Panelized and Kit Homes
Panelized home Kits - Panelized home kits provide total design flexibility. Panel kits are available as ranch homes, two story, Cape cod floor plans or any floor plan of your choosing. Panel home kits minimize framing time and provide a weather tight building shell ready to finished out by either do it yourself home builders or a general contractor. Panel home kits range from exterior walls packages to all inclusive home packages supplying 95% of the material required to complete your home.
Kit Home Pros and Cons
Advantages of Building a Wood Panel Kit Home
The primary advantage to building a panelized kit home is speed in which the framing element of building a new home is minimized. The home kit is delivered to the building site and ready for framing. The home kit can very basic and include only the walls, ceilings, flooring and roofing system or the home kit can be a complete kit including all of the required elements to complete the home from the foundation up. The total kit package would include: windows; doors; siding; electrical components; drywall; bathroom fixtures and faucets; plumbing supplies and more. Often people who build kit homes select somewhere in between the basic package and the total package so the will be able to select many of the options locally.
Pros and Advantages of Panelized Kit Homes
Floor Plans - Kit Homes can be constructed to fit any site built home floor plan. The primary difference between a "stick" home and a panelized kit home is the wall section, floors and ceiling and roof sections are constructed in a protected environment and delivered to the building site. Any "stick" built home floor can be panelized and delivered to your building site.
Design Flexibility - If you have your own custom floor plan or a floor plan that has been designed by an architect, designer or a builder - the home can be built wood building panels and delivered to your building site.
Building Materials - Wood panel home kits are constructed from the same lumber that "stick" built homes are assembled. The primary difference is the lumber will not be exposed to rain and moisture. Moisture is the leading cause for nail pops, squeaky floors, mold, mildew and other problems.
Cost Savings - Wood panel home kits save you money in the framing process by operating on economies of scale and automated systems within a factory environment. In addition the framing process will not be delayed due to incremental weather where "stick" built homes can be delayed by rain and wind. In addition, panelized homes will be under roof and dried in quicker than site built "stick" homes.
Design Changes -After your wood panel home kit is delivered and erected, you still have a choice to make changes to the home. You can move windows, doors, walls and other parts of your new home to your liking. Making these changes can and will add cost to the construction of your home just like a site built "stick" home.
Engineering - Wood panel home kits include engineering so your home will meet state and local building codes. The engineering is the last step in the home design stage. Engineering will produce blue prints for your local building department to approve. All necessary stamps and approvals will be included for you to move ahead quickly.
Delivery Times - After your order is placed for your wood panel house kit home, you will be given a date when the building panels and building materials will be delivered to your building site. This makes scheduling subcontractors an easier task to build your new kit home.
Complete Packages - Some wood panel home suppliers provide all of the materials to build your home from the foundation up. When your new kit home is delivered the kit will contain all of the materials to construct your home. In addition, some suppliers even offer appliance packages that can be included in the financing package.
Framing Completion - The time is takes to frame a wood panel home often only takes a day or two. Once the framing is completed, the home is dried in after the shingles or roof coverings are installed. Your home can have windows, doors, siding and roofing completed creating a secure storage space for the rest of your building materials.
Green Construction System - When your wood panel home kit is constructed in a a factory, little to no lumber will go to waste. The factory will use smaller pieces of lumber for other homes in the process of being constructed.
Factory Construction - Panelized homes are constructed on automated framing systems so that the walls, floors, ceilings and trusses are constructed to the exact (ish) dimensions shown on your building plans. Computer aided drafting and manufacturing produce building panels to exacting measurements for your kit home.
Material Security - As mentioned above in the framing completion section, once a panelized home is dried in the builder will have secured storage for their home, building materials can be store close to where they will be installed.
Financing Options - Panelized homes or kit homes are financed with conventional construction loans. The primary difference is the draw for the framing will come much sooner because the new house will be under roof much quicker.
Cons and Disadvantages of Panelized Kit Homes
Level of Completion - Of all the system built homes, wood panel home kits are the least finished. Compared to modular homes that are up to 90% complete when set on the building foundation. Structural Insulated Panel or SIPs homes are sheathed and insulated, log homes are ready to wire. Panelized homes built in a factory will save time only in the framing of your new home.
Over Promises - Often dealers who sell panelized kit homes will sell the idea of how easy it is to build your own home. How you can be in control of the building process and build your house your way. Often times people are stung by the do it yourself process by subcontractors who charge retail prices (and at times even higher prices due to potential problems and delays in building your kit home). Although the time savings found in the framing element of building a home can save you time, additional time lines might not be met producing costly extensions to your construction loan and living accommodations. It is always wise when building a panel or kit home to hire a general contractor or at minimum a sight manager or consultant.
DIY Building Times - The framing of a panel home is much quicker than framing the home on site. General contractors who build homes for a living minimize costly time over runs by maintaining relationships with subcontractors who will be building your new panel house. In addition, general contractors are used to creating contingency plans to sub a sub contractor if necessary.
Time Overruns - Building a kit home often leads to time over runs. Time over runs when building a home can be frustrating and very costly. Construction loan extensions, housing accommodations, over charging subcontractors to rush and get the job done on your schedule. Be cautious if you are acting as your own kit home general contractor.
Responsibility - The responsibility of a home buyer is huge when building a new home. You are responsible for the over all design or the home, choosing who will build the kit home, what construction tasks will be completed, selecting heating, hot water and air conditioning systems and sticking to the plans presented on the blue prints to keep costly change orders to a minimum. Using a designer, builder, architect or someone who is familiar with building new homes should provide some protection.
Change Order Fees - When your kit home is delivered in building panels, there should be little to no changes to the structure of your home. However you decide to start changing the location of windows, doors and walls, the savings of building with building panels will soon be gone and the total cost of your home will be much higher. Make sure when you sign off on your kit home blue prints and plans that you are sure of what you are ordering.
Material Handling - Once your panel home is dried in and the materials are placed inside the shell of the home, you or your builder now become responsible for where all of the building materials are located with in the home. A good builder will take time to stage each spaced to be finished an move the building materials to be used to those space inside your new home. Poor handling of construction materials leads to lost materials and duplicate purchases of product if you purchased an all inclusive kit home building package. In addition, protecting all of the building materials is very important. A dented sink, broken toiled bowls, scratched counter tops and cabinets all take away from the joy of building a home.
Sub Contractor Scheduling - Scheduling sub contractors to complete you framed panel house can be one of the biggest nightmares in building. If the electrician stands you up, the dry wallers, plumbers, trim dudes (some lady whined I used the term dude on one of my other sites) exterior Finnish crew will all be delayed. When you build a panel home it is necessary to run a tight show to make sure the house is completed on time.
Building Material Theft - Any time you are building, anything that is not attracted to the home has the propensity to grow legs and walk off the job site. When a panelized home is delivered as a kit, there are a ton of loose building materials that will need to be accounted for. Building theft can account for a much as 15% of building a new home. Make sure you watch over everyone who is working on the panelized home. This includes the general contractor, sub contractors and even your spouse. Installing a security camera system is an inexpensive theft deterrent. If you are going to install a camera security system after the home is constructed, just move the cameras to their permanent locations.