Understanding the Benefits and Flexibility of Panelized Homes

Understanding the Benefits and Flexibility of Panelized Homes

Show Notes: Discussing the numerous benefits and flexibility of panelized homes. We dive into topics such as energy efficiency, customization options, building permits, and the overall construction process. Highlighting how Landmark Home and Land Company supports customers through every step, from initial design to final construction, ensuring a seamless and efficient building experience. The episode underscores the company’s commitment to exceptional customer service, extensive knowledge, and the ability to handle diverse and complex building projects, making it clear why panelized homes are a valuable choice for prospective homeowners.


Steve Tuma: It’s a cool person-to-person type thing. It’s not, you know, computer to person. It’s people working with people to help them build a cool house. That’s what I say. We want to work with good people and build cool houses.

Interviewer: Hello everybody. Thanks for joining us for Episode 55 of the Panelized Prefab Kit Home Building Show. Calling in from, well, he’s on the road, a busy guy in our first ever phone-in version of the podcast, is the president and founder of Landmark Home and Land Company, a company which has been helping people build their new homes where they want, exactly as they want, nationwide and around the globe since 1993. And that busy guy is Mr. Steve Tuma. Steve, how’s it going, buddy?

Steve Tuma: It’s a good day. We’re just checking some projects out, looking at a few things and figured, hey, we’ve got to get a podcast in. I think we’re doing kind of an interesting and different format today, aren’t we?
Interviewer: Well, it’s just you’re so busy I have to catch you when I can. And since you can’t be in the studio this time around, I said, well, what the heck, I’m just going to see if he can take a few minutes and call in. And so I think it’s going to work fine. You actually sound pretty good on your end.

Steve Tuma: Well, that’s good. Amazing technology these days. So let’s get into it. Today, I thought we’d start something that maybe will end up becoming some sort of tradition or something, or just at least a semi-regular feature of the podcast. I wanted to field some questions that have come in via the Landmark Home and Land Company website and through emails and people who are thinking of building custom homes and are curious about panelized home building and curious about Landmark Home and Land Company in general. So if you’re up for it, let’s go through some of these emails and questions. You ready for that?

Interviewer: Yeah, these are just general questions that people ask for what I understand, right? It’s kind of down and dirty, you know, basic questions that they ask. So this should be fun.

Steve Tuma: I don’t know if there’s dirty. They’re all pretty clean. It’s a family show.

Interviewer: OK, so let’s see what you have. OK, so let’s start with an email that’s fairly recent. This person asks, and it’s a pretty logical question, can you please explain what a panelized home kit is and what is the purpose of kit houses?

Steve Tuma: Well, it’s kind of interesting. The purpose of the kit house is to make it easy for people to understand their project, control their project, control the budget, control the schedule, just to have an overall control of doing it the way we do it. It’s kind of a one-stop shop. So our kit isn’t just the wood structure of the home. It’s also the plans, the changes people want, the preliminary plan stage, the final set of plans which are then used for final application, which can include the architectural plans, structural design, energy code, site plan, mechanical details and details a building department would request. And then once the permits are obtained, we supply a panelized wood structure that matches those plans. So it makes it easier for permitting, installation, inspection, and then occupancy. And our kit home is a very solid wood structure basically consisting of floor systems, panelized walls, roof systems, trusses, different methods of making a roof, and then the loose materials to put it together such as bracing, fascia, soffits. So we basically supply the complete wood structure. A customer would get the, you know, they’d have their land, they would install their foundation, and then they would supply windows, doors, cabinets, you know, roofing, siding, and details. So we’re kind of doing the plans, the plans for permits, and then the wood structure, the skeleton as it is. So that’s our kit. And we found it to be extremely helpful to people because one of the hardest things is designing it properly and then getting the right set of plans to get through permits and then making sure that the wood structure matches those approved plans. So a lot of people think, oh, it’s just wood. It’s just a kit. I’m like, no, it’s a lot of knowledge and details to put it together, and especially for more complex building sites, you know, on oceanfront or hurricane areas or snow loads or flat lands with big winds, earthquake situations, California, Florida, Colorado, you know, all over the country, there’s a lot of different details. We’re able to help people make sure that the house fits on the land, works with the local building department, is easy to assemble. Kind of a kit. It makes it easier for people. It’s our one-stop shop and helps them control the cost and keep to schedule. It’s pretty cool.

