Your Kiss House journey.

We want you to enjoy building your home.
We’ve created a simple process &
we take care of everything.

1. You get your big idea.

It all starts with an idea — your idea for a home where everything feels right. You’re thinking about what’s possible and what matters most. And you’re looking for a partner you like and trust.

If you’ve got a site in mind, we’ll give it a free site assessment to see about the chances of getting planning permission. We’ll tell it like it is, and show you our workings. Then we’ll invite you to come and see us so we can explain our process and answer your questions.

2. We make it real.

Time to make Kiss House right for you, and take care of planning.

You’ll choose your exterior finish. Timber is most popular, but there are plenty of other ways to go.

We’ve designed Kiss House upfront, but we know one size never fits all. You might need a door here or a window there. We’ll be flexible where we can within our price.

Once you’re happy, we prepare your planning application. We manage everything, and do all we can to make sure the result is a ‘yes’. While the application is in the works, we’ll keep a close eye on it.

3. You make Kiss House your own.

Now the fun starts. Time to choose your kitchen, bathroom, wall colours and flooring, and decide how much fitted furniture you’d like.

Meanwhile our engineers get down to the nitty-gritty of designing for your site, right down to testing soil samples so we can price the foundations accurately.

Once we’ve gathered all these details, we can finalise your spec and price. And when you’re happy, we’ll get cracking on manufacturing your Kiss House.

4. We manufacture your home.

We make Kiss House in England using modern building methods. This gives us a clean, dry, orderly working environment, with no weather to worry about.

Our team cares deeply about getting it right. We work quickly, paying close attention to detail and quality all the way.

5. We prepare your site.

Now, sit back and let us get your site ready for building. We handle it all as quickly, cleanly and quietly as we can, whether it’s demolishing an existing building, installing the foundations or arranging the utilities.

‘Turnkey’ services don’t usually include preparing your site. That’s because it’s a slog! Our goal is to take care of everything so that you don’t have to.

6. You enjoy the process.

Everyone knows how difficult and stressful building your own house can be. We certainly do because we’ve spent decades helping people do it!

We know there’s a better way.

We’ve created a simple process that takes care of it all. No more ‘to be provided by others’ or ‘customer to supply’. We do everything.

So while we’re rolling our sleeves up, you can get on with the cool stuff, like deciding what to put in your house and who to invite to the moving-in party.

7. Your home arrives.

Everything comes together as we bring your Kiss House to site.

When it arrives, it’s finished on the outside and the internal fit-out is underway.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly and efficiently it all happens.

8. We complete your fit-out.

Now for the details, like installing your fitted furniture. We’ve developed a system that’s neat and tidy — none of the mess and debris that you might expect.

Our obsession with quality then goes into overdrive as we check everything, and check it again. Before we hand your house over to you an independent assessor makes sure it meets the Passivhaus standard. You’ll also get building control and warranty certificates.

We complete one last check to ensure everything is exactly as it should be, before we hand you the keys.

9. You move in.

Welcome to your new home.

We’ll walk you through everything you need to know and answer all your questions. We’ll give you a simple guide to your Kiss House and make absolutely sure you’re delighted.

Then it’s time to savour the environment we’ve created together.

10. You enjoy living in a Kiss House.

We’re burning to know how you (and your Kiss House) are getting on. Our extended hand-over service sees that you enjoy your home to the full.

Wearing our research & development hats, we’ll ask for your feedback and check how your Kiss House performs. This helps you get the best out of your new home and helps us to improve what we do.

FAQs.

Naturally, you’ll want to know more. These are the questions that people ask us.

Q.

What does the Kiss House service cover?

A.

Companies often say they offer a ‘turnkey’ service, only to come up with a long list of what’s not included. We know how arduous self-build projects can be, so we decided to offer a service that really is end-to-end. We want to take as much of the pain, difficulty, steep learning curve and hassle out of it as we can.

