How To Build A Kit Home | Everything You Need To Know About Kit Homes

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Kit homes have seen a rise in popularity in recent years due to their stylish designs, energy-efficiency and affordability. Speaking of affordability, kit home prices allow for all types of budgets.

In addition, kit homes allow homeowners to take part in their property’s construction, which can be a satisfying experience for many.

Before you build, you need to decide what kind of kit home is the best fit for you. The size of your family, the location where you’re building, your favourite room of the house; they’re all important factors that will impact the kit home design that will make up your home. If you’re want to know what your ideal design is take our kit home quiz to find out which home is the perfect fit for you.

How to Build A Kit Home

  1. Top 4 Benefits Of Kit Homes
  2. 10 Important Factors to Consider Before Buying Land
  3. Building on a Sloping Block
  4. Kit Homes and Bushfire Safety
  5. Create a Kit Home Checklist
  6. How to Build A Kit Home in 10 Easy Steps
  7. Why Kit Home Orientation Is Important
  8. Common Building Mistakes to Avoid

Top 4 Benefits Of Kit Homes

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The Forrestville

A kit home is designed off site and then all the materials are delivered by truck to the construction site for assembly. Some kits have parts that will need to be cut and trimmed on site. Kit homes can be spacious and functional, as well as self-sufficient and sustainable. They have an open-plan layout, eco-friendly properties and design flexibility.

Here’s a more detailed look at the benefits of kit homes:

1. Kit home prices

Kit homes are more affordable than conventional homes. Their prices will vary depending on the type of home you choose, what is and isn’t included in the package, how much of the work you’ll take on yourself, and if you’re hiring a contractor to build the home.

Generally, a kit home package will cost about one-third of the total cost of the completed home. Most kits only come with the materials for the home’s exterior shell. The cost of labour, land, utilities and completing the interior are generally not included in kit home prices.

Applying what you’ve learned from your research and an owner-builder course can also save time and money. You can save more money by doing more of the work yourself. However, if you have no training in construction, hire a building contractor. This means the home can be assembled onsite much faster.

2. Ease and eco-friendly features

Building a kit home is easier and less wasteful, as the manufacturer has already worked out the basic plans and technical details. Green materials used include timber, glass and steel. Thermal efficiency is also assured through energy-efficient heating systems, solar panels and insulation. You can also install water recycling features such as low-water shower, dual-flush toilets, grey water recycling and rainwater harvesting.

3. Reduce build time

It can take from several hours to a few days to erect the exterior shell and install the roof, windows and doors with the aid of a small group of experienced carpenters. A contractor will then finish the interior, which could take 2-3 months. It will take longer (around 5-9 months) for owner-builders, particularly if you’re living in the home while it’s being built.

4. Customisable

Kit homes can be customised by the homeowner, at little to no cost. You can design rooms in any style and size you want. If you’re thinking of building your own kit home, there are several things you need to know beforehand.

10 Important Factors to Consider Before Buying Land

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Before you build your kit home, you need to find the ideal block of land to host your new dream home. Finding, negotiating and buying land can be a difficult experience for some. To help you navigate the waters, consider these 10 tips to make procuring land easier.

1. Zoning restrictions

Before you purchase the block, be sure to research zoning regulations for both your property and the surrounding area. Councils have strict rules regarding what a block of land can be used for (residential, commercial, industrial).

2. Water source

Water is a precious commodity, so you need to know where it’s coming from and what water regulations are in place in the area you are planning to build your kit home.

3. Know the climate

Knowing the climate of the area goes beyond knowing how much sunscreen you need to wear on the average day. The climate of the last 20 years has a great impact on the condition the land is in, as factors such as rainfall, temperature highs and lows, and seasonal changes will effect how your home is designed.

4. Safety from bushfires and flooding

Your home is a precious investment, so it pays to be aware of the danger of bushfires or flooding in the area. See below for more tips on bushfire safety for your kit home.

5. Soil quality and composition

The cost of building foundations, amount of earthworks required, stability and land retention are all effected by soil composition. Before you finalise your building plans, consult a qualified engineer to test your soil before you start building.

6. Orientation

Take advantage of north facing orientation and you can make use of available sunlight throughout the year while minimising the impact of direct sunlight and the ‘greenhouse effect’ to avoid overheating in the summer. Read more about kit home orientation here.

7. Trees and bushland

Consider the impacts of falling branches or even whole trees on your home, particularly in storm affected areas. Refer to your local council’s standards for removing and restricting trees before taking any action.

8. Utility access

Depending on where your kit home will be located, rates for utilities can differ. Contact different companies to compare quotes for your build.

9. Incline of your block

If your block is on a slope, you need consider any additional costs to building a kit home, effects on the soil, water runoff and the home’s orientation.

10. The type of home you want to build

The type of lifestyle you want to lead will be affected by the land you choose to build on and your ideal kit home design. Make sure the design you have your heart set on will suit the land you want in order to have a home that isn’t at odds with the environment.

