May 19, 2017

Because of stylish design, energy efficiency and cost effectiveness, steel kit homes have started to give traditional homes a run for their money.

How do steel-kit homes differ from their traditional counterpart? Architects design and build a kit home off-site in pieces. Afterwards, a truck delivers it to the construction site for workers to assemble in pieces. Depending on the kit, some parts must be trimmed and cut on site, but it builds within a few days over building in months like a traditional home.

Kit homes vs traditional homes: Cost

While kit homes generally cost less than a conventional home, the costs vary based on the home chosen. For example, these factors will usually add or subtract from the cost of a home:

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  •  Work taken on yourself
  • What the package includes

  • Type of home chosen

  • Are you hiring a general contractor?

Normally, a steel kit home costs about one-third the price of a regular home. Beware, however, that while the cost looks low, most kit materials will only include the shell for the home’s exterior.

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Also, the cost of utilities, labor and interior do not come packaged with the initial price. It’s true that you can do the work yourself, but if you have little to no construction training, hiring a contractor could save you from making thousand-dollar mistakes. One of the reasons kit homes cost less is because it wastes less material. The manufacturer laid out the technical details and plans ahead of time.

Kit home or traditional home: Which has greater energy efficiency?

At first glance, steel looks like a phenomenal option because 60 percent of the materials were recycled, and it lasts virtually forever. You also do not have problems with termites, and mould ceases to exist, compared to the trouble with wood. In fact, in Australia, steel kit homes have picked up steam and even become a standard choice because of how it resists termites. Also, the country has fewer lumber resources than the United States, so it’s more convenient.

A steel kit home does have a high heat conductivity, which can make it a problem in a desert or warmer climate. You do, however, have configurations to mitigate the problem like you can brace the walls with a double layer of external two-inch poly-iso.

Maintenance: How much does maintenance cost?

Steel kit homes have been built to withstand 225 kph winds. Meanwhile, a traditional home can suffer serious damage after 130 kph winds. Normally, house insurance will cost less for a steel home because of the better durability. A metal building costs less because of warranties that put everything in perspective. Asphalt shingles, wood siding and paint coatings on a traditional home tax your wallet.

Steel homes do not require the same maintenance as a traditional home because the roofs usually consist of metal and the siding consists of metal. This lowers the risk of expensive damages. Some people believe steel kit homes give you less style choices, but in recent times, these homes have grown ever-more popular because you can inject your own personality into them.

Lightweight steel frames will normally weigh less than their traditional construction counterpart. You also never have to worry about your home rotting because steel will virtually last forever. Steel kit homes offer you a wide range of custom plans. This means you can build your dream home for much less. In the harsh Australian climate, you want a home that defends you against the harsh Australian climate.

This building method might not be for everyone, however. Getting the approval to build from your city can sometimes take longer than a traditional home. Nevertheless, it’s still an option worth considering because many of the steel kit homes today draw the eye as attractive.

You can add your own personality into the home while designing it. These homes have a more spacious style that feels more modern. Finally, because steel consists of non-combustible materials, it does not feed a fire, and unlike lumber which can be warped, steel will always be straight, making it more efficient.

Are you thinking of building a new home? Share with us in the comments.

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  • A relative of mine considered having a home built by a builder using steel frames instead of the traditional wood method normally used. Not only was it going to be considerably more expensive there is still no absolute gaurantee you will never get white ants. Friends of a relative of mine live in a solid brick home. White ants managed to access the toilet door frame ( it was next to the laundry) up through a concrete floor. There was none in the framework above the ceiling at all. Solid brick homes don’t have timber framework between the walls at all.

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  • An option for people for sure. Preparation work needs to be done before a home is erected.

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  • Steel homes are an option to consider!

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  • My dad built a steel frame house before anyone knew about them way back in 1952 because he was building in a termite area and this way the structure could not be eaten. Had terrible trouble getting council to agree to it back then, but it still stands today where most other homes have either burnt down or been eaten in the area. Great way to go.

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  • sometimes it does just feel really good to clean your ears – it’s not a regular thing in our house though. When my girls were little I did use the baby ones that only allowed the tip to go in a certain amount. When they grew up and if we needed to do it, we taught them how to use them, but they rarely do!


    • oops somehow this posted on a different article – sorry :(

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  • I first thought kit homes were quite ugly. Then my son decided he might buy one and you can get really attractive, functional, affordable kit homes. I’m a convert now. Sadly with the price of land, my son owning his own home is still out of reach

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  • Seriously : Steel kit home or traditional home: The battle rages on
    Going by this article I think they are favouring the steel option.

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  • I think kit homes have their benefits.

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  • Steel kit homes are an option worth considering for sure ! I’ve yet to meet an attractive steel kit home, but I’m sure they’re there.

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  • I’m sold!

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