On average, a prefab home costs between $90 and $120 per square foot. On the low-end, you can build a very basic 1,600 sq.ft. prefab home for $55,000-70,000.
Mid-range prices for a 1,800 sq.ft. prefab house range from $130,000-185,000, and 2,000 sq.ft.+ higher – end prefab homes start at $180,00-200,000+ Note, that these price estimates are for the home itself and do not include the cost of land.
How Much Does A Prefab Home Cost?
Overall, the cost of a prefab house is significantly less than stick-built homes, which generally start at $150 per square foot.
The exact price of your prefabricated home will vary based on many factors, including how many stories you choose, the complexity of the design, and the degree of customization you are seeking.
You can use our Home Building Calculator to estimate the cost of building a new construction home.
If you are ready to install a prefab home, call your local construction pros for FREE price estimates.
Essentials That Are Not Included In The Cost Of A Prefab Home Itself
When you buy a modular home, the price does not include many key features that you will need to purchase to make your home ready to live in.
First, the price of a prefabricated home does not include the cost of land. You will need to purchase the land yourself and learn about local zoning laws to see what type of building is permissible for you there.
You will also need to do any necessary landscaping yourself, which includes installing a driveway.
Additionally, the cost of a foundation is not calculated into the list price of modular homes.
Utility hookups as well as stairs between the basement and the main floor are also not included in the price.
Finally, any appliances you need will not be included in that cost, such as air conditioners, washers and dryers, a furnace, an oven, and more.
All of these features will need to be included in your price calculations to gauge an accurate price range for your new prefab home. We will cover many of these additional costs below.
Prefab Home Prices Based On House Size
The table below provides estimates for building a prefab home of different size and different numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms. Keep in mind that this is a cost estimate for a mid-range quality prefab home, without any high-end features or materials, or customization options.
|House Size (Sq.Ft.)||Average Cost|
|1-Story Ranch 2 Bdrm/1 Bathroom (1,000 sq.ft.)||$40,000-85,000|
|1-Story Ranch 2 Bdrm/1 Bathroom (1,600 sq.ft.)||$60,000 – 120,000|
|1-Story Ranch 3 Bdrm/2 Bathroom (1,600 sq.ft.)||$65,000 – 130,000|
|1-Story Ranch 3 Bdrm/3 Bathroom (1,700 sq.ft.)||$70,000 – 140,000|
|1-Story Ranch 4 Bdrm/3 Bathroom (2,200 sq.ft.)||$82,000 – 180,000|
|1-Story Ranch 5 Bdrm/3 Bathroom (2,600 sq.ft.)||$105,000 -210,000|
|2-Story Ranch 3 Bedroom/2 Bathroom (2,100 sq.ft).||$85,000 – 175,000|
Prefab Home Cost Estimator
Here is a quick estimate of the TOTAL COST to build a basic prefab home. This estimates still excludes the cost of land itself.
|Shipping||$5,500 – $16,000|
|Land Clearing and Preparation||$2,500 – $5,500|
|Foundation||$4,500 – $12,000|
|Contractor Labor Cost of House Installation||$20,000 – $60,000|
|Utility lines construction (gas, electric, sewer main)||$5,500 – $20,000|
|Taxes (vary by state)||$5,000 – $10,000|
|Permits & Fees||$500 – $5,000|
|Additions (Deck, Garage)||$9,500 – $40,000|
|Sub-Total||$52,000 – $163,500|
|1,800 square-foot 2 bedroom/2 bathroom prefab home||$85,000 – $165,000|
|Total||$137,000 – $328,500|
Labor Cost To Install A Prefab Home
Installing a prefab home is a complex task that involves a lot of technical knowledge and should only be done by pros who have experience building modular homes. At the low end of the price spectrum, labor costs for a small, basic modular home start at $25,000-30,000.
The average labor cost for a 1,800 sq.ft. prefab house is about $50,000. Higher-end homes with a lot of custom details can easily cost an additional $65,000-75,000 in labor.
The process of installing a prefab house is called “buttoning up”. It includes the following:
– Assembling and attaching the house sections
– Installing exterior siding, trim and roofing
– Installing interior finishes, such as drywall, flooring, cabinetry, counters
– Installing windows and doors
– Hooking up and installing kitchen appliances, heating and cooling systems, plumbing
– Installing lighting
The builder of your house will hire sub-contractors to complete tasks, such as
– HVAC work
– Electric work
– Plumbing work
Use our Remodeling Prices Guide as a references for how much various remodeling and construction projects cost.
