Titan Houses Facts
While most of us would naturally assume that kit homes are a relatively new invention, the reality is they’ve been around for quite a long time.
The first kit home was built in 1830 by a carpenter in England for his son who was emigrating to Australia. The pieces were cut in England, shipped to Australia and then reassembled by his son, making it the first ever portable cottage.
Kit homes then began to become popular in America after the First World War, as they offered the growing middle class a way to buy and build in affordable stages (there were no mortgages in those days).
Then in 1916, Sears Roebuck started selling mail order kit homes, where you could order a whole house from their catalogue and have the pieces delivered to your site ready to be assembled. They cost as little as $2,500 and there were over a hundred different designs to choose from.
With growing land prices and a shortage of housing, granny flats and kit homes are becoming a viable alternative for extended families, first home buyers and those looking to make extra money from rental income.
And it’s definitely becoming easier to get building approval. While some Australian states have strict planning and building regulations, new planning policies have been introduced in New South Wales, Western Australia, Northern Territory, ACT and Tasmania to increase the availability of affordable rental housing.
The minimum land size needed to build a kit home or granny flat is at least 450m2 and the building must usually be no more than 60sqm, but some local councils are now also allowing verandas and carports as well.
And a kit home or granny flat can be a good rental prospect. In Sydney for instance, where rental housing is at a premium, rents are averaging around $300 a week and are attracting a higher growth rate than houses or apartments.
A steel framed and clad kit home has a number of distinct advantages over buildings constructed using other materials;
- Strength – Steel is very strong and impact-resistant and can stand up to rain, hail and strong winds without bending or warping.
- Durability – Steel outlasts most other materials and can last up to 100 years if properly installed and maintained.
- Termite resistance – A steel-framed and clad building is impervious to termites and borers.
- Fire resistant – Steel is non-combustible and has high fire resistance in roofing and walling applications.
- Low maintenance – Steel finishes are resistant to weathering and need very little maintenance.
- Lightweight – Steel is easy to stack and transport and can be installed by one or two people.
- Eco-friendly – Steel is 100% recyclable and completely non-toxic.