FAQs

What kinds of customizations can I make?

Customizations to floor plans, window schedules and dormers are all feasible within the AvrameUSA system. The first step is to sketch out what you envision on top of an existing floor plan to assess for feasibility. From this sketch, we can provide feedback. We estimate hours, per your designs, at $150/hour. Sometimes you can choose an existing drawing, which has a flat change fee associated. On average, floor plan and window customizations take between 4 to 8 hours. See customizations for more information (within floor plans).

Where is AVRAME located?

The Avrame concept was developed in Europe and has offices in Estonia. The AvrameUSA team has designed and engineered kits to be compliant with US building codes. AvrameUSA sources, packages, and ships all kit parts domestically. Our facilities are located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

How do I budget for total expenses on my AVRAME home?

Current custom home builds in the United States average over $200 per square foot. AvrameUSA kits are designed to be considerably more affordable, from the foundation on up! The original concept was conceived with a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach in mind. With a high level of DIY work on your kit, you can estimate between $100-$125 per square foot for your total budget (outside of land expenses). When using a builder, local rates and building costs will come into play more and total budgeting can range from $135-$225 per square foot (outside of land expenses). The materials you choose to include in your kit, access to your building site, sourced finish materials, sub-contracted help and local market rates will all impact your final build cost. Use the budget worksheet to get estimates and research options that work best for your budget, timeline and building experience.

Can I have exposed beams?

Yes! No matter your floor plan, you always have a top collar tie that is structurally required. Because this is LVL material and not architectural lumber, you will want to wrap the beam in a finish material of your choice for aesthetics. The roof side beams can also be finished and exposed though it is not recommended and usually cost prohibitive.

Are there models to visit?

We have a Duo75 mock-up available for scheduled site visits at our fabrication facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Duo is not a model home but is finished to show the level of materials our system offers. We have a portion of the mock-up unfinished to be able to best discuss the structural components with visitors. Even if you’re interested in a Trio, the Duo can be helpful to visit as it is approximately the same size as the second level of a Trio.

As clients finish their homes, some may be available for site visits on a quarterly basis or nightly rentals. Be sure to follow along at AvrameUSA on Instagram for updates. If you plan to be in the area, we would love to connect in person! Please allow 2 or more days to schedule your site visit appointment to ensure availability.

Where can I see more photos or videos of Avrame homes?

The best place to follow along with current builds is our AvrameUSA Instagram page. Some US clients are documenting their builds along the way as well. Soon, there will be Avrame homes in the US available for nightly rentals as well.

What foundation types can an AvrameUSA kit use?

We have two engineered foundation options in the US.

  • A standard crawl space design is included with our plan sets. This is with four perimeter walls and center support for the floor load.  This is designed for a flat plot of land.  For a Trio, the foundation is typically an 8” foundation wall with #4 rebar on 12” vertical centers and 12” horizontals (single mat).  The footings are typically 36” wide and 12” deep on the two sidewalls and 24” wide on the gable walls.
  • A basement option that can be added to your plans ($1,500) which can work on a sloped lot. This includes a custom floor plan based on how you plan to use the basement space.

Due to the way our structural truss is engineered, a slab foundation is not feasible with the AvrameUSA system.  Other custom options are possible, such as a pier and beam system, but would require custom engineering and soil samples ($1,500-$3,000).

What about a strip-footing foundation?

AvrameUSA no longer offers a strip-footing foundation design for the following reasons.

  • Most building departments to not allow an open foundation
  • Freeze thaw and plumbing related issues are more cost effective with a crawlspace
  • Vermin-related issues are eliminated with a crawlspace
  • Insulation requirements are mitigated with a crawlspace
How does the permitting process work?

Permitting is your responsibility. In your research phase, you should become familiar with local limitations for building shape and size as well as permitting requirements. Most building departments will have a checklist you can review. Our team is happy to look at your checklist and provide feedback on what our sets cover versus what you are responsible for on your side. After you engage in the drawing phase of our process, you will have your plan sets from us, along with anything you need to supplement, to use to apply for permitting.

What if I need to get preliminary approval from my HOA before I can determine if AvrameUSA is a good fit for my project?

Our basic floor plan is available for this purpose. This should provide you enough information to gain initial approval.

How long does it take to get my kit?

There are many factors that come into play to determine timing. It is safe to allocate between 4 to 8 months for your full planning and building stages. The drawing stage takes 2 to 3 weeks. Once a kit is ordered, it can be produced in 6 to 8 weeks. Each kit is produced on demand with fresh materials for optimal quality. Please see our timeline and process roadmap for additional information.

Do I need to hire and architect and/or engineer for my project?

In the US, it is not necessary to hire an architect or engineer for your project in most cases. We have full sets of engineered plans and architectural drawing available and a team you can work with for customizations.

What kind of heating and cooling does an Avrame use?

Heating and cooling is up to you and not part of our kit or plan sets.  Our recommendation is a mini-split wall or ceiling mounted unit that is optimized for heating and cooling.  The way we have optimized the living space in the AvrameUSA home does not leave a lot of extra room for a full ductwork forced air system.  There are other options such as electric baseboards and various types of stoves you could consider.  You may also consider a ceiling fan in the open vaulted areas of your home to help with airflow.

