26 Jun 2023 - Architects, Self Build

Self-build kit houses UK: pros and cons

House kits: self build project’s key to success? Undertaking a self-build is a huge decision and can be a lot of work, so it’s easy to see the appeal of self-build kit homes. Here, we unpack exactly what home self-build kits are, outline self-build costs, and weigh up the pros and cons of kits.

What are self-build kit homes?

Kit houses, self-build kit homes, or any other name you might know them by, are prefabricated houses that come in a kit form. They consist of pre-cut, pre-measured, and pre-drilled materials that can be assembled on-site by the homeowner. Self-build kits typically include everything needed to construct a complete house, including the walls, roof, doors, windows, plumbing, electrical, and heating systems.

Self-build house kits: Prices

The cost of self-build kit homes can vary depending on several factors, including the size, design, and materials used. Generally, kit homes are more affordable than traditional homes, but the cost can still range from a few thousand pounds to several hundred thousand. For example, self-build house costs for a small, basic kit home made of timber or steel may cost around £24,000 to £40,000, while a larger, more luxurious kit home made of high-end materials like concrete or glass may cost over £400,000.

It's important to note that the cost of the kit itself is only one aspect of the total cost of building a home. Additional expenses can include site preparation, permits, utilities, labour, and any customisation or upgrades to the kit home. It's a good idea to research different kit home manufacturers and suppliers to get an idea of the average self-build costs in your area, as well as to factor in any additional costs that may arise during the building process.

The pros of self-build kits

Kit homes offer a customisable and potentially cost-effective option for people who want to build their own home without approaching an architect or hiring a builder. The kits are designed to be easily assembled by individuals or small teams, and often come with detailed instructions, as well as technical support from the manufacturer.

Kit homes are available in a variety of styles, sizes, and designs, and can be made from a range of materials, such as timber, steel, or concrete. They can also be adapted to suit different climate conditions and building codes. Self-build kit homes may present a good solution for people looking for an affordable and customisable way to build their own home.

The cons of self-build kits

Despite the advantages outlined above, there are also potential drawbacks to self-build kit homes that should be carefully considered:

While kit homes offer some degree of customisation, there may be limits to what can be done due to the prefabricated nature of the materials. This sits in stark contrast to our bespoke design service, which allows clients to bring their unique design vision to life. Get inspired with our case studies.

Building a kit home requires a certain level of skill and expertise. Even with detailed instructions and technical support, some tasks may be beyond the ability of a typical homeowner. Overseeing an entire construction process can be stressful, resulting in additional expenses if professional help is needed. 

Building a kit home takes time and effort, and can be a long process. Even with a prefabricated kit, there are still many steps involved in the construction process, including site preparation, assembly, and finishing. Delays can occur due to weather, supply chain issues, or other factors beyond your control.

The location and topography of the building site can have a significant impact on the construction process and the overall cost. For example, if the site is difficult to access or has poor soil conditions, additional work may be required to prepare the site.

Lenders may be hesitant to provide financing for a self-build kit home, as there’s more risk involved compared to a traditional home purchase. This can make it more difficult for homeowners to secure the necessary funding.

At face value, self-build costs may seem minimal. However, that figure won’t include the cost of the land itself, and you'll more than likely have to factor in the additional cost of hooking your home up to utilities. This may include electricity, sewer, municipal water, and more. Unexpected expenses that may arise during the construction process can also push a project over budget.

If you’re undertaking your own self-build project, read our top tips for self-build success and get the need-to-know information to ensure a smooth ride. 

Share this