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How Much Does a Prefab House Cost?

When building a house from scratch, you have two general options.

You can either have it built on-site based on your own designs or have it built in a factory based on pre-set designs.

The latter option is more succinctly known as buying a prefab home, and it comes with a number of unique benefits.

One of the greatest benefits of prefab homes is their cost. How much does a prefab house cost, you ask? Read on to find out!


How Much Does a Prefab House Cost?

Prefab houses are available at a wide range of prices.

However, as a general rule of thumb, they can be built for around $110 per square foot. As such, if you buy a 2,000-square-foot prefab home, you can expect to pay around $220,000.

Note, however, that this doesn’t include the cost of land. Not only must you pay additional money for a lot, but you must also pay property taxes.

That said, when compared to traditional, stick-built homes, prefabricated homes are a bargain.

For comparison’s sake, stick-built homes generally cost around $150 per square foot. So, for that same 2,000-square-foot house we discussed above, a stick-built would cost around $300,000.

There are all kinds of affordable prefab homes on the market today, each of which provides a unique style and functionality.

If you’re looking for an awesome house at a bargain price, prefab is the ideal way to go.

What Other Ways Are Prefab Homes Beneficial?

While the low cost of prefab homes is perhaps their biggest benefit, it’s far from their only benefit.

Some of the other benefits of prefabricated houses include the following.

They’re Energy Efficient

Though it might shock you, prefabricated homes are typically more energy-efficient than stick-built homes.

This is for two primary reasons. One, prefab homes are built with highly energy-efficient materials. And two, prefab homes are tightly constructed, thus allowing through very little exterior air.

Now, this isn’t to say that stick-built homes lack energy efficiency.

In fact, they can be just as efficient as prefabricated homes. It’s just to say that the manufacturing processes involved with prefabricated homes lend themselves to optimal efficiency.

They Can Be Built Quickly

Looking to have your home built as quickly as possible?

If so, prefab is the ideal option.

Because they come pre-designed and because they’re built in factories, prefab homes can be constructed much more quickly than stick-built homes.

Generally speaking, a prefab home can be completed 1 to 3 months earlier than a stick-built home. So, if you’re on a time-intensive schedule, a prefab home would best accommodate you.

Why do stick-built homes take so long to build?

There are a few factors that contribute to their lengthy construction processes, including inclement weather, worker sickness, team miscommunication, and more.

They’re Easy to Build in Remote Areas

Let’s say that you’re looking to build your house out in the sticks.

If so, you would be best served by a prefabricated house.

See, a stick-built house has to be built entirely on-site. Therefore, if it’s being built in a remote area, all the workers and resources associated with the project will have to be transported to that area on a regular basis over the span of several months. This extra transportation could cost you tens of thousands of dollars over the duration of the project.

Prefab homes, on the other hand, are primarily built in factories. While they require some construction on-site, it takes only a week or so. As such, the transportation of workers and resources is reduced substantially.

The Downsides of Prefabricated Houses

While prefabricated homes are beneficial in a variety of ways, they have their downsides as well.

The most prominent of these downsides include the following.

Limited Design Capabilities

Perhaps the biggest drawback of building a prefab house is that you’re limited in terms of the types