A DIY home project can be extremely rewarding, and is absolutely a fantastic option for you if you are willing to invest time, sweat equity, and maybe get a few talented friends to assist!
Ok so what if I choose DIY.. Where do I start?
So, what exactly is a shell? With the housing market growing anddemand outpacing product, the idea of having a small home shell ordered and delivered to your property in about 6-10 weeks may be the perfect option for you. A shell is just that: a shell of a home, usually built in a prefab factory and delivered in one piece.
The shell will have the exterior walls, windows, door, exterior paint, and roofing complete. It is ready for you to install interior finishes, fixtures, plumbing, electrical and everything else needed to turn the shell into a livable home. Finish out costs can range greatly, but if you invest your time and talent, it does cost less than using a contractor, or buying a finished out tiny home, prefab home, or smart sized home.
How do I keep it affordable?
The key with keeping the DIY option affordable and less expensive than a finished out home is the whole DIY part – do it yourself. This saves you on labor, since you are donating your labor to your project, vs. paying experienced labor to do the finish out for you.
When shopping for a shell, keep in mind that this will be turned into a home you will live in, so find a shell that has house wrap and is framed as a residential structure, not just a storage unit to attempt to finish out.Also check out the building’s warranty. Some companies have warranties that become void if you alter the building in anyway, so read the fine print!
Now, with any item you install, such as fixtures or AC System, those will each have a manufacturer’s warranty, so create your own binder to keep these valuable pieces of information together.
When you have your shell delivered, remember that as you finish it out, you are adding weight to the foundation or pad for the shell. A solid foundation, such as road base compacted down to feel like concrete, or a concrete pad will help with leveling issues that may occur over time as you finish out. The pad has to be able to support the weight of your finished out building for a long period of time!