Materials and kits to consider for building a home

July 29, 2015

There's a lot to consider when choosing a material for your home. There are a plethora of options, each suitable for a different look and with their own special characteristics. We'll help inform and simplify your decision.

Materials and kits to consider for building a home

Consider solid brick or stone

  • Solid brick or masonry homes were based on old styles inherited from the UK and were very popular before the 1920s.
  • Due to problems with dampness, these materials are rarely used to build homes these days and are considered "alternative".

Using concrete block

  • Concrete blocks are a very economical house-building material that make up a small part of the general market.
  • Because they're more resistant to earth tremors than brick walls, concrete block homes are a good choice in areas at risk of earthquakes.
  • Concrete blocks are hollow and not waterproof, so damp-proofing is necessary. This is usually accomplished with a layer of insulation material on the outer wall covered by some form of cladding.

Think about kit homes

  • There are several ways to have a kit house built. You can become an owner-builder and sub-contract out trade work like bricklaying, plumbing, and electrical wiring. You can employ a licensed builder to either erect the dwelling completely or build it to lockup stage so that you can finish the rest yourself. Another alternative is to pay the kit home company to do everything from delivery to completion.
  • The last arrangement is very similar to buying a project home and many manufacturers will offer a package deal using their own licensed builders and tradespeople. But be sure to get other quotes before accepting the manufacturer's deal. It may be less expensive to engage a builder yourself.

Vary the materials in a kit

  • Once you've settled on a kit design that suits your taste, you may like to vary the materials. Whether or not this is possible will depend on the manufacturer.
  • Variations are often reflected by changes in price. Materials such as brick veneer or cedar paneling will be more expensive than fibro cement.
  • If the material you want isn't included as an alternative in the kit description, speak with the manufacturers. They can often use their buying power to supply materials at a cheaper price than you could get yourself.
  • Alternatively, if you request the deletion of an item, be sure to negotiate the deduction of its full price from the kit price.

The building material or kit you use will have a large impact on the look and feel of your home. Weigh all of your options and choose carefully so that you end up with a lovely home that you can be proud of.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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