May 16 2024

Affordable Living Redefined - Exploring Affordable and Cheap Transportable Homes in NZ


In an era where traditional homeownership is becoming increasingly unaffordable for many, the appeal of cost-effective alternatives is on the rise. New Zealanders are turning towards innovative housing solutions that don't compromise on quality or style. Among these solutions, transportable homes are emerging as a popular choice due to their affordability and flexibility.


This comprehensive guide delves into the world of affordable value transportable and prefabricated homes in NZ, helping you understand how you can own a home without the hefty price tag.


Delivered transportable home with landscaping

What are Transportable Homes?

Transportable homes, also known as modular homes or prefab homes, are constructed in a factory setting and then transported to the site, either fully assembled or in parts. This method of construction allows for speedier build times, lower costs, and minimal waste, making it an environmentally friendly and cost-effective option for home construction.

The Cost Benefits of Transportable Homes

Prefabrication reduces building time significantly. Since most of the construction happens in a controlled factory environment, it mitigates the risks of delays and additional costs due to weather, theft, or scheduling issues that can occur from having multiple tradespeople. It also ensures better value for money as less waste is produced in the construction process.


Prefab home being delivered to site

Modular homes are designed to meet the same building codes as traditional homes but are generally more affordable due to the efficiencies of mass production. They can also be easily customised to fit various lot sizes and buyer preferences, which is a significant advantage.

Understanding the Savings: Cheap versus Traditional Building

Building a house traditionally involves various costs that can quickly add up. From labour costs to weather-related delays and material waste, traditional construction can be expensive.

Transportable homes, by contrast, are built off-site in a controlled environment, which significantly reduces these costs.


Home building kits have revolutionised the self-build market. They provide all the necessary components to construct a home at a fraction of the cost of hiring a construction company. These kits appeal particularly to those who have some building skills and can manage the assembly themselves or with minimal help.


For the DIY enthusiast, self-build kits are an excellent way to save money. These kits offer everything from the ground up for constructing a home however be aware that all homes constructed in NZ must be constructed and signed off by an LBP. Unless you’re a builder, a kitset home can come with a range of compliance fish hooks. 

Practical Tips for Prospective Owners

Research Thoroughly

Before deciding on a transportable home, research various manufacturers and the packages they offer. Look for reviews, ask for client testimonials, and visit finished homes. Consider factors such as warranty, reputation, materials used, and customisation options.

Plan Your Budget

Determine what you can afford and include potential costs like land, foundation, connection to utilities, and transportation of the home. Don’t forget to account for landscaping and interior decoration, which are often overlooked. Check out our blog for a comprehensive guide of the total cost of prefabricated houses. 

Check Local Council Regulations

Each local or regional council in New Zealand has different regulations that apply. It’s important to understand these before you purchase a plot or a prefab home. Companies like Manor Build can help you navigate this process efficiently.

Consider Future Needs

While choosing a smaller, more affordable home might be tempting, consider future space needs to avoid costly extensions or having to move again. Planning for an expandable design can be a smart choice if you anticipate needing more space.

Render of 4 bedroom home plan Wanaka

Long-Term Value of Cheap Transportable Homes

Energy Efficiency

New builds are typically more energy-efficient and include modern amenities that older houses lack. Transportable homes are no exception and often come with energy-efficient appliances and insulation techniques that save money in the long run.


Prefabricated houses are not just about affordability; they also offer durability. These homes are built to withstand transport, often resulting in stronger structures. The materials used are usually high-quality and treated to resist mould, pests, and weather-related damage.

Environmental Impact

Modular homes contribute less waste compared to traditional construction methods. The precision of factory cuts and the ability to recycle excess materials means a smaller environmental footprint for each home built.


The rise of cheap transportable homes in NZ is a testament to changing perceptions about what affordable living can look like. These homes provide an opportunity to own a personal space without the massive financial burden typically associated with new builds. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, looking to downsize, or wanting to add a second home to your property, the world of affordable modular and prefab homes is worth exploring.


By embracing these innovative building techniques, New Zealanders can redefine affordable living, enjoying the benefits of homeownership with a significantly reduced financial strain. Cheap transportable homes are not just a temporary solution but a viable long-term strategy for affordable, high-quality housing.


Browse our full range of prefab house plans

Tags: Transportable/Prefab home Design Options