Best Kit Homes for 2024 (2024)

Home Skills Carpentry

Best Kit Homes for 2024 (1)Ryan Van BibberUpdated: Feb. 01, 2024

    Kit homes can be a cost-effective way to build your perfect retreat, but be aware: Some assembly is required.

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    Kit homes are an increasing popular option for home buyers looking for a cost-effective way to build their own house or getaway cabin. With kit and prefabricated homes, materials are made offsite and shipped to you by the manufacturer. It’s up to you to assemble the structure. But there are some considerations to take into account before you buy a kit home.

    First, you need a place to build — a lot or similar piece of land. Before buying your kit home, Karen Condor, a real estate expert with USInsuranceAgents.com, says “you should first check on building codes and zoning requirements regarding your property, as well look into utility access and get a soil sample to check on the ground so you can purchase the appropriate home.”

    When you’re shopping for kit homes, it’s essential to know exactly what you’re getting. Some models may have walls, a roof and insulation, but leave you responsible for the foundation. Some kits come with everything you need for the interior. Others will not.

    Other questions: What material is the home made of — wood, concrete or something else? Does the company offer customization options? What kind of ecological footprint does the dwelling have? Is it energy efficient? And don’t forget about the logistics involved in getting the kit to your property.

    And don’t forget labor. In some cases, you can hire a contractor to put the home kit together for you. Even if you’re planning to assemble it yourself, there may be certain tasks that require hiring a plumber, electrician or other specialist. Some home kit companies will offer their professional services throughout the process, something to consider if you’re concerned about your experience level.

    The bottom line is: Ask questions, lots of them. This is a substantial investment, and it’s not easy just to pack it up and send it back if you’re unhappy.

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    Pacific Modern Homes

    Pacific Modern Homes offers building kits in plans ranging from barns and garages to 4,500-sq. ft. houses. The company has been doing this for long time, making wall panels and trusses since the 1960s before switching over to packaged homes exclusively in 1980.

    They panelized prefab kits, meaning they build wall panels and roof trusses that are shipped to the building site where they’re assembled. They also offer financing.

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    Clever Homes

    The team at Clever Homes has been designing and building prefab houses for nearly 20 years. Instead of offering pre-designed plans, they work with clients to adapt plans for the building site as well as the home buyer’s budget.

    All their projects are made with an eye toward sustainability too. Everything they create is certified green (from LEED, Greenpoint Rated, etc.) A number of their homes feature green roofs, water catchment systems and other components aimed at reducing the footprint.

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    Allwood

    Allwood’s home kits are popular within the world of tiny homes. Most of their home and cabin kits are less than 1,000 square feet, but they do have a couple of options larger than that. What you get is a barebones kit with walls, ceiling, trusses, windows and doors. The rest is up to you.

    Materials are made of wood the company describes as “eco-friendly.” Their plans are also great for a guest house or a studio in your backyard. Kits are shipped to you for free.

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    Avrame

    The A-frame is one of the more unusual but distinct shapes for a house. Avrame, the company that makes these kits, is clear that you’ve got to love the concept before committing to it. Once you do, there are real advantages: They’re incredibly energy efficient, there’s more floor space than you realize, and you can more easily build one yourself.

    Avrame floor plans can easily be customized; you can even just get the structural kit if you really want to put your stamp on it. They have three floor plans with several models of each, ranging from a cozy 150-square-foot studio to a 1,600-square-foot building with up to four bedrooms and two baths.

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    Stillwater Dwellings

    If you’re looking for an ultra-modern design, one of the more than two dozen prefab home plans from Stillwater Dwellings may appeal to you. Their homes range from 750 to 4,000 square feet with an unmistakable signature style. Many of their models include a sloping roof, floating steel canopy and floor to ceiling windows.

    Stillwater Dwellings uses a panelized construction system — the home is built in sections, then sent to the building site to be assembled. Architects and project managers work with clients throughout the process, helping with everything from design to permitting.

    Originally Published: June 28, 2021

    Best Kit Homes for 2024 (8)

    Ryan Van Bibber

    Ryan Van Bibber, the executive editor for Family Handyman, is a career journalist with more than two decades of experience in the industry. He's been DIY'ing since he was a kid, learning from his father who was a carpenter and general contractor. Ryan has a natural curiousity to learn how things work and how to make them work better. That spirit has guided his career his own DIY journey as a homeowner. He specializes in the areas of painting, sustainability, and basic home maintenance. Through his career, Ryan covered the NFL for more than a decade, edited award-winning features, worked as a senior editor at Outside magazine as well as writing and editing buying guides and product reviews for national publications.

