Once totally unheard of, kit houses are now really coming into their own and making a stand in the world of architecture. A far cry from the former days of pre-fabricated, flimsy buildings that were made from unattractive materials, the modern incarnation of 'homes in a box' are sleek, elegant and undeniably modern and paving the way for easier construction processes, value for money solutions and bespoke builds on a budget.
Take a look at these kit houses and see if we can change any preconceptions you might have. Who knows, afterwards, you may be ordering your next home online!
With just 51 square meters of interior space, this is not one of the biggest kit houses in the world, but it is an eco one! Put together in just 10 days and without the assistance of any cranes or large machinery, this amazing prefab home, from the team at DMP Arquitectura, heralds a new era of affordable, sustainable housing. The use of natural materials helps to blend this stunning home into its surroundings and though it is not large, its overall impact cannot be underestimated. Small but perfectly formed and all without harming the environment. Perfect!
If you didn't know that this was an Ideabook about kit houses, we don't think this picture would give you any clues. An utterly incredible building, this house looks as though it has been meticulously planned and built over an extended period of time, but it was erected in just a few days. With a client giving an exact brief, kit house companies are able to create entire houses on site, ensuring total compliance and tight tolerances, which makes for an easy and straightforward install. Just spectacular, this innovation is amazing and if the results can already look like this, we can't wait to see how it develops in the future!
Kit houses can bring to mind children's toys, like Lego, but in reality, they are fully functioning, beautiful and utterly practical buildings that have been created in a simple and accessible way. If you stop to think about it, it all makes a lot of sense. Building a house is an expensive venture, but if panels could be made off site, to a precise specification, then transported and erected within a day, doesn't that sound a lot simpler, cleaner and more efficient? When kit houses can look as stunning as this example, we know we have no prejudice and a big desire to get on a waiting list!
Kit houses. It's a phrase that really can evoke such negative images, like flimsy mobile homes of the past and polystyrene wall panels that don't retain heat, but open your minds and cast aside those outdated images! Does this example look in the least bit flimsy or unfinished? No! Not only does it look as solid as any other home, it looks warm and cosy to boot and will have been erected in a fraction of the time that it takes to build a standard bricks and mortar property. The dark materials used maintain the high end, bespoke image as well, which not only adds perceived value but frankly, is making us grey with envy.
This may be the first example that potentially looks as though it has been made off site and assembled later. Kit houses are as individual as the people that commission them, so this incredibly industrial piece, while certainly not to everyone's taste, will have been the perfect creation for the client. Dark and foreboding, the glazing helps to camouflage the house in the surroundings, by reflecting the trees and though breathtakingly simple in appearance, the design of this building must have been complicated and entrusted to an extremely talented team.
In order to negate the notion of 'Lego' homes, kit houses will often feature interesting textures, materials and styling and what we love about this example is the use of wooden slatting on the exterior. A fantastically space-age, rectangular building, had the exterior panels all been solid, it could have looked a little too simplistic, even monolithic, but by adding slats and large square panels of glazing, in what we assume to be the living room, the facade is transformed into a super sleek and modern building. We would love to watch a home such as this being built, just to appreciate the speed and expertise of the construction team!
When a home looks so perfectly in place where it stands, it can be hard to accept that it is a new addition and not a steadfast part of the landscape. That is what has happened in this example, whereby a building has been given so much consideration and thought that it almost appears to blend seamlessly into the background. The slate grey matches the mountains, while the wood plays off living trees and the bright white meets the sky with little hesitation. It's incredible to think that kit houses such as this can be built in a factory, thousands of miles away, by a team that has never seen the intended plot and yet still look so perfect.
We had to take a second look at this house, just to make sure it was built from a kit, but sure enough, it was. We were thrown by the use of honey cladding and contrasting white render, which almost suggests the property has been built and finished on site from the point of inception and yet each separate element was designed and made in one location, then transported, erected and finished in another. Kit houses are making more and more sense, as they are entirely customisable, often reasonably priced and built with such precision that nothing is lost. Amazing!
We adore this house, in particular because it looks as though it has been flown in by aliens, dropped into place and just moved in to. The perfect combination of style, elegance and practicality, this could be the face of kit houses for a new generation. With every panel, facet and element all fitting together without a problem, the overall effect is one that is not just eye-catching, but inspiring and encourages us to push the boundaries of what is possible in architecture.
Don't be fooled into thinking that kit houses are a way to cut corners, hurry a build or save money; they can be as time consuming, expensive and labour intensive as you wish them to be! If anything, finishes are superior in kit houses, as they need to fit perfectly on the first try and look exactly as the client wants, without manipulation or compromise. The cladding on this example is the ideal way to demonstrate what we mean. There are no missing edges, no imprecise elements and no pieces that look inferior but have been included anyway. Simply put, it's been perfectly engineered!
For more innovative building inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Alternative living: Eco-houses.