PRELIMINARY INFORMATION
What do I do first?
1. Identify your location.
2. Understand what financing options are available to you.
3. Gather preliminary design and cost information for the modular part of your project from Alchemy’s Web site.
4. Identify a local general contractor (GC). They do not have to be familiar with modular building processes (we do have a GC Handbook we share with them), but it is helpful. — At this point you may want to enter into the Preliminary Design Phase (deposit required)
5. Gather preliminary design and cost information for your foundation, landscaping, garage, and hook-ups from your GC. See the Cost Estimator download near our pricing page. — If you haven’t before, at this point, Alchemy will request that you enter into a Preliminary Design Phase (deposit required)
6. Work with Alchemy to ‘plug-in’ all known costs and shape your actual PROJECT budget.
7. Secure financing. Your financial institution may need to call us for specific documentation information. — Enter into contract with Alchemy
Proceed to Schematic Design and Construction Documents with Alchemy . . . then on to building your wee. Whee!
Can I See a "Wee"?
Occasionally, built weeHouse projects are available for public viewing via home tours, exhibitions, special events (did you know a weeHouse was in Times Square?), or in an appointment with a client’s approval. At this time, there are no weeHouses ‘on parade’ but stay in touch with us via weeMail. For obvious reasons, we try to keep our clients’ privacy intact as much as possible.
Do I have to pull permits?
Yes, building permits are required for weeHouses. Your general contractor will pull local permits, Alchemy and the factory producing your weeHouse pulls state permits. The weeHouse is permitted similar to a site-built home. You won’t run into any issues as long as you follow the zoning requirements for your city/neighborhood/county. Most cities post permit information on their city/county web sites.


LAND INFORMATION
How do I know if my site is right?
Some things to consider include:
* the costs of your site to be cleared and/or prepared for the weeHouse move-in
* the foundation—you have options & we’re happy to work with you to make suggestions
* electrical, water, and sewer hookups (weeHouses come ready-to-hook-in)
* road access (no tight twists and turns!), and an open area large enough for the crane to ‘be’ while it’s lifting your ‘wee’

Realtors may be able to help you address general site restrictions in your area. Please be sure to ask! We suggest you ask a lot of questions and that you get recommendations from “locals” to find contractors that can help. If you’re unfamiliar with construction, we strongly recommend working with a reliable general contractor, even if your up-front costs seem slightly higher. We believe that in the long run, a great contractor saves money.
Can I order floorplans?
Yes, we have both. Floorplans for our weeHouses start at $250. They are not construction drawings. weeHouses can be shipped as a kit of parts anywhere in the world. We price out each ‘kit’ just as we would each weeHouse so we do ask for the Preliminary Design Fee to move forward with this process.
What is a site visit & why is it needed?
While photographs, surveys, and sketches are useful to describe the site, a site visit allows us to interact directly with you, possibly your GC if you’ve brought one on-board, and the land. We do a rough survey of the site and flag for the house if possible, thus being able to address some of the more subtle parts of the building(s) in the landscape. We do bill for site visits using day (or half-day) rates, plus expenses. We think it’s a good investment on the larger scope of your project.
Can I order a weeHouse "shell" and finish it myself?
Yes you can, however there are many financial reasons to have most of the finishing work done “in-factory”. We price out each ‘shell’ just as we would each weeHouse, so we do ask for the preliminary design fee to move forward with this process. In many cases, for permitting reasons, we need to finish interior and exterior walls and have the plumbing and electrical in place.
Can I put a weeHouse on my roof?
Yes! Usually yes. Please contact a local structural engineer to come and inspect your current dwelling to see if it is strong enough as-is, or if additional engineering is needed to support the house. Not that we’ve actually weighed-a-wee, but adding up materials, we know that modules weigh roughly 600 pounds per lineal foot. There is a rooftop weeHouse (Phillips Garden) in Minneapolis.
What kind of foundation do I need?
Piers, perimeter, or full foundations (like walk out basements) are all fine for the weeHouse. The Arado weeHouse was built on stilts—not the kind you used when you were a kid—but on concrete piers and steel beams. Some clients want a full basement to finish out for living space or additional storage. We’ve also done tuck-under garages (see the Linden Hills weeHouse). It’s a good thing to have some type of foundation so wee can hide its heating/cooling units and various utility connections. Take a look at our weeHouse gallery for a variety of options.
Is there a weeHouse boat?
Yes! There is a weeHouse boat that has been designed. We’ve partnered with a leading manufacturer of “typical” houseboats to build the floats. Prices start at approximately $220K for a weeHouseBoat in the 12’ x 40’ range (complete). Please email us with questions and include your port information.


