Welcome to Prefab Profiles, an ongoing series of interviews with people transforming how we build houses. From prefab tiny houses and modular cabin kits to entire homes ready to ship, their projects represent some of the best ideas in the industry. Do you know a prefab brand that should be on our radar? Get in touch!
After more than 15 years spent in construction, high school friends Simon Fyall and Richard Egli began to think that there must be a better way to build. When the two visited the indigenous island of Haida Gwaii in Canada in 2019, suspicion grew into inspiration. Feeling that the buildings on the island ignored their natural surroundings, Simon and Richard started to imagine an architecture that blended in with the landscape of British Columbia. Soon after, the pair founded Blend Projects to build their vision: crisp gabled homes strung together from eight-foot-long cedar-sided glulam sections. We asked Kelly Robinson, the creative director at Blend Projects, about how one of their projects usually plays out.
What’s the most exciting project you’ve realized to date?
Honestly, all of our completed projects have been so exciting, especially because we are a young company. But the one that stands out is the Flanagan Residence. Geordie Flanagan, his wife, Jess, and young daughter Stevie came to us wanting to build on their beautiful but challenging lot on Salt Spring Island in BC. At the time they were expecting their second daughter and were in a hurry to build their nest. Throughout the build process, Geordie naturally became an ambassador for the company and is now our head of sales. While the build wasn’t quite complete for the birth of their second baby, they were able to move in shortly after the completion of their family and are absolutely loving it. Geordie and Jess graciously show their home to many of our future clients, so in many ways, it feels like it is part of the Blend family.
What does your base model cost and what does that pricing include?
Our base model starts around $290 USD per square foot, which includes everything above the slab: design, finishes, fixtures, appliances, doors, windows, electrical, HVAC, lighting, plumbing—everything except site works and foundation.
What qualities make your prefab stand apart from the rest?
For many reasons, we believe that prefab is the future, and we are champions of the prefab movement. We have many friends in the industry and believe there is a place for everyone. What sets us apart is that we offer our clients the best of both worlds: first, the benefits of a custom home that aligns with their lifestyle and makes the most of their lot and second, the time, waste, and resource savings that only prefab can achieve.
Additionally, we are a full service company, managing everything from start to finish: site works, design, permitting, and building all the way to final occupancy. And down to the essence, what really sets us apart is that we are all nature lovers and enthusiasts, and that is infused into everything we do.
Where is the prefab currently available?
Most of our current projects are throughout the province of British Columbia. We have one on Toronto Island as well, and we have plans to expand nationally in Canada and throughout the Pacific North West.
Are there plans to expand to different parts of North America?
How long can a client expect the process to take after they put down a deposit?
Our goal is one year from contract to completion. This of course depends on how swiftly your clients move, and permitting time is a bit of an X factor that’s beyond our control, but we can build our homes in eight months once permitting comes through. We can go from finished foundation to lock up in two weeks.
What aspects of an install do you manage?
We do it all.
What aspects of the design can a client customize?
Our building system can be expanded and contracted in eight-foot sections, and our glulams (structural beams) are fixed. But beyond that, the entire floor plan, window specifications, and door locations are customizable. We can do multiple stories and multiple structures that connect to one another. We have tons of options for upgrades to fixtures, finishes, and appliances, and we are always open to the dreams and visions of our clients.