This article was originally published on newshub.co.nz.
You’ve probably heard of flatpack furniture, and potentially even built your own dresser or bedside table at home. But have you ever considered the possibility of a flatpack home?
Game-changing Kiwi company EasyBuild is dubbing itself the ‘IKEA of the local building industry’ and is tackling some of the country’s biggest housing challenges one home at a time.
With less warm, affordable housing around than ever before, it might just be the solution to a major problem.
“What we found when we set out to achieve and produce an affordable, robust home, was the marketplace had an overabundance of large expensive homes but the value end of the market was not being catered for,” says EasyBuild co-founder Mike Fox.
“Our homes are essentially like an IKEA of houses, flatpacked and delivered to site for easy and quick on-site building, by our skilled teams of builders around the country or as a DIY project.”
There’s a range of quality designs available, whether you’re looking to get into your first home or downsize to your last.
Here’s why an EasyBuild home might just tick all the flatpack boxes for your next build:
It’s the DIY job of your dreams (but don’t worry, you can have it built for you too!)
It sounds too good to be true to be able to buy and build an almost-readymade house – and sure, this isn’t going to be an afternoon job with a glass of wine to get you through.
But if you consider yourself somewhat competent on the tools, you’ll be able to tackle the build, with a DIY ‘house pack only’ option provided with every home.
Fox clarifies you must be “semi-skilled”, or at least have a friend or family member who is. But the high degree of partial prefabrication – including windows already installed – means it will only take a few months to get off the ground, so to speak.
Anyone who has watched a build be continually pushed out by weeks or months will know how rare that is.
If you’re more into watching The Block than participating, your local EasyBuild Preferred Builder will make the process smooth sailing for you.
They’re kinder to the planet…
Not only better for your stress levels, EasyBuild homes also have much less impact on the planet than a traditional build. Fox says they didn’t only want their building option to be affordable, but energy efficient and low waste too. Because the materials arrive ready-measured and cut, it makes the task a lot easier. In layman’s terms, he explained, when building a typical 140 sq m home, you’ll take around three skips to the dump to offload building waste.
“With ours, it’s half a skip – and we’re working to get that down.”
And easier on the wallet.
As any first-home buyer knows, affordable housing in Aotearoa is something of a pipe dream. If you’ve ever rocked up to a house auction and had the first bid blow way past your maximum budget, these homes are for you. With a small three bedroom home starting from around $225,000 + GST fully built, or around $117,000 + GST for the pack only, EasyBuild’s designs feature open plan kitchen, dining and living, spacious bedrooms and bathrooms and raised ceilings – everything you need to get yourself started.
“Our industry has not been good at explaining ‘buy as it is’ in terms of structure and layout,” Fox explains, revealing it’s when people want to make customisations to pre-existing builds that the costs really start to rise. “Don’t change the structure and you’re going to get a really good quality affordable home, quickly.”
The homes are also super energy-efficient and warm, so say ‘bye’ to shelling out hundreds trying to heat a decades-old Auckland villa.
The i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed
All EasyBuild designs have MultiProof approval from MBIE, meaning the consent process is faster, costs less, and you won’t be drowning in red tape. Fox says all you need to do is find the right site – something the team can help with as well.
“Ideally the flatter the land is, the better access it’s going to have – but because our houses come flat packed, if you can walk to the site you can build on it,” he explains.
“The hard work has been done in regards to the council – the solution is there, you’ve just got to order it.”
They have the ‘wow factor’
And if this all sounds like it’s going to be easy on the wallet, but you don’t want to live in a house with the personality of a cardboard box, Fox assures me their houses have the “wow” factor.
“They’re very different to the rest of the products on the market – especially those that resemble a sort of well-lined garage,” he laughs. “We really encourage people to visit our showhomes, we’re hearing so often ‘wow, I didn’t think it would be as nice as this’.”
He says you can jazz up your space with interior design and outdoor living to really make a special home that’s truly yours.