We heard from our kit house supplier today, that our windows and doors will not arrive in time for the original shipment (planned delivery of Aug 8th). So at this point we encounter our first real delay on the project, but, it’s not so bad, the kit is now going to get delivered either August 14th or 15th (expect a flurry of updates after that!)
Because we don’t have a set project timeline this really isn’t too much of an issue. The only time constraint we have sort of self-imposed, is that we want to be snug in the house before snow falls (even if the interior is not 100% complete), as we can’t really weather sub-zero temperatures for extended periods in the RV – it does have a propane furnace that works great, but not much insulation, so we go through propane at a ridiculous rate when we have to heat the RV.
A few people have asked for some more information about the kit house we are getting. We did a lot of searching and talked to several local kit house companies, but most of these places want to sell you a “kit” that they assemble, and are selling these kits at a crazy premium – in most cases looking at their prices you might as well just go buy an existing house, there are no cost savings to be had with this approach. While this might work for some people, we were more interested in being more involved in the building process by doing as much as possible ourselves – certainly we will not be able to do everything, but we can have a lot of fun (and save a ton of money) by doing lots of the work.
We researched a whole range of domiciles – everything from these sweet dome house kits they make out in Cali, to houses made from shipping containers (check out this really nice one built in Quebec), and then to more standard, local Ontario options like Linwood/Guildcrest/Viceroy. We ended up selecting a kit house manufacturer based out of New Hampshire, called Shelter-Kit, for a number of reasons but the first and foremost is that their kits are 100% designed from the ground up for DIYers. They also offer highly insulated designs (extremely important when off-grid) such as double-stud exterior walls with no thermal bridging. We worked with them to design exactly what we wanted – a small-ish 40’x32′ ranch style house with a screened in porch out front, and a full height basement.
Here’s the front elevation plan of the house:
We settled on this design largely for it’s simplicity and ease of construction – we are hoping to be able to do a lot of the framing, roofing, insulation, and also the electrical and some of the plumbing (particularly the plumbing required for our radiant heating system) ourselves, so we’re very pleased we found Shelter-Kit and are looking forward to the arrival of the kit so we can get started!
Thanks for reading!