If you have a parcel of land that you’re considering building on, or you’re looking into extending your current home by adding a granny flat, then you may have considered a modular house, kit homes or flat packed homes, and wondered what the difference is between this style of house and a modular or prefabricated home.
There’s merit in both options, with the choice you make really coming down to price, effort and the desired look and feel of the home.
Modular homes or prefabricated houses come already built to a degree when they are delivered to your property.
They therefore usually contain all of the fittings and extras like tiling, carpeting, lighting, kitchens and bathrooms etc.
Modular houses generally attract a higher total cost when compared with kit homes, but involve much less organising or labour on your part and include finishes.
Modular homes are becoming increasingly popular with those looking for an eco-friendly building option. Tanks, solar panels and recycled materials can all be installed and used at the owner’s request.
From the outside, modular homes can look a little different from traditional homes, but these days there are a variety of options to choose from.
Some modular home companies will arrange the paying of council fees for the setup of water and power on your behalf.
Having the majority of the construction work happen off-site in a controlled environment can improve the velocity of the build and increase quality – as the weather plays no part in construction.
Modular or prefabricated homes are ideal for infill sites, brownfield developments or subdivisions where your neighbours are nearby as the disruption of construction is minimised.
Tend to be cheaper than modular homes, but fittings and finishes are usually a separate costs that is not automatically included. Again their are exceptions – with high end kitset homes being specified to quality levels that most normal house builds would not reach.
Kit houses come partially assembled, but you then need to engage a builder or complete an owner builder’s course to assemble the home to completion.
Kit homes therefore require you to project manage somewhat, similar to if you were building a home from scratch.
This can mean that you have more flexibility with who you choose to construct the home, and the types of finishes used, although both attract additional costs outside of the initial cost of the kit home.
Once built, most kit homes look no different to homes designed and built from scratch.
You will generally need to organise council approval, and pay any fees associated with setting up power and water before commencing with the kit home build.
In the end, the cost of a kit home versus a modular home may look different on the surface, but after factoring in the cost of building each to lock-up, that is up until the point you’re ready to move in, the costs are actually very similar.
So the choice really comes down to what you’re looking for in your new home or extension. Are eco-friendly features are must-have? Do you have the time or resources to manage the building project? Are you wanting the ability to customise? Do your research before-hand, and talk to a few modular home and kit home suppliers.
Although slightly outdated – Fab Prefab has a good list of kitset and prefabricated house suppliers around the globe.