The small home design really makes sense these days. A well-built small house can be easy to maintain, inexpensive to furnish, and most of all it can be very energy efficient.
Is a panelized kit home the way to go? I get a lot of questions about panelized houses and small kit homes. It’s not an easy thing to answer. What I can do, however, is share my experiences with you and provide you with some valuable tips.
Advantages of Using a Kit Home Package
If you’re planning to build a small home, it might seem like there’s not that much to it so why would you need to use a packaged home product? But, the fact is, regardless of the size of the home, there are still the same choices to be made, a variety of materials to purchase, and the same contractors to hire. Lets look at some benefits:
- Reduced decisions make the preparation process easier and quicker
- Quicker framing can lower the onsite labor costs
- Complete materials packages can reduce the need to shop
- Some companies offer easier access to construction financing
- A kit home can make a DIY project more doable
Packaged Kit Home Disadvantages
Small or big, the same issues arise when building a home. And it’s a mistake to think that just because the home is small, or because you’re using a kit home that you won’t have issues and problems to solve. I’ve found the following to be common:
- Wall framing panels don’t always fit together perfectly
- There’s a decent price mark-up for labor and deliveries
- Your materials and style choices are limited
- Your site must be accessible for big truck deliveries
- You’ll need to safely store many items onsite while building
Use These Suggestions to Improve Your Experience
After years of working with kit homes, panelized houses, and small home designs, I can offer the following tips and strategies that will make your life easier.
- Consider hiring your own home building coach to help with management rather than using the kit home company’s rep
- Pick one of their package designs if your local restrictions allow it and don’t deviate from the plans
- Choose a design with a simple foundation and roof design
- Try to visit a finished home which is the same or similar to the model you chose
- Use framers who are experienced with framing packaged homes
Research Gives You Power
Time to do a little research. You’ll be able to locate many packaged home companies online. Read up on their policies and procedures. Check out their small home designs. Find out if they deliver to your area and the costs of delivery. Check references and be sure to uncover their customer service issues.
The more you know, the better questions you’ll ask them. Keep learning and I wish you the best in your small home building adventure!