What is a Kit Home in Australia? - Owner Builder Club

What is a Kit Home in Australia?

What is a Kit Home

Ever thought about building your own home? The idea is enticing, isn't it? But then there's the cost, the planning, the construction – it all seems a bit overwhelming. Well, what if we told you there's a solution that makes the process simpler and more affordable? Enter the realm of kit homes, an innovative approach to housing that's been steadily gaining traction in Australia.

Whether you're an aspiring owner builder or simply curious about this growing housing trend, sit tight. We've got plenty to share with you. Ready for the ride?

Why Are Kit Homes Popular in Australia?

So, why exactly has Australia embraced the concept of kit homes with such enthusiasm?

Well, it's a combination of some unique geographical attributes, favourable weather conditions, a culture that encourages innovation and self-reliance plus, the potential financial benefits.

Let's delve a bit deeper, shall we?

First, Australia is blessed with abundant land and this expansive geography provides plenty of room for housing development.

Now, think about the Australian weather. Generally speaking, we're talking about mild winters (compared to some countries) and warm summers, making it an ideal climate for building.

Kit homes are designed with this in mind, offering robust and resilient structures that can handle whatever Mother Nature throws at them.

Aussies love a good DIY project, and what could be more satisfying than building your own home? And it's not just about the sense of achievement; there's also a real financial benefit. With rising housing costs, kit homes offer a more affordable option, allowing more Australians to realise their dream of homeownership.

So, with the perfect mix of geography, climate, culture, and the potential financial benefit, it's no wonder that kit homes have found a welcoming home in Australia.

What is a Kit Home?

In simple terms, a kit home is essentially a DIY house package. It includes all the key components required to construct a house – think of it as a giant jigsaw puzzle, but instead of ending up with a picture, you end up with a home!

Now, let's talk about the benefits. Why are more and more Aussies turning towards this unique housing solution?

  • Affordability: With rising property prices, affordability is a major concern for many Australians. These homes offer a budget friendly alternative without compromising on quality or aesthetics.
  • Flexibility: One of the coolest things about these homes is the flexibility they offer. You can customise the design to suit your needs and preferences. Fancy a spacious kitchen or an extra-large garage? No problem!
  • Sustainability: Concerned about your carbon footprint? Many of these homes are designed with sustainability in mind, using eco-friendly materials and energy efficient designs.
  • Speedy Construction: Unlike traditional homes that take months to build, these homes can be constructed much quicker. This means you can move into your dream home sooner than you might think!
  • DIY Satisfaction: Last but certainly not least, there's the sheer satisfaction of building your own home. There's something incredibly rewarding about seeing your dream home come to life, one piece at a time.

Pricing Estimates for a Kit Home

Let's talk money. After all, one of the biggest attractions of a DIY home is the potential for savings. But how much does it cost to build a kit home in Australia?

There's quite a range when it comes to pricing, and it largely depends on the size and complexity of the design.

Based on national averages, kit homes from a single manufacturer may cost from: 

  • $114,000 for an 85m2, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home
  • $148,000 for a 152m2, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home
  • $219,000 for a 205m2, 3 bedroom + study, 2 bathroom home

Now, you might be thinking, “That's a pretty broad range!” And you're right. The final price tag can vary significantly depending on several factors:

  • Design Complexity: A simple, single story home will generally be less expensive than a multi-story or complex design.
  • Size: The bigger the home, the higher the cost. More square footage means more materials and potentially more labour.
  • Materials: Higher quality materials will increase the cost, but they can also result in a more durable home. It's about finding the right balance between quality and affordability.
  • Site Preparation: The condition of your land can impact costs. If it needs significant work (like clearing trees or levelling), this will add to your overall expenses.
  • Labour: If you plan to do most of the construction yourself, you can save on labour costs. However, if you need to hire professionals, this will be an additional expense.

Remember, the listed price is often for a very basic kit. Once you factor in the additional costs to finish the house (such as interior fittings, electrical work, and plumbing), the total can be quite different. On average, building kits are about 25% – 35% of the total building cost.

Kit Home Construction

So, you've decided to build your own home – exciting times ahead! But what does the construction process involve? Let's break it down into manageable steps, using Queensland as an example and as per the information from the Queensland Government's Office of Fair Trading.

Step 1: Permits

Before you start swinging that hammer, you need to ensure you have the necessary permits. In Queensland, for example, if the value of the building work is $11,000 or more (including GST), you'll need either an owner builder permit or a QBCC licensed builder.

Step 2: Understanding the Kit

Once you've got your permits sorted, it's time to get familiar with your kit. It should include building materials, support services such as a construction manual, and possibly even some owner builder support.

Step 3: Site Preparation

Next, you'll need to prepare your site. This could involve clearing trees, levelling the land, or laying a concrete slab. Always check who's responsible for this – sometimes it's included in the kit, other times it's up to you.

Step 4: Construction

Now comes the fun part – building your home! It involves assembling the components as outlined in the manual. You might need access to licensed tradespeople for some parts of the construction, so it's a good idea to have these contacts ready.

Step 5: Dealing with Building Issues

During the construction process, you may come across issues or questions. This is where the support services included in your kit come in handy. Don't be afraid to reach out for help if needed.

Step 6: Approval

Once your home is built, there may be additional approvals required. It could include council inspections or certifications. Make sure you understand what's needed so you can stay compliant.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

Finally, it's time to add those finishing touches. This could include painting, installing fixtures and fittings, and landscaping your garden.

Conclusion

So, what's the takeaway? Well, kit homes offer an exciting opportunity for those who love the idea of a hands-on approach to achieving homeownership. However, the journey isn't without its challenges.

But at the end of the day, there's something incredibly satisfying about living in a home that you've had a hand in building. It's not just a house; it's a testament to your efforts, your creativity, and your vision.

So, are you ready to roll up your sleeves and start your kit home journey? Remember, every big project starts with a single step – and you've already taken the first one by educating yourself. Happy building!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in a kit home package?

A typical kit home package includes the structural components needed to build the house. This usually involves the walls, roof, and floor systems, as well as doors and windows. Some kits may also include interior features like cabinets and fixtures, but this can vary.

Can I customise my kit home?

Absolutely! One of the advantages of kit homes is their flexibility. Many companies offer customisable designs, allowing you to tailor your home to suit your needs and tastes.

Are kit homes cheaper than traditional homes?

Generally, kit homes can be more cost effective than traditional homes. This is because they use pre-manufactured parts, which can reduce construction costs. However, keep in mind that the final cost will depend on various factors like design complexity, size, materials used, site preparation, and labour.

Do I need a builder to construct a kit home?

While kit homes are designed to be DIY friendly, some parts of the construction process may require professional help, especially when it comes to plumbing and electrical work, or if the building code in your area requires it.

 

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