Advice, Extensions & Remodels, Green living

Flat-Pack Homes Prices: What Is The Cost Of Flat Pack Homes?

In recent years we have seen a rise in the popularity and implementation of flatpack homes. This sudden surge towards flat pack homes is not without reason, so lets find out more about flat pack home prices.

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.

What Is A Flat Pack Home?

flat pack homes prices

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.

Flat pack homes usually come either as a “bare bones” unit, a basic build or a “Turnkey” project:

A “Bare Bones” unit contains all the necessary parts to build your home such as the floor, ceiling, walls, doors, windows etc. The company will deliver all the structural components to your site but you will be responsible for putting them all together.

A “Basic Build” is a different option for modular homes, where the company provides the materials and also constructs the home itself. You will be responsible for flooring installation, painting and decorating the house and also for fitting the kitchens and bathrooms etc.

A “Turnkey” project comes with full completion, which means that the company will deal with almost all aspects of the build. You do not have to worry about any flooring work, painting and decorating or fitting any bathrooms and kitchens, as everything will be handled by the company.

Advantages of Prefabricated Houses

There are many 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 understand 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 an affordable option for many different people. They are also a great choice for first-time homeowners

Eco-friendly: – flat pack homes are typically made from timber and are extremely energy efficient, boasting airtightness. Some designs, such as the Swedish variety, have SIP panels, which are very strong and provide a lot of insulation

Disadvantages of prefabricated houses

Lifespan: Most prefab homes use timber frames. Many people think that timber is not as durable as a brick, given that is can last a maximum of 100 years with proper maintenance and protection from fire.

Heat accumulation: Timber houses are a lot lighter than brick and mortar houses so they are not able to stay warm for a long time after the central heating is switched off. This happens because prefabricated houses with timber frame technology do not accumulate heat from the external or internal environment.  

Fire resistance: Modular homes that are using timber walls and ceilings are less resistant to fire. In addition, wood is a combustible material. Concrete and brick are non-flammable materials, which in case of fire will protect your property more.

How To Calculate Flat Pack Home Cost

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 can cost 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 £500,000

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

Where 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 is 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 is 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.

Flat Pack Homes Prices

Flat pack homes prices for prefab and self-build houses vary depending on the material and manufacturer. Timber costs from £75, structural insulated panels from £95 per square metre and oak frame, which is the most expensive option, from over £195 per square metre. If you are looking for prefabricated houses expect to pay £2,400 per square meter for a Huf Haus basic house, £1,500 per square metre for a Baurfritz house and £1,800 per square metre for Scandia Hus prefab-house

Most of the companies that specialize in putting up flat-pack homes will want to do both the supply and installation of your flat-pack home. After consulting with you, they get started producing the modular elements of your flat pack home according to your specifications, they deliver them to your site and then do the installation either by themselves or through a trusted third-party installer or contractor.

This option is more preferred by a lot of people who have other commitments such as a daily job or just unavailable at the site during delivery or for those who would rather not be bothered with a task like this.

Several flat pack companies in the UK would be okay with supplying the modular elements to you and leave the installation to you. You can either hire professional installers specialized in flat pack houses/prefab homes to do it for you or you can handle the job yourself.

If you are in search of flat-pack home manufacturers that supply modular elements without installation, our independent installers work with these manufacturers. For your installation too, our professional flat pack house installers will also come with a catalogue of styles from which you can select your most preferred options from the different available options. Do not forget that you can reclaim the value-added tax (VAT) on the building materials used because it is a new home. However, to reclaim the VAT, you must fill out a form 431NB.

So, 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 request as many flat pack homes quotes as possible from companies in and around your area.

For flat-pack home construction, there are three types of building materials, that are being used. Let’s check them out.

Timber: This is an ideal material if you are looking to put up a traditional-looking home that has every modern features and convenience in it. Timber does not require any load-bearing walls, and it performs excellently on insulation. It takes only a few days to build after taking delivery of the materials. For every square meter of the building’s shell, you will be spending between £75 and £115.

Structural Insulated Panels: These are also known as SIPS in the trade, and they go for £95 or more per square meter for supply and installation. This material is of superior quality, solid build, has high insulation properties and lasts long.

Oak Frame: This is the most expensive material as it costs £195 upward per square meter. It features the post and beam construction technology. This technology involves cutting thick oak frame timber which is used to create the internal frame of the building and then left exposed for a classic-looking stylish finish. The price, £195 is only for supply and does not include installation.