Interviewer: This is a question from me, not a write-in question, but we’ve never talked about this. But what’s the typical – I don’t want to say typical, nobody’s typical – but what is the sort of the typical panelized kit home builder? Who are the people who buy these?

Steve Tuma: It ranges from all different types of people. It could be a first-time home buyer. It could be someone – we’ve had some people build over a dozen houses with us. Sometimes people do it as a little business. Sometimes people just build a house. I mean, we’ve actually had some people – you know, we’ve been around 30 years. They built a house with us, then their retirement house. Then if their kids get married, we’re helping their kids build houses. And sometimes we work with developers, people that want to have a piece of land and develop it, whether it’s a few building sites for very custom homes or more homes. So there’s an advantage to everyone. And we’ve had customers – some customers have built four or five homes with us, some a dozen. So it’s a variety of people. But what they enjoy is basically leveraging their time and knowledge so that we can take care of the plans, engineering details for the permit set, so that then they can keep on coordinating the project and taking care of other items. So we’re kind of an extension of the people. So whether it’s one person wanting to build one home in their life or someone that may want to do a few of them, it’s kind of interesting. It’s someone that understands the value of the knowledge of designing it properly, making sure it fits on the land, making sure it’s energy efficient, making sure it’s cost contained, making sure it fits the schedule. Those are the people that want to do it. And a lot of our customers, a huge portion are owner-builders, many of which have never built a home before and they do a great job. So it really, really varies. And we’ve done some homes that are more modest beginner homes or retirement homes, and we’ve done some exceptionally intricate homes in the higher-end zip codes of America that are in the multimillion dollars. It’s pretty cool. But either way, we help people. It’s a lot of fun.

Interviewer: Right. I would imagine that people who come to you sometimes have just discovered what kit homes are, what a panelized home is, and building a home in a separate area and then putting it on trucks, flatbeds, and bringing it out. That’s got to be a new concept to people, even though I know you’ve told me in the past that there’s a rich and long history of panelized homes.

Steve Tuma: Yeah, the kit homes have been like that. But yeah, what a lot of people are finding is there’s some parts of the country and high up in the mountains where there’s a limited building site because winter leaves late and winter comes back quickly or summer building season’s three, four months.

Interviewer: Right.

Steve Tuma: So a lot of people work in those areas. Others know that the permitting process can be very intricate, whether it’s a simple home or a complex home. Some of the jurisdictions just have extremely detailed requirements, so we can help them through. So the way it makes sense is it allows a person to leverage their time and their money instead of hiring an architect, a structural engineer, an energy code person, a site planner, all these people and hoping that they communicate and get a unified set of plans.

Interviewer: Right.

Steve Tuma: And I do emphasize the word hoping. It’s not always like you just get people and magically they just all coordinate and get it taken care of. We do it at Landmark. That’s what we do.

Interviewer: Right.

Steve Tuma: But it also helps them make sure that the wood is there and then we give a guaranteed price, a set price that the customer knows upfront so it’s easier for them to understand and manage their project. That’s why a lot of people do it. Otherwise, someone could go to someone, have a set of plans drawn up, and the person draws a set of plans and who knows if the budget’s even in consideration.

Interviewer: Right.

Steve Tuma: Yeah. So we’ve had people do that where they have someone locally build plans and then we get a set of plans for a $2 million home and they want to spend $400,000.

Interviewer: Right.

