Prefab homes the basics

Before you decide whether a prefab home is the best option for you, it is important to understand the basics. Prefab is becoming more and more popular as it is a solution that delivers you a brand-new home at a reduced cost and timeframe. Here is your explanation about how they differ from transportable and modular homes, and some answers to the most common questions asked about prefab homes.

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How are prefab homes different to kitset homes?

Gaining an understanding of what's included in the cost of your building project before the build starts is extremely important. You should always receive a specification list stating what's included and what is not. Building a prefab home reduces the risk of unexpected costs compared to traditional building styles due to the process of it being built and delivered. Here is a breakdown of some of the standard cost inclusions and exclusions when building a prefab home.

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Manor Build is one of the most trusted prefab home builders specialising in affordable new home designs to suit all budgets and requirements.

The process of building a prefab home

Prefab homes are rapidly becoming known as a clever alternative approach to achieving the kiwi dream of home ownership. One of the key benefits is how straightforward the process can be. The process includes five main steps such as securing finance, finding land, choosing house plans and beginning the process with your building company. 

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Why are prefabs homes ideal for property investors? 

With a shortage of houses in New Zealand and several lending restrictions on investors, becoming a property investor is harder than ever. Prefab homes may be a perfect solution as it accelerates the opportunity for investors to own a new build home and have it available on the market in as little as 6 months. We uncover more benefits to investors in this article. 

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Our aim is to build affordable homes that exceed the industry standard using quality products that stand the test of time.

Frequently asked questions

What is a prefabricated home?

A prefabricated, or prefab home, is a house that is built inside a factory to the customer's specifications before being delivered to the site.

Prefabricated homes have many benefits as the controlled environment they're built in reduces delays due to weather, costs can be reduced and supplies are able to be bought in bulk to achieve greater discounts for homeowners. The house can often be built much faster than a house built 'on-site' as things like electrical work can be done before the shell is weathertight.

Can you construct prefab homes on-site?

No, prefab homes are designed to be built in a specialised factory rather than on-site. This is because the prefab process and controlled factory environment are often more effective for keeping build times on schedule and eliminating stressful delays. Once the house is built, it is delivered to the site where the house is installed and all final touch-ups are performed on the house. 

Is the cladding plastic?

No, a common material used is Weathertex Cladding which is made of 97% timber and 3% wax. It comes with a 25-year manufacturer guarantee against splitting, cracks and rot, and is made with sustainable practices. The logs are chipped, pulped and mixed with wax for added water resistance, then pressed into moulds to produce chemical-free timber panels. You can opt for horizontal or vertical weatherboards to suit your house design and the result is precise, consistent and attractive. The Selflok and Primelok weatherboards are designed with a simple self-locking system to ensure each board is perfectly aligned. They also boast consistent routing to give the exterior of your house a stylish ship-lapped effect. This product is tried and tested and has proven to be a high-quality option for prefab houses.

Can I complete the internal finishes myself?

Unfortunately not. The prefab process means the building company have everything completed before delivering your house, so there are only a small number of touch-ups to do after the delivery.  This is how each house is completed to a consistently high standard within the given timeframe. It also means each build comes with compliance already achieved and warranties in place so owners can move in with minimal stress.  The prefab build process cuts down on time, delays and unforeseen issues so that you can move into your completed home sooner. It also means you can have affordable housing without having to sacrifice quality. 

Does the price include service connections?

No, service connections are not generally included in house packages because it helps to keep prices down. It is often better for clients to find the most affordable service connection for their site, rather than having a fixed provider forced upon them. 

In many cases, depending on location and timing, service connection costs can be significant, which is why clients are given the freedom of choice. If you would like recommendations on the best service providers near you, speak with your chosen building company and they will be happy to help.

What happens if your home is damaged during delivery?

One of the considerations of a prefab home is the possibility of incurring damage in transit. While it can’t be promised it won’t happen, your building company can assure you it won’t be a lasting problem. In general, 2–3 weeks is given to rectify any transit-related issues after each house has been installed. This includes adjusting doors, repairing stress cracks in the internal plasterboard lining, or anything else that might have been damaged during transport. This process takes place after the house is connected to the grid so it can be ensured everything is in working order. After this, you can move into your new home confident it will meet all your expectations.

How long until I get my house?

For most building companies, the answer to this question varies a lot and can greatly affect the cost. We recommend speaking directly with your chosen building company to discuss the estimated time frame.

Can I get finance for a prefab home?

While banks have historically been less willing to offer loans for buyers going down the prefab route, this has started to change. In any case, it is recommended to consult with a mortgage broker and the prefab building company you plan to use right from the outset. These professionals understand the lending landscape and restrictions thoroughly and can speed up your application process, forewarning you of any pitfalls, and pointing out steps you can take to make your application for prefab financing as strong as it can possibly be. Some options to consider may include KiwiSaver or Kainga Ora first home loans.

Where can prefab homes be delivered?

There are prefab housing companies across New Zealand, however, some companies do focus on supplying to just the North Island, or just the South Island.

If you're unsure of the roads to your site, or if access is limited then you can work with your chosen building company to assess the situation. A combination of photos or videos supplied by you and using satellite mapping means the company can make a good judgement beforehand quite easily. A specialist may even be sent out to assess if things are unclear.

What site preparation is required?

This is dependent on the contour of the land. While your house is being built, it is recommended you look at doing a site inspection and setting boundaries around your site, clear and level the land/site, and ensure the site’s accessibility. If you are unsure of what preparation is required, it is best to talk with your chosen building company.

What consents are required?

Yes, we have a superb site located at 40 Ocean View Parade, New Plymouth. Feel free to come visit and walk through our amazing factory at the same time.

What consents are required?

Yes, we have a superb site located at 40 Ocean View Parade, New Plymouth. Feel free to come visit and walk through our amazing factory at the same time.


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