DIY House Building Kits


DIY house building kits have been around for over a 100 years, when the Aladdin Company of Bay City, Michigan, offered the first mail-order kit houses in 1906. Sears, Roebuck and Company often receives the credit as the "first mail-order" vendor of kit homes, but they did not start until 1916. Generally, there are four types of homes, including domes, log, timber-frame and panelized houses.

House-Buildings Kits

  • DIY house-building kits help you take on the role of general contractor. You may save as much as 50 percent of the typical costs associated with building a new home. Choosing to build your own is one of the best ways to instantaneously build up equity in your home, because when it's appraised, it will appraise at the same value whether you build or had a local contractor do the job.

    The kits come with instructions for putting the structure together. Usually, the package consists of many pre-cut pieces and components. There may be some materials that require cutting. However, most of the hassle for do-it yourself home builders, the inaccurate measurement and cutting of structural materials, is eliminated. Home-building kits do not contain everything you need to build your new house. Most packages include what are called "dry-in" kits.

    These "dry-in" kits consist of the framing materials, exterior siding, windows, exterior doors and roofing. The major systems, such as heating, plumbing electricity and concrete work will cost extra and are totally your responsibility to secure.

    You will also have to oversee the majority of the interior finishing and décor, including drywall, painting, floor coverings, wood trim and interior doors. This includes supplying cabinets, appliances and bathroom fixtures. Landscaping the grounds is also under your domain.


  • You have control over the project, including selection of the sub-contractors you will work with. There is no middle man, so you get to communicate your wants and desires directly to the sub-contractors. You have the final say over the type of materials as well as the quality you desire. The time schedule of the project is also under your control. You'll be able to monitor and avoid time overruns and make sure that the various jobs are completed as scheduled and keep your project on track.

    In addition, the purse strings of the project are always under your control. Sub-contractors and all other workers get paid when they satisfy the work in a manner you approve. Also, you oversee the budget to avoid any surprises. Determine what your budget will be for a kit that meets your needs and desires. Keep in mind when deciding on a kit that DIY house building kits usually comprise one-quarter to one-third of the total cost of projects.

    Compute what it will take to complete the entire project and its cost. The house kit company may also have information on what it will cost to complete the project in your area. Before you purchase one of the many DIY house-building kits available, make sure you understand what the kit contains. Verify what resources are required to assemble the structure and what is required to finish your home. Find out the kit seller's policy for consultation on their product. Some companies may charge extra for project consultation.

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