Steve Tuma: So with our system, we’re able to kind of guide things and get it taken care of so that our customer has an understanding of the project and there’s a control on the cost and what they want to get built. Also, the other thing is customer service. We answer the phone, we talk to people, we take the time that they need to make sure that we can help them be as successful as possible with their project. And a good set of plans, a solid, well-built panelized home package allows it. And then our team here that ties it together. So what’s interesting is a lot of people say, what is a panelized home? What is a home kit? They’re just thinking of the wood, but they don’t realize that you can buy a 2×6 in a lot of places. It’s how you use it. Is it designed right? Is it energy efficient? So that’s where we come together. And our kit is more than just the framing materials. It’s the help and knowledge and plans and engineering to make permitting easy.

Interviewer: Right.

Steve Tuma: Kind of cool. Pretty wild.

Interviewer: That kind of leads back to our next question. A potential customer here who wants to know if they can customize the layout and design of a panelized home. How easy is that to do?

Steve Tuma: Yes, customizing the layout and design of our panelized homes is very easy. A lot of people think that, hey, you can only do a standard plan. They’re stuck in some old concepts of, well, you’ve got to work with the builder and the builder will have plans and you build it. Well no, we’re in the business of giving customers houses that they want. So it’s not just something where there’s five plans, pick one. We have got thousands of plans on our website. A customer could sketch something up that they want and then we can go formalize it in it. So we can completely customize or develop a complete custom set of plans for a person so that the home is the way they want it and their family wants it, so it fits on the land right, so it works within codes and it works properly and is energy efficient. So yes, we can customize the layout and design of a panelized home and we can give a customer exactly what they want. That’s the cool thing about it. A lot of people, they might say, well, isn’t panelized like modular? It’s like, no, it isn’t. Modular you can’t really customize. I mean, maybe there’s something where there’s options in the kitchen or bathroom layout but 90% of it is what it is. You take it or leave it. We believe if you work hard for a living and you want a cool house, we want you to come home at the end of the day and go, yeah, this is cool. I’m glad I did it instead of go to the house and go, I wish I did. So we’re in the business of helping people get the house that they want.

Interviewer: So you’re pretty much at their shoulder when the customization of the layout and design is actually taking place.

Steve Tuma: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, it’s kind of a partnership type of thing. They might come to us and when they’re customizing their panelized home they might go through and say hey, I need this size bedroom, I want this size garage, we want a kitchen like this. And then we’ll draw it up and then we’ve got our drafts people where we can fine tune things, just fine tune it because sometimes people they have an idea but when they see it on paper they’re like hey, wait a second, I need something a little different or something happens. When they see a great room they might say, hey, on the holidays 15 people come over, I want to be able to put a table in there for 15 people. So that’s the neat thing about it. But it’s not just the customizing for the family’s personal desires. It’s the customizing to make sure it fits on the land. You know, if you took a house and just built it on a flat piece of land and then took a similar design and said hey, I need to step it down the side of a mountain, there’s a lot of work for the foundations, you know, how you enter the house, how you leave the house, can you access the driveway, different things like that and the foundation design for a sloped hill. So that’s one of the key things to it is we can work to make the house fit on your land so that things flow well and it works well. A lot of people don’t think about that. We’ve all seen a house on the side of a mountain but people don’t always understand the relationship of how do you make that house fit there and make sure it’s structurally sound at the same time.

Interviewer: Yeah. You know, it’s funny because we have this next question here and there I’ve been hearing myself a lot about smart homes and this person writes in and said what exactly is a smart home and can a panelized kit like Landmark Home and Land Company creates, can that be created as a smart home?

Steve Tuma: Yes, it can. Smart homes are kind of a trend. Well, it’s actually emerging technology, I should say. I think it’s here to stay. So yes, our kit homes can all be made into smart homes. Smart homes are generally a technology that can be added to a home and sometimes it goes to the simple systems that you can buy, you know, the Google systems, the Amazon systems, the Alexas where you can say hey so and so turn a light on or hey adjust the temperature. There’s a lot of details like that but some customers get extremely detailed in smart homes where you walk in a room and it knows who you are and it adjusts the music and light and temperature to it. So there are a variety of, I guess, different levels of smart home. But yes, our panelized home packages can be worked together with a smart home system so someone can get exactly what they want. And amazingly not everyone wants a smart home. Some people just want a home with regular light switches and you know, walk across the room turn the light on, close the curtains manually. So there’s different things that can be done. And sometimes a smart home isn’t just like for techies. Sometimes it’s safety things. You know, little alarms, is an elderly relative walking down a staircase? If you go down a staircase do lights turn on automatically? You know, little things like that. So it can also be kind of a safety issue.

