Affordable Housing – Small Kit Homes
Do you need a good home? Are you looking for quality at an affordable price? Building a small kit home might be your answer. But, you need to know how to go about it.
What is a KitHome?
A kit home is a quality, “stick-built”, partially assembled home that is delivered to your home building site. It is not a manufactured, or mobile home. They are also called packaged homes and they usually include pre-framed walls, roof trusses, all the needed lumber, windows, doors, siding, and roofing.
They require significant labor to build but if you can provide some of this labor, these packaged homes can reduce the need for paid labor and lower the overall cost of the home.
Benefits of a Small Packaged (kit) Home
Small kit homes can be a great help to an experienced do-it-yourselfer (DIY). They can also be great for people who want to manage their own home building project by using the help of friends as well as less skilled labor.
Some of the benefits include:
Small kits require fewer deliveries and reduced shipping costs
Your home building decisions are fewer and easier to make
With a good crew, building time can be reduced
There are fewer people and projects to manage
What Makes a KitHome More Affordable?
Packaged homes allow you to control the costs more easily. Very often, the cost of home building projects get out of hand because of making decisions, and changes “on the fly” as you complete the home. With packaged homes, most of those kinds of decisions are made up front, so making changes is, fortunately, more difficult.
The DIY owner builder can also save on interest charges by building the home faster than they normally would be able to build.
Cautions When Building a KitHome
You will find that building a packaged home has its challenges. Nearly every home package will have issues to correct. And, beyond that, the fact remains that you still must build the home. Don’t get caught thinking that just because you have this package, that it will be easy.
I have seen people get a false sense of security when they buy a packaged home. When this happens, they tend to under prepare and hire insufficient labor.
My Recommendations for the Owner Builder
I have witnessed and helped hundreds of owner builders over the years. Many have used kit homes or some form of packaged home. For the budget conscious, keep these things in mind:
Keep the home size as small as is practical for your needs
Keep the house plan as simple as possible – especially the foundation and roof
If possible, use a plan that the kit home company has sold before
Prepare for the building process early and stay on top of it
Make sure the kit home company has exceptional customer service
Line up help that has experience in the building trades
Don’t over-extend your budget
If you really stay on top of things and prepare well, building a small kit home can be a great answer to the need for affordable housing.