Apr 11 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Transportable Homes in NZ


In the ever-evolving landscape of New Zealand's housing market, transportable homes are emerging as a compelling solution for many Kiwi’s. Offering flexibility, affordability, and sustainability, these prefabricated structures have garnered significant consideration by homeowners in the past 5 years. 

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, looking to downsize, or simply in need of a secondary dwelling, transportable homes might just be what you're searching for. 


This guide will navigate you through the intricacies of transportable homes in NZ, from understanding their costs to unravelling the construction and installation process.

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Understanding Transportable Homes

Transportable homes, also known as prefabricated or modular homes, are constructed off-site in a factory before being delivered to their permanent location. This method has several advantages over traditional on-site construction, including reduced build times, less waste, and often a lower overall cost.

The Cost Factor

One of the most appealing aspects of transportable homes is their affordability. Prices vary widely based on size, design, and finishes, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $200,000 for a basic, smaller model to over $400,000 for a more spacious 4-bedroom home. 


Along with affordability there is the added advantage of having a fixed price contract. This is possible because of the controlled environment and standard processes used in the construction of the home in the factory. We’ve all heard of the cost blowouts and unexpected variations which characterise the new home construction industry, especially as compliance and regulations have significantly increased in recent years. Transportable homes offer a simple solution to this complexity and uncertainty.


Prices generally include the cost of the home itself, site visits, consents, delivery, and installation, but it's crucial to confirm what's included with your provider up front. This article breaks down the total cost of a transportable home, with helpful examples. 


What does a transportable home cost per m2? This is a question which is often asked, and certainly doesn’t have a concrete answer. It’s affected significantly by the level of finish and options which are chosen, along with the size of the build. Generally a smaller build is more expensive per m2 due to the fact that it still has the expensive elements such and kitchen and bathrooms that the larger models have. We advise clients to focus more on smart design and ensuring that what they purchase meets or exceeds their needs and is within budget, rather than trying to compare providers or methods based on $ per m2.

Design and Customisation


Gone are the days when choosing a transportable home meant sacrificing on style or customisation. Today's transportable homes come in a wide range of designs, from sleek and modern to cosy and traditional. 


Many providers offer the flexibility to customise layouts, finishes, and fixtures to suit your personal taste and requirements.


Manor Build offers many design choices and custom options including:

  • Customising floor plan to suit your needs

  • Choose from a range of roof designs, including Dutch gable, Hip, Straight gable, Mono pitch and more.

  • Choose location, size and configurations of windows and doors.

  • Choose from a  range of cladding styles

  • Choose an overall style from classic, country or contemporary.

  • Design your kitchen, your way.

  • All colours, finishes, fixtures, floor coverings, hardware and appliances can be selected from a wide range of options.

The Process: From Start to Finish
  1. Check your site is suitable for a transportable home. This is the first critical step because not every site is suitable due to the large transport size and access required to deliver the home. This means that both the road to the site and the access on to the site need to be big enough for the home to be delivered. This helpful article explains this in more depth, and you can reach out to a transportable house company to check your site. 

  2. Choosing a Provider: Start by researching reputable transportable home providers in NZ. Look for companies with positive reviews, a robust portfolio of completed projects, and transparent pricing. It’s also important to go and visit the factory to get an understanding of their capability and professionalism. Also at this point you’ll need to decide if you want the provider to provide a turnkey solution (manage everything), or a deliver and install only with you arranging the services etc.  You can see Manor Builds testimonials and case studies here.

  3. Arrange finance. It’s important to know what you budget is and if borrowing from the bank, what their lending requirements are. Manor Build can offer flexible payment terms if required by the bank under certain conditions.

  4. Design and Customisation: Once you've selected a provider, you'll work with them to choose or customise a home design that meets your needs. This phase involves selecting floor plans, materials, finishes, and any additional features. Most providers will do some concepts and estimated prices for free, but will expect a design agreement or similar before proceeding with detailed designs. 

  5. Site Preparation: While your home is being constructed off-site, you'll need to prepare the land where your home will be placed. This typically involves clearing the site and ensuring access for delivery vehicles. Services such as power, water, sewer and stormwater also need to be organised, and in some cases may need to be in place before the home is delivered.  The Manor Build team has handy guides on how you can do this.

  6. Consents and Construction: Working drawings and Consents are normally around 6 weeks if you’ve confirmed all the construction details. Once the building consent is issued your home will be built in a controlled factory setting, which allows for a quicker and more efficient build process unaffected by weather delays. Often this is only 8 – 10 weeks in total. 

  7. Delivery and Installation: Once complete, your new home will be transported to your site and installed on the pile foundations by the house moving company. This process usually takes only a day or two, significantly quicker than traditional construction methods. Once installed the new home can be connected to the services, decks and verandas can be built, and you can move in. 


After installation, any final touches such as connecting utilities, landscaping, and interior finishes will be completed.

Legal Considerations and Compliance

Transportable homes must comply with the same building codes and standards as traditional homes. It's important to work with your provider to ensure that your new home meets all local council requirements, including obtaining necessary building consents and inspections. All Manor Builds homes comply with building codes and standards. We look after virtually everything for you, from initial designs and building consents to putting it all together and delivering to site. Our ethos focuses on creating high-quality yet affordable homes for New Zealanders in a fraction of the time a normal build would take.

Why Choose a Transportable Home?

The benefits of transportable homes are numerous. They offer a more sustainable building option, reduce construction time, and often come with a lower price tag than traditional homes. Additionally, the stress and uncertainty often associated with the construction process are significantly minimised.


Transportable homes represent a modern, flexible, and cost-effective housing solution in New Zealand's dynamic real estate landscape. Whether you're stepping onto the property ladder, downsizing, or expanding your property portfolio, these homes offer a viable alternative worth considering. With comprehensive planning and the right provider, you could soon find yourself in a home that meets your lifestyle needs, without the prolonged wait or hefty price tag of traditional home building.


Ready to transform your dream of an ideal home into reality? Discover more about Manor Build’s transportable homes and begin your journey to sustainable, stylish living today.


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Tags: Transportable/Prefab home How to purchase