What are the Different Options for Building do-It-Yourself Homes?

Wendy Innes
Wendy Innes
Man with a drill
Man with a drill

There are many options available for those looking to build a house on their own. Do-it-yourself (DIY) homes are becoming more popular, especially with those who are concerned about home construction that is environmentally friendly. The possibilities include DIY home kits, panelized systems, yurts and using straw bales in the construction of the home. Among the factors that should be considered when one chooses from among the options for building do-it-yourself homes are the budget, the builder's technical knowledge, the time available, the location, the climate and the environmental friendliness of the various options.

DIY home kits come in many shapes, sizes and floor plans. A simple Internet search will turn up hundreds of websites selling these kits. It’s important for the homeowner to do the necessary research before purchasing a kit because each company varies in what is offered. Some will offer things such as helping the homeowner with financing, locating property for the home and free telephone support to the builders who are using the kit.

Panelized building systems are a new style of do-it-yourself homes. These kits consist of walls that already have things such as windows and insulation installed, and all the builder has to do is assemble the panels according to the instructions. The advantage to this system is that these homes are quick and easy to build, especially for those who don’t have a lot of construction knowledge. They often cost more than other types of do-it-yourself homes, however.

Some of the other types of do-it-yourself homes include yurts and straw bale homes. These are often viewed as being the most environmentally friendly choices for do-it-yourself homes. They are considered unconventional to most people.

Modern yurts are an adaptation of ancient structures used by nomadic tribes and are somewhat like reinforced tents. They are easy to put up, take down and can be customized for just about any use. The downside is that they usually have open floor plans, so privacy can be an issue.

Straw bale construction has become a popular option for those looking for green do-it-yourself homes. This method typically uses bales secured to a lumber frame and coated by wire mesh and plaster or stucco. The bales are very inexpensive, and they are very energy efficient because they are so thick and dense. The downside is that it takes a lot of manual labor to build a house with straw bales and home builders would need to consult experts for things like electrical work.

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