BUILD
Do you include any appiances?
Yes! With the standard weeHouses, we do include high-quality modern appliances in the cost. However, we can also design and spec for these recommended appliances (refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, etc.), but have you to purchase them locally. If appliances are not included in the pricing of your weeHouse, we note that clearly on your contract. The price adjusts accordingly. Please review our Options Brochure for more information.
What comes standard in a standard weeHouse?
Each standard weeHouse comes ready-made: just add water (and a few other 21st Century realities like electricity). weeHouse standard floors are 1x4 tongue and groove bamboo (light or dark finish available); all interior walls are white gypsum board. We have integrated a curtain track into the perimeter ceiling as a standard feature that allows for privacy curtains or wall texture panels. Standard weeHouse bathrooms have tile floors and showers. See the weeHouse options sheet for details.
Each weeHouse also includes floor-to-ceiling glass doors, siding, EPDM cold roof, tongue and groove bamboo flooring, primed gypsum board ceilings and walls, electrical and plumbing systems, appliances, fixtures, bathroom tile, cabinets, and the kitchen sink. Please review our Options Brochure for more information.
What if I want to change a weeHouse?
The weeHouse is engineered to provide the coolest design and fabulous flexibility at the most accessible prices using materials that optimize the benefits of the structure and the build process. Sometimes the standard weeHouse isn’t exactly what you’d like to live in. That’s not a problem, but it does mean that for some details, we have to go ‘back to the drawing board’ … literally!
We customize weeHouses on a case-by-case basis, but Alchemy does think (and hope) that our standard designs suit most of your needs. When you customize a standard weeHouse, Alchemy offers our design services at a reasonable hourly rate. These design services may be used for changes to the kitchens, baths, porches, accessibility modifications, or materials.
Can I install my own cabinets ans small fixtures?
The weeHouse is engineered to provide the coolest design and fabulous flexibility at the most accessible prices using materials that optimize the benefits of the structure and the build process. Sometimes the standard weeHouse isn’t exactly what you’d like to live in. That’s not a problem, but it does mean that for some details, we have to go ‘back to the drawing board’ … literally!
We customize weeHouses on a case-by-case basis, but Alchemy does think (and hope) that our standard designs suit most of your needs. When you customize a standard weeHouse, Alchemy offers our design services at a reasonable hourly rate. These design services may be used for changes to the kitchens, baths, porches, accessibility modifications, or materials.
Is a weeHouse construction as strong as a site-built structure?
We’ve designed the weeHouse to meet IBC (International Building Code) and IRC (International Residential Code) standards. The weeHouse is actually stronger than a site-built structure in many cases. To withstand the stresses of being moved, we reinforce all corners of the frame, doors, and windows, and glue and screw the subfloor and sheetrock to the frame.
weeHouses are fully insulated with 2x6 walls and 12" floor trusses for the floors and ceilings. Nominal R values are: Walls R19, Floor R35, Ceiling R44. Vented roofs assist in tempering the house in extreme heat or cold.
Your weeHouse will last as long as any other quality-built structure … especially since we assume you’ll treat your ‘wee’ with care!
Is the roof really flat?
While it may appear flat, the hipped roof of the weeHouse contains a 1/4” per foot slope. It is a cold roof, (ventilated underside) covered in EPDM. (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer sheet provides very good resistance to weathering, ozone, and UV exposure and is highly recommended for applications there is excessive exposure to the environment.) We’ve got you covered.
What do I see at the end of some weeHouse? A porch or a deck?
A unique aspect of the weeHouse system is a “tube porch”. These porches may be 3' to 10' deep and are placed along exterior walls that have full glass access. They may be added to the module at one or both ends, but the finished module must be shorter than 62' for shipping reasons. The porches are finished similar to the exterior finish. Cedar or ipe decking is standard.
Can my weeHouse be wider than 14'?
Our standard widths are 14' to deal with roadway requirements. Modified weeHouse modules can be made up to 16' wide. weeHouse modules can be placed side x side for wider homes.
Can radiant floor heating and/or air conditioning be installed?
Depending on your climate, you have the option of adding in-floor hydronic heat, wood or gas stoves, forced air, and split wall air conditioning with remote compressors. When choosing in-floor heat the same boiler will also supply your domestic hot water needs. We offer a small, powerful, and efficient on-demand gas water heater that can be hidden within the back of a cabinet. Please see our Heating and Cooling Brochure for more details.
What are the exterior options?
The standard weeHouse exterior siding is corrugated steel available in many colors and finishes. Alchemy has also designed a “container siding” made of highly durable cement fiberboard panels (sometimes referred to as Hardie Panels) with vertical battens. This exterior may be painted any color however we do have some standard recommendations. An oxidized paint finish in steel is available as a modest upgrade. We also offer Alchemy-designed “corncrib siding,” a horizontal rough-sawn pine rain screen siding finished with solid or semi-transparent stain as an upgrade. If you are considering separate modules, each module can have different colors or materials.
What about a garage, or a weeHouse on top pf a garage?
We certainly can design a garage to go with your house. It would be site-built or panelized depending on what works best for the project. Because there are not as many code issues with a garage, it rarely makes sense to have them prefabricated. Garage design is considered an additional service, therefore billed and scheduled separately. Our clients have also integrated garage(s) into their foundation plans. Carports and creative outdoor shelters have also been designed.
Putting a weeHouse on top of a garage is an idea many people consider. It is possible, and we’d like to take this into account early in the “siting” process for your weeHouse(s).
What if I'm interested in building a weeHouse community?
Prefabrication is especially cost effective when weeHouses are produced in quantity. We pass this savings benefit on to you. Please contact us for more details. Many clients choose to start with one or two weeHouses to move into but plan for future family growth/retirement/vacation plans later on. We encourage you to have Alchemy do a site visit to best assess how to arrange current and future weeHouses.