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Deciding to build a kit home helps everyday people get one step closer to living in their home dream. Cost effective and customisable, among other things, Kitome kit homes are paving the way for future home builders both in Australia and abroad.

While you may have spent many hours thinking, planning and changing certain aspects of your kit home before signing on the dotted line, there is still work to be done. Namely, building the kit home on the land of your choosing.

The idea of building a home may seem daunting, however, with the right information, building a kit home can be an enjoyable process. Whether you’re considering becoming an owner builder, hiring a contractor or a builder, this guide to building a kit home has all the information you need to construct the home of your dreams.

Becoming an owner builder

By definition, an owner builder is an individual who carries out owner builder work under the authority of a permit issued by the Office of Fair Trading. Owner builder work encompasses everything from construction and repairs to additions such as swimming pools or sheds. Please be mindful that certain jobs require a licensed professional to complete the job E.g. An electrician/ plumber will be required for specific works.

Taking on the role of an owner builder is equal parts challenging and rewarding. There can be a lot of pressure on the work site but at the end of the day, the finished product will speak for itself.

With this in mind, here are 4 handy tips for those considering becoming an owner builder for the duration of their kit home build:

  1. Do your research: Having a strong knowledge of building practices and procedures will help you run the work site safely, legally and effectively.
  2. Understand the responsibilities: Being an owner builder isn’t a part time job. The responsibilities include everything from overseeing and supervising trades to ordering materials, managing the site and applying for insurance.
  3. Ask questions: The local council is a free resource centre with an on duty building inspector who can offer advice and trade recommendations. By using this resource and asking questions, you can get a better picture of what this role entails.
  4. Set a budget: When it comes to being an owner builder, having a rough budget won’t cut it. Instead, break everything down and work out where you can save. Additionally, do the numbers on hiring a builder to see if the savings from being an owner builder will be worth the stress of overseeing the build.

Hiring a contractor

For those who have decided they will need help assembling the kit home, hiring a reputable contractor may be the way to go. Instead of having to personally oversee the entire project, the contractor can step in and take the pressure off.

Hiring a contractor will increase the cost of the build. However, it’s important to note that the contractor will be on site at all times, dealing with any issues or delays as they arise. Oftentimes, these benefits can outweigh the extra cost associated with hiring a contractor.

During the hiring process it’s important to do due diligence. For example, seek recommendations from people who have used contractors before. Conduct comprehensive internet research to find contractors familiar with the construction of kit homes.

Once you’ve narrowed the search down to two or three contractors, ask for quotes or estimates. This will give you something to compare and contrast. It’s important to keep in mind that in the case of construction, cheaper quotes are not necessarily better.

Finally, before hiring the contractor make sure that they hold a valid licence. By checking the licence, you’re ensuring that all work on the kit home will be completed by a legitimate business.

Hiring contractors as an owner-managed project

For those who have decided they will need help assembling the kit home, hiring reputable contractors may be the way to go. Instead of taking the route of building the kit home yourself, you can still owner-manage your project.

Managing a job and hiring contractors yourself will often reduce the cost of the build. This could entail hiring contractors such as roofers, carpenters, tilers, brick layers etc.

During the hiring process it’s important to do due diligence. For example, seek recommendations from people who have used specific contractors before. Conduct comprehensive internet research to find contractors familiar with the construction of kit homes.

Once you’ve narrowed the search down to two or three contractors, ask for quotes or estimates. This will give you something to compare and contrast. It’s important to keep in mind that in the case of construction, cheaper quotes are not necessarily better.

Finally, before hiring the contractor make sure that they hold a valid licence. By checking the licence, you’re ensuring that all work on the kit home will be completed by a legitimate business.

Tips for hiring a builder

In some instances, you may decide that hiring a builder is the best option for you. In other cases, hiring a builder may be required by law if the job involves aspects of structural integrity.

When it comes to finding the right builder for your kit home, try to limit the search to those who are familiar with kit homes and their specific building process. Additionally, always check that the builder’s licence is current.

Finding a good builder can save you time, money and a whole lot of stress. However, not every builder is going to be the right fit for your project. For reference, a good builder is always approachable and able to talk through any concerns or changes in scheduling.

A good builder is also adaptable. At the end of the day this is your kit home and the builder should be willing to compromise in order to construct your home dream. A good builder is also reliable. For instance, they provide quotes on time and show up to meetings when they say they will.

Questions to ask your builder

To make sure that the kit home build turns out the way you planned, it’s important to have an open and honest line of communication with your builder. This can be done by ensuring that you ask your builder all the right questions.

Firstly, ask the builder to provide their licence and insurance, references and information about their recently completed builds. This will help you ensure that your builder has a valid business with a proven history of completing projects to a high standard.

Next, it’s important to get a picture of the builder’s current workload. You want a builder with other projects on the cards as this further cements their capability. However, you don’t want a builder who is spread so thin that you never see them on site. Additionally, always ask for a project timeline.

Ready to build your dream kit home?

Purchasing a kit home is a rewarding process. The hours of decision making, the process of customisation and the eventual build will all be worth it in the end when you open the door to your new home.

Whether you choose to become an owner builder, hire a contractor or a builder, research is needed. This way you can ensure that your home dream can become a reality. When it comes time to start the process of building your home dream, make Kitome the first step in your journey and contact us today.

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