Building a kit home is an opportunity to create a truly special home – one that differs from the cookie-cutter homes offered by some developers and allows you to design the right home for you at the right budget. Generally speaking, a kit home is a house that is designed and partially manufactured off-site, then shipped en-masse to a site for assembly. Kit homes have been around since the early 20th century, when in 1906, the Aladdin Co. began selling partially constructed homes.

Before long, other companies such as Sears had got in on the act and before World War II, tens of thousands of kit homes were sold. Steel frame kit homes are the perfect option for many prospective homeowners that are looking for affordable yet stylish living. Giving you the option to partially build your own home using your own hands, kit homes are popular with owner-builders and DIY fans. But there are important things you should factor in before you get started.

10 Things to consider when building a kit home

1. Required training is more than just satisfying government requirements

You may think that attending training for the building of your kit home is simply to keep the government happy and tick a few boxes, but attending these classes or completing them online is invaluable when it comes to building your home. Take training seriously and absorb as much of the information as possible. Take notes and if there is anything you’re not sure of, ask.

2. Local building codes

Before you start building, familiarise yourself with local building codes. This can help you avoid dangerous and costly mistakes.

3. Storage

Building a kit home takes time and you won’t be using all of your materials at once. Unused supplies must be well looked after and well protected. Store them off the ground on wood supports and shield them from the elements by covering with a tarp. Your materials should all be kept together and the site remain tidy at all times.

4. Instructions

Understand the building instructions before you lift a single tool. Refrain from reading as you go. Read several times over before each and every step and never start anything you’re not completely clear about. Building a kit home can be an inexpensive way to build your dream home but make mistakes can make the costs add up.

5. A professional builder

Once upon a time, kit homes were marketed as a product that could be solely completed by any keen DIYer. These days, manufacturers acknowledge that tackling a kit home as a complete beginner is not always a great idea and at some point you will need help from a professional. Many homeowners opt to have their home built by completely by contractors, as not only are you ensured a professional finish, but the time it takes to construct can be dramatically reduced.

6. Costs

Because each kit home is unique, costs vary from project to project. It’s important to factor in all costs before starting your build, as kit home costs generally just cover materials. Land, contractors, utilities, plumbing, lighting and labour is usually for you to work out. As a rough guide, the kit home price is generally about one third of overall costs.

7. Manufacturer

To determine the reliability of a kit home manufacturer, firstly look at how long they’ve been in business. Ask for recommendations and ensure they work well with local builders. Your manufacturer should be able to supply you with a list of experienced builders in your area.

8. Time

If you decide to tackle most of the project yourself, you will need to set aside time to do this. The more work you take on yourself, the more time you can expect the construction to take. As a rough guide, most owner-builder kit homes take between 8 and 12 months to complete inside and out.

9. Lenders

You will most likely need a loan for your new home and lenders can impact how much work you do yourself. Without much experience, a lender may insist that work is carried out by a professional to ensure a quality product.

10. Preparation

The key to a successful build is good preparation and this includes ensuring you have workers ready to go, space for a large truck and a timeline in place for contractors. While building a kit home takes careful planning and thought, the satisfaction from being a part of the project far outweighs the elbow grease it takes to get there. The finished product is a home you will love and feel extremely proud of.

Learn more about building your kit home
Read: Everything You Need To Know Before Building A Kit Home

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