Today the kit house has evolved to incorporate these people pleasing measures, to include homes seemingly of breathtaking flexibility and beauty, while at the same time offering quick and low impact builds.

Yankee Barn
Barn architecture has long given aficionados the sense of space, textural warmth and open plan freedom that they crave. However, the UK’s stock of truly beautiful barns ripe for conversion is already drying up. In the USA barn fans get past this by taking theprinciples of barn living and adapting it to new build.

Yankee Barn Homes has been designing and building post and beam homes across the USA since 1969. While over a thousand Yankee Barns have been built, the company is proud of the fact that no two are exactly alike, and that each hand-crafted home has been created to be a personal statement by its owner.

To create that unique look, homeowners work with a company designer to create a home to fit their lifestyle. Then the post and beam wall floor and roof panels along with any speciality millwork are constructed in the controlled environment of the company workshop to protect the integrity of the timber. The Yankee Barn will then be packaged and shipped ready for erection on site – a process taking between eleven to thirteen days. Once weather tight, the home can then be finished at the owners leisure.

Yankee Barn is based in Grantham, New Hampshire, but already is beginning to extend its aesthetic appeal over seas. A Yankee Barn is coming soon to Ireland, and after that, perhaps to a vacant plot very near you.

Benfied ATT
If it’s a more home grown aesthetic you’re after then Benfied ATT offer numerous variations on a theme. All Benfield ATT’s ‘self-build’ houses are available in ‘kit’ form in so far as they deliver the timber frame panels and beams, but do not erect them, leaving the self-builder to Do-It-themselves if they so desire. Typically, however, the company will erect most of the buildings at the homeowner’s request due to the technical complexities of getting it just right.

Benfield ATT are wholly committed to timber frame construction, which they consider a dry method of construction in comparison with brick and block wet build which may utilise thousands of litres of water. Benfield ATT are also the only company in the UK with FSC certification, which means that they are authorised to build timber frame structures from timber which is endorsed by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and WWF.

Again Benfield ATT offer a much reduced build time in comparison with other methods of building, and off-site quality control. Prefabricated wall sections incorporate vapour check membranes and can include factory fitted insulation and service duct systems as standard. They also offer a bespoke service to give as little or as much help as needed from individual tailoring to complete turn key project management packages.