How to start
How to start building your kit home
You want to build a house and you figured a kit-home is the most affordable choice you can make. Good, that’s an excellent start.
However, building a kit-home involves a lot of steps. This type of building requires you to get your hands dirty and do part of the work… or at the very least to manage suppliers and contractors.
It is normal to be overwhelmed when you start because you don’t know anything about building a house (at least most people don’t).
You should not worry: we are here to help.
Over the years we have developed a process for helping people building their houses.
Today we are confident that following this process guarantees results with the minimum possible effort on your side.
We want to share this process with you right now, in the very beginning of your journey, so you know what to expect and you can decide whether to quit immediately or to embark on the spectacular quest of building a house on your own.
1. You are not alone
Let’s get one thing out of the way, DIY does not mean you are going to have to build the entire house with your own hands.
Self-building comes in many forms.
Generally, it means you are going to build without a general contractor… and this can go as far as:
- You building the house with the help of your neighbors or friends
- You simply hire all the necessary service providers to make the construction happen
So, if you are thinking you cannot pull it off because you have no manual skills, that’s not the case. You can surely find a setup that works for you.
The more you learn about self-building (and building a house in general), the more you’ll be able to see the right path for your case.
2. You need a vision
2.1 Identify needs and wants
Shortly, you need to define:
- Which are your needs, in term of space and use of that space?
- Which are your wants, those things you’d like your house to have but that are not essential?
Your needs usually depend on the number of people who will inhabit the house and the amount of time they are going to spend indoors.
- A summer house for a family of three has very different requirements from a building that has to be home for the same family.
- A summer house for a family of three has very different requirements from a winter vacation home for the same family.
The number of bathrooms and bedrooms (although you could always squeeze them in) are a perfect example of “needs”.
Your “wants” are things you’d like to have but you can live without:
- a small studio room
- a guest room
- a wardrobe
- a balcony
Of course you can have those things if you have enough money but when the finances are tight, wants are the first things to go.
In our guides (the 100 Questions Guide and the Budgeting Guide) we address extensively the issue of identifying needs and wants and we provide practical suggestions to do that.
2.2 Choose a house model
Once needs and wants are clear, you need to use your vision to choose a house model.
Choosing the right model is one of the most important steps in this process.
The right choice will make your vision come to life and it will help increase your motivation and commitment.
3. You need to ask the right questions
As you progress on this journey you’ll start to learn new things and you will have questions.
We went ahead and prepared a list for you of the most important questions you should really ask.
The 100 Questions Guide is a unique document that will make you focus on those things you should not overlook.
Getting your mindset right from the beginning is crucial for the success of your project.
We could not say it better than this Customer commented on YouTube:
4. You need permission
One of the most challenging steps in building a house is getting all the construction permits.
This largely depends on the location where you want to build your house.
So, as soon as you have clarity on what you want to build, you need to narrow down the location where you want to build.
4.1 Choose a location
Location is often a blend of opportunity and personal choice.
Choosing the right location is one of the most important steps in the entire process. In fact, if you pick the wrong location you might end up not being able to build at all.
Again this topic is covered in detail in our guides.
4.2 Get preliminary approval
It is a good practice to “test” the opinion of the Municipality before you commit to buy the land.
We provide floor plans and other drawings of our house so you can go to the Municipality and ask for preliminary approval.
5. Can you afford it?
This seems to be what everyone worries about.
The sad truth is that, while most people ask for the price of our houses, they are not even able to assess how much they are able to spend to build one for themselves.
How can you say if you can truly afford it if you don’t know exactly what exactly the maximum amount is you can spend (or borrow from the bank)?
This is one of the topics we cover in the Budgeting Guide and it is the key to build a house you can really enjoy… a house that is a launchpad for your life and not a burden on your finances and your free time.
6. You must plan everything
Once you have figured out the details of your budget and you’ve made plans to buy materials and services, you have to schedule the works.
For the project to run smoothly, you need to be able to manage everyone involved.
This is no easy task and we plan to make a guide to teach you how to handle this part.
7. You are ready to go
Once you get here, you are pretty much ready to order the drawings for your house and apply for construction permits.
Once you got the permits, you’ll visit your bank and secure a loan for the construction. Then you can order the house kit and set the construction works in motion.
If you are serious about building a kit-home you need to invest some time in learning and you need to do the homework necessary to get permits and financing going.
We have free resources to help you:
- our Blog
- our YouTube channel
We have also two guides that will be of immense value when getting your project started:
the 100 Questions Guide (44 pages), which deals with the mindset of building a home from scratch and teaches you 100+ important things you should pay attention to
the Budgeting Guide (30 pages + spreadsheet), which helps you to figure out the total cost for your build
We have a private Facebook group (for customers only) where you can ask questions and share experiences with other people committed to building an Avrame house.
NOTE: to join the group you must have bought a house or one of our guides.
Ultimately, the success of your project depends on your commitment to making it happen.
We would like to say we are here to answer any questions you might have… but, unfortunately, we do not have the time and the resources to deal with every request it comes to our email.
This is why the Facebook group exists and why we invested in developing the 100 Questions Guide and the Budgeting Guide.
We wish you can make your dream come true and we’d love to see you on the Facebook group.