    Best Kit Homes for 2024 (2024)

    FAQs

    Is it cheaper to build a house with a kit? ›

    Kit homes are more affordable than traditional on-site construction because the manufacturer can purchase materials in bulk and cut and assemble components in an efficient factory setting.

    What is the difference between a kit home and a prefab home? ›

    Kit homes are essentially mail-order houses and are a type of prefabricated (prefab) home. Kit houses are delivered in parts by a manufacturer and built on your property either by yourself or a hired contractor.

    What are the top 10 manufactured homes? ›

    TOP 10 Ranked Manufactured Builders – 2024 Study
    1Skyline Homes★★★★★
    2Genesis Homes★★★★★
    3Legacy Housing★★★★★
    4Cavco Homes★★★★★
    5Chariot Eagle★★★★★
    5 more rows

    Are kit homes a good idea? ›

    Kit homes are a great way to build your dream home on a budget. Building a kit home requires being and remaining in control of the construction process. You do get to build what you want exactly and you do so at a reasonable price but: you need to do some homework and understand how the entire process works.

    How long does it take to build a kit house? ›

    SOLO houses can be completed in a matter of a few days. DUO houses can take up to a few weeks. For TRIO houses, the average building time is 8 weeks (for the smallest model). Even if you're going for the biggest house, the structure is super quick to build.

    What are four drawbacks of modular homes? ›

    Of course, modular houses have their downsides. These include less customization capabilities than stick-built homes. The cost of the land and construction of the home may be higher than some people can afford, land restrictions, and perceive quality issues. Modular homes may also have more a complicated loan process.

    What are the risks of buying a modular home? ›

    13. Top 10 disadvantages of modular homes
    • Consumers need to purchase land with appropriate zoning approved.
    • Installation for utilities along with a foundation needs to meet specifications.
    • Requires a construction loan for the purchase of the land.
    • Full payment of the modular home is due before delivery.

    Who makes the highest quality manufactured homes in the USA? ›

    Skyline Homes

    What is the cheapest price for a modular home? ›

    Average Total Cost Of A Modular Home By Type
    Modular Home TypeLow-End CostHigh-End Cost
    Cottage$50,000$150,000
    Townhouse$45,000$113,000
    Log home$25,000$250,000
    Duplex$90,000$225,000
    1 more row

    Can you build a kit home yourself? ›

    Yes! YOU can build your dream home with Shelter Kit®. Our pre-cut kits are designed for owners with little to no carpentry skills or experience. There are no complicated blueprints to interpret—just our detailed, easy-to-follow instructions.

    Is modular or prefab better? ›

    Many prefab buildings lack the stability and longevity that modular structures offer. They tend to develop more problems and do not remain as energy efficient. While they are better for the environment during development and assembly, it is not as eco-friendly to live or work in these prefab buildings.

    Who is the largest manufacturer of prefab homes? ›

    Clayton Homes is the largest builder of manufactured and modular homes in the US.

    What is the downside of a manufactured home? ›

    A disadvantage of buying a mobile home is that its value will depreciate quickly. Like a new car, once a mobile home leaves the factory, it quickly drops in value. Stick-built homes, on the other hand, normally appreciate in value over time because the stick-built home owner almost always owns the underlying land.

    What is the most expensive manufactured home? ›

    In just one example, a Marmol Radziner–designed mobile home is currently listed for $4 million, while about 30 trailers have sold in the past three years for up to $5 million, according to Zillow data cited by The Wall Street Journal. Agents, however, have heard of off-market deals stretching to $7 million.

    Is it cheaper to build a house by yourself? ›

    DIY Without A Contractor

    The more you choose to do yourself, the more money you can save. However, you may still want to consider recruiting an architect, designer or contractor to avoid making any costly mistakes – especially if this is your first build.

    Is it more expensive to build a house from scratch? ›

    In a survey by the National Association of Home Builders, the average cost to build a new home in 2022 was $644,750. (New home means one you build yourself or one a builder constructs.) Meanwhile, the average cost to buy an existing home (one that's already built) in 2022 was about $535,500.

    Is it still cheaper to build than buy? ›

    The Golden State is the second-most cost-effective state for home building in the United States, trailing only Hawaii. Yardi's data estimates that it could be more than $200,000 cheaper to build a home from the ground up, rather than purchase one that's already standing.

    Is it cheaper to build a two story house or one? ›

    Our customers often ask us this question, so we decided to do an quick analysis on floor plan cost to build based on the number of floors. We analyzed our library of one-story and two-story plans to compare costs and found that two story plans are 14% more affordable to build per square foot on average).

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