Housing affordability remains one of the most pressing social issues of our time, with many individuals and families unable to afford a mortgage or experiencing housing stress.
The stakes for these families are high, with housing affordability being a fundamental contributor to a person’s wellbeing and an important way to reduce poverty. But what if you could build for less? The humble kit home may be the answer, with some suppliers, like Shed House Australia, designing kits that can be built for under $100,000.
As people search for affordable housing, new market trends emerge, including the movement of people from capital cities to regional areas. This trend also influences the types of homes built, with an increase in kit homes being constructed across regional and suburban areas. Jackson Yin, managing director of iBuild Building Solutions, has reported a 30-40 per cent increase in demand for kit homes compared to pre-pandemic levels – a growth he believes is influenced by government incentives for new builds.
Yin says there are two key demographics behind the increase in demand: couples with children, typically in their thirties and building their primary residence in the country; and families looking to add a granny flat or retreat for ageing parents on an existing property.
The growth shows how the long-held stigma surrounding kit homes and prefab construction has been challenged in recent years. Improvements in the quality of building materials, as well as growing public awareness of the benefits – namely, the speed of construction and lower cost per square metre – means more owner builders are choosing kits to build their dream homes.
“The perception used to be that a low-cost build meant a cheap build. But this has been gradually dispelled,” explains Yin. “High-quality builds can be done with a kit.”
Anita Brand, director at Mana Kit Homes, a manufacturer based on the south-east coast of Queensland, says she still gets asked questions relating to dated perceptions of kit homes.
“People ask things like, do the homes get council approved easily, and so on,” Brand says. “I am not sure how this stigma originally came about, most likely from the word ‘kit’ with some of the earlier style homes. In reality, the homes – and, more so, steel-framed homes – can have more structural integrity than a regular new build in a sub-division.
“Councils love the steel as it is termite-proof, plus it can be a sound choice for bushfire zones. When paired with the right thermal systems, steel has good energy-efficiency values.”
Change it up
One factor influencing the comeback of prefab homes in recent years has been the ability to customise plans. In contrast to earlier kits offered to owner builders, today’s kit homes can be changed to suit different styles, making these affordable options even more attractive.
“The beauty of our process is that we will custom-design to our client’s budgets, giving consideration to the complete project,” Brand says.
For those trying to get a foot on to the property ladder, kit homes offer an affordable path to home-ownership without getting into huge debt. But the cost depends on how much you are willing to do yourself.
“As an owner builder/project manager our clients can save up to 40 per cent of the overall cost,” Brand says. “The more the owners put into the construction the bigger the savings.
“If our clients are putting a builder in control of the construction process, then they will still make savings but not as much. It really depends upon how much each client wants to contribute to the project and what skills they bring.”
Thank you for dropping in and reading this news release involving “What’s On in the City of Brisbane” named “How to build for under $100,000 with these kit homes”. This news update was shared by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our Australian events & what’s on stories services.
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