Sometimes it can be exhausting to look at several cookie-cutter homes that real estate agents and developers are inclined to push your way. It can feel like you’ve been looking at the same house over and over again, just in different colors and different landscapes. This is perhaps one reason why more and more people are choosing to get their hands dirty and want to come up with homes built with their own two hands.
However, building your own home doesn’t mean just possessing a sufficient knowledge in carpentry and knowing what to do when given a hammer and a nail. In the case of kit homes, which are fast gaining popularity with first-time homeowners, you’ll need more than just basic carpentry skills.
For one, you need to know that there are four basic types of kit homes: log homes, panelized homes, timber-frame homes and geodesic homes. They are also the type of homes that are pre-customized and pre-designed off-site and then delivered to the homeowner’s preferred site for assembly and construction. Kit homes are not a new concept, in fact, as early as 1908 the Sears company had been selling these types of homes before World War II and are actually responsible for its introduction to the world.
Each kit home type offers something for discriminating tastes and features that cater to specific needs. Log homes for example, are for those who would like to always live with the rustic and rugged appeal of the outdoors, for those who want to be as close to Nature as they possibly can. Panelized homes, on the other hand, are for busy people who have little time to hover over the construction process and panelized homes, which already have the wall sections and roof trusses already made in a factory before they are shipped out to the preferred site for assembly, is perfect because it saves time and of course, money.
For the environment-conscious, timber-frames are the most sustainable and most economical type of kit homes and also one of the most durable and most customizable. Nothing appeals to first-time homeowners more than a house that helps them lower their energy bills and one that they can easily decorate to their hearts’ desire. In the same light, geodesic homes fulfill the current need to run energy-efficient homes. The network of small triangles that comprise it gives it structural integrity, without the need for internal support, allowing maximization of space for efficiency.
While there are lots of reasons to build kit homes, there is also a lot to be said about its supposed benefits, like saving a ton of money, which isn’t one of them. For one, it is cheaper because it is basically just a weather-tight shell that you’re purchasing initially, but to make it truly a complete home, you will still have to outfit that shell with everything from plumbing, to the cabinets and to the lighting fixtures. It basically just accounts for one-fourth to one-third of the total price and of course, the more inclusions you want, the more it will cost.
However, that’s not to say the savings are completely non-existent, you will just be seeing them in the long run, especially when you start building because you’ll see that everything has been laid out for you, like the wall, the roof and the floor. You’ll also realize that this saves time and you’ll be able to have your dream home built in less time than it would have taken had you gone traditional with a full crew of carpenters using dimensional lumber.
Another thing you need to know is that you can do alterations or modifications on your kit home for little to no charge. This is because you can do all the customizations before it is delivered to your site so when it does arrive, it will be something you actually want and not something you will have to return later because it just doesn’t make you happy. So think well and be wise about your designs and customizations to avoid wasting any more of your hard-earned cash.
Also, always know your building codes and the necessary permits to build your kit homes. For one, unusual homes will have unusual requirements and your kit home manufacturer needs to take that into account when manufacturing your kit home. Make sure you talk to your lender as well because some lenders will want to have a say in your kit homes and want to make sure they are getting a high quality product out of your deal. They will also be able to determine if you can build you kit home yourself or if you need to hire a contractor to do so.
And lastly, you will need to be 100% committed to see this project through to the end. Know what you’re getting into and expect to be knee-deep into this for at least eight to twelve months until you have a turn-key product. If necessary, you need to hire the best people to do the job, preferably ones who’ve done kit homes before so you can be sure that your dream home turns out perfect and exactly what you wanted.