Building your own home is an incredibly rewarding experience. It allows you to customize every square inch of your home and create a living space that is uniquely yours. But homebuilding is time-consuming and can be a hassle especially if you are not an experienced carpenter. The dream of building your own home doesn’t need to die just because of time constraints or lack of know-how. DIY home building can be made easier and less of a hassle by getting a bit creative and finding alternative options to basic home building.
Buyers who want to build their own home but do not want to deal with the hassle of putting in a foundation or framing can invest in a shell home. A shell home is a middle ground between building a whole house yourself and buying a finished house. A contractor can put up the home’s foundation and frame the house (the shell of the home) and leave the rest of the work to you. Keep in mind that a shell home will be completely void of mechanical, plumbing, gas, ventilation or electrical services. This means that all of the subcontractor work will need to be either done by you if you are qualified or by a professional who you will have to hire.
Buyers that choose to have a shell home built should already own the land you want to build on. While you will be completing the majority of the interior work yourself, you will still be required to complete home inspections and keep your work up to code. Shell homes can be purchased and delivered through companies that specialize in shell homes. These companies will deliver the shell of the home to you to finish yourself or it can be finished by the company.
When you see a shipping container sitting at a port, you probably wouldn’t think that container could be your next home. But with a bit of creativity and ingenuity, containers can be crafted into the perfect home. As with a shell home, you’ll need to have an area of land purchased or leased and figure out the logistics of getting the container delivered to your property. Once the land is prepared, you can begin designing your container home. A standard container is 8-by-40 feet. However, containers can be combined to create a full-sized home. Companies that are dedicated to container home building have created large three-bedroom two-bathroom homes complete with a porch and even wall to ceiling windows.
How can you find a container home? Many cargo facilities keep a backstock of containers that they no longer use. You can purchase refrigerated containers which are already insulted, or a regular container which you will need to insulate yourself. You can do all of the interior framing and finish work yourself if you are qualified to do so, or hire subcontractors. Either option is less expensive than building a house from the ground up. Be aware, if you purchase a container you’ll need to be cognizant of the ventilation differences from a regular home. Containers have minimal ventilation since they are made to seal and hold materials within them. You will have to invest in a ventilation exchange system.
The average cost of a container is $3,000 to $5,000 which makes them one of the most affordable housing options. Of course you can add additional containers to create a larger home, which will increase the price. Container homes will last a very long time as they are resistant to hurricanes, tornades, earthquakes, and other severe weather due to their solid steel frame.
While some families are searching for more square footage, others are looking to downsize into a tiny home. Generally defined as a dwelling between 100 and 400 square feet, tiny homes are a simple and minimalistic approach to housing. If you are considering building your own home while reducing your square footage a tiny home could be the right investment for you. A tiny home investment won’t be much of a financial burden considering a tiny home can be as little as a few thousand dollars. Of course the cost of a tiny home can go up depending upon the amount of upgrades you are interested in. Tiny homes can be built as a shell or you can have the entire house built. As with any other home, you will need to have subcontractors install electric, plumbing, sewage, etc. These will all add additional costs to your tiny home build but in the long run you will save on monthly bills and mortgage costs.
As the name states, tiny homes are tiny. So if you do not like sharing space with others or if you require a lot of extra amenities, you will want to choose another style of home. However, if you prefer a simple life or if you are a person who is generally outdoors and doesn’t need much space a tiny home might be right for you. If a tiny home is of interest to you, make sure you have a building plan prepared before you start. Tiny homes can be put on a trailer or made a permanent structure. Keep in mind that tiny homes that are put on a trailer may be harder to sell in the long run. You’ll need land and a solid foundation if you go with a permanent structure.
You want to build your own home but you want all of the materials pre-designed and shipped directly to you. Home kits make this possible. Home kits make the home building process easier and quicker. Prices vary based on the size of the home, however it will generally cost at least 20% less than traditional home builds with a contractor. And finding a home kit can be as easy as jumping online and ordering from online retailers such as Amazon. You can also work directly with a building company who will be able to customize the planning and final layout of the home. Some home kits are available for less than $10,000. Every home kit will vary depending upon the company that produces it. Some come with a foundation while others do not. The same is true of the roofing materials, which may or may not be included in your home kit. Buyers that elect to purchase a home shell kit will need to have a foundation prepared by a professional. When the foundation is prepared the prefab home can be constructed by putting together the walls and roof trusses. While purchasing the home kit may be easy, you’ll need to ensure that your home kit meets zoning requirements and that you have professionals to install electrical and plumbing.
Regardless of what route you choose to build your home, you have much more flexibility than purchasing an existing house. A DIY home build allows you to customize your home to your budget and to your lifestyle. In addition to flexibility, you’ll have the satisfaction of living in a space that is unique to you and your family.