Has anyone done a self-build kit house?

We’re considering building our next house. We like the sound of boiskiteco.fr. Their kit includes almost everything. Has anyone used this company, or know of someone who has? Looking for recommendations/warnings (sensible please!). Any drawbacks to self-building? Anything we should budget for that we might have overlooked? The plot we intend to buy is “viabilise” by the village Mairie. So we need groundworks, slab, drains, and a reliable company to put the kit together for us. Then finishing (installing electrics, kitchen, bathrooms, tiling, flooring, painting, patio). What have we forgotten? Thank you!

Just from recent experience of having a new build, make sure you get your dossiers in for water and electricity etc quickly as the waiting lists for connections in many areas is very long and its upto the property owner now to do this, not the builders.

Till I got to that bit I thought you were going to build it yourself. As you are not, and I don’t know where you are, but here in the N. Dordogne there is a long established company called Brives. https://maisons-bois-brives.fr/ They are just up the road from us and because the original house we bought here was made and put together by them, when we moved here permanently we employed them ourselves to build the extension which was a standalone design but joined to our original.

It is well insulated, warm and cool appropriately, and compares well with neighbouring brick and block built houses which have suffered from damp problems. Of course the mains were already here but they connected everything that was necessary. 23 years on we are very happy with it.


Slightly off the wall reply, but might be of some use. If you’re ever in the UK, there is a National Self-build and Renovation centre at Swindon.

It a warehouse full of displays on self building systems, techniques etc. They run a load of courses some of which are also available online.

I appreciate that it won’t address your question about specific French suppliers, but if you get a chance, it’s free to enter and well worth a visit.

Never done this ourselves but friends looked at the possibilities for using on a piece of land with an incredible view

A major concern was in using predominantly timber. And resale value. Depends very much on location, location, location.

Thanks Stuartb - our son lives just outside Swindon so next time we’re over we’ll visit the Centre. Could be interesting!

Thanks Susannah - we’re looking at kit houses, but we wanted to be sure we hadn’t forgotten something in our budgeting. The biggest problem is finding the design we like, the size we like, within our budget!

Wasn’t Graham’s house a kit ,
He hasn’t posted for a week or so assume he has gone on holiday

Not a house in which to hang one’s painting collection!


Ok for your Toblerone collection though.

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Hope Julia doesn’t mind me sharing her thread. We too are contemplating a house build - built and assembled professionally. The company Amibois manufacture and erect the components - walls complete with electrics, insulation. They arrange connection to services, installation of the fosse-septique and heating system.
My wife thinks the project will still result in a huge amount of problems to be solved, especially combined with a move here from the UK. I think I am rather more sanguine and my greatest stress comes from our current neighbours though I’m under no illusions there will be headaches both selling up , moving and building here.
I’m wondering how other people have fared. I see advantages in only buying a plot of land and not a used property with possibly hidden defects. We have been pointed in the direction of a competent, friendly English speaking Notaire and we have become friends with an English woman who built her own home having already lived here 15 years. I wonder what pitfalls are most likely to trip us up - legal or construction.

I got the impression Julia building their own house would be following a similar vein, actually not building it at all but equiping it :blush:

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There was a report the other day on TV about new house builds that have gone tīts up. I will try and find the report if I can. Some whole estates having to be knocked down. Contractors going out of business etc.

Personally……I would not do it.

It is a minefield out there.

Ooh disaster, wouldnt put me off, check out the company inuding their financial position. Manufacturers of these houses are more often than not the assemblers on site because they cannot trust their product or guarantees to the protuding forehead knuckles dragging on the floor builders to know what they should be doing. Projects go tits up all the time but a lot more complete the projects.

MichaelL (but also not wanting to sidetrack the thread) Please keep us informed of your progress. I see HUGE advantages in building a new-tech, warm, air-tight, insulated home that will be attractive to future buyers (should you ever need to sell, that is) . . . . :wink:

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Hi Michael

No, I don’t mind you sharing my thread! It would be hard for you to be sure your project was running smoothly, while you’re living in the UK. We at least would be fairly local, if we go ahead. I agree, building a modern, insulated, cheap-to-run home sounds perfect.

We’re still not sure about the kit house system we’ve been looking at, mainly because we’re worried that there may be additional costs we hadn’t budgeted for, so we’re going to meet a couple of local, long-established house builders (like IGC) to see what they come up with.

It’s a pity no-one has yet come forward and said “yes, I built my own house/had one built” and can give us further advice. (Especially on kit houses).

Don’t forget you’ll need a visa to come over here long term, thanks to Brexit.
Bonne chance.

Julia, Fortunately I don’t need a visa and I think we would sell up in UK first and rent here or just stay long term in a gite. Company I’ m looking at - Amibois takes care of services and there’s no concrete slab - just stilts for the house to rest on. It can work very well for sloping land. Agree on additional costs. They always come from somewhere! Amibois takes payment in 7 stages and can increase costs as per France’s inflation index.

That is the situation with the original half of our current house, it has to be said though that the insulation was less good but not wholly because of the space underneath, the walls were less good compared to the other, later addition to it. Concrete base and higher standard in the walls. It doesn’t matter though because the old part is south facing and, as long as there is sun, it gets lots of help all day.