We start with a free site assessment, followed by:

  • Planning
  • Passivhaus modelling and testing
  • Finalising design details
  • Giving you choice of finishes inside and out
  • All work needed to install your Kiss House and connect to services
  • Managing the whole process
  • Passivhaus certification
  • Commissioning and handover
  • Measuring how your house performs
  • Making sure you’re totally satisfied

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Further reading:

Kiss House introduction to planning

Take a look at the Kiss House Customer journey in our info section.

Q.

Do you help with planning?

A.

Yes, we do — in fact, we do it all.

Our service usually starts with a free site assessment to review your chances of getting planning permission for a Kiss House. Our in-house senior architect has more than 30 years’ experience in this field. We look at the site itself in the context of the Local Plan, any relevant policy and precedents. We’re always honest about this assessment because it’s not in anyone’s interest to go ahead if there’s a limited chance of success.

If we think the chances are good, we’ll prepare you a proposal including a fixed price for preparing the full planning application, including our standard terms and conditions. The price for our planning service depends on the site and factors like the size of house you want plus any local factors like Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty etc.

If you haven’t already met us by this time, we’d suggest getting to know us before you make your decision. It’s important that you like and trust whoever you work with to build your house — it’s a big deal.

If you want to go ahead, we’ll do a site visit and assess everything the council will need for your application to have the best chance of success. We’ll manage the whole process. This includes choosing and managing third-party consultants if the application needs independent reports. We’ll get three quotations for you to approve. And of course, we’ll take care of everything and keep you up to date.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Q.

Does your service include site preparation, groundworks and foundations?

A.

Yes, it does.

We do everything needed to prepare your site for installing your Kiss House and connecting to utilities, even if that includes demolishing an existing house. We do it all, so you don’t have to. It’s complicated, and we think it’s unreasonable to expect our customers to sort it all out when they’d probably rather not. We do it at a fixed price, which we can quote once we’ve fully assessed your site.

Our service also includes our own foundation system. It’s perfect for Passivhaus and also needs a lot less digging and earth-moving than normal foundation systems. That makes it more cost-effective and less disruptive on site.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Further reading:

Take a look at the Kiss House Customer journey in our info section.

Q.

Can you help me find a site to build on?

A.

We don’t offer a site search, as that’s a specialist service. But we can recommend a company that can help.

If you’re thinking of buying a site, we can do a free site assessment. Our senior in-house architect, who has more than 30 years’ experience, will review the chances of getting planning consent for a Kiss House on the site. For more on this, see our question about planning.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Q.

Do you manage the project, or will I need to do it myself or use a project manager?

A.

Our service is end-to-end. In fact, we care as much about you having a great, stress-free experience as we do about you getting the best home possible. Mike Jacob, one of our founder-directors, has spent the last ten years managing client projects and helping clients realise their dream homes. Mike brings all that experience to Kiss House.

We take care of everything, so you can enjoy the process and have the time and space to get on with life and enjoy all the good bits of building your own home. We keep you up to speed with what’s happening each step of the way. You’ll be involved in key decisions and you’ll get to decide on all the cool stuff like floorplans, kitchen and bathroom choices, fitted furniture and whether or not to pimp your smart home system (if that’s what you’re into).

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Further reading:

See our FAQ — What does the Kiss House service cover?

Q.

Does your service include landscaping?

A.

Landscaping isn’t part of what we do, but it’s well worth getting right. We’d suggest talking to several experts in your area to compare ideas and costs.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Further reading:

See our FAQ — What does the Kiss House service cover?

Q.

Does your service include decoration?

A.

Your Kiss House will have painted walls included in the price. And you get to choose the colours.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Further reading:

See our FAQ — What does the Kiss House service cover?

Q.

Does your service include Passivhaus certification?

A.

Yes. Kiss Houses are Passivhaus Certified unless it’s not possible to get certification on a particular site. In practice, the vast majority of Kiss Houses are Passivhaus Certified. This is really important to us, as it’s a categoric mark of quality and comfort.

