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KHB-Zine, Issue #015: Busting kit home myths
March 01, 2018


Welcome to the February 2018 edition of KHB Ezine.

This month....
Busting kit home myths

Early PS: if you are reading this on a phone, turn it sideways to enable landscape view, it's easier to read.

I have received many questions about kit homes and owner building over the years, and I've compiled most of my answers on my FAQ pages: Kithome FAQs and Owner Builder FAQs. But many people search for problems with kit homes to rule them out. Most of the problems they find are misconceptions, while some are outright myths. That's not to say kit homes are perfect, but there are many players out there who would like to see this form of housing go under. So lets start with some home truths.

Kit homes vs built homes
To start with, kit home materials arrive on site, just like normally built home materials do. In both cases, frames are pre-built and transported to the site on a truck. No longer do carpenters slave away constructing frames on site. Windows are supplied by glaziers pre-assembled with fitted reveals. The rest is supplied in bulk and requires usual measuring and cutting. This is the case with kits and traditional builds. That is, cladding, roofing, wall linings, doors, jams, arches, skirts, doors, etc all need installation and are not pre-cut, except in the case of some pre-hung external doors.

So why are kit homes thought to be a lesser product?

1. How they are built and or who builds them
If an owner builder is constructing the kit home, the finished product will be determined by the OBs project management and the ability and committment of the employed tradesmen. Most 'builders' will do a good job, but some don't, and not all OBs have the goods either. In the end, it's all about planning and workmanship.

2. What the kit specifications are
Steel frame thickness, heavier tie down, truss or panel roof structure, cladding/brick/block, roofing iron or tile, internal fittings...all go into how a kit home will be evaluated by others.

3. What level of home is required
Many people falsely believe a kit home is based on a liveable shed, and have the specs of a liveable shed. Others state kit homes are manufactured at 'optimum value engineering', when in fact all frames are manufactured this way to reduce cost: it's all about economics and not specifically about kit homes. It is unlikely with today's engineering standards and modern fastening methods that engineering would be sub-standard. And lastly, kit home designs can start with liveable sheds, but progress through to granny flats up to unlimited bedroomed homes.

What about pre-fabricated or modular homes?
Both are superior products as they are built under factory conditions. Pre-fabs are expensive and twice the cost of kits as they are pre-built, but unassembled. They are easy and fast to construct as walls are panelized, roofs have interior and exteriors, and many have flat-packed kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. Modular homes are even more expensive: three times or more than kits, as they are fully built and transported in sections to the site.

So, now that you have the background you can see how the myths are generated...basically from ignorance of the product.

Need a short ebook on owner building? Your big bonus, just for being a subscriber, is personal access to my Free Ebook:
Kit home groundwork: 5 Crucial Steps.

Download your free PDF version HERE and use your personal password khb0790 (lower case letters-expires in 7 days). If you miss out just contact me.
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Remember, if you have any questions, have an article or submission, or would like to comment on a kit home, provider or design, please contact me, I'm happy to publish your submissions, reviews and experiences about kit home building and the projects surrounding them.

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warm regards

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