Interviewer: Sure, yeah.

Steve Tuma: And a medical issue. And you know, once people get into technology they can have a lot of fun with it. So somebody who’s a little bit afraid of technology and then all of a sudden they enter their first smart home and see how cool that is and they might want one.

Interviewer: Yeah, technology can be a big learning thing for people. Everybody talks about, you know, elderly people. They’re not really computer savvy. And I’m thinking most of the people I know in their 70s and 80s can work a computer just fine, you know.

Steve Tuma: Right. And a lot of people are using it whether or not they do it. If you go to one of your assistants on whatever system you use, you say, hey, whatever the name is of the assistant, turn a light on. You know, whatever it is. That’s kind of entry-level smart home.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Steve Tuma: You know, smart switches. So yeah, it can be done. Our system is very flexible. And it’s not just smart homes. Some people want elevators in their house.

Interviewer: Right, wow.

Steve Tuma: Some people want custom kitchens with two different stoves. We’ve had some people put little slides for their kids. So we can customize to specific needs. We have a customer, he’s working on an airplane hanger underneath his house.

Interviewer: Wow. Underneath his house?

Steve Tuma: So we’ve had people with boathouses. Yeah, so it’s kind of one of these things. It’s a great question but it leads to someone else going, but hey, okay, I may want part of a smart home but what about my boat? What about my car? What about my motor home? What about a craft room? What about, we had one person, they put a tech room for their horses.

Interviewer: Right.

Steve Tuma: And kind of a cleanup room. So we’re very flexible in what people can do. But yeah, our panelized homes and our home packages can work with smart home systems. It’s pretty amazing.

Interviewer: It is the home of the future if you want it to be one. We’ve come a long way since from clap on clap off, right?

Steve Tuma: Right, exactly. Yeah. Yeah, I mean someone could say that was the beginning of smart homes.

Interviewer: That’s right. That’s right. You know, these questions, I’m sorry I didn’t put them in any sort of conceptual order or anything. I’m just taking them as they’re here on the page. So if I’m jumping around a little, forgive me. But one customer writes in…

Steve Tuma: Yeah, but these are actual questions that people did. They’re just as they came in I think is how you put this together. So it’s pretty cool.

Interviewer: Yeah, I’m just, like I said, I didn’t put them in any kind of category or anything. It’s just kind of what came in. I’m just giving them to you as they came. So one of these is talking about resale value. What exactly is the resale value of a panelized home? Is it like selling a regular home or is there a difference or how does that work?

Steve Tuma: A panelized home, our system is basically a more efficient method of stick building. And stick building is conventional building. And that’s generally, as far as I know, every time how is it appraised and financed. What people have to realize sometimes they’ll be like, oh, that’s prefab. My friend’s trailer or modular was devalued because of the stigma of those or the way banks choose to treat them. So this does not have the stigma of a modular or trailer home. This is, I should say, a true custom stick-built home. We just make some sections off site to bring them in so that it’s easier to get it built quickly, control cost, and minimize waste. So the resale value should be done just like any custom home, which is the best you can do. I don’t know of any higher for financing or for appraisals or anything. It’s the best system, which is nice. Other systems are sometimes limited but ours is not.

Interviewer: Yeah, it sounds like you’re hitting all the checklists for both building and for resale. Yeah, everything I hear just tells me panelized homes are a great way to go no matter what. I know we’ve hit on this question before but just because it did come in recently, I’m wondering if you wouldn’t mind answering it. But this person writes in and wants to know what’s the energy efficiency, what are the features of energy efficiency of the prefabbed homes from Landmark Home & Land Company?

