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Prefab house designs for difficult site access

With available land in New Zealand becoming increasingly scarce, it’s common for those who are interested in building a home to compromise on their ‘ideal section’. These trade-offs may be in the form of price, location, size or site access. Those that end up with smaller or narrow sites, steep gradients or properties that are difficult to get to may create additional complexities for the build, therefore need to adopt a creative and flexible approach.

However, as not all home builders want to tackle the challenges of a difficult site, those who do can often be rewarded with opportunities that others overlook, such as significant cost savings or beautiful views. Smaller homes also have sustainability advantages, as they will typically use fewer resources to both construct and run long-term.

House designs for small or narrow sections

As New Zealand cities densify in response to the housing crisis and the minimum land size continues to decrease in most district plans, it’s no surprise that the size of stand-alone homes has been getting smaller. The average floor area of new homes consented in 2019 was about 21% smaller than in the December 2010 year. This puts increased importance on functional design, as every square metre of the space needs to be well-utilised to ensure key features can still be included in a smaller floor plan. 

To meet these needs, Genius Homes has carefully designed a range of compact prefab homes that ensure sought-after features, such as an ensuite, walk-in-wardrobe, open-plan living or separate laundry facilities, can still be included for those with smaller or narrow sites. Below we have listed house options that are well-suited to sites where access is wide enough for a transport truck but too narrow for some of the larger Genius Homes designs.

Prefab homes for difficult sites

Tarras | 2 bedroom prefab home

Our 2-bedroom Tarras design sits at 89.8sqm with a 26.2sqm deck and is popular for its modern mono-pitch roof and large windows, which maximise sun all year round. Its spacious open plan living, kitchen and dining area packs a lot into one area, and the large deck with sliding doors creates a great indoor-outdoor flow. The master bedroom has an ensuite and walk-in wardrobe, providing plenty of storage.

Transportable homes for narrow access

Cottage 2 | 2 bedroom prefab home

At 71.2sqm with a 21.6sqm deck, the Cottage 2 design is one of our smaller 2-bedroom floorplan options. Popular for its more traditional exterior, this design has an open-plan living, dining, and kitchen area that provides a great social hub with a great indoor-outdoor flow. It also features storage in both bedrooms and a full-length deck covered by a verandah that encourages watching the sunset.

Transportable homes

Oxford 2 | 2 bedroom prefab home

The 2-bedroom Oxford 2 design is 67.2sqm with a 4.5sqm deck, making it great for compact modern living or a bach lifestyle. Access to this practical home can be through the sliding doors at the front or through the rear access which enters the house through a separate and generous laundry room, perfect for sandy or muddy shoes. One of the standout features of this design is the large bathroom which includes full-sized tub, the perfect oasis to relax and unwind after a long day.

Transportable houses

Pukaki 2 | 2 bedroom prefab home

The Pukaki 2 design is a large 2-bedroom option with a floor plan size of 93sqm and a 19sqm deck. It includes two decent-sized double bedrooms, as well as a 5.1sqm secluded home office or craft room, which can also act as a nursery as your family grows. This compact 2-bedroom home doesn't compromise on features, with built-in wardrobes and a separate laundry room tucked in along the hallway.

Movable homes

Moeraki | 2 bedroom prefab home

At 58.8sqm with a 13.1sqm deck, the new compact and practical 2-bedroom Moeraki design is our smallest available floorplan. With a built-in wardrobe in the master bedroom, an open plan kitchen, living and dining area and stacker doors to enjoy the warmer weather, this home includes a lot for its size!

Transportable houses NZ

Glenorchy | 3 bedroom prefab home

Due to the narrow layout of our new 90.3sqm 3-bedroom Glenorchy design (with two decks measuring 9.4sqm and 4.6sqm), it’s perfect if your section is slimmer in size. An open-plan kitchen, dining, and living room create a cosy social hub while sliding doors deliver the much desired indoor-outdoor flow. The master bedroom features an ensuite and a ‘his and hers’ walk-through wardrobe, and the additional double spare rooms feature built-in wardrobes. 

House designs for sites with difficult access

If you choose to build a prefab home, it’s important to also consider the delivery process. While the unique mountainous landscape of the South Island creates picturesque views, the rugged terrain can occasionally create some delivery challenges. Although some sites may be big enough for the larger floor plan you choose, the driveway or access road can add additional complexities. The delivery truck may not be able to fit down narrow, hilly, or windy roads, restricting the size of the designs available for your site (if available at all).

Sites with existing buildings, natural features that cannot be disturbed, or steep terrain can also be difficult to work around as we are unable to use cranes during the delivery of a prefab home. In most cases a solution can be found, however careful planning in the early stages is needed. For those who require a smaller prefab home due to delivery complexities, the compact designs listed above will typically meet these requirements. 

Also, keep in mind that some of Genius Homes’ larger houses, such as the 3-bedroom,150 sqm + 66.4 sqm deck Benmore, are modular designs that are built as separate pods and connected on site. This allows us to create prefab family homes with such a large and modern layout!

If you are concerned that you are in a region or have a site where a wide load truck with a house may be restricted, it’s always worth checking with Genius Homes. To learn more about the locations where we are able to deliver, check out our previous blog. We have our own delivery truck and drivers experienced in delivering homes throughout the South Island, therefore you may be pleasantly surprised by the sites we can transport a home to! We can conduct a free site assessment and discuss house plans that would be suitable for your location, including advising on any size limitations. We can also provide you with a cost and route of transportation at the planning stage to ensure that you are aware of the full picture before committing to the build. 

Prefabricated homes and transportable homes are quickly gaining popularity due to their affordability and efficient weather-proof build process. While not every site or location is suitable for this style of construction, Genius Homes have over 50+ designs in a variety of shapes and we’re happy to help you find the right solution for your site and requirements! Contact us today to have a chat, or download our latest product catalogue to explore our full range of prefab home options.

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