Kit Homes are a great way to save money and avoid hiring a builder. After all, these companies increase your purchase price by charging a construction management fee. Learn how you can trim the fat on your next move with a pre-fabricated home.
What Are Kit Homes?
The Sears Roebuck Company began selling its first kit homes more than a century ago. A kit home is pretty much as its name suggests: you get pre-cut materials delivered to a build site, where you or a builder assemble the exterior structure.
Usually, you’re on your own for plumbing, interior finishings, and electric. First, select the style and specifications for your home and order it directly to your land.
Then, you’ll have all of the parts — down to the paint and nails — as well as the plans to execute your vision. Not sure where to begin? Here are our Top 10 favorite kit homes.
1. Lindal Cedar Homes
One of the first kit home companies, Lindal Cedar Homes, picked up where Sears left off in 1945. Today, it offers a large selection of styles and sizes that are quickly shipped to any build site worldwide in a compact container.
Shop homes from traditional to ultra-modern with every beam in between. And it isn’t restricted to tiny homes — Lindal offers both moderate plans and sprawling estates.
Some of the company’s most unique designs are Usonian Houses inspired by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Developed in partnership with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the School of Architecture at Taliesin, these modern designs ship complete with floor plans and materials for a striking design.
2. Gold Country Kit Homes
For DIY builders, Gold Country Kit Homes ship with prefab or panelized walls and engineered wood roof trusses. These panelized walls are pre-built by Gold Country, with windows already in place.
Pre-framed and numbered wall sections and shipped right to your build site. This way, all you have to do is stand them up and secure them in space, and there is no extra waste.
Pre-engineered one- and two-story plans can be modified to suit your needs, or you can create an entirely custom design. Plus, Gold Country is on hand to help with site selection, septic systems, power to your lot, building permits, finding contractors, energy efficiency, and sustainable material options.
3. ZipKit Homes
ZipKit delivers high-performance roof and wall panels and components that are precision-built in their factory for easy assembly on your build site. A complete “finish kit” is delivered after drywall is completed, including all interior finishing products for a finished home.
After you’ve decided on the design, ZipKit will contact your local building department to determine the engineering requirements in your area. Then, they complete the plans and send your submit-ready ideas with structural drawings and engineering calculations.
Hand this over to your contractor, who can obtain proper permits. Then, the exterior shell kit arrives for on-site contractors to put together. Lastly, the finishing kit arrives with doors, casings, baseboards, hardware, shelving, cabinets, light fixtures, flooring, etc. Last step? Move in!
4. Avrame Kit Homes
Avrame combines classic A-frame design with contemporary building materials for beautiful, affordable homes. Choose a design from tiny homes to mid-sized houses, and pre-cut materials are delivered to your building site.
Easy-to-follow instructions ameans you can DIY with just two people, and there are no materials wasted. Popular for off-the-grid living, these minimal spaces can feature PV solar panels and solar thermal panels so you can build anywhere.
5. DC Structures Barn Home Kits
The Barn Home offers both classic American style and time-tested methods of timber-frame or post-and-beam construction. DC Structures works with customers to create one-of-a-kind barn home kit designs that reflect each homeowner’s unique vision.
Materials for the post-and-beam construction are sourced from mills in the Pacific Northwest and delivered pre-engineered to your build site. Rustic designs are available in both sprawling homes and for those looking to downsize to a cabin-style barn home.
6. Pacific Modern Homes, Inc.
Based in California, Pacific Modern Homes Inc. offers a large selection of pre-engineered kit home plans in an array of design styles and sizes. Computer-generated designs can be easily edited for individual preferences, or you can create your own design.
Then, panelized building kits include quality pre-framed and numbered walls and roof trusses. The designs even ship with a diagram that tells you exactly where the numbered sections are placed on the foundation.
Want to work with a builder? Pacific’s owner-builder financing programs help you find a contractor and get pre-approved financing for land, home, and permits.
7. Linwood Custom Homes
Linwood Custom Homes offers house kit plans designed to save $5–$10 per square foot when building your new home. Choose a fully customizable design, which is then manufactured to meet your needs and budget.
With all of the details planned, any good builder can construct your home at a lower labor cost. Choose from timber frame and log houses, small cabins, large residences, post and beam construction, traditional estates, and contemporary designs — Linwood has a library of more than 400 offerings.
8. Imagine Kit Homes
Imagine’s Kit Homes are designed for smaller and more affordable living. Their premise is to help you build a tiny house in 21 days or less for under $65,000. The steel-frame tiny house kits are designed to feel large on the inside, delivered with easy-to-follow house plans and instructions.
The cost-effective model can save up to 40% on building costs. Imagine kits come with plans, materials, and support to do it yourself on a low eco-footprint. Plus, a 50-year warranty offers peace of mind.
9. Landmark Home and Land Company, Inc.
Landmark Home and Land Company offers kit homes created by their very own designers and engineers. The-one-stop-shop is knowledgeable about design, engineering, permitting, production, and delivery process to ensure your build goes smoothly.
Panelized kit homes help lower framing costs and avoid weather issues due to quicker framing time and quality control. Plus, there is less waste and lower dumpster costs. Choose from an array of easily customizable designs.
10. Shelter Kit
Yes, you can do it yourself! Shelter Kit’s DIY homes range from $32 to $50 per square foot of living space. The New Hampshire–based company helps clients build their own houses, barns, and garages for nearly 50 years.
Lead time can be as little as four weeks, and building kits arrive with all of the materials for you to build a complete, weather-tight shell, including the fame, sheathing, siding, hardware, subfloors, and roofing.
Precut kits are easy to fit and assemble, and each comes with a construction manual intended for amateur builders.