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Building a dream home from a kit


February 02, 1997|By Beth Smith

An Acorn house "is a modified or partial post-and-beam structure that is a traditional update of New England architecture with exteriors of Cape and saltbox shapes," says Jay Williams. "[It has] interiors that balance lofty, cathedral spaces with cozy intimate rooms."

A new Acorn country house model opened recently near Davidsonville in Anne Arundel County. With more than 5,400 square feet, it is a dream house with lots of luxury features, including a master bedroom suite, a gourmet kitchen overlooking a family area, a solarium, four bedrooms and a loft, exposed beams, soaring ceilings and handsome wood trims. The kit price is about $200,000.

Just as people buying custom-built homes have lots of choices, so do people buying kit houses. And the goal of kit buyers is the same as that of custom builders -- a special place for their family. "People don't say they want to buy a kit to build a house," says Williams. "They just say they want to build a house."

For more information on pre-engineered kit homes, call the Building Systems Council of the National Association of Home Builders, (800) 368-5242, Ext. 162 (free literature is available on kit houses). The phone numbers for the kit companies used in this story are as follows: Acorn Structures, (800) 294-9178; Deck House, (410) 841-5349 (Baltimore) or (301) 858-0626; Lindal Cedar Homes, (800) 426-0536; Timberpeg, (704) 684-1722, and Yankee Barn Homes, (800) 258-9786.

Tips for Buying, Building Kit Houses

* Analyze your needs in a home and plan a budget.

* Become familiar with the general home-building process.

* Check on the reputations of the various manufacturers (the Building Systems Council of the National Association of Homebuilders is a good place to start), and tour manufacturing plants if possible.

* Ask kit-manufacturing representatives for the names and addresses of kit-builders. Visit homes they have built in your area.

* Select only an experienced builder of kit homes.

* Read the contract carefully. Be sure you understand exactly what is included in the package and what the additional costs will be.

Pub Date: 2/02/97

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