Dec 07 2022

How much does a prefab home cost?

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If you’re looking to build a home, you need to be confident that it is reliable, high-quality, and affordable. Unfortunately, it can be a challenge to find transparent pricing without going through the stressful concept design process first.

Before taking the plunge into your new build project, this article has all the information you need to understand the cost of a prefabricated home. We detail all the factors that affect pricing so that you can make an informed decision.

What is a prefab home?

A prefabricated transportable home is a popular type of offsite manufacturing (OSM) in which most of the project is completed in a controlled factory environment. When it is ready, the house is transported on a truck to its final destination, installed on the prepared foundations, and connected to site services.


The prefab home process

The process of building a prefab is simple and cost-effective. For reference, the project timeline at Manor Build is as follows:

  1. Concept design and site check

  2. Pre-purchase package.

  3. Detailed design
  4. Full quote, specifications and signing the contract.

  5. Construction drawings.

  6. Factory construction.
  7. Relocation to the building site.

  8. Final touch-ups and site work.

Once we’ve completed the site work, you will receive the keys to your brand-new home!

The pros and cons of building a prefab


To give an overview of the prefab construction process, we’ve outlined the key advantages and disadvantages you need to consider:

The Pros of building a prefab home:

By keeping site work to a minimum and controlling most of the project from the factory, there are several benefits to choosing prefab construction over traditional building methods:

  • Efficient and fast construction.

  • Compliance and consent are processed for you.

  • Minimal disruption to the building site.

  • Reduced material waste.

  • No hidden costs.

  • Superior construction quality control.

The cons of building a prefab home:

If you are a first-home buyer or require a large, complex house design, a prefab may not be suitable for you. The cons of prefabs include:

  • Limitations around what can fit on the truck and truck access.

  • Sometimes it can be difficult to finance.

Every prefab home is different, so while the above list shows the most common pros and cons, take the time to consider your specific circumstances. At Manor Build, our experienced team can share industry advice to ensure your prefab home suits your needs.


The total cost of a prefab home in New Zealand

Depending on your requirements, tastes, and logistical considerations, the total cost of a prefab will vary. At the bare minimum, the total cost of a prefab home can start at around $80,000, and this can go as high as over $1m! However, several key factors can influence the price. To provide you with the most accurate estimate, we’ve outlined them below.

Initial agreements and contract

When you are ready to start the build, your prefab building company will work with you to develop a project schedule and contract. At Manor Build, we have a pre-purchase package for this stage at a fixed price of $3,000. Included in that package are unlimited amendments to the draft floor plan, a site evaluation, and an accurate quote for the plans. When the contract is signed, that $3,000 deposit is deducted from your total price.

Designs and consultations

When it comes to the design stage, the more amendments you make to the plans, the more time the designers will have to spend making adjustments. That will result in a higher cost, so it is wise to discuss all your preferences early on. Additionally, if you choose an off-the-shelf house plan with no customisations, the price will be much lower than if you choose to design a plan from scratch.

Compliance and consents

The cost of compliance and building consent varies based on your location and project specifications but will be at least a few thousand dollars. At Manor Build, all compliance is managed for you and included in your quote.

Factory construction

The construction stage of the prefab build will make up a large portion of the cost, including the cost of materials and subcontractors. This is the longest part of the project, but will usually be no more than a few months. In that sense, the labour costs are much lower than in a conventional onsite-built house.

At Manor Build, factory construction takes as little as 10 to 12 weeks. This also includes all the painting, fixtures, floor coverings, plumbing, wiring, standard appliances, and complete internal fit-out.


Transporting a prefab house

Depending on your site location, house size, and availability of local contractors, the transportation cost of a prefab within the North Island of New Zealand can range from $10,000 to $40,000. To keep transport costs low, talk to the Manor Build team for advice. They can connect you with reliable contractors in your local area and design the house to suit your relocation budget.

Site work

While most of the work is done in the factory, there is still some work to be done on your building site. This includes foundations, service connections, and internal touch-ups. At Manor Build, our team takes care of all site installation, minor fixes, and professional cleaning once the house is delivered. Connections to services, decks, verandahs and landscaping are aspects of the project that you will need to arrange.


Prefabricated homes in NZ


Based in Taranaki, Manor Build is a leading provider of prefab homes across most of the North Island. On top of efficiency, affordability, and high-quality workmanship, we strive to deliver homes with a seamless customer experience.

As part of our service, we provide:

  • Shorter build times.

  • Free site evaluation.

  • Full project management.

  • Building code compliance and consent.

  • Design customisations.

We are committed to offering our customers a streamlined construction journey at an affordable price. For more information and a clear indication of how much you can expect to pay, speak with our friendly team today. We can guide you through the prefab process, help you to find the ultimate house plan, and give you a cost projection personalised to your new home.

If it’s house inspiration you’re after, check out our virtual showhome, book a factory tour, or browse the full range of prefab house designs.

Browse our full range of prefab house plans

Tags: Transportable/Prefab home