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How much does a transportable home cost?

Investing in a house is an expensive undertaking, so you need to get it right. Fortunately, the rise of transportable housing could be a cost-effective solution. But, before you take the leap and start planning your project, you need to know the different options and how much they cost. 

Transportable homes are typically more affordable than onsite builds, but this will depend on the method you choose. In this article, we dig into the cost of each construction method so you can choose which is the right solution for you.

What is a transportable home? 

A transportable home refers to any house that is built in one location and moved to a different, more permanent location when it is complete. This encompasses a range of methods including relocatable's, modular prefabs, manufactured prefabs and tiny homes. 

Relocatable homes

A relocatable home is an existing house that is moved on a flatbed truck from its original location to a new one. Usually, relocatable houses are removed from a section to make way for a modern build in a high-demand location. 

Tiny homes

A tiny house is a small, fully functional house built on a trailer. With much smaller square footage, clever use of space is essential. To meet the legal road limits, the maximum dimensions of a tiny house are 2.5m wide, 4.25m above the ground, and 12.5m long. The weight can be no more than 3.5 tonnes. 

Prefabricated homes

A prefab house is constructed in a factory and then moved to its final location. Prefabs are brand-new and comply with the current Building Code Standards. Once in place, they are permanent and built to last as long as an onsite build. 

Since the entire build takes place in a factory, the building process is much faster and more cost effective than traditional construction. 

Modular homes

Modular homes are a type of prefab but consist of two or more pieces, or modules. Each of these modules is built in a factory and then transported to the building site to be assembled. They’re joined to the foundation and made weathertight before site services are connected.

Modular houses are a smart way to fit more into your floor plan than a standard prefab because you aren’t as restricted by the size of the delivery truck. 

Are transportable homes cheaper?

Depending on the type of transportable home you want, it is often more cost-effective than a house built onsite. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Labour time is reduced.

  • Travel costs are reduced.

  • There are fewer challenges associated with a difficult or remote building site.

  • They tend to be smaller, requiring fewer construction materials.

Now, let’s dig a little deeper into each transportable method and how the costs differ: 

The cost of transport 

Depending on the type of transportable home you want, the size and the weight, the cost of delivery can be anywhere from a few thousand to $40,000. This varies based on the size, distance from the original location, and the number of pieces to deliver. Before buying the house, speak with your local delivery contractor or building company for an accurate delivery quote.

Relocatable home prices in NZ

When selling a relocatable home, the vendor will often list it at a low price to clear the section sooner. Sometimes, the listing price will even be as low as $1 - but it’s often too good to be true. With a whole host of unforeseen expenses cropping up throughout the process, you will usually end up spending a lot more. 

Most relocatable's are not compliant with the current Building Code or Healthy Homes standards, so getting them to a liveable condition can be costly. If you’re planning to rent it out, you will likely need to invest a lot in renovations. 

Average costs of relocatable homes:

  • Purchase cost – $16,000 to $100,000

  • Roof – $20,000

  • Internal paint – $6,000

  • External paint – $10,000

  • Bathrooms – $10,000 each 

  • Deck – $20,000

  • Kitchen – $15,000

  • Flooring – $8,000

Tiny home prices in NZ

A common misconception about tiny homes is that they are an affordable way to build a house, simply because they’re smaller. However, with increasing regulations and design complications, this is no longer the case. For a basic 1-2 bedroom tiny home, prices start from $130,000 to $150,000. For a more luxurious and future-proofed design, $250,000+ is a more realistic budget.  

Prefab home prices in NZ

With less downtime and travel, prefab construction is typically one to four months shorter than building onsite, resulting in much lower costs. Another advantage of the prefab approach is that everything is included in your initial quote, meaning you know exactly what to expect. 

Standard inclusions on all Genius Homes prefabs include: 

  • Full project management

  • Consent and compliance

  • Full construction

  • Framing and cladding

  • Internal fitout and appliances

  • Plumbing and electrical

  • Kitchen and bathrooms

  • Wardrobes and storage

  • Decking

For reference, the cost of a Genius Homes prefab ranges from $152,290 to $606,370, depending on the size and complexity of the design.* The only additional cost is transportation, which is usually between $10,000 and $50,000 depending on your site and location.  

*Please note all prices are accurate as of January 2023 and are subject to change.

Modular home prices in NZ

Since modular houses are a type of prefab, you will benefit from the same cost-savings as mentioned above – low labour costs, low travel costs and price transparency. The only additional thing to note about modular homes is that you will need to pay delivery costs for each of the modules. 

For reference, the price of our modular Benmore design starts at $569,960.* That covers everything except transport and site connections. There are three separate modules to deliver, so reach out for an accurate transport quote based on your location. 

*Please note all prices are accurate as of January 2023 and are subject to change.

Affordable transportable homes in NZ

In conclusion, transportable homes offer a considerable advantage over onsite-built houses. Where onsite construction is plagued by weather delays, hefty travel costs, longer build times and plenty of frustration, transportable houses are predictable, especially if you opt for factory construction. 

With a prefab, the prices are fixed and final, giving you the transparency you need to budget effectively and save money along the way. What’s more, you won’t have to worry about renovating or upgrading your house for years to come as everything is built to the highest national standards. 

At Genius Homes, we make building a high-quality house easy and hassle-free. Our efficient process is cost-effective and overseen by our expert team from beginning to end. All you need to do is move into your brand-new home in a few short months. 

We have a wide selection of prefabricated house designs to choose from, including options for small one-bedroom units to large four-bedroom houses. Browse our plans or contact our team today.

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