It might be that a site really isn’t suited to Passivhaus. For example, it might be an exposed spot by the North Sea. In these rare cases, wherever we can we’ll achieve the Passivhaus Low Energy Building Standard. That’s a standard developed by the Passivhaus Institute for sites where the full Passivhaus Standard isn’t feasible.

Passivhaus is a rigorous quality standard, so each house has to be independently assessed to be certified. This means that while we test our builds throughout, the final assessment is down to an independent certifier. The good news is that this is an absolute guarantee of impartiality and quality. Better still, it’s included in your price.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Further reading:

Kiss House introduction to Passivhaus

See our FAQ — What does the Kiss House service cover?

Q.

Can I change the Kiss House design?

A.

Kiss Houses are designed to hit the sweet spot between flexibility and repeatability. The flexibility lets you make Kiss House your own while the repeatability gives you certainty about cost and quality.

Having a mainly predesigned house means we’ve taken care of the main architectural design and engineering upfront, along with the Passivhaus design and modelling. This means you can count on the final outcome and save a lot of time. But we still offer a good degree of choice, for example layout options and finishes.

It’s possible that we can make other small adjustments. For example, for one client we flipped the entire layout to take advantage of a great view, and for another we added a window. But not everything is possible, and changes that need reengineering or affect the manufacture, or the way we move and construct your Kiss House, aren’t possible without a redesign. A redesign would be a bespoke project, which we can still do.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Q.

Do you offer a bespoke option?

A.

We might not always be able to build a regular Kiss House. This could be down to the size or shape of the site, or factors like slopes and access. If this happens, we can offer a bespoke option. It will still come with the Kiss House style, service and specification though it won’t use our regular designs and building methodology.

You wouldn’t get some of the advantages of a Kiss House. For example, it wouldn’t be as quick because the design and engineering wouldn’t already be taken care of. But you’ll still get our team, service, experience, quality and aesthetic.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Q.

Do you build other house types and sizes e.g. flats, apartments and single-storey?

A.

Anything is possible, but what we currently offer is what you see here. Anything outside that would be a bespoke project that wouldn’t have the advantages of Kiss House’s predesigned elements.

That said, we definitely want to add other types and sizes of Kiss House to our range.

Do complete our form to tell us what you’re interested in and sign up for our news here.

Q.

Is there a Kiss garage?

A.

A Kiss garage will be available soon.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Further reading:

Options’ matrix

Q.

Can I have a basement?

A.

Yes, you can. We work with a specialist to offer a high-quality, Passivhaus certified basement as part of our end-to-end service.

Basements are a great way of maximising space on sites where you can’t go up or outwards. They add complexity and cost, and we can discuss that with you if you want to pursue this option.

Do complete our form to tell us what you’re interested in and sign up for our news here.

Q.

How much choice do I get?

A.

We want Kiss House to give you all the advantages of being certain about quality, time and cost, and not having to start from scratch. But we also want you to be able to choose what best suits you in key areas.

We’ve built in enough choice for you to make Kiss House your own without getting overwhelmed. Our years working on bespoke builds have taught us that people dislike too much choice and the never-ending need to make decisions. They say it causes decision fatigue, which isn’t surprising considering the myriad decisions behind just one element of a build. Just choosing a bathroom scheme is utterly exhausting when you’re faced with a whole marketplace of options.

So you can leave all the decisions on the behind-the-scenes details to us. But it’s your home, so you’ll be choosing from a carefully selected, beautiful range of: floorplans, kitchen options including colours and materials, bathroom options, flooring, exterior cladding, fitted furniture, front door, smart home system options etc.

Do complete our form to tell us what you’re interested in and sign up for our news here.

Further reading:

Options’ matrix

Q.

What furniture comes with a Kiss House?

A.

Volume house builders tend to build their houses with low quality kitchens, whereas ‘turn-key’ house builders often exclude a kitchen from their offer altogether – or supply one if you pay for it separately. We believe a good quality kitchen should come as standard, so we’ve developed a Kiss kitchen.

