General Questions

1. Where do I start?

Building a Kit Home is a project so you need to have a system and set procedures in place to achieve a predictable outcome. You can obtain high quality systems through companies such as UBuild Homes, or you can do your own research and gather all the required knowledge to build a system of your own. A good system has a process for everything; from buying the block of land, right through to completing your landscaping and moving in. So you should start with your system.

The downside to ‘going it alone’ is that it takes time and money and can prove to be a very stressful experience. If you miss even one main element during the planning process you run a real risk of losing large amounts of money. In most cases building your own home will be one of the largest investments of your lifetime, and your life savings are at risk if you get it wrong.

It’s important to remember; building a home (doesn’t matter if its a kit home or you pull it altogether yourself) should be treated as a business activity. And what is the key to a successful business? Not people – it’s systems. That’s why a seventeen year old kid can run a multi million dollar franchise… McDonalds. Why? Because you only need to follow systems from how they answer the drive-through intercom right through to adding pickles to your burger. Imagine if your building project could be just as efficient.

2. I know nothing about building, am I getting myself into something over my head?

The answer to this question is that it depends on the individual. Some people need more assistance than others. Many Owner Builders lack knowledge and set out with a poor expectation. That’s because there are alot of marketers out there that will tell you that Owner Building is easy. Sometimes these people will get themselves into deep trouble, construction wise and financially. Building a Kit Home as an Owner Builder is complex and challenging. But it can also be extremely rewarding, not just financially, but also in terms of personal satisfaction and achievement. We would urge you not to become the next urban disaster story. UBuild Homes designed a system and a service that allows people with even very limited skill and knowledge to become highly successful Owner Builders. It can be done.
As a result we are now witnessing people saving large sums of money, building their homes on time to budget and to their satisfaction because they planned properly, got the right advice and followed proven systems. Now they are telling other people of how satisfying building their own Kit Home was.

3. Do Kit Homes have all the right inclusions to build the home?

There are so many Kit Home providers. Most provide the very basic inclusions. Generally speaking these companies do not provide systems and procedures for construction of or back up service during construction. However they will provide a package of materials that allows completion to lock up by your nominated trades to the design of your choice.

It is essential to know exactly what is, and more importantly what is not included in the Kit Home Package. It is also important to clearly differentiate between a Kit Home and a manufactured home. (We’ll discuss this more on later questions).

Make sure you check the quality of products in your Kit Home. Ensure you are not being provided with inferior materials. There are a lot of Asian imported products on the market; some are passable, however many are copycat products of inferior quality. For instance we have seen ceramic wall and floor tiles laid and six months later they have all crazed and look like 20-year-old tiles. The price was right but the product inferior. The same goes for some metals like Colorbond roofing. There are copy cat suppliers out there with inferior products. Just imagine installing an inferior roof and within 10 years having to re-roof your home simply because you purchased a cheap Kit Home Package.

Read everything and compare detailed specifications. What you learn through this comparison process of the various Kit Home options will hold you in good stead.

4. What is a Kit Home as opposed to a Manufactured Home?

We get alot of enquiries from Owner Builders wanting a Manufactured Kit Home. A Manufactured Home is one that is virtually built in a large manufacturing centre, shipped to the location (usually in 2 or 3 sections) and mounted on piers on site. It is virtually ready to move in. Many ‘cabin’ style homes are designed and built this way. By and large these homes are under 100m2, do not allow for slab on ground construction and are limited in design flexibility. Because its like buying a car. You order from a glossy brochure, with a few colour and spec options and it arrives ready to mount.

This is very different from a kit home package. A UBuild Homes Kit Home Package for example contains all of the materials to lock up stage (can include the floor system if the house is built on piers). Your trades under your supervision must then construct the home and then you will source the remaining material and labour to complete the home.

5. Are there any Kit Home companies that will supply a package to my own plan?

We certainly do at UBuild Homes. We can use your plan, our plan, our plan with modifications or we can work with you through one of our panel of professional and cost effective drafting providers to come up with a design to suit your budget, lifestyle and land requirements.

6. Am I restricted as an owner builder with the number of homes I can build?

Yes, in all states there is a restriction – you are only permitted to build one property every six years.

Check out the Office Of Fair Trading website for more details (the rules do differ from state to state).