Steve Tuma: The energy efficiency of our panelized homes is pretty interesting because we can get pretty deep into it if people choose to. Most states have just a regular kind of energy efficiency calculation to make sure that a house meets a minimum standard for the state. And then other states such as California have a very stringent energy efficient process. We have done work in Europe and they are even tighter. So we can go through and work with a customer if they have certain desires to go beyond the code requirements. And some customers just say, hey, I just really want to insulate a door. Hey, I want to check my windows or make sure the doors are right or make sure the HVAC system is there. So we can develop a list of typical things for a customer to review to make sure that when they install the insulation it’s installed right to make sure that the HVAC system is installed right. There’s also services that people can go with that allow them to double check the work. But one thing which is interesting on energy efficiency is it’s not just buying insulation that has a high rating. It’s making sure it’s installed right. And that’s part of the situation. Anyone could go buy a furnace but who puts it in right so it operates right so the ductwork is right. Who puts the insulation in right so it can perform as it’s intended to. So that’s where we can help. So it’s not just a matter of putting specs, hey, put R21 in the walls, put R38 on the ceiling or 50 or whatever it is. It’s going through the actual process so that a customer understands how to install it properly. And it’s also just in sealing doors. It’s in the HVAC systems. The efficiency of the HVAC systems or the new mini-split systems, getting the right ratings for their use of the energy. We can also help people with solar systems if they like. And if someone wants to get real deep, we can get into organic design. The orientation of the house to the sun, overhangs that keep the sun out in summer when the sun is higher and then allow sun to come in when the sun is lower in winter. So that’s actually a pretty interesting question that can get pretty deep. Because a lot of people just think when you say energy efficiency, the first thing they think about is a lot of insulation. But it actually gets into the design, the position on the land, the orientation to the sun, and then other things like the furnace and how that generates its power and what types of fuels it uses. So we’re fully capable of getting extremely deep into it, doing net zero houses if a customer wants. And we’ve done passive house, the German version and then the American version if someone were to want to get that deep. It’s pretty cool. Most customers just want to make sure that they’ve got a good solid home that meets or exceeds the codes of the state. Some customers will say hey, I want to be 10% better. So we can work with them. Others say hey, I want to go net zero. But either way, we can help them. But our panelized system, that’s the nice thing. We can go through to adjust the structure to make sure that insulation and different features can be put into the home so it’s as energy efficient as a customer wants it to be.

Interviewer: Right. Speaking of energy efficiency, the bigger the home usually the harder it is to just be energy efficient. I mean, that’s just common sense. But speaking of size, are there any limitations on the size and style of a kit home?

Steve Tuma: Well, the size, I mean a bigger home it might need more stuff. If it’s bigger, it’s going to take more fuel or electric to heat or cool it. But the efficient systems for that bigger home are just, they’ll work the same. It’ll just be for a bigger home. Now sometimes the nature of those bigger homes is they’re a little more luxury, taller ceilings and things like that or big glass walls. So it gets a little more complicated. But we can make that work. But you ask about the limitations of the size and style. We haven’t run into that yet. We’ve done houses 10,000, 15,000 square feet. We’ve been involved with some commercial projects, you know, kind of hotels which we panelize as well. So there really isn’t a limitation on the size and the style. Now if someone said hey, I want to make a house that looks like a golf ball, you know, it’s probably not going to happen. That would be extremely custom. We’re not going to, you know, do a house that looks like a golf ball. But as far as, you know, regular designs, if someone wants a craftsman, an organic Frank Lloyd Wright type design, if they want something boxy, modernistic, you know, prairie school, you know, saltbox colonial, Georgian, Mediterranean, you know, we could do all of those designs and work with them. So there really isn’t a limitation other than the customer’s budget and land.

Interviewer: Well, I would imagine that might be a limitation. Pocketbook could be a bit of a limitation.

Steve Tuma: Yeah, I should have said that. It’s the pocketbook and the dream.