Prefab Homes Prices Including Installation

“Prefab homes” have come a long way.  Although the idea of prefabricated homes tends to conjure a drab image the new styles are actually pretty amazing.  Prefab homes are actually one of the most energy-efficient building solutions, and not only that they are usually much less expensive than traditional building housing.  Of course the size, location and amenities can all influence the total cost of a prefab home the costs often come inclusive of interior fixtures and amenities and range between £700 – £3,500/square metre.

How project routes affect build cost

Project RouteAverage Cost Per Square Meter
Full Self-Build£14,00 – £2,200
Project Management£ 700 – £900
Main Contractor£ 2,500 – £3,000

There are three main routes to building a prefab home and all of these have cost implications.  You can see from the table that the level of expense you can expect when looking at a flat pack home varies according to the type of project you decide to commit.

The executive band projects account for around 20% of all builds per annum and costs around £2,500/m2. Most projects fall within the mid-range – the project managers band – costing between £2,200 and £1,400/m2.  The final 20% sits in the Traders band which costs around £800/m2, sometimes less.

There are a couple of reasons why prefab homes tend to cost less than site-built homes:

Less Waste:  Waste can be a big issue when several contractors are building a house in situ, this is mainly due to the multiple deliveries of building materials to a site.  These bulk deliveries can lead to a lot of excess building supplies which then go to waste.  If you build a home in panels or modules in a factory, the system on site becomes more streamlined and waste is reduced.

Less Labor and Time: In building a home there are several types of subcontractors (traders like plumbers, decorators, electricians, etc) who all need to organize themselves to come and do the work.  Sometimes this leads to delays waiting on other subcontractors to complete a task or prepare an area.  If the panels or modules all come directly from the factory the cost of labour can be reduced because it can be organized much more easily, quickly and efficiently.

Buying a modular home can reduce a great deal of stress and time as well as the cost.  Often the modular home builder offers big savings on finishes because they buy them in bulk.  It is almost like a “one-stop shop.” where you can pick out all the fittings, fixtures and finishes in one visit.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why would anyone want a flat pack home?

Everyone at some point in their lives has dreamt about owning a home they can design to fit their lifestyle preferences. With flat-pack homes, this is possible as long as you own the right plot of land and have obtained the required planning permissions. Flat-pack homes also cost tens of thousands of pounds less when compared to conventional houses.

Do Flat-pack homes have disadvantages?

After building the home, the decisions you made at the planning stages are what you have to stick with. You cannot make any structural changes both internally or externally.

Another disadvantage is that it can be hard to get a bank to get a loan for a prefab home. In addition, the cost of setting up electricity, gas and water connections can be very expensive for flat-pack homes.

How customizable is my Flat-pack home?

The thing that most people do not know is that you have complete control over how you want your home to be. You can choose the size of the house and the size of each room. You can also decide how many bedrooms, bathrooms and reception areas you want. You can select both the interior and exterior designs of the house. Everything about flat-pack homes is customizable and can be personalized to your taste and preferences.

What kind of planning permission do I need for a flat-pack home?

A flat-pack home requires planning, and if you are buying the land on which you will erect the building, you should ensure you get planning permission even before purchasing the land. Getting planning permission for a flat-pack home in a conservation area may be difficult or next to impossible, but depending on the council in the area, your request might be granted.

Some companies that supply and install modular elements can be influential enough to help you get planning approval from your local council. This will cost you an additional fee.

What are the procedures for connecting water and the mains to my flat-pack home?

Only the local electricity company, gas company, and local water board can help with this.

Are there any questions I should ask my builder before getting a flat pack home?

Yes, there are. You are putting up a new building, and you want to make sure you are getting it right both with the structure and with the law. Some of the questions we recommend are listed below;

  • Can you help me find and choose a suitable plot of land?
  • Can you help with getting planning permission from the local council?
  • Can you recommend an architect to help me with my complex building design?
  • I am building a new home. Can you help me reclaim my VAT?
  • Do you assist with arranging for electricity and water to be connected to my home with the companies in charge?
  • Can I visit some of the homes you have installed in the past?
  • How can you help me achieve the most energy-efficient home?
  • I want to make sure I register my home with the right authorities. Can you help?

These are the questions you should not do without asking. A professional and experienced builder will provide you with open and honest answers so you can know what you are getting into before proceeding.

References

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

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