aBuilding a home can be an overwhelming and time consuming business, especially if you’re just starting out on your first time. There are ways that you can successfully organise the construction of your own home without having professional building services on site. Whether it’s a complete home or a kit home, doing the majority of the building off site allows you to move into your new home faster, and also saves money in the process through tradesmen spending less time on site.

When it comes to constructing a home away from the building site, there a few ways this can be done. The options are: prefabricated homes, manufactured homes, and kit homes. To many people, these are all the same, but there is a world of difference between the three. Hopefully this advice will clear things up a bit.

Prefabricated Homes

This type of building is also known as a modular home. Traditionally, these are designed in ‘modules’, with each room built separately in an off site factory. For example, a granny flat or art studio might be two modules, while a four bedroom house might be six or seven modules. Everything down to the flooring and fixtures are provided so that they are virtually finished before leaving the factory.

shutterstock_116051080Designs can be altered easily because of the square-shaped panels, but because the finished rooms are transported on the back of trucks, designs are restricted to the width of the road. When all of the sections arrive at the final site, they are slotted and fastened together until the house is complete. Once installed, these modules become a permanent structure like a normal house.

From there, it’s simply a matter of having professionals connect up the services, such as water, power, telephone, and sewerage lines. This can be done in the space of a day if it is organised properly.

Kit homes

This is where the home arrives at the site in pieces, like a jigsaw puzzle, that have been pre-cut to the specified size of the design. Although kit homes are technically still constructed on site, several hours of labour are saved because all of the pieces have been pre-cut to the size needed.

Kit homes have  more opportunity for design variations and, unlike prefabricated homes, there are no restrictions with how big the rooms are. Owners have the choice of choosing from an existing design, altering designs, or creating something from scratch. There is also the option of becoming an Owner/Builder and constructing the home yourself to cut costs further, or hiring a builder to put it together for you. Even if you do hire a builder, there are parts of the construction that you can help with to save money.

Manufactured homes

Manufactured homes were previously referred to as mobile homes. This is because the main difference with manufactured homes is that they will always be relocatable, and are never a permanent structure. Manufactured homes are prefabricated on a steel frame in a factory to be shipped on their own wheels. The wheels are never actually removed, just disguised with wooden skirting.

These types of homes tend to not age as well as the other two, and need a lot more maintenance because of lightweight construction. Although mobile homes are generally cheaper in the short term to build, they don’t offer long-term value for money when compared to kit homes.

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