Author: Andre Smith
In recent years, kit homes have seen an explosion in popularity. These uniquely designed and constructed homes allow a homeowner to actually take part in the construction of his own home, which can be especially satisfying for those who like to ensure that their living space ends up exactly as they envisioned it.
What is a kit home?
A kit home is a house that’s been designed, as well as partially manufactured off site, with materials that will then be transported by truck over to the construction site so the house can be assembled. Some of the benefits of kit homes are that pre-engineered home plans are reversible, floor plans can be easily adapted to fit the slope of any site, home designs can be modified at a modest cost to fit any and all of your lifestyle needs, and home plans will be prepared to submit to your local building department for plan check in a relatively short amount of time.
What are the benefits of having a kit home?
Some of the benefits include the spaciousness of many of the homes, as well as the fact that they’re self-sufficient and entirely sustainable. Sheds N Homes states that steel framed kit homes can also save you budget as the steel components can be erected quickly and are easier to transport. One of the benefits that can be a con to some is the fact that they feature an open-plan layout, which could be seen as a way of maximizing space to some, while others might see this as a way of making the home seem empty. A homeowner’s personal preference, as with every part of the home construction and ownership process, will come into play here.
Kit homes are also praised for their pre-constructed components which ensure a high level of quality control, their Eco-friendly properties, and their level of overall design flexibility.
Along with practical concerns such as ease of construction and Eco-friendly properties, kit homes are also considered to be quite affordable. While costs will of course vary depending on which home you choose, what is included in your particular package, and how much work you’ll take on yourself as opposed to contract out to someone else, kit home packages tend to be relatively cheap. In fact, some sources claim that a completed kit home costs, on average, about 40% less than a home constructed using traditional methods.
While building a kit home is easier and less wasteful than homes constructed traditionally, some may object to the length of time that construction can sometimes take. Contractors tend to erect the shell of the house and its roof first before constructing the interior, which can take between two and three months if done by a professional contractor, or between five and nine months if done by you the owner, especially if you’ll be living in the structure while it’s being built.
What kinds of kit homes are out there?
Experts tend to break down kit homes into four main categories. These are log homes, timber-frame homes, dome homes, and panelised homes.
Log homes are made using either factory-milled or handcrafted logs that have been known to contract and expand depending on changes in humidity and temperature level, making it extremely important to ensure that the logs are properly sealed.
Timber-frame homes are also known as post-and-beam homes. They don’t have interior structural walls, and so offer a great level of flexibility while designing the interior layout. Again, this open floor plan can be either a boon or a hindrance, depending of course on personal taste.
Dome homes. Flexible, spacious, and energy efficient, these homes are made up of individual fiberglass panels that are capable of standing up to even the most severe weather conditions. Easier to build, the shell, windows, and doors can be erected and installed in a single day.
Panelized homes can either have an open or closed panel. Considered to be very energy-efficient, these kits come with their own roof trusses and wall sections. They also have very flexible floor plans.
Is a kit home for you?
Before deciding on whether a kit home is the type of house for you, you’ll want to do your research, take a course on building practices, create a budget, and get that building site ready. You’ll also want to consider what floor plan you want and if you’re willing to wait longer for construction to be finished. But even so, there are several reasons why kit homes are an excellent choice.