Keep in mind that your total costs for contractor labor will vary greatly depending on your location. More expensive cities and towns have contractors charging much higher fees for their work compared to lower income areas.
Sometimes the difference can be as high as 25-35% higher than the prices that you see on many online price guides for prefab homes.
Cost To Clear And Prepare The Land
Before you can actually install your prefab home, you will need to clear and prepare the land. This is one of the most expensive ticket items in addition to the cost of the home itself.
How much you end up spending will greatly vary on the plot of land you have and the condition it is in.
Basic clearing of the land starts at $2,500 but can go up to as much as $6,000+ It includes the following:
– Land inspection
– Removal of trees and rocks
– Leveling the ground
If you need to remove a lot of dirt or excavate in order to put up a retaining wall, expect to spend an additional $3,500-5,000.
Removing any existing structures costs $3,500-20,000 depending on the size of the structure. On average, demolishing an existing house costs $15,000-20,000
If there is a well or a cistern on your property it first needs to be filled up before you can start building. This costs an average of $2,000-2,800
You will also need to obtain special permits before you can start clearing the land. Depending on the local laws and regulations these permits can range in cost from $500 – 5,000. Talk to your local town building inspector to estimate these costs more accurately.
Home Foundation Costs
Unlike a mobile house, a prefab house requires foundation. This is another big expensive in the building process. How much you end up spending will depend on the type and size of foundation you want.
Keep in mind that the size of the footprint of your house will increase foundation costs, a single storie house has a larger foot print than a two-storie house, and therefore its foundation costs more.
|Foundation Type||Average Cost|
|Monolithic Concrete Slab||$4,500-$13,000|
Is A Prefab Home Cheaper Than A Stick-Built House?
Prefabricated homes tend to be around 10% to 15% cheaper than stick-built homes. In terms of square footage, the average cost per square foot for a modular home is $90-$120, whereas one square foot costs on average $150- 180 for a stick-built house.
While a stick-built home can take months or longer, a modular home will take a few weeks and up to a few months.
Prefabricated homes are cheaper because they are built in factories, which makes the process much more efficient and streamlined.
For one, any issues are able to be spotted right in the production line, reducing the risk of faulty goods.
Also, rather than hiring individual contractors for different parts of the house such as roofers, electricians, etc., in modular homes all features are compiled in the factory. This reduces risk of any error.
What Is A Prefab Home?
While ‘stick built’ homes are constructed on the site by an array of different contractors, prefabricated homes are built mostly in factories and then transported to the site, where the pieces are assembled together.
In contrast, stick built homes require each contractor to visit the site individually. Module homes are not the same as mobile homes, which are built entirely in the factory and transported on wheels to the site.
This gives the mobile homes their distinct, rectangular shape. Modular homes, on the other hand, can have more complicated construction because they are assembled in pieces.
Because modular homes are built on a foundation, they may even include a traditional basement. On the whole, prefabricated homes appear indistinguishable from traditional stick-built homes.
In fact, in recent years many manufacturers of prefab homes have greatly improved the design and luxury level of many prefab models. Today many of these modular homes are very similar to a traditional site-built home and include such features as
– quality siding and roofing
– higher-end interior finishes, such as cabinetry, flooring, counters, bathroom and kitchen finishes
– open floor plans which can also be customized
– tall ceilings
– energy efficient appliances, insulation, etc
Can You Build A Prefab Home Under 100K?
There are a wide array of choices for prefabricated phones under $100,000. (When referring to prices, the cost mentioned includes only the the house itself, not the land or the building costs, which will add much to the price).
While under $50,000, the options are quite limited, above $60,000 there are many modular homes to choose from.
At the lowest end of the price spectrum, there are more limited choices and less opportunity for customization. Houses are only one story, whereas when the price for the house reaches closer to $100,000, the house can be two stories high.
With a budget of $100,000 for the modular home, you can find a large selection of styles to choose from to find the perfect fit.
Best Prefab Homes Under 100K
Here is a summary of top prefab home brands that offer high quality modular houses for under $100K. If you are looking for a cheap house alterantive to an expensive site-built home, consider building a tiny house.