We’ve also developed a range of modular Kiss House furniture. Some elements, like the kitchen, media unit and bedroom storage, come with the house, while you can add others, like desks, depending upon your needs.

The design makes the most of our decision not to line the walls of a Kiss House with plasterboard, but with wood. Plasterboard creates mess and dust, and is a far from perfect wall lining. Joints have to be skimmed and rubbed down, and it cracks as it settles as well as dirtying easily. The wall span and height mean any material has to have a join, so we’ve harnessed this as a feature. We’re lining our walls with boards, painted or sprayed for a beautiful finish.

We’ve developed our furniture system to fasten to the walls in a beautifully stress and mess-free way. This includes the kitchen. It makes fit out much simpler and easier and means we can offer a really slick service. The panels can be removed for easy access to services. They’re also hard-wearing and easy to clean, and replace should you ever want to.

We’ve developed the furniture with Simon Springford, who has brought his decades of experience delivering exquisite interiors for private and commercial clients including the V&A and Tate Modern to Kiss House.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Further reading:

Options’ matrix

Q.

Do you build Kiss Houses off-site or on-site?

A.

We construct our houses both on and off-site. Our experience has told us that’s the key to getting quality absolutely right while taking significantly less time than a traditional build.

We use modern off-site methods to complete most of your home. We arrive on-site with a completely finished external structure that we install quickly to create your fully airtight and watertight house. This gives us great quality control, well away from the uncontrollable conditions of the old-school building site, like bad weather, and saves time.

Parts of the internal fit-out are already complete. We then finish the fit-out on-site in around two months — this is an enormous time saving compared to a regular build.

We’ve eliminated wet trades on site (so we don’t have any plaster or plasterboard) as well as scaffolding. We’ve also developed a fit-out system with modular components and furniture that lets our team work quickly and efficiently, with great attention to detail.

Our method makes for a significantly cleaner and more efficient building site. That means minimal inconvenience to you and your neighbours, and makes it much nicer for you when you move in.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Q.

Where and how is Kiss House made?

A.

We do as much of your build off-site as we can. This gives us great quality control, safely away from the uncontrollable conditions of the old-school building site, like bad weather.

We use high-quality natural materials. For the main structure, we use LVL, a fantastic building material that’s very similar to cross-laminated timber (CLT) and works on the same principles. It’s extremely strong (stronger than steel in some instances) and versatile, with awesome thermal properties ideal for Passivhaus. LVL is environmentally sustainable, as it’s manufactured using timber from fast-growing, managed forests. And timber comes with other benefits. It’s proven to boost air quality, keeping moisture down, help with sound-proofing and even aid sleep. But unlike CLT, we can use exactly the right amount of timber for the job, so it’s not wasteful. The structure is inherently air-tight. It’s also flexible. The solid timber panels perform like a heavyweight structure, giving an extremely robust and solid feel. And because the material helps regulate external temperature fluctuations, it makes for a more comfortable house.

Once we’ve constructed a strong, beautifully detailed, watertight exterior, we transport it in sections to your site, where we erect your Kiss House. We then complete the finishing on-site. This system gives us the best of both worlds — a swift build with great quality control and certainty, particularly when it comes to quality of finish.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Q.

What’s the lead time for a Kiss House?

A.

In contrast to the usual process of building your own home, with its complications and difficulties, we’ve made ours as simple and hassle-free as possible. A few factors are out of our control. There are no guarantees when it comes to planning, and everyone is different when it comes to making decisions (which is fine). But, assuming there are no bumps in the road, our approximate lead times are:

  • Site assessment: A free service reviewing how suitable your site is for a Kiss House, and your chances of getting planning permission — typically 1 week
  • Planning preparation: Working with you to understand your needs, making design ‘tweaks’ and preparing the planning application — typically 6 weeks
  • Customer choice*: Taking you through your options, ready for placing the manufacturing order — typically 1 to 4 weeks depending on how ready you are to make decisions
  • Planning: Waiting for the decision — typically 8 weeks
  • Off-site manufacture of your Kiss House — about 16 weeks
  • Installing the structure on site — around 1 week
  • Internal fit-out, connecting to services, testing, commissioning and handover — around 6 weeks

*You can make your choices before, during or after planning.

