Every year individuals in the UK opt to take on the project of building their home. While this is a rewarding experience that often leaves you with your dream home, it is also challenging and time consuming. While many of the 10,000+ plus UK residents that choose to build their own home design it themselves or bring in the help of an expert, many people also opt to invest in a flat pack home instead. Flat pack homes enable you to have some say in the overall design and finished home, but with a helping hand.
So, What Is A Flat Pack House?
You may be familiar with the terms prefabricated, modular, or kit homes, and these are essentially the same concept as a flat pack home. This type of home has been popular since the 1960s and are prevalent in many European countries, such as Sweden. At the end of World War II this type of home became popular in the UK, as there was a widespread shortage of housing. However, the prefabricated homes during this time period in the UK were typically cramped and inefficient. They have come a long way since then and today are stylish, energy efficient, and eco-friendly.
Benefits of Flat Pack Homes
There are a multitude of benefits to flat pack homes that may help you decide what is the best design option for you. While the following list is far from exhaustive, it will help you see why flat pack homes are still a popular choice among home builders today.
- Quick to construct – these types of homes can be built in a matter of weeks, which is a huge bonus to the time it takes to complete a traditional home
- Easy to build – because flat pack homes are largely constructed in a factory before you see them, it makes the assembly on your end relatively easy
- Affordable – these types of houses cost roughly 10-25% less than other types of home, making them affordable option for many different people. They are also a great choice for first-time home owners
- Eco-friendly – flat pack homes are typically made from timber and are extremely energy efficient, boasting air tightness. Some designs, such as the Swedish variety, have SIP panels, which are very strong and provide a lot of insulation
Before You Build
Once you have decided to go with a flat pack home, there are a handful of things you should consider before you actually begin the building process.
- Firstly, you must buy a plot of land – land can vary in price, depending on location, size, and planning permissions. Check with the Land Registry before deciding on a plot of land, or use Plotfinder if you need help getting started
- You will also need to get planning permission if the land you are choosing to build on doesn’t have it already – the application for this cancost up to £335, so be sure to factor that in
- Funding – it is important for you to secure the funding for your home before you start looking for land
- Stamp duty – if your property is worth less than £60,000, you will not have to pay for this. However, if your home is between £60,000 and £250,000 then you will be charged 1% of the property price; this rises to 4% if the house is worth over £500,001
- Warranties – there are numerous different types of warranties that will go for different amounts of time. These should be used to cover the work materials and workmanship during the construction of your home
- Choosing a design – the fun part! There are numerous flat pack designs to choose from, so be sure to do your research and consult with an industry representative to be sure the design you choose will sufficiently meet your goals and needs
Who should I buy my flat pack home from?
You are able to buy German flat pack homes, Swedish flat pack homes as well as flat pack homes UK. All overseas manufacturers will ship flat packs to the UK and here are some local and overseas options:
Potton, Bedfordshire are a UK self-build kit home manufacturer with a good reputation as a designer and supplier. The homes are made of wood and are available in classic and contemporary designs. All kits reach the highest level of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
Haus UK, Hampshire supply low energy prefabricated timber homes and offer a design and management service as well
Scandi-Hus, Sussex are a Swedish company with branches in the UK for their eco-friendly kit homes designed in architectural styles that have triple glazing, are airtight and are well insulated.
Huf Haus, Surrey is a German family run business that makes prefabricated homes of extraordinary luxury and affordability. Being modular they can be customised to any design. They are also energy efficient.
WeberHaus, Hertfordshire supply timber homes built in Germany that are energy efficient in more than 100 designs or you can design your own home
Kingston Timber Frame, York design, supply and build timber kit houses, offer project management services and also do the paperwork for planning and building control application
Baufritz UK, Cambridge is a German company that specialises in prefabricated homes that can design, plan, build and manage the project if needed
IKEA sell more than 800 of their energy efficient BoKlok flat pack homes in Sweden every year. They were introduced to Europe in 2006 and in 2007 there was planning permission for over 115 to be built in Surrey.
The Bottom Line
Once you have purchased a piece of land, taken care of all the logistics, and picked out a design, you will need to do your research and find a flat pack company that will give you the best deal. As this varies, it will be in your best interest to call and go around to many different outfits.
One of the most important aspects of buying a home, any home, is the cost. You must determine what you can afford and what will meet your needs, then go from there. Flat pack homes purchased from IKEA are the cheapest and typically cost from £70,000 and run up to £150,000 for a three-bed house. A basic bespoke Huf Haus costs around £350,000. Scania-Hus, with one the widest ranges of homes available, has something for every.
Could YOU build a flatpack house? Home in a box costs just £6,500. But is it really as easy to build as an IKEA bookcase? We gave one brave dad a week to try- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2548375/Could-YOU-build-flatpack-house-Home-box-costs-just-6-500-But-really-easy-build-IKEA-bookcase-We-gave-one-brave-dad-week-try.html
Ikea to bring in £70,000 flatpack houses – http://www.building.co.uk/ikea-to-bring-in-%C2%A370000-flatpack-houses/3046316.article
Meet the £129,600 flat-pack home where you’ll never pay another bill – http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/meet-129600-flat-pack-home-7492437
Stamp duty calculator – https://www.stampdutycalculator.org.uk/
image credit: credit: www.buildyourownhouseuk.co.uk