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How much does it cost to build a house?

When deciding if building a new home is the right choice for you, the most crucial question and often the deciding factor is how much it is going to cost. Every building project is different, so no one will be able to give you an accurate estimate without your plans being drafted first. After all, while estimated sqm costs are fine, no two homeowners are ever the same so their tastes and requirements cannot be the basis for someone else’s home design. We are confident that those who have built a traditional house would have gone over on their estimated budget as unexpected situations usually present themselves during the building process. These can include weather delays, damaged materials and unplanned additions to the house design. 

When getting quotes from a range of different companies, it pays to be wary of cheaper quotes as sometimes they leave out items you have to put in at a later date, or they under-quote on items your contractor expects you to change. 

Tony Pexton, Auckland president for the Registered Master Builders Association, says "Some builders will allow as little cost as possible for certain items to make the price look cheap, then they will sting you further along in the process. There are some pretty cunning people out there. On a tender day, they will make sure it looks like a great deal, but they won't have put in enough to cover everything."

If you can, when getting your job priced up, make sure to be as specific as possible when it comes to the materials and products that will be used. Make sure you check the fine print to ensure things like carpets, curtains and painting are included in the quote as these can be quite costly and quickly add up. 

There are many benefits to building a prefabricated home. Because prefab homes are constructed in a factory before being delivered to the site they come with a number of environmental and economic benefits. For example, since materials on construction sites are subjected to rain and snow, they can be vulnerable to environmental toxins like mould, mildew, and rust. The building process is also better for the environment because fewer materials are used in their construction and because they disturb the site less than conventional construction.

Luckily here at Genius Homes we are experts in this field and build and deliver prefab homes all over the South Island of New Zealand.  So how much does it cost to build a prefab home and what additional extras need to be considered before signing the contract?

Is a prefab home cheaper than a traditional home?

The short answer is yes. According to Money Crashers, building a prefab home is typically cheaper than traditional or kitset homes by an average of 10% to 20% less. This is mainly due to the fact that they are built faster than traditionally constructed homes because they are built indoors. Generally, it takes one to four months longer to build a traditional home than it does to construct a prefab home, especially during the winter months, when there are more days with rain than sunshine. 

According to Westpac’s Senior Manager of Credit Strategy and Policy Heiko Jonkers, not only can the factory production line model of prefab save on average 15% on construction costs, but there are other savings from the prefab model. “There are labour savings from the builders working at the factory, instead of having to commute to each off-site location. And there are material savings from cutting timber efficiently in the factory” Jonkers says. 

Even though prefabricated homes are delivered on the back of a truck, they are surprisingly versatile in the size and layouts available. Genius Homes have a range of homes starting as small as a one-bedroom home that is 24.95 sqm to a four-bedroom home that is 195.9 sqm in size! 

At Genius Homes, a one-bedroom, one-bathroom dwelling with kitchenette and lounge area measuring 24.95 sqm including modern appliances can be built for as little as $137,000.

A four-bedroom prefab home with two bathrooms measuring 115.2 sqm including modern appliances can start from $370,000.

Do you need to pay for site costs?

These costs are incurred as a result of actual works needed to prepare your site for the delivery of your new home. Costs can vary from site to site, and cost variations can also be affected by the condition of the land. Some sites may need additional soil added or taken away to level the site and additional works such as electricity ports and plumbing fixtures also need to be set up so that once the house is delivered, it can be connected up.

When purchasing a prefab home from Genius Home, your project manager will come to your site and identify these costs before your project gets underway. That way you will have no unpredictable surprises down the road.

How much is it to transport a prefab home?

Once your house construction has been completed, it is then time to deliver your home to your site. At Genius Homes a house can be built and delivered to site in as little as 20 weeks. Most can be delivered to almost every region in the South Island. However, there are a few restrictions and places where we are unable to deliver a prefab home. This is purely down to the access available and the logistics of navigating a lorry with a house on its back through these areas. 

Here at Genius Homes, we have our own truck, and the team is experienced in delivering around the South Island. The cost for delivery can vary quite a bit depending on the location, as well as the size of the home being delivered. A small one-bedroom dwelling delivered within the Timaru area can cost as little as $11,000 while a sizeable four-bedroom home to the same town can cost around $52,000.

As you can see, there are a number of factors which can impact the final cost of a new build home, including a prefabricated home. However, one thing is sure, it is still often cheaper to build prefab over the likes of a traditionally built home. 

If you’re thinking about building a new home and are looking to get the most bang for your buck, then check out our range of prefabricated home options by downloading our latest brochure. Whether you're looking to get onto the property ladder or for a long-term investment property, there’s bound to be a design to suit your unique needs and our standard inclusions are readily available for you to see. 

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