Tag Archives: kit homes

Wooden Kit Homes in the Caribbean

Wooden Kit Homes in the Caribbean

Caribbean Kit Homes in Wood

Caribbean Kit Homes in Wood

Building concrete and steel homes contributes significantly to greenhouse gasses which are without doubt destroying the life of our Caribbean sea.  Wood, which is strong and flexible makes a winning alternative, especially when the lumber is properly harvested and managed in a sustainable way.  Modern wooden structures are extremely strong and skyscrapers of timber are now being designed and built instead of using our resources up in concrete and steel.

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Brazilian Hardwood Kit Homes

Brazilian Hardwood Kit Homes Flatpacked for the Caribbean


Brazilian Hardwood Kit Homes and Houses

Brazilian Hardwood kit homes cannot be home-produced in a sustainable or cost-effective way in the islands.

The local islands do not support large forests of hardwood trees, and although most of the islands do have a solid infrastructure for sustainable forestry there is not enough acreage to create a commercial timber industry.

The mountainous terrain on most of the forested smaller islands prohibits extraction of large trees and would mean planking in situ on steep mountainsides and then walking each plank out.

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Kit Homes Part II

Second Part of Building a Kit Home

In this, our second part of building a kit home, we will be looking at selecting the design of your kit home, taking delivery and erection.


  • In most countries you will need Planning Approval and also possibly Building Permission from the local authority. This should be ascertained prior to purchasing your home, to ensure that permission will be attained.
  • The site needs to be cleared and it would be useful to set out the profile of the home with pegs and string to see exactly where it will fit best, which views it will provide etc.
  • a decision on what flooring you will be using
  • whether you will build yourself or use the professionals
  • the design of your home

When considering what design to choose, there are several points to contemplate:

– how do you use your home currently
– do you need an office
– would you live visitors to come to stay
– are the children still young enough to have a separate entertainment area from the adults
– where do you spend most of your time, would it be best to have an open plan kitchen/living room so that you can spend time as a family or just because you prefer larger open spaces
– do you need a laundry area
– what storage solutions might you need
– how do you want your home to look on the outside
– what finishes do you feel you would really like to enjoy
– what is your budget

Other matters such as how ‘green’ you want your home to be, and structural considerations, such as how to deal with difficult ground conditions may also need to be considered

Taking delivery at the dock
When the home is shipped to you, there will be import taxes/duties to be paid, and then arranging the delivery of the product to your site. Depending on where your new home is, taxes and duties will vary. Some Caribbean islands are tax and duty free, where others can charge quite a price for bringing in goods.

Taking delivery at your site
Taking delivery to your site should be fairly straightforward as long as there is a large enough vehicle available and that it can fit around any tight corners or height restrictions on the way to your site. It will most likely arrive in a container, so you would need to find out if the container can be taken to your site for unpacking, or if it needs to be unpacked at the dock. You may also need some extra hands to unpack. If your site is remote and fairly inaccessible you may have to make special arrangements, Topsider homes have been known to deliver their homes in a military style front loading vessel to a beach at high tide.

For further information on how to select your Caribbean building site please click here….

The site will need to have been cleared and any pre-delivery work be completed before the erection can start. The basic erection can often take between 1 to 2 weeks for a simple home to up to 1 month or more for a more complicated home. Wiring and plumbing will need to be part of the build as will windows and roof tiling etc.

Electrical and plumbing installations will have to be made once the home is up. Internal and external lights can be installed as well as cables for internet, telephone, cable television etc. Then painting and decorating can begin.

You then can start on the parts that really make a house a home. The kitchen can be installed along with tiling, and the bathroom installation. Once you’ve had any final inspections by the council/government… this is when you can crack open that bottle of champagne! Celebration is due with the completion of your home in the sun. Now all there is to do is enjoy it.

Thank you again to Topsider Homes and Caribbean Wood Products for their help with the content of this blog.

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Building a Kit Home

Building a Kit Home in the Caribbean

During the 1910’s the prefabricated home made it’s first appearance in the United States. By the end of the 1950’s Sears Roebuck & Co offered mail order homes in 447 different designs. Styles ranged from the elaborate with art glass windows to the simple cottage that could be used for a family on their summer holiday.

Homes would be delivered on a train and would come with a 75 page instruction booklet to advise the customer on how to assemble the 10,000 or so pieces. A housewife could order details, such as kitchens, and room layouts to suit her family. Floor plans were customisable and so was financing, with the option of leasing a piece of land to build upon.

Nowadays, several companies offer kit homes and will ship them to the Caribbean for you to erect on your prepared site. For this two part blog, I have spoken with two different companies to understand what is possible in the world of wooden prefabricated homes, now much more commonly referred to as kit homes. Continue reading

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