Kit homes are perhaps the only pieces of real estate weathering the bad economy best. Because they already come pre-made, pre-designed and with all the necessary inclusions, you just simply need to erect them on your chosen site and that’s that. They are relatively cheaper than when you build a home from scratch and a lot less wasteful, which is perhaps why their popularity is rising to meteoric heights.
However, cheap kit homes are not easy to come by even with so many reputable manufacturers flooding the internet just waiting to be chosen by you. First of all, when you’ve got no idea what type of kit home you’d like, how much they actually cost, what’s included in the kit or if you want to do it yourself entirely or be an owner-manager, then you need to do a little more research before finally coming to a decision as building homes, whether traditional or not, can cost you time and money you may not be prepared to waste.
So here are a few guidelines to get you started on a virtually-painless and smooth kit home-building journey and here’s hoping that you will be able to have the home of your dreams:
Know What You Like
Kit homes, just like traditional homes come in a variety of head-spinning designs that cater to every taste. There’s the A-frame types which feature steeply-angled rooflines and ceilings that open up to the top rafters. These designs usually also have mezzanine and second level floors. There are also what you call cottage kits, log cabins, barn kits, modular/prefabricated kits, panelized homes, geodesic homes and yurts which are built to withstand extreme weather conditions.
Know How Much You Can Afford
It may be prudent to note that while kit homes are relatively cheaper than traditional homes, you will still need to fork over a certain amount because most manufacturers cover only about a third of the total cost. You also need to take into consideration that the total cost will depend on the style, design and size of your chosen kit. Expect to pay more when you request for modifications to your designs or additions to the inclusions, as well as if you opt for high quality construction materials.
To Build or not to Build on Your Own
Most homeowners opt to build their kit homes themselves to save on labor, but end up having to hire a contractor because they keep making mistakes. If you have considerable construction experience and the commitment to see projects through, you will need to take an owner-builder course to get your owner-builder permit. Here you learn about site safety and the regulations you need to adhere to in order to ensure the safety of your workplace and the people who are working with you. You will also learn here the phases you need to complete before finally being able to start construction like how to get council approval, do a soil test, etc.
Know What’s Included
Kit home inclusions vary depending on whether you buy them to “lock up” or if you purchased a full kit. To lock up means that the house is finished externally and has the roof, external walls, windows and doors fitted while a full kit means includes the lock up stage as well as interior walls and ceiling linings, interior doors, mouldings and robes to name just a few. A set of construction plans and specifications are included as well as an accessories schedule, an engineer’s certification and a complete construction manual.
Even with so many options to choose from, building your own kit homes basically comes down to your personal preferences and it doesn’t hurt to get a professional to help you because delays and mistakes can infinitely cost you more money and are a waste of your precious time. So if you do decide to embark on kit home building, know what you’re getting into and what is involved so you can come up with a home you can be proud of, the home of your dreams.