own requirements for regulating components that are built off-site and delivered to sites within their jurisdiction—with some areas offering a smoother process than others. Some states, such as Maryland and California, present numerous hoops to jump through and are typically not advantageous from a cost perspective for homeowners to build with us in those states.
Unity has a decades-long track record of building homes that are energy efficient, healthy, comfortable and durable. While it is possible for Unity to build anywhere in the United States, many different factors determine the feasibility of us building in a particular location. Our “sweet spot” for building has generally been the Northeast, but we envision having additional production facilities in other parts of the country in the future. We encourage you to reach out with details and questions about your potential building location so we can help you on your journey towards a high performance home.