Kitset vs prebuilt homes – what’s the difference?

Kitset. Flat-pack. These are words that conjure up affordability, and ‘doability’. Something you can whack together on a rainy Sunday.

But when it comes to kitset homes, there’s a bit more to it. In fact, a lot more to it.

Of course, you say. There’s a big difference between building a set of shelves from Ikea and building a house.

But it doesn’t all come down to DIY prowess. Can you build it? Maybe you can. But the question is, should you?

Building a kitset home can end up being more expensive (and a lot more hassle) than other options – like our prebuilt homes which are built in our yard and delivered to your site pretty much ready to go.

Here’s why, for most people, a prebuilt home is a better option than a kitset home:

1. Cost

Kitset

A kitset home is essentially that, a kit. So it’s all the materials you need, packaged together. But materials do not maketh a home. A finished kitset home can cost double or even triple the ‘off-the-shelf’ price of the ‘kit’. Depending on how much (or how little) you intend to do yourself, some of the things you will need to consider include:

  • Earthworks
  • Council fees
  • Subcontractors
  • Connection to services
  • Building labour
  • Scaffolding
  • Plastering and painting
  • Fittings and finishings

Prebuilt

The ex-yard cost of a prebuilt home is fixed (i.e. the price you pay for a completed home before it leaves our yard), so you know from the outset how much it’s going to cost you. You will still have council fees, transport and some on-site costs on top of that, but once you get your quotes in, it’s a known entity.

2. Expertise

Kitset

A kitset build must be overseen by a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP). So, if you aren’t one, you will need to employ one.

If you choose to employ a builder to do the work, bear in mind that if they haven’t made that particular kitset home before, it is uncharted territory for them too. So, to an extent, you will be paying them to learn to put it together.

As for sub-contractors – project managing a kitset build is almost as much work as building a home from scratch. If you don’t already have contacts in the building industry it can be difficult sourcing subcontractors that are available as and when you need them. Naturally, they will prioritise larger projects and work for building companies with which they have an existing relationship.

Kitsets best suit those who have the connections and the time to put into them. Think a carpenter starting out in the trade, who doesn’t yet have the skills to build a home from scratch, but has enough know-how and tradie mates to chip away at it.

Prebuilt

Our prebuilt homes are built at our yard by licensed builders and subcontractors with whom we have established relationships.

Because our homes are built in a controlled environment, you can expect the same quality of build and finish as you see in our on-site showhome. And with a range of base plans to choose from, there is the ability to customise your home to a certain extent. We also organise all warranties etc, which is one less thing to worry about.

3. Time

Kitset

How long does it take to build a kitset home? You might as well ask ‘how long is a piece of string?’.

That’s because it all depends on what skills you bring to the project, how much time you have on your hands and the availability of those you contract in to help you. It only takes one subcontractor to be out of synch, to throw the whole project off schedule.

And, being built on-site, like a traditional house build you are at the mercy of the elements. Bad weather can invariably slow things down.

Prebuilt

With a prebuilt home, the majority of construction work happens off-site in a controlled environment. This means the build isn’t affected by weather or subcontractor availability.

Generally, once the house is delivered, it is only a matter of weeks before it’s ready to live in.

In summary

Both kitset and prebuilt homes offer cost-savings compared to traditional builds. But, with a prebuilt home you know upfront how much it will cost you and when it will be finished. Whereas, with a kitset home, both the budget and timeframe can blowout if you’re not careful.

Want to find out more about how our prebuilt homes stack up? Give us a call on 07 572 0230, or email [email protected], and we’d be happy to answer them.

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