● 328 square feet
● Classic round, hurricane resistant design
● Delivery offered worldwide
● Approximate Turnkey price: $75,000 – $115,000
Matchbox by Backyard Box
● 525 square feet
● Includes kitchen, bathroom, and living space
● Delivery offered in Western United States and Western Canada
● Energy efficient
● Approximate Turnkey price: $79,500 (not including appliances)
M-1 by Zip Kit Homes
● 400 square feet
● Includes one bedroom, one bathroom, a living space, a loft for sleeping and a wrap-around deck
● Delivery offered in Western United States
● Approximate Turnkey price: $72,000 – $100,000
● 278 square feet
● Delivery offered throughout the United States
● Approximate Turnkey price: $67,000+ (for the K5 Extended)
How Long Does It Take to Build a Prefab Home?
Prefabricated homes can be assembled much quicker than traditional stick-built homes. On average, assembly ranges between four to six months, but can be as little as a week.
Depending on weather, location, and brand, the assembly may take longer. Comparatively, a stick-built home takes approximately eight months to build, and can even extend much longer in some housing markets.
Top Modular Home Builders
Nowadays, there are many companies that specialize in prefab and modular homes. It may be overwhelming to choose between the different options. The list below can help you narrow down your options and find the company that is the best fit for you. The listed prices only cover the cost of the prefabricated house itself and not any other features.
Wheelhaus offers luxurious prefabricated homes, which start at $82,000. Wheelhaus modular homes are known for their environmental friendliness, as they are built for environmental efficiency and reduced emissions.
Aesthetically, Wheelhaus prefabricated homes encapsulate the best of wood cabins, with a stunning rustic appearance, but they also include modern features and amenities. Wheelhaus offers eight models that are all customizable.
The assembly of Wheelhaus is known to be simple, and only takes between two to five days upon delivery.
Little House On The Trailer
Little House on the Trailer offers four charming prefabricated home models, starting at $60,000. Affordable and quickly assembled, Little House on the Trailer provides high-quality modular homes to fit your needs, with designs ranging from wood cabins to modern and sleek. Little House on the Trailer prefab homes are best suited to smaller plots of land.
Blu homes takes prefabricated homes to the next level with their stunning, modern home designs starting at $145,000. They offer four base models that are all customizable to fit your needs. They also offer 633 square foot ‘pods’ that can be incorporated into a traditional home if you are seeking some extra space.
Rocio Romero LV Series
Designed to incorporate the natural landscape into the home, the Rocio Romero LV Series comes with floor to ceiling windows that offer gorgeous views. An affordable choice, their prefabricated homes start at $6,000. The LV series can be custom designed to fit your needs and space.
Ma comes in twelve different models, with a starting price of $150 per square foot. Floor plans range between 525 and 1,660 square feet. The models are diverse, and two of them are even multistory. Aesthetically, the design is simple and modern, well-suited for any landscape.
Ma Modular homes come with plumbing and electric, and appliances, and can be delivered in as little as 180 days after you place your order.
Method Homes offers prefabricated homes in eight models ranging from traditional cabin-style to ultra-modern, with a minimal cost of $95,000. Method homes are customizable to fit the land you are building on.
House Port offers customizable cubes that can be configured together to form your home how you want. The cubes are protected from the elements with a galvanized metal roof. House Port’s unique prefab homes start at $65,000.
Similar to House Port, weeHouse offers blocks that can be arranged in any manner desired. weeHouse homes can range between 300 and 2,400 square feet. The starting price for a weeHouse prefab home is $80,000. weeHouse offers models that are traditional, cabin-esque or hyper-modern.
LivingHomes takes environmental friendliness to the next level with their prefabricated homes. LivingHomes offers three models of single family and multi-family homes that are all fully customizable.
LivingHomes are designed by world-class architects. LivingHomes are modern and unique, and suitable for any landscape. The starting price for a LivingHomes modular home is $139,000.
How Long Will A Prefab Home Last?
Modular homes are built from the same materials that stick-built homes are made from, so they have an equally long lifespan. Just like a stick-built home, a prefabricated home will require regular upkeep and maintenance in order to retain its value.
Keeping your home well looked after, whether it is a modular home or stick-built, is the best method to ensure your home lasts for years and years.
Do All Prefab Homes Look The Same?
While some may imagine modular homes to be identical and uniform, the reality is in fact the exact opposite. Modular homes are available in a wide array of styles and architectural designs, ranging from economic to high-end.
What’s more, modular homes can be easily customized, making the range of options almost limitless. Almost any feature that is present in a traditional home can be incorporated into the design of a prefabricated home, so do not worry about having to give up your favorite features when purchasing a modular home.