MINI-SPLIT

PROS

  • Low purchase and install cost
  • Heating and cooling in one unit
  • Can run unattended

CONS

  • Relatively low cost of operation until you hit sub-zero outside temperatures at which point, you kick over to straight electric heat

PELLET STOVE/WOOD BURNING STOVE

PROS

  • Low operating cost
  • No propane or NG
  • Relatively low purchase price

CONS

  • Can’t leave them alone for more than a few days (pellet)
  • Would need a secondary electric heating source for the abandoned time periods

TRADITIONAL FURNACE

PROS

  • Even instant heat

CONS

  • Higher install cost
  • Needs propane or NG
  • Second floor heat runs are problematic
  • Valuable space you give up to install
Can I use radiant heating?

Radiant heating is wonderful, though sometimes cost prohibited. Our engineering includes using a floor truss as part of the structural system, thus a mud-radiant system with 2 x 2 sleepers is the recommended approach for this. There is an under-mount system with a reflector shield as well, however it requires a bit more space. In that floor joist you would have little room left for insulation and have a loss of efficiency. There are some options here and we would be happy to discuss this further with you.
NOTE: We do not have a slab-on-grade foundation engineered for this kit at this point, thus radiant heating through a slab is not possible with the AvrameUSA system.

What kind of insulation does an AvrameUSA system use?

To ensure affordability, you need to source insulation in your local area. Your local jurisdiction will have insulation requirements for your area, which you should familiarize yourself with. You have a cavity between 6 to 12 inches (floor to exterior) to work with for insulation, depending on the site plan. This provides lots of options for insulation like rigid foam, spray foam, batting, blown glass, etc. It really depends on the R-value you are looking to aim for. You can reach very high with a spray foam insulation as well. Or you can spray a few inches and then fill in with another type. Your builder may be able to provide some feedback on what works best in you area.

Do you offer financing?

We do not offer financing directly through AvrameUSA. Most clients have found success seeking a construction loan (some loans will allow you to bundle land and home together). One key element to keep in mind when talking to lenders is AvrameUSA is not a prefabricated, modular, or tiny home. It is really a traditional stick-build home, with full sets of architectural and engineered plans, that sits on a fixed foundation. Simply stated, we offer a sophisticated materials order kit with accompanying plan sets. It may be necessary and beneficial to you to educate your lender on the AvrameUSA flexible building system.

What is the payment schedule?

An initial payment of $2,500, plus any customization or additional drawing fees, is due at engagement of the drawing phase. The payment is nonrefundable but will be deducted from your final payment balance. Then 50% of your invoice is due as kit production begins and the final balance is due when your home is ready to be shipped.

Are there any discount opportunities?

We have money-saving opportunities for qualified AvrameUSA home builds. If you make your home available for marketing or site visit purposes, you can receive compensation or discounts for your efforts. We also offer multiple discounts starting at 3 or more kits of the same size and floor plan. This discounts starts at 3% and goes up to 10% for 20 plus units. This offer pertains most often to developers.

Can my AVRAME be off grid?

Yes, AvrameUSA kit can easily be finished to be an off-the-grid home. The nature of the roofing easily allows for solar panels. You will be responsible to source solar equipment and other off-the-grid options locally.

How does shipping work?

All AvrameUSA kits are engineered, sourced, and packaged in the United States. The kits are prepared and shipped from our facilities in Salt Lake City, Utah on a flatbed truck.
You and your team would greet the truck upon arrival at the site and unload the components and building materials directly onto your site. A construction forklift is required. Estimates for delivery range between $1,000 to $5,600, depending on proximity and accessibility.

Do I need on-site storage?

Depending on your build schedule, location of your land, comfort level and potential exposure to weather elements, you may consider having a pod or storage container on-site to hold materials while you build. AvrameUSA homes are designed to be assembled quickly. With efficient planning, you may not need storage on-site at all.

Can I purchase plans only?

No, we do not sell plans only. Because of our custom engineered and fabricated hardware plates, which are factored into our plan sets, our minimum package is our Structural Kit. The Structural Kit includes permit drawings, assembly instructions and structural lumber and hardware.

Can I connect two AvrameUSA homes together?

Connecting two AvrameUSA homes is possible! Custom engineering and design of connection structure, as well as materials, should be all sourced and hired locally versus through the AvrameUSA team.

What are the steps in the process and timeline?

There are many variables in the timeline but here are the basic steps with the AvrameUSA team.

  • We will set up an introductory call, which can happen anytime during the research phase.
  • After the land and build approaches are finalized, we will set up a WebEx call. This call is to review kit details and assembly methods. Have your builder/framer join this call if you are not using a self-builder/DIYer approach.
  • AvrameUSA provides a bid based on the kit options and any customizations to the plans you request.
  • The drawings phase is initiated with receipt of an initial payment ($2,500) plus any customization fees, which are both nonrefundable.  (2-3 weeks)
  • Final plans will be delivered to you, digitally as well as a hard copy. You submit for a residential building permit. This step can take a few weeks to a few months depending on your jurisdiction, so start early.
  • The production phase is initiated upon permit approval and a 50% balance payment.  (6-8 weeks)
  • Shipping from Salt Lake City, Utah upon final payment. (1-7 days)