Welcome to the April edition of KHB Ezine.
Choosing a kit home
My home page 'Quick Research' has collected a large number of clicks on the concern of 'How to choose the correct kit'. So let's explore a few ways of approaching this very important subject.
In last month's Ezine we previewed 'How to start' an owner building project, so make sure you have those processes in order first.
The correct kit home for you needs these inputs:
1. The amount of physical input you will personally provide, which extends to the amount of help you wish to use: apart from trade-workers.
-most kits are provided as frames, cladding, roofing, windows, doors and linings. So that means it has to be built on site. Some, like panelised homes, have complete walls (lined, insulated and clad)
ready to push up. Others, such as modular, are semi-completed homes arriving ready to drop onto your piers. The less you have to physically do yourself, the more expensive the kit will be.
2. Your preferred size/shape and general floorplan needs
-obviously you would have a preferred size eg two, three or four bed, one or two bath, and a sq metre area in mind. Be aware that 2 bedroom kit designs have quite small living areas and it is better to choose a 3 bed design, delete a room, and make the other two bigger, or add a bathroom or an office. Tip: the overall cost of the project will remain very similar for a two bed kit versus a three bed kit. You may have a desired floor plan, but the kit home providers have some excellent plans that will be better than you ideas..trust me. By the way most kit homes are designed so that almost anything can be altered, for a small design fee. You can go to this house design download site and check out dozens of kit home floorplans.
3. The type of kit you would like to build
-wood or steel framed, raised floor or slab, pole house, pre-fab or modular, single or double floor, brick and tile or blueboard and iron, granny flat, barn or shed-home, cottage or log home, panelized, octagonal or yurt shaped. Yes there are many styles of kits and be aware, some may not be available in your region.
Go to my outline of kit home styles page for expanded descriptions.
Engage a provider
-The time between the first phone call and your first deposit on a chosen kit can be months, due to the negotiations that take place. The initial conversations with the provider will alert you to whether they enjoy working with owner
builders. If they continually try to convince you to use one of their builders, take a step back, as they may just be a general home builder who use kits. An owner builder friendly provider will provide inclusion lists, will have a style specific manual, and will have a 'go to' phone number for assistance during the building process. They should also give advice on the development application. Ask what items they provide for your application. If they offer floorplans and elevations, tiedown specs, engineering, foundation design and Basix, then you are on the right track for a 'keeper'.
-Compare apples with apples. Try to establish the level of provided components you are receiving for the price. As a rule there are two prices: the first is 'to lockup' which includes roofing, external doors and windows, and 'lockup' plus internal doors and linings. Remember to price in a raised floor, which will cost about as much as a
Here is my Inclusion List Page for basic terms and componentry to compare. Here also is a Kithome prices page which outlines some basic prices from various providers.
There you are, a good overview of the kit home selection process.
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