You can also remodel our basic prefab home to any level of customization and luxury you desire. You can use our Remodeling Calculator to estimate the cost of the remodel.
Pros And Cons Of A Prefab Home
Prefabricated homes have a distinct set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are the essential ones to keep in mind when deciding if this type of home is right for you.
● Quick construction: Because the parts of prefab homes are assembled in the factory, completing the final construction on site will not take as lon as building a stick-built home.
● Affordability: Modular homes tend to be about 15% cheaper than stick-built homes. Additionally, many prefab home manufacturers offer financing plans to help pay for the new home.
● Quality control: Since the prefab homes are assembled in a factory, each part of the home is checked to ensure it aligns with quality standards, ensuring there are no accidental errors in the assembly.
● No risk of labor shortages: With modular homes, there is never a fear of labor shortages for some specific types of contractors, as most of the labor occurs within the factory.
● No required home inspections: While stick-built homes require inspection upon completion, modular homes are inspected in the factory so they do not require any additional inspections.
● Environmentally friendly: Many prefab homes are produced with environmentally friendly materials and practices. Also, prefab homes tend to be more energy efficient than stick-built homes.
● No acclimate weather risk: As most of the construction offers inside a factory, you do not have to worry about the construction of your home being paused because of rough weather.
● Land purchasing: While the price of a stick-built home includes the land, buying a modular home does not include the land so you will need to find a suitable land with the proper zoning laws allowing for a modular home to be built there. Furthermore, a modular home cannot be built on subdivisions.
● Lack of features: Many features that come with a stick-built home are not automatically given in prefab homes and require additional contracting, such as utilities, land, landscaping, a foundation, and appliances.
● Loans and mortgages: To finance the modular home you might need to take out a construction loan, which is only valid for one year. After the prefab home is attached to the foundation, the construction loan will need to be turned into a long term mortgage and go through the home loaning process.
● More consumer responsibility: Because you need to purchase the land, foundation, and other critical features independently, in essence the home buyer acts as a general contractor for their new home, which will require additional time and thought.
● Payment: The full payment for the prefab home is due before the home is actually delivered, which may be a challenge for some.
Sustainability Of A Prefab Home vs A Stick Home
One of the benefits of prefabricated homes is that they are generally speaking more eco friendly than stick built homes. This is true for several reasons.
First of all, prefabricated homes tend to be more resilient than stick-built homes because they must be sturdy enough to withstand travel by truck. Their durability is especially a plus in regions that face earthquakes, hurricanes, or severe storms.
Another reason prefab homes are more environmentally friendly is that their process of construction tends to produce less waste. While building a traditional home requires different contractors for different parts of the building that all produce their own waste, prefab homes are built cohesively at factories. Because the construction process is more efficient, less waste is produced.
There are many prefabricated home companies that specialize in providing environmentally conscious homes. Many companies offer the option of energy-efficient appliances, as well as solar panels, rainwater collection systems, or sustainable building materials.
Finally, prefabricated homes often have tighter seams than non-prefab homes. This cuts down on the energy that must be spent to heat and cool the home, making it better for the environment.
Many of these homes also come with metal roofs vs asphalt shingles, which are also a lot more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.
Resale Value Of A Prefab House
Prefab homes tend to have the same resale value than stick-built homes do. In fact, the key to ensuring the best resale value for your home is the same whether you own a prefab home or a stick-built home.
The best way to increase the resale value is to build your home in an excellent location. Just like stick built homes, the value of a modular home largely depends on the location that it was built in.
A good location will boost resale value more than any other factor.
The next most important factor to consider when trying to increase resale value is the curb-side appeal of your house. Freshly painted siding, a clean exterior appearance, a well-tailored garden call all go far when trying to sell your home.
Other tips for boosting resale value of all homes apply, like a renovated kitchen, etc.
While there may be a perception that module homes have a lower resale value than traditional homes, in fact it depends on a variety of factors such as location and the quality of the home and the resale values between prefab and stick-built homes are roughly equal.
Is A Prefab Home Worth It?
On the whole, owners of prefabricated homes save about 15% in home costs compared to if they owned a regular stick home. Another reason prefabricated homes may be worthwhile is that they take much less time to build than stick homes, once the foundation is installed.
Prefab homes, like traditional homes, appreciate when the market appreciates, so you will not be incurring any additional risks in terms of value when purchasing or building a prefab house.
In terms of house insurance premiums as well as the ability to secure a home mortgage, they are absolutely the same for a traditional home vs a prefab house.