Flatpack homes have taken off with a hiss and a roar in New Zealand, however, one property commentator does not believe they are the future for inner-city living.
In the last year, Bunnings Trade has sold more than 50 of the two-bedroom 60sq m flat-pack homes which sell from as little as $69,000 for the most basic model.
Alistair Helm told the Weekend Collective on Newstalk ZB he believes modular construction is the future of homes in New Zealand.
“I think they’re the kind of things that would add to accommodation facilities of a second dwelling outside of the major cities,” he said on Saturday.
“I don’t think this is a solution in itself to high-density living in the city from that point of view, that will be solved by what I hope is off-site modular construction which is the way of the future.”
Bunnings is marketing its flatpack homes under a brand it owns, Clever Living Co., advertised as “homes that move to you.”
Flatpack home packages are designed off-site and delivered as packages which are built onsite by a registered builder.
A Bunnings spokesperson told the Herald all packages include the appliances, the kitchen, light fittings, bathroom, timber frames, roofing and other building materials.
Floor coverings and onsite services like water and power are excluded.
Helm said a major component to the popularity of flatpack homes is the worldwide movement towards small homes.
“People are starting to looking at how they can live with less space, consume less, acquire less, all those sorts of things.
“Flatpack has the perception that isn’t particularly nice but if you look at it as modular, construction off-site and then bought on site is the logical and smart way to build.”
Modular constructed buildings or units are often prefabricated in shop and then transported to location and connected to waiting services.
Meanwhile, New Zealand has an affection towards craft homes which are constructed with lumber from the ground up, Helm said.
“You got to Australia, the UK, America, a group home builder will build 150 A-style houses that don’t differ in any respect.
“You might get a different tile in the bathroom but they are identical and stamped out right across that development.
“Whereas in New Zealand, number four wants this style and number six wants this style, they may all be 220 square metres or 120 square metres but they’re all craft built by craftsmen and they do cost $5000 a square metre.”
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