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Image by Robyn Edie / Stuff

Claire and Peter West-Price outside their insulation panel home in Invercargill, with its builder Steve Coatsworth.

An Invercargill couple suggest to Kiwis unable to buy in housing’s soaring price market to invest in a section and put an insulation panel home on it.

Peter and Claire West-Price say insulation panel homes are a low-cost option for buyers.

The couple are more than pleased with the insulation panel home they bought for $85,000 and placed on a $50,000 section in Clifton in late 2019.

Another $45,000 covered the plumbing and electrical work and installation of a bathroom-toilet and other household essentials.

For the total cost of $180,000 the couple believe the section and kitset home option could appeal to some unable to buy in their price range.

“For us, it seemed far more cost effective and far more practical than to have to go through the process of a timber construction, framework, insulation and the length of time it takes to build it [a standard home],” Claire said.

Her home is 8.4 metres long by 6 metres wide. Being a kitset, the house can be extended by adding panels.

The panels used were 1.2 metres wide with a depth of 100mm (walls) and 150mm (roof).

The panels are made of polystyrene covered in colorsteel. Freezers and chillers on dairy farms and in meat processing plants were made with virtually the same materials, builder Steve Coatsworth said.

The West-Price home has three areas – kitchen, dining and lounge together, one bedroom and bathroom-toilet.

“We only need a one bedroom because our kids have their home in town ... we’ve got a caravan out the back that we can use for people staying the night,” Claire said.

Coatsworth took a total of two months to construct the home – in two sections – at his workshop in Wallacetown. It was transported to the couple’s section and six weeks later they were living in it.

Coatsworth thought he had built six insulation panel homes.

“I’ve been interested in low-cost homes for 40 or 50 years,” he said.

“The people who have a lot of money have got a lot of options [when buying a house] but people without a lot of money have got fewer options.

“Absolutely, this is a good option for them.”

The West-Prices got the idea to invest in an insulation panel home after living in one, with four bedrooms, 25 years ago on a western Southland farm.

“We thought it was lovely and warm and had easy maintenance,” Claire said.

They never forgot about the experience and in 2019, they decided to build one of their own in Invercargill.

READ MORE(external link)

Searle, J 2021, 'Invercargill couple say insulation panel homes may help housing shortage', Stuff,  11 January, accessed January 22 2021 from stuff.co.nz.

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