After this, you can to move in — and when you do, we’ll hold your hand as part of our extended handover.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Q.

What’s included in the price — and what isn’t?

A.

We give you a guide price right away, based on our core specification. This includes the architectural and engineering design, which we take care of up-front.

We base our fixed pricing on the three main stages of realising your finished house:

  • Design variations and planning, and finalising your choices and completing your specification for manufacture
  • Preparing your site for the build, including groundworks and foundations
  • Manufacture, delivery, installation and fit out.

Your price for both the planning work and the site preparation is based on your requirements and unique factors at your site, like slopes and access.

Then we give you a final fixed price once we know your choice of finishes and so on. That will include: Ready-to-use Kiss House kitchen (including appliances), bathrooms, flooring, painted walls, Passivhaus ventilation, low-carbon heating and hot water system, complete electrical installation with smart home system, built-in storage, media unit, desks and shelving. We’ll take you through the full specification and help you with your choices to make sure your Kiss House is the best fit for you.

The price of a Kiss House also includes independent Passivhaus certification and a Council of Mortgage Lenders approved 10-year warranty. As a Kiss House is a new-build home with an end-to-end service, there’s no VAT.

Your price won’t include: Moving fees, soft furnishings, furniture other than the fitted furniture you choose, and outside works or landscaping.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Q.

How does my Kiss House get to my site?

A.

We arrange and manage transport, working with our specialist partner. We move the house in sections. Then we manoeuvre them into place and erect them using cranes.

This is why we always assess site access before confirming the site is suitable. The cost of transport depends on the site and location (for more on this, please see our question on delivery).

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Q.

What does delivery cost?

A.

The price for delivering to your site depends on how far you are from our manufacturing site in Oxfordshire, how many vehicles we’ll need and anything that could hold up our hauliers. We can quote a price once we know the address and understand the site access issues and any other requirements.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Further reading:

The price section for each of our houses on the website outlines costs

Q.

Where is Kiss House available?

A.

At the moment, we offer Kiss House in the UK and Ireland. We’re establishing a sales office in New Zealand and hope to add more countries.

Do complete our form to tell us what you’re interested in and sign up for our news here.

Q.

Where can I see a Kiss House?

A.

We hope to unveil out first show home in late 2019. In the meantime, we can arrange visits and open-house sessions at award-winning homes we’ve already built. These houses are lived in, so we organise events from time to time.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Further reading:

You can see our Past projects here

Q.

What is Passivhaus?

A.

Passivhaus is accepted as the world’s best building comfort and quality standard — the international gold standard of building. It guarantees amazing levels of comfort and radical reductions in energy use. It originated in Germany over two decades ago and is well proven, with thousands of examples worldwide.

A Passivhaus can consume up to 90% less energy than houses built to current UK building regulations. There’s a growing body of scientific evidence and studies to prove that Passivhaus buildings are among the world’s healthiest to live in.

Delivering a Certified Passivhaus needs a lot of care and attention to detail, but really it’s about doing simple things well. The result is hard to put into words, but the constant fresh air, total lack of draughts, consistent temperatures and the sense of quiet and calm mean a very nurturing environment where everything feels just right.

At Kiss House, we’ve worked tirelessly to harness everything that‘s amazing about Passivhaus and push it even further by marrying it with exceptional design and natural materials. The result is a home for you to enjoy, with very low running costs and the satisfaction of knowing that it’s all down to a brilliantly simple, well put together building doing the hard work.

The price of a Kiss House includes independent Passivhaus certification.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Q.

How do you heat a Passivhaus?

A.

As a Passivhaus, a Kiss House is designed to be at a constant ambient temperature of around 20 to 21 degrees, with only a very small amount of heat energy needed in the winter. We model each Kiss House according to its location and orientation. The model factors in things like shading from trees or other buildings and uses local weather data so we can assess each Kiss House accurately. We can then respond with any modifications to suit a particular site, and make sure the house is super-comfortable all year round.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Q.

