A Te Awamutu building company has developed and launched an innovative range of homes and flats it believes is the answer to affordable housing for the future.
Partners Alan Hockly and Giles Bayley have been planning, researching and fine-tuning the new process over three years before adding House It to their existing portfolio of businesses including FBR Building and Shed It.
They launched the product at their Bond Road factory last Monday, although sales have already been made.
It started as a problem-solving exercise to find a way to address social housing issues based around cost and timely supply, especially in times of crisis, such as following a major earthquake.
The new homes had to be a quality, but affordable, product that needed low energy input and were warm dry and comfortable.
A solution started with finding a new material to form the basis of the construction and the answer was found in Korea - coloured galvanised steel internal and external panel with 70mm of bonded insulation, called PIR Panel.
Panels used for the roof have 100mm of insulation.
As well as the bonded wall and ceiling insulation, the House It cabins, studios and homes also have underfloor insulation.
The Korean material has been in use oversees for four decades and has proven reliability.
The product life expectancy is over 50 years and a House It home comes with a seven-year construction warranty and 15-year manufacturer's warranty.
The company have designs for cabins, studios, one, two and three-bedroom buildings.
House It developed and patented construction methods to use the new product for housing, both in New Zealand and overseas.
Last year they took a prototype to the National Fieldays to gauge interest and were then motivated to bring the project to fruition.
Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett was briefed on the product last year at Fieldays when she was Minister of Social Housing.
Chris Cliffe has been appointed as sales manager to promote House It products.
He says there are a number of benefits for home-owners, landlords or family members in buying one of their products.
Firstly, they are affordable - ranging from $18,500 for a 9m2 cabin to $145,000 for an 84m2 three-bedroom home.
The cost excludes moving, section and Council and consent fees, but does include all carpet, curtains, kitchen and bathroom vinyl flooring, complete kitchen/laundry where applicable, including appliances, all bathroom fittings and hot water system to suit.
Secondly they can be built in a short time frame - about four weeks from order to delivery in most cases.
Thirdly, they are low maintenance, not only easy to clean but more importantly the special building materials used are both fire retardant and methamphetamine (P) resistant; this means they are potentially a much more viable and logical investment and housing option for interested parties.
Mr Cliffe says another major benefit is the thermal efficiency of the House It home.
Then of course, they are built to be transportable and relocatable, they are easy to move if future needs change.
The company has spent a lot of time ensuring the building method is approved throughout New Zealand, so buyers only have to be concerned about local regulations in relation to the site and services.
They have also been in discussion with the Government about House It buildings being used in areas of need.
The company will be back at Fieldays this year, Site W16, promoting the insulated panel House It homes and Shed It range of farm sheds and utility buildings.
- Te Awamutu Courier