For independent-minded folks who still want to opt for building their homes themselves, Do-It-Yourself kits have been developed. These are kits in which all the materials are conveniently provided, as well as systematic instructions for taking your home building process from conception to its completion. They are usually fit to bursting with information about the planning process, creative design, alternate methods, standard procedures and very clear and concise instructions about how to dream, plan and eventually build your own home.
There are a few things individuals must be aware of before starting out though. For starters, the concept has been around since the late 1800’s. Home building kits have been marketed for a long time, and the initial cost only came up to $500 for those first kits. But as more and more options were discovered, the ease and comfort with which you can build your home was realized and the market price slowly began to increase.
Nevertheless, the demand for DIY kits has only increased as more and more state of the art technology has been introduced. These home building kits can be ordered to be accessible for specific needs or designs that the builder has in mind.
The interest and lifestyles of the builder (owner) can easily be met through designing homes with DIY kits. Most of all, these house kits are a great way to ensure you remain “green” in all your home building processes when you buy from a company that has a “green” building package.
Additionally, you save up to half the cost that goes into developing a house. You don’t have to rely on anyone else for materials, the kit usually comes with pre-cut pieces and different components that must be installed, and instructions are thoroughly detailed.
One of the reasons that these kits are so popular is that you don’t have to worry about all the details of making sure you have a complete list of materials. The pre-cut materials mean there’s no inaccuracy and mishaps in cutting, either by you or the builders you might have hired. The “dry-in” kits that come embedded in DIY kits will contain framing materials, windows, exterior doors, roofing materials and exterior siding.
Instructions will be provided with these while the major systems such as heating, plumbing, concrete and electricity work will need to be bought and hired separately.
Hire Some Pros
The charges for hiring subcontractors (for electrical, HVAC, concrete, etc.) will vary, and sometimes you may just have to hire professional help since mistakes in these particular systems may be very costly. Although you are given the responsibility to secure the aforementioned systems, you will undoubtedly come across snags and it will be your responsibility to work them out.
This may be one of the reasons people hesitate to go for DIY home building kits. Another reason is that government regulations require that the systems you install are fully inspected and secure before you or anyone else moves in, especially if you live in a highly populated residential area. Mistakes in heating, plumbing or electrical systems could spell disaster for you so be careful!
Once the major systems are installed, you are given full liberty to oversee the interior designing and decor. You can choose fixtures, wallpaper, colors, and carpeting to your heart’s content. The flooring, doors, cabinets, appliances and bathroom fixtures come next.
If there are some processes you are not comfortable with, it is recommended that you sift through websites or family and friends for recommended subcontractors. With these individuals you can easily communicate your requirements without having a middle man dictate the terms of approval. You can also pay up front, rather than come across hikes in the budget made without your consent.
A home building kit will undoubtedly come with instructions and suggestions as to how much it might cost to finish the entire project. It is wise to consult at least one professional before you begin, and to check in with your progress after regular intervals. Since you are overseeing a huge project, it may also be a good idea to get more people involved in administration. Before going for a consultation, you must be aware of how much the cost is for a session — inquire on the hourly rate ahead of time. Often companies will not make public their hidden charges and only after you have consulted with them will they reveal their rates.
Image from Sears Archives.
We do not specifically endorse any of these companies (none of them are paid advertisers!), but offer them as a starting point in your research:
Timberframe DIY Home Kits from Enviro-Tech. http://enviro-techpostandbeam.com
Pre-cut home framing packages from North Coast Packaged Homes. http://northcoastpackagedhomes.com
Panelized home kits from Redstone Panelized Homes. http://www.redstonehomekits.com
Buy A Home Kit, article at Mother Earth News. http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/kit-homes-kit-houses.aspx