Interviewer: Yeah. So there’s a couple of questions here. I’m going to bounce around a little because some of them kind of tie into the question before. But let’s talk about the design options. You guys on your website, you have a plethora of available design options for prefabbed homes. How many available designs are there at Landmark Home and Land Company?

Steve Tuma: I think our website says sixteen hundred or two thousand but I think there’s more like six. I think that we actually have about six thousand on there.

Interviewer: Wow.

Steve Tuma: Yeah, but you know, it’s interesting. People could look at that and say I want to do this design with a couple of changes or take the roof of this one, the floor plan of that one. Or people just have, you know, we’ve had people sketch it on a piece of paper, take a picture and text it to me. So yeah, the design options, it’s something that we can take care of.

Interviewer: That reminds me of tax time. We have the full design team.

Steve Tuma: Tax time walking into your account with all of your receipts written on pieces of paper.

Interviewer: That’s got to make your job a little tougher when they, depending on how good an artist they are, I guess.

Steve Tuma: Well, actually it works out pretty well because people have an understanding. Now, yeah, their sketches might not be exactly to scale but it’s actually amazing of how people have a pretty strong idea.

Interviewer: Right.

Steve Tuma: Of what they want. So, you know, for them to sketch up an idea or say hey, I kind of want this. Or they might have a picture saying hey, I like this roof I saw it, you know, as they were traveling someplace. So we’re able to put it together. I mean, no one’s stumped us yet. You know, sometimes it takes a couple little fine tuning because sometimes the customer may ask for, you know, a roof that doesn’t fit on the floor plan.

Interviewer: Right.

Steve Tuma: Or a design that doesn’t work or whatever. But then we work with them to figure out what it is so they understand the situation. And then we get it together. And I would say they’re happy at the end because they like the idea of designing it and understanding what’s being into it.

Interviewer: Right.

Steve Tuma: What’s being built.

Interviewer: Right. Yeah, a couple of, there’s two people who’ve written in here but I’m going to read it as one because it all kind of falls together. But one person asked what permits and approvals are needed for building a panelized home. And another person writes in are there any specific building codes for panelized homes? Can you tackle both of those?

Steve Tuma: Well what’s interesting, they’re kind of one and the same answer is the building permits and the building codes, it’s the same as a conventional built home.

Interviewer: Sure.

Steve Tuma: So it’s not like there’s something special or you have to do it. Now what people someone asking that might be confusing panelized homes with like modulars or the more trailer, you know, the ones with the steel frame. Those are built to different codes and the permitting process may be different. But for ours it’s just the regular IRC or IBC depending upon what the building department requests. Sometimes there’ll be the code with the, you know, modifications for a certain area. So this goes through the exact same process as if you were doing a custom stick-built home, which this essentially is. And what’s interesting is we’ve if I could pat ourselves on the back, we’ve worked all over the country, you know, in areas below sea level, above sea level, oceanfront, mountaintop, you know, in the plains, hurricane areas, high snow load. So we’ve been able to get through every single one to make sure. So even if a person says, oh, my building department’s extra picky or extra mean or whatever, we’ve probably been through it before. We’ve got a great set of plans and we have a great understanding of what building departments want. And if they do get a little stingy or a little interesting in their request, we’ll figure it out. We figured every other one out over 30 years. So we don’t see building codes as the issue. It’s kind of funny. A lot of people say but can you get the building department to approve it? I’m like yeah, I don’t see that as the issue. The building department approving it is fine. Getting it built right, getting it inspected right and occupied right is the thing that’s more important. People don’t believe it but you can get sets of plans approved by a building department that are not buildable. Our plans are dual purpose. They’re for permits and building. There’s a big distinction. People don’t realize that. They’ll go get a set of plans and say but the guy’s the best guy in town and he won three awards and how can this not work? And they don’t realize that a good set of plans has a lot of details on the connections, a lot of sections, just a whole bunch of details so that it’s clear on site that when the customer, the bank, the building department, the contractors that are involved they each understand exactly what needs to be done. Now if they have a question we’re always available by phone to review it with them but we try to have a set of plans so all the details are there so that when a house is getting built your team can keep on building and make sure it gets done properly. It’s not just hey, will you meet the codes. It’s not just hey, will the building department do it. It’s are the plans good so the contractors understand it and make it easy. That’s where we shine. It’s plans for permits, customer review, financing permits, any homeowners association, historical societies if they’re involved but also for the ease of construction. That’s what it’s about. So this person asks a pretty basic question but I think it’s a good question because people look at the Landmark Home and Land Company website and what exactly is the process for building a kit home? How is it really different from building a standard stick home?

