Steel building kits are sold as ready made options for home builders, but are they a good option for the owner builder? Kit homes have been around for decades in both wood and steel, as well as in many styles such as modular, yurt, octagonal, cottage, cabin etc, but are steel kit homes as simple as they sound to erect?
Remember that kit homes are provided up to many stages: frame only, to lockup, lockup plus internal linings, plus doors and architraves/skirts, and some provide a basic standard of PC items such as bathroom, laundry and kitchen fittings. Others also provide flatpack kitchens and some will build it as well. What I'm pointing out here is not all kits are the same and component levels vary.
I enjoyed building my wood framed kit as I loved working with wood, simple as that. The frames were smaller and easier to push up and the trusses were a straightforward design and little trouble to install. Door stiles were nailed into wooden trimmer studs and skirts were nailed into wooden bottom plates. Cladding was nailed to framing studs and using nail guns made most tasks fast and easy.
What wasn't so good was, even though it was pine, the wood tended to bend as it dried, would also go mouldy, and had many splits on the ends. It was also treated blu-pine so it was a little nasty on my hands and eyes. Minor problems in the scheme of things though.
A better/worse comparison is one way to size up these two kits, and a better way would be to look at what experience you might have building one yourself. Sure steel frame buildings are pest-free, don't warp or rot, have lower fire ratings etc, but that doesn't tell you whether they are suitable for an owner builder, even with those attributes. Modern steel building kits use vertical support panels and roof frames instead of trusses.
For me, this panel and frame system was as easy as trusses, so both were suitable for me as a solo worker. If you have a large open plan living area, like I did, very heavy steel hanging beams have to be hoisted onto the wall frames. I managed this solo also, but a crane and an off-sider would have been better.
Well many other things need to be done before, during and after the kit has been erected. As an owner builder, it's all up to you. Buying a steel kit home to erect is a small part of the process.
Here is a brief list of what else has to be done:
A full kit with linings and doors will cost about a third of the price of the complete development. That means you have to add the cost of trade workers: excavators, electricians, plumbers, slab builders, roofers, plasterers, then add the cost of PC items such as sinks, vanities, toilets, kitchen stove, oven, dishwasher, extractor, lights and fans, hot water, solar, paint, water tanks and of course the kitchen. Builders know what tradesmen will charge, but getting quotes is a struggle, for the owner builder.
My council authority required almost a dozen submissions, another six forms and a few certificates to satisfy their application standards. The red tape seems endless, but achievable by an owner builder. I needed to have plans in triplicate, drawings, surveys, site plans etc all to scale, all easily read and produced by the correct tradesman or professional.
To be specific, they needed survey and house siting, environmental plan, clearing plan, bushfire provisions, house plans, soils test results, foundation plans, wind rating, shed plans, driveway plan, general waste plan, water waste plan, and basix commitments.
This was all a frustrating process that was made all the more difficult as I didn't have any useful guides. The building process stalled at times as the provided handbook was for a wood framed home. I found the owner building of my steel home kit to be an enormous challenge that would have been MUCH easier if I'd had a structured guide. A guide for building steel structures as well as where to start and how to finish.
About me...Although I have no trade, I have learnt and honed many trade skills. I have never been an apprentice, worked for a trade business or studied technical or building courses, but I have researched and observed trade methods, watched a hundred YouTube videos, stalked most building web forums, and read all the blogs, owner builder magazines and online articles and websites. But practicing my skills has been the way I have produced the results. Roof renovations, sheds, pergolas, decks, flat pack kitchens, bathroom renovations, all upgraded my skills.
No this isn't a hard sell ebook sales page, just an invitation to read the real experience of an owner builder starting from an uncleared bush block to moving in day. If you ever wanted to build your own home, this will inspire you and show you how to get to the finish line, and enjoy the experience.
Let's see what's inside...
This ebook will show you how to:
Testimonial. "Steel Yourself is a definitive guide for an owner builder specifically considering a steel frame kit home build. In addition the author, Michael Jenner, provides an extremely useful guide that applies to other owner build projects as the book details the navigation route required for building approvals and the project management skills required.
In an easy-to-read format, Michael invites the reader on his personal journey as he undertakes his own, mainly solo, build of a kit home on a heavily vegetated rural block with fire hazard and wildlife corridor restrictions and regulations. Anyone considering following a similar path will appreciate the process in which Michael outlines everything required with gaining building approvals and working with government and utilities to ensure the build proceeds with minimum delays. Much value can be gained from following the checklists and timeline management techniques that Michael employs that results in his project becoming his home in nine months from the first building approval step.
Along the way, Michael explains and illustrates each aspect of the build and provides valuable techniques that he devises in the physical erection of frames and cladding with only one set of hands available. The layout of the book allows a reader to immediately refer to specific aspects of a build. This book should feature prominently in any prospective owner builder’s tool bag."
Steel Yourself: Table of Contents
18 Chapters of unique information
Hundreds of detailed graphics and plans
As a 'how to' guide, this ebook would normally be priced over $20
You only have to pay $12.95 AUD
So what can you get for $12.95??
Or..you can invest in a resource that will help you create an asset worth many hundreds of thousands of dollar$$$.
Ready to make that steel kit home a reality?
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If you need any information on how to download, save or open this pdf ebook file, please contact me here. After you have downloaded it you may wish to print it out, but be aware it is over 100 pages and most of those pages have colour graphics.