Learn more: Qualified real estate experts share tips about buying land 

Building on a Sloping Block

For many people aspiring to a new home, having a room with a view can be an extremely attractive option, which usually means having at least part of your property on a hillside sloping block.

Building on elevation means that you’ll be above the rest of the skyline, other houses won’t be likely to block your view, and you’ll get more natural light filtering down. Kitome designs are ideally suited to these conditions because the design can be altered as required or a completely custom design can be created to suit the block perfectly

Sloping blocks also come with a few other facets to consider:

  • Firstly, you may need to cut into the hillside to build your foundation blocks and create a stable land base. This can bump up the price of construction by a moderate amount, as you’ll need to have additional drainage and stilt construction. Be sure to consult your builder if you’re considering building a kit home on a sloping block.
  • Secondly, added elevation and sloping means that you’ll need to adjust your climate protections. In most cases, this won’t be an issue, but if you’re living somewhere semi-tropical or an area experiencing high wind or rainfall, you’ll need to adjust accordingly with retaining walls, drainage solutions, or windbreakers.

Kit Homes and bushfire safety

The threat of bushfires and weather extremes are the price some have to pay for their location. If you’re living in an area with a that is bushfire prone, you’ll need to know a couple of tips to protect your Kit home .

Start by writing up a preventative schedule, which is a short preparedness checklist for both ensuring your home is safe and a list of what to do in case of a fire.

Once every so often, make a note to clear away ground litter and empty your gutters and drainage pipes of leaves and other flammable residue, and make sure to keep any dry grass or overhanging trees trimmed and away from other flammable areas.

Simply cutting down on flammable things in your own property can sometimes not be enough, since any flammable area around you can send embers or radiant heat onto your property. Wire bushfire mesh over a roof drain and gutter can prevent a lot of this from occurring, as can swapping simple things such as a fibre welcome mat for a more fire-proof solution.

Learn more: A Comprehensive Bushfire Safety Resource for Your Kit Home

Create a kit home checklist

Creating a checklist will help you to stay organised from the start. It will ensure that you obtain the right knowledge, skills, budget and people you need prior to building your kit home.

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How to successfully build your kit home in 10 easy steps

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Building your kit home requires a few more things than a wallet and a block of land. You’ll need to know the basics of a few other tricks:

  • Do the required governmental training, and not just to the minimum standard – this is your future that you’re building, after all!
  • Learn the local building codes and how they apply to you; this can save you a lot of time remodelling, adding, or subtracting parts that aren’t up to code.
  • Find a storage space for your construction; all your unused supplies cannot stay out in the open at all times. Either find a storage area or secure them from the elements (and thieves).
  • Leave this type of talk to the sales guys, don’t need to scare them off before they even enquire.
  • Ask for recommendations and directions from the kit manufacturer, and make sure that they work well with local builders.
  • Set aside a generous amount of time. A kit home is an 8-12 month project for both inside and outside, but the more you do solo, the more you’ll add to the project time. Can be quicker, depends on the person and time they have available.
  • If you need to find a lender for the cost of construction, do your homework. Put as much time and effort into the lending source as the effort you put into the thing you want to finance. If you need help finding finance for your kit home, get in contact with us for guidance.
  • Prepare, prepare, and prepare again. Each minute you spend thinking saves minutes to hours of planning, backtracking, and ad hoc thinking on-the-day.

Learn more: The 10 Steps To Build A Kit Home

Kit home orientation, and why it’s so important

A custom designed kit home

Planning your build is important, and one unsung and important facet of this is your kit home’s orientation. The orientation of your kit home can decide everything from how the breeze flows through your home, the light source, and how your home is naturally heated by the sun.

Kit homes are perfect to customise; you already have the architectural plans for the house, so applying them to the block is a simple game of tetris. Find the solution that works for you!

You’ll want to consider the following:

  • Check your regional weather patterns, and scout out how each time of day effects the light and wind around your house. Do you want natural light to filter through your bedroom window during the morning, or would you rather not have the sun in your eyes in the afternoon in the kitchen?
  • While we’re on the subject of the sun and wind, orientation is a great customisable tool for two major other portions: firstly, find a way to allow breeze to permeate the house in your orientation to cut down on energy costs and allow natural flow, and secondly consider which parts you’d like to optimise your heating and cooling for at different parts of the day.
  • If you’re installing Solar Panels, you’ll need a way for sunlight to hit them throughout the best parts of the day, and your orientation will obviously play a role here.

Learn more: Why the Orientation of Your Kit Home is Important

Common building mistakes to avoid

Owner-builders often make mistakes when building their kit home, which can be a huge drain on time, money and resources. To prevent the same thing happening to you, here’s what to avoid:

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Keep these tips in mind, and not only will you save a lot of time and money, but when it’s time to build your kit home, it will be a smooth, stress-free process.

Obtain a quote for your dream kit home by contacting us today.