What about renewable energy and other add-ons?

A.

As Passivhaus follows the ‘fabric first’ approach, we start by getting the basics absolutely right. We can then offer options like solar thermal, solar pv, car charging point and battery storage if you’re interested.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Q.

Can I open the windows in a Kiss House or Passivhaus?

A.

The answer is yes.

A Passivhaus must meet a stringent airtightness target, but that can create the impression of an unpleasant, hermetically sealed box. Really, it just means there are no gaps for air to leak in or out. So your Kiss House is completely draught-free.

So how does window ventilation work in a Kiss House? People tend to want to open their windows for positive reasons – to hear the birds and feel the breeze — or less positive reasons, like ventilating a steamy bathroom or stuffy bedroom.

But the novel and amazing thing about a Kiss House is that the less positive reasons for ventilating your home virtually disappear! Because a Kiss House has a constant supply of clean and perfectly temperate air, plus an awesome ventilation system, the bathroom doesn’t get steamy and the bedroom doesn’t get stuffy.

The result is that you don’t have to open the bathroom window just to be able to see in the mirror, or open the bedroom window to get some air one minute, only to find you’re freezing cold the next. It just doesn’t happen.

The Passivhaus model assumes you’ll open the windows to ventilate the house naturally in the warmer months. But it wouldn’t make as much sense to do this when it’s colder because, as with any house, letting in the cold winter air will push up your heating bills. People who live in a Passivhaus simply don’t feel the need to do this as much because the air and environment are constantly great.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Q.

What sort of windows do you use?

A.

We use high-performance triple-glazed windows. They help us achieve the Passivhaus standard and keep you comfortable. For example, they don’t feel freezing to touch in wintry weather or cold when you’re near them, like regular windows. This makes a huge difference to keeping the house comfortable.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Q.

Can we have a wood burning stove?

A.

Yes you can, but you won’t need one. A Passivhaus doesn’t have cold or damp spots of air. It has a lovely ambient temperature year-round, with minimal need for heating. Even in a very cold spell, you wouldn’t need to heat your house with something as powerful as a wood burner — this is why we use a small back-up heating system. Also, because we use high-performance triple-glazed windows, they don’t feel freezing on the inside in winter or cold when you go near them like regular windows. All this makes a huge difference to your comfort.

If you can’t live without a wood burner (and we do understand the appeal of a fire), we’ll help you with that. But it would be an extra cost, depending on which stove you buy and what it costs to install.

Find out more about what we do and how — sign up for our news here.

Q.

Do Kiss Houses come with a warranty?

A.

In the UK, mortgage lenders insist all new homes have a 10-year New Homes Warranty. This is the longest that any warranty or insurance policy can run. It’s not related to how long a building is expected to last. We supply this warranty from a Council of Mortgage Lenders’-approved provider.

Do complete our form to tell us what you’re interested in and sign up for our news here.

Q.

Can I get a mortgage for a Kiss House?

A.

Yes — Kiss House is mortgageable. In fact, some lenders, like the Ecology Building Society, offer preferential rates for houses that are Certified Passivhaus, as ours are.

Off-site manufactured homes need a finance solution that offers advanced stage payments. These self-build mortgages are increasingly available from various sources, including high street lenders.

We can’t offer financial advice but we can recommend useful sources of information if you want.

Do complete our form to tell us what you’re interested in and sign up for our news here.

Q.

Is Kiss House VAT free / exempt?

A.

Yes — Kiss House qualifies for VAT exemption under current government rules for new build housing.

Do complete our form to tell us what you’re interested in and sign up for our news here.

The details.

This is where we share additional information that we think you’ll find useful.

The details.

Our vision.

Kiss House.

What is Passivhaus?

Top tips for finding land.

Introduction to planning.

Houses’ matrix.

Options’ matrix.

Comparison chart.

Right to Build.

Info.

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