A 'kit home' is a building constructed of pre-cut components, custom made in a factory and assembled on site. This type of construction allows for flexibility while keeping costs down.
An understandable misconception of kit homes is that they come straight from a catalogue. In fact, many companies like us offer extensive customisation options for kit homes, from adding windows to changing the dimensions. There are plenty of ways to make a kit home truly unique.
Advantages of a kit home
Opting for a kit home comes with a wealth of advantages. It makes the entire building process far more relaxing, as you’ll have everything you need at the time you need it.
- It makes keeping the build cost down easier, as you’ll have a solid idea of how much the actual structure will cost to build. This way there’s far less scope for unexpected expenses cropping up mid-way through the build. It also reduces your reliance on skilled contractors such as carpenters, meaning less people to budget for and to fit in the build schedule.
- Using a kit home will also save you time, as everything is pre-cut and assembled at the factory. With detailed instructions provided, there’s no need for extensive preparations on-site, which could reduce the construction by weeks.
- Reduced waste, which is good news for your bottom line and for the environment. Each section is cut using an automated process, making it easier to optimise the amount of material used.
- Because the kit provides many of the materials you need, it streamlines your shopping list. Leaving you with more time and energy to shop for other materials to find the best deals, which could help with other aspects of the build.
The key to enjoying all these benefits is to put thought into your planning and design process and to have a clear understanding of what you want. Think ahead before you order the kit, and you will be able to take advantage of all the benefits it provides!
What a kit home is not
The terminology surrounding prefabricated homes can be confusing. As terms are often used interchangeably even within the industry.
For instance, kit homes may be built using modular architecture, but are quite different from modular builds. This is where entire rooms are constructed in the factory and can often include all the fixtures, they are then simply attached together on site. This is a very expensive process, whereas the basic idea behind kit homes is to keep costs down.
A kit home will always arrive in pieces that need to be put together on-site, this creates the shell of the house. While it saves time and thought on the actual construction, it requires you to invest in your planning and design to truly get the benefits. It can also offer you more options for customisation, and allows you to have more control as you may choose to do parts of the build yourself.
Self build kit home methods
Kit homes commonly take the form of timber frame structures or systems of closed timber panels, like structural insulated panels (SIPs) with insulation added during the assembly process.
How the actual build takes place will depend on the level of involvement you want as a self-builder. You may like to do a lot of the work yourself, or use a contractor to have the shell of your new home assembled. If you prefer to be more hands-off then you could be interested in a ‘turnkey’ service, who will manage the project from beginning to end and present you with a finished product, ready to move in.
The process will involve several meetings with your house designer or architect. If you use a service through your kit provider, visiting their show centre will help give a better idea of what the home might look like when completed. At Potton, for instance, we have five fully finished show-homes for you to explore.