What makes prefab homes cheaper than traditional homes?

by Genius Homes

When you're looking to buy a new home the price can be a major factor. If you've worked out how much you can afford you've probably discovered the upper limits of your budget. Yet you probably don't want to compromise on your dream home, so a battle begins.

Finding a design you love, at a price that won't mean you end up living off beans for the next 5 years, can become a mission. So finding a house that meets those two conflicting goals is going to be tricky. This is where a prefab home can come to the rescue.

What's so special about prefab homes?

Prefabricated homes are built indoors to very tight requirements with a team that is employed by the manufacturer. All of this is important as each element delivers a few cost savings (compared to traditional, outside built homes) which, when combined, add up to a decent saving.

Let's break down those three elements:

Built indoors

Building indoors means there are no delays due to bad weather, meaning budgets can be tightly controlled as the builders know they'll be able to get to work and the job - in all but the very worst conditions.

In some new home build projects, rain can delay parts of the house being built, and if the timber frame is exposed to long periods of wet weather it can absorb this water which can affect council sign-offs which unfortunately means more delays.

The stages of the build can be very tightly controlled, with stations doing certain jobs at certain times. Being in a factory also means stocks of materials are easily accessible. This reduces time off-site buying materials and parts.

Unlike some builders, who plan from job to job, a prefab home manufacturer can plan materials and logistics weeks ahead of time. This means materials are always ready and on-site on time. Custom homes built on-site can be seen as a smaller project by suppliers so may not receive priority in delivering and attention. The supplier may also face difficulties getting to the site if you're in a tricky location.

Tight requirements

A prefab house manufacturer has a person, or team, in charge of logistics and supply. This not only means that they're looking to get the best prices available but they can buy in bulk to get discounts.

They are also aware of the production requirements for the next couple of months, which means there is no guesswork in their ordering. You won't see any extra materials 'just in case' with a prefab manufacturer as everything can be controlled very well.

The team

With many custom builds built onsite the team of builders are often subcontractors. As subcontractors are their own businesses they need to make a profit, which means a margin is added to their time and materials. In times of boom, where builders are in short supply, available builders can charge a premium for their hours. This can inflate the price of a project, which means a house may cost more to build.

Subcontractors work from job to job, which means some need to place some padding on their pricing to tide them over in the winter months when work can dry up. This can also mean subcontractors become unavailable if a larger, better paying job comes up.

Prefab manufacturers have such a steady stream of work, and can work all year round. This often means they employ a team of salaried builders, which means they're not vulnerable to shortages of staff and can budget each project closely as they know what their builder's wages are per house.

Other benefits:

Timing & costs

Because a new prefab house can be built to a specific schedule, and delivered to your site on a set date you can plan your life with a degree of certainty.

Unlike a traditional build, where delays could lead to weeks of disruption, a prefab home will be delivered on a set date. This means you can plan your accommodation needs accurately, and reduce unforeseen costs in rental or hotel accommodation while you wait for your house to be built.

Site impact

With a custom build on-site, you have dozens of deliveries, arrivals and inspections tearing up your land and placing wear and tear on the new drive, if in place.

With a prefab home, there's one large delivery in the form of your house. Connections come once it's in place but the reduced amount of site visits needed means your site isn't a complete war zone. And if your new home is being situated in a high traffic area, like a holiday park, vineyard or farm, then you won't have tradies in your way with prefab houses.

See it come together

Like a house being built on your site, you can still see your house being built by visiting our factory. While your home is on the production line you're welcome to book a visit and see your house come together as it goes through the various stages. Can't come to Timaru and see it being built? No problem, a member of the team can take photos of your house being built so you can check out the weekly progress.

If you're keen to see whether your site is perfect for a modern prefab home then why not arrange for a free, no obligation site visit from one of the Genius Homes team. We may be able to match your dream home plan with your budget with minimal fuss.

request an onsite consultation with our genius homes team - prefab homes

filed under Prefab Homes NZ

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