Kit Home FAQ

The following kit home FAQ address the most frequent kit home questions asked on the net. You can also see Owner Builder FAQ here.

Kit Home FAQ: Part 1

What is a kit home?

A kit home is a concept conceived in the mid 1900s where home building components and materials are assembled, cut, and or pre-manufactured off site, thereby speeding up the building process onsite.

Are all kit homes the same?

Kit homes can arrive on site in different ways. Component kit homes are delivered ready to assemble. Panelised kit homes have pre-manufactured walls ready to push up and secure. Kit homes can be delivered 'built', ie ready to drop on your foundations.

What sort of kit homes are there?

Kit homes come in all shapes and sizes. Cabins, barns, 'A' frame, post and beam, pavilion, dome, yurt, octagonal, you name it. Go to my Types of kit homes page

Can I build my own kit home without a builder?

Many kit homes are designed to be built by Owner Builders. A handyman/woman is quite capable of completing most of the tasks, although not the electrical or plumbing as they require certification in most regions. There are also more complex tasks that the Owner Builder would do well to 'farm out' eg foundations, wall boarding and roofing, unless they are a tradesman in the area. Owner builders should be wary of kit homes designed for builders to erect: they aren't really kit homes and are complex in design and assembly.

Are kit homes cheaper than regular homes?

A kit home can be a more affordable option if you build most of it yourself. If a builder builds it there will be little difference in cost.

How much do kit homes cost?

Depends what type and how large the kit home you choose is, and whether you build it yourself. Backyard kit cabins can be as little as AUD$15,000. Four Bedroom ensuited homes can be AUD$80-150,000 depending on your level of componentry. Go to my Kit Home Prices page.

Are kit homes legal?

Kit homes are as legal as any home, as long as it is certified or approved by the local building authority. This process starts at application level, and ends with regular inspections to establish compliance with building codes of the area.

Is a kit home faster to build?

As most components are pre-manufactured it is theoretically faster to erect. It depends on how much help you have. Be aware a kit home takes time to be 'manufactured' offsite. In some cases as long as it takes to erect it. But how long?

Kit Home FAQ: Part 2

What’s the best way to build a kit home?

Depending on your budget, your work, your building acumen, your time, it can vary for the individual. Some Owner Builders elect to just 'manage' the project. Others build most of the kit. Go to my Top 5 ways to build a kit home

Is a steel kit home better than a wood-framed kit home?

Steel has a lot of advantages including pest resistance and enduring strength. You can have greater spans, squarer corners, it is somewhat easier to erect the frame, no knots etc. Others like working with timber, which allows much more flexibility later to alter the home, and now has fully pest resistant framing. Go to my Steel kit page

Are kit homes safe?

Applications to build a kit home will require the same safety compliance specifications as any home. Properly designed and approved kit homes are cyclone/typhoon rated tie-down systems and standards, as well as bush fire rated components. 

Can owner builders construct kit homes?

In most regions, prospective owner builders need to obtain an Owner Builders license. Depending on the authority, an Owner Builders (short) Course is all that's required. Really, anybody can have a go at building a kit home, as long as they don't go outside their capabilities. Good kit home providers will support the novice builder. Tip: Novices should check web sites for Owner Builder support before going further with that provider. Go to my Kit home provider reviews (AUS) or Kit home provider reviews (USA) for specific web site reviews.

Can I get construction insurance to owner build a kit home?

Construction insurance is available for Owner Builders that covers theft, fire, weather damage etc. As long as the build is approved by the local authority an insurance company will take your money. Check with your broker for local details.

Do I need Home Warranty Insurance on my kit home?

If you use a licensed builder the answer is yes. It now appears in some Australian states this type of warranty in unavailable to owner builders. Check regional council guidelines and ask your insurance broker for advice.

Can I insure a built kit home?

Once a kit home is built and approved via authority inspection processes, the home can be insured. Again check with your broker for more fine print.

Can I sell a kit home?

An inspected and approved kit home is a registered dwelling, and it can theoretically be sold. A buyer of a freshly built owner built kit home would have to accept, via contract caveat, that although they are buying a new home, it may not have a builder insurance policy on it. In some states and territories, however, insurance will be mandatory. 

Can I run a business from a kit?

All sorts of kit homes are useful as business centres. Back yard Cabins are especially useful for home base businesses. Go to my Home based businesses from a kit page

How to build a kit home?

Too much to answer here. For a complete groundwork to erection plan go to my Groundwork page

How long does it take to build a kit home?

It took me 6 months to build my 3 bedroom kit home, with only wallboarding, plumbing and electrical help. That was full time, one worker. A builder with 6 laborers will take three months. Kit homes take a month or two to be manufactured: don't forget. Get more info on ways to build a kit home here.

Owner Builder FAQs here

Return to the Groundwork page

Or go back to Kithomebasics home page