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Interview with Auxbox Founder Landon Sheck

Auxbox's founder Landon Sheck discusses prefab and modular building, common misconceptions in the prefab world, and the future of prefab.

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Aux Box

prefabs website for more information

What makes aux box prefabs different?

"We use the phrase "less and better'', and combine that framework with our core values, to guide all of our decisions. Can we simplify the design? Can we simplify the process? Can we do this without compromising quality, and instead increase quality and functionality?

We ask a lot of questions like these to guide us on our path to positively disrupt the lingering stigma around manufactured homes and structures. Our mission is to build a product so great, it will be obvious that the future is manufactured."

How do you think about the future of prefab?

"While there will always be a place for traditional building methods, we believe with thoughtful design and evolving technologies, modularized or fully prefabricated approaches will dominate the construction industry with a significant ramp up over the next decade.

Our desire is to role model this transition done well. We believe quality, safety, and speed-to-occupancy can all increase with thoughtful systems applied to prefab. Community disruption, environmental impact, and time on site can all significantly decrease thanks to prefab. It's a no brainer."

Morgan Seeber, aux box's other cofounder

What are some common misunderstandings about prefab, and how should people think about them instead?

"We have very clear images on what mobile homes are, or manufactured homes. We may think c"heap cheap cheap"! While these particular images are of a product that no doubt provides a solution, there is another end, opposite on that spectrum which tells a far different story.

We want to paint that image. People that get to work in a shop that is warm and safe, where they participate in each layer of the product, are engaged, happy employees. The highest quality components are used in a precise, and thoughtfully designed approach to produce a result that is not just stunning, but will last much longer, with minimal maintenance or repair. So prefab, like anything, is on a continuum, and when it comes to homes and structures, we just need some compelling images of what the best of the continuum is."

To date our customers are using our product to complement their existing residence with the aux box being an office, studio or spare room. Our clients appreciate quality, design, and functionality. We have opted to use the best components we can versus the cheapest, so we sit at the higher end of the value chain, and in turn, the more expensive. We are also fully turn key, so when we drop our units off, the client can immediately enjoy the space.

There are other prefab options that arrive in segments, or flat packed pieces, both involving more site work. We recommend these other options to people where access is impossible for our fully prefab system. We do not quite yet offer a financing options, but because our clients are already property owners, they tend to have access to low interest debt if needed. Investors love the prefab approach as it can get them to a return on investment much faster (think site and services being prepped while units are built off site at the same time).

Our clients almost always have the land already, and we really only offer four model options, with varying degrees of customization. Once they have picked their model and finishes, a first instalment payment is made and the project commences. Construction can take anywhere from 2 - 6 weeks assuming all components are in stock. During the shop construction, a foundation is prepared and electrical cable ran to aux box location.

After a final quality control walk through and clean up, a finished unit is wrapped and loaded onto a flatdeck trailer and delivered to site. We are met on site by a crane, to pick up and place the aux box on the previously prepared foundation. Services are then connected by certified service providers, and furniture can be moved in.

We check in at 6 months and 1 year to make sure there are no surprises after a full seasonal cycle. Required maintenance is very minimal with our design, so our clients can simply enjoy the space.

aux box's manufacturing facility in Parksville, B.C.

What should customers expect from aux box?

"We currently have 4 models. Our 3 small models are meant for offices, studios or spare rooms. Our large model is a micro dwelling with a flex space, kitchenette and full three-piece bathroom. The prices range from $32,000 CAD to $140,000 CAD. We are based on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, and will ship anywhere in North America. Typical lead time is 12 - 14 weeks."

aux box is a modal ADU and backyard office provider. They ship from their shop in Parksville, British Columbia, Canada to anywhere in Canada and the USA. Learn more about their products, take advantage of the online configurator, or use their contact page to reach them at auxbox.ca

aux box Model 146 prefab office in a shady backyard


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