Do-It-Yourself Hits the Housing Market: Build Your Own Home Using a Kit
By Aldene Fredenburg
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Customize your new home and still enjoy the convenience of modular housing with a do-it-yourself kit. Whether you want a log home, a conventional stick built home, or a geodesic dome, there is a wealth of choices which allow you to build in a variety of options according to your own needs.
Log homes constructed of pre-cut materials have been around for decades, and remain a popular housing choice. Traditional log cabin models have been augmented by more modern designs, and range from small and cozy to palatial. Manufacturers often provide two options: either hire their on-staff professionals to construct the home or do it yourself.
Geodesic domes became popular in the sixties as homes built easily from unconventional materials, and their ease of construction makes this type of housing a great choice. The dome is an inherently strong, durable construction; dome kit manufacturers bill geodesic structures as energy- and space-efficient, and hurricane- and earthquake-resistant; their construction lends domes easily adaptable to passive solar heating. A geodesic dome from a kit can be erected in remarkably little time – days instead of weeks. Available materials include conventional timber as well as steel framing with poly covering; they can be winterized for year-round use in temperate climates.
Another dome design available in kits is the concrete dome; used either for above-ground or subterranean home construction, these kits result in homes which stand up to hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes. Inherently energy efficient, they stay warm in winter and cool in summer with minimal supplementary energy consumption.
One idea gaining popularity is an add-on design consisting of single-room units which can be combined in an endless number of configurations. This allows someone to start with a small dwelling – possibly even a one-room house — and then build on as desired. One popular kit builder, Shelter-Kit, offers a cabin kit consisting of a variety of units which can be combined to include porches, decks, and an unlimited number of rooms, combined in a variety of configurations. Great for a summer cabin or seasonal guest home, when heated, insulated and finished off inside it can also become a year-round home. The same company also offers kits for loft homes, capes, and other more conventional housing.
Choosing a kit for your new home can give you options you might not otherwise have, and can end up being a great financial decision as well; kits can save enormous amounts of money in construction, whether you do the work yourself or hire someone to do it for you. In some cases you may even be able to avoid a mortgage altogether. For more and more people, it’s becoming a sensible, easy route to a new home.
Aldene Fredenburg is a freelance writer living in southwestern New Hampshire, who has written numerous articles for the Internet and for local and regional publications. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Adding to the list is the Sculptural Dome blueprint, save money on your engineering and get the strongest, most energy efficient, innovative design in dome building. You will be so impressed by this amazing dome building process you’ll want to build one yourself