Steve Tuma: Well, the value that we add to it is we make it easier for people to design the home the way they want. We have our full design team so if someone gives us an idea of what they want we can draw it up and then we can fine tune it, move a window here, make the dining room bigger. Whatever it is we can make those changes. Then after we go through getting the preliminary plans put together, we work with the building department to find out what details they need for permit application as well as us adding details for easy build. So we’ll go through do the site plans, the energy codes, all the other details we’ve spoken about so that our customer can then submit for permits. Then once the building department approves, they may approve the permits first time through. They may have a checklist of items that need to be clarified. Either way we’ll answer their questions until permits are issued. Generally it’s the first time through, but in some places it’s second. Then once they get permits, the customer will coordinate their contractors to prepare the site and install the foundation. We schedule with them when they want the panelized home package delivered. So the idea is your foundation crew is done, they leave, then our truck shows up and your framing crew unloads the materials and frames the house. Then you finish it just like a conventional stick-built home. Put the roof on, put the windows in, put the siding on, do the HVAC, plumbing, electric, insulation, drywall, interior trim, and just kind of move on to finish it out. So the process is essentially the same as stick building a custom home, but our level of help is what makes it easier for customers to manage their project on their own or we work with their general contractor if they choose to have one. So what we’re doing is making it easier through the whole planning, engineering, energy code, site plan, mechanical design process, and then the delivery of the home package. What people don’t realize is the concept that, hey, I can just get individual people that aren’t connected, a separate architect, a separate structural engineer, a separate energy code people and it comes together. It doesn’t always work that way. We wrap it all together and then make sure and guarantee that our panelized home package matches the approved plans. So you minimize or actually in our case eliminate the cost overruns because we give you a set price. They have a panelized package which is pre-cut, pre-engineered to go together smoothly so the framing time is quicker, the framing labor is less, the waste is less and then you move your project along much faster.

Interviewer: Got it.

Steve Tuma: And that’s the key. So that’s kind of a big overview. Obviously, there’s a lot more little details and nuances in there, but that’s the overview.

Interviewer: And I know you’re busy today but if you don’t mind fielding one more question then I’ll let you go.

Steve Tuma: One more? Yes.

Interviewer: Okay. The person writes in and says, and it’s pretty basic, what are the benefits of a panelized home? And if anybody is able to answer that, it’s Steve Tuma, president of Landmark Home and Land Company. So what are the benefits of a panelized home?

Steve Tuma: Basically with our system at Landmark is that we can do all the planning, engineering, plans for permits, all the details that are required for permits, the details that are required for building in a complete and accurate and unified set of plans. That means everything matches, it makes sense and it works. So it’s easier for someone to manage the design and permit approval of their home. And then when we deliver the panelized home package, it’s all pre-engineered, pre-designed. It goes together very quickly and easily so that it’s just assembling pieces instead of cutting, calculating, hoping it’s right, fixing mistakes and kind of moving forward. So it’s actually working with us. It’s our customer has control of their project and the design. We don’t tell them how to design. We might give ideas if they’re asking for something. We’re like, hey, this might be a little bit better. They can control the budget because we give them a guaranteed cost up front before they start. And then they can also control the schedule by them managing it and they can also control the quality. If they want to do a very high-end home, they could do it. If they want to do a medium more typical everyday design, they can do that as well. So it’s the control of their project and the understanding of their project where they know what they’re building, they control it and it’s their house. We’re kind of a system that supports them and really helps them through the process. We’ve been doing it for over 30 years so we’ve got a lot of knowledge that our customers really appreciate. That’s one of the things they don’t realize until they’re deep into the design process.

