Jan 30 2024

The Total Cost of a Transportable Home in NZ: All You Need to Know

WhatsApp Image 2023-12-20 at 7.00.19 AM (1)



Building a home is an exciting journey, and in New Zealand, transportable prefab homes have gained popularity due to their flexibility, speed, and affordability. While the idea of a transportable prefab home may seem straightforward, there are several factors to consider when calculating the total cost.In this blog, we will walk you through the various components, including compliance, design, construction, delivery, foundations, decks and verandas, connections to services, landscaping, and driveways. By the end, you'll have a comprehensive understanding of what goes into the budgeting and price evaluation process.


Cost of Consents and Compliance:

Ensuring Regulatory Standards are met ($10,000 - 25,000)

Before diving into the design and construction of your transportable prefab home, it's essential to comply with New Zealand's building regulations. Two building consents are required for a transportable home, one for the construction of the home, and the other consent for the freight and foundations. The consent for construction will be lodged with the council in the area where the factory is located, and the relocation consent will be lodged in the location where the house is being delivered to. Other compliance costs might apply depending on the use of the land, building, or location. Below is a list of some to consider.

  • Geotech engineers - A geotech report is required for any new build to check that soil conditions are good for standard foundations, or to recomend what's required when soil conditions aren't good. There is the potential if it's in a liquifaction zone that extensive engineering may be required for the foundations and a diaphragm floor (Manor Build has a diaphram floor as standard).

  • Surveyors and planners - required to accurately determine site levels, boundaries and help prepare subdivision and other resource consent documantation.

  • Resource consent - This is required for subdivisions when any district plan rules aren't met, such as a height to boundary breach.

  • Fire engineers - required for commercial projects, and some residential situations.

  • Structural engineers - Required for commercial projects or when doing a customization that isn't possible under the relevant standards (e.g. very large sliding doors might need an engineered lintel) Also needed when the ground conditions aren't good.


Construction of Home:

Includes all cost from design drawings to a fully fitted out home (From $226,000 for a 60m2 2-bedroom home, up to $390,000 for a 140m2 4-bedroom home). One of the advantages of transportable prefab homes is that a fixed standard price can be offered right from the start. This is possible because of the standardised processes and design options. 

It's important to note that every company will have different inclusions, and for some the standard price doesn't include things like interior paint and floor coverings. Manor Build pricing includes everything apart from some appliances and curtains and blinds. See full inclusions here.


Options and Customizations:

(Estimated Cost: $0 - $40,000)
There are a lot of potential modifications that can be made to a transportable home. Below is a list of common customizations and their estimated costs.

  • Upgrade kitchen. Stone or acrylic benchtops, add scullery, custom cabinetry and storage. ($5,000 to $25,000)

  • Upgrade to tiled bathrooms (estimated $10,000 per bathroom)

  • Change in roof design can either add or reduce costs.

  • Upgrade cladding or adding feature cladding ($3,000 - $18,000)

  • Windows and doors. Large sliding doors or additional doors ($1,000 - $10,000)

  • Other options, such as Solar, ventilation systems, ducted heat pumps, barn doors, wardrobe fitout, flooring, Homestar assessments. POA


Delivery and Foundations:

(Estimated Cost: $15,000 - $45,000)
Transporting a prefab home to your desired location and establishing a solid foundation are vital steps in the process. Delivery costs depend on the distance, transportation method, and any site-specific challenges. Additionally, the foundation costs can increase if the soil conditions aren't good, resulting in more or deeper piles.


Decks and Verandas:

Expanding Your Living Space (Estimated Cost: $5,000 - $25,000)
To enhance your outdoor living experience and maximize the functionality of your transportable prefab home, you'll need to add decks and stairs. The cost will depend on the size, materials used, and any additional features like veranda or louvre roofs, balustrades etc. These additions not only provide extra living space but also increase the value and appeal of your home.

Connections to Services:

Power, Water, and More (Estimated Cost: $12,000 - $30,000)
Connecting your transportable prefab home to essential services such as electricity, water, gas, and sewage systems is another cost to consider. The expenses vary depending on the site's distance from existing service infrastructure and the complexity of connections required. Engaging licensed professionals to handle these connections ensures compliance with safety standards and a smooth transition to connected living. A fully serviced smaller section will be much more cost effective than a rural site requiring septic sewerage systems and on site water catchment.

Landscaping, Driveways, Fencing, Utility:

Creating Curb Appeal (Estimated Cost: $5,000 - $25,000)
To complete your dream home, you'll likely want to invest in landscaping and driveways. The cost of landscaping depends on factors like the size of your property, desired features (e.g., gardens, decks, pathways), and the choice of plants and materials. Building a driveway can vary in price based on its length, material, and any site-specific requirements. Also such finishing touches as garden sheds, clotheslines and letter box all need to be considered.

3 scenarios of total estimated cost of a Manor Build:

  Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3
Details 2 bedroom 60m2 Villa plan on a small serviced section in Manawatu. Simple project. 3 Bedroom 106m2 Tekapo plan on a rural section in Taranaki. Requires engineered foundations and has upgraded joinery with a  large deck and veranda. 3 Bedroom 88m2 Tasman plan on a seviced section in Hawkes Bay. Upgraded cladding and kitchen. Complete landscaping and fencing.
Compliance $15,000 $17,000 $15,000
Construction $226,000 $305,000 $259,000
Upgrades $0 $5,000 $8,000
Delivery and Foundations $25,000 $28,000 $33,000
Decks $5,000 $15,000 $10,000
Services $12,000 $25,000 $12,000
Landscaping and driveways $5,000 $8,000 $15,000
Total estimated cost $288,000 $403,000 $352,000



The total price of a transportable prefab home in NZ encompasses more than just the cost of the structure itself. Compliance, design, construction, delivery and foundations, decks and verandas, connections to services, landscaping, and driveways all contribute to the overall budget. When arranging finance for your build you'll need to have a clear plan for all these costs.


Read our top 5 tips for getting your finances in order

Otherwise Use the below link to find pricing estimates and plans for all our standard products.

Browse our full range of prefab house plans


Tags: Transportable/Prefab home Pricing and Finance