Interviewer: Right.

Steve Tuma: That’s the benefit is our support of their building project. Up front they think it’s purchasing the panelized home. When they’re in the project it’s the support and the knowledge to make sure all the little details are put together.

Interviewer: Right.

Steve Tuma: It makes sense. It’s fun. Every project’s different and it’s a lot of fun and we do everything we can to help a customer.

Interviewer: Well this has been interesting and enlightening. Thanks for taking the time, Steve. I mean this is a lot of questions and you don’t ever seem to have any problem. Just whatever I bring your way you have the answers which is I guess what Landmark is all about customer service, knowledge and experience. It means a lot.

Steve Tuma: Yeah, but what you just brought up there is interesting. These are questions that have come in and we’ve been doing it. We have the answers because we’ve been doing it. You’re not the first. It’s not the first customer that’s doing it. We have the process. We have the experience. We know the ins and outs.

Steve Tuma: We know different details to lead to great success and beautiful homes and that’s why people. Like your last question you said hey, what are the benefits of a panelized home? Well, it’s more than just the wood that we supply. It’s the plans, the customer support, the availability, the knowledge, a knowledge like right now type of thing. I know me as a consumer, when I call somewhere, I don’t want to get a message that says hey, call back in three days if no one returns your call. We answer the phone and we can take care of you right away, which I think is very key, especially in today’s world. People, they need help and we’re here to help them and we enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun.

Interviewer: People talk about customer service being a lost art and I think there are still companies like yours that keep it going and I think it’s a good example.

Steve Tuma: Right. We really get to know our customers and enjoy it and get to know them. It’s just kind of cool. Even though it’s their house, we kind of still think it’s ours.

Interviewer: Right.

Steve Tuma: It’s the pride of our part of the project that we want to keep on going.

Interviewer: Well, you said it earlier in this podcast. It’s kind of a collaboration. It’s a partnership. Who could you be partnered with better than Landmark is my opinion. Anyway, that’s going to wrap it up for this edition of the Panelized Prefab Kit Home Building Show. Before I let you go, Steve, tell us how we can contact Landmark and how we can find out more about the company and how people can find out about becoming a homeowner builder.

Steve Tuma: Well, we’ve got a great website with videos, these podcasts and a lot of general information and a lot of plans. You can see that at our website at LHLC.com. That’s kind of like initials, Landmark Home Land Company. LHLC.com is the website. People can peruse the website, send us an email through there, look at plans and ask questions about them. We are real people that have knowledge that answer phones. If someone’s got a question, they can always call in at 800-830-9788. Again, that’s 800-830-9788. Michael answers the phone. He answers the phone but he’s on the phone a lot. But if for some reason someone gets a voicemail, leave a message and he’ll call back. We are there to talk person to person about your specific project and your land for the exact design that you want. Michael will help people through and then at a certain point they come over to me where I’ll work with them on the bigger details and actually getting the project going. We’re also on Facebook and Instagram and details like that. But I think the best thing is if customers look at the website, take a look at it, and then if they want to learn more, we can talk person to person and get them taken care of. That’s the fun part is really seeing how we can work, help people and just get the project rolling. It’s a cool person to person type thing. It’s not computer to person. It’s people working with people to help them build a cool house.

Interviewer: That’s what I say. We want to work with good people and build cool houses.

Steve Tuma: Well, that’s important stuff. Got to get some T-shirts made. Build Cool Houses with the Landmark logo on it.

Interviewer: Exactly. That would be great. Well, there you have it. Thanks again to all of you who have been faithfully listening to the podcast and to those who just recently found the show. Thanks for tuning in. All you new people, welcome to the podcast. That’s going to do it for us today. For Steve Tuma and myself, here’s wishing you all a great week ahead. We will see you next time. Thanks, Steve.

Steve Tuma: Thank you. Remember, we’re helping good people build cool houses. We’ll see you next time. Thank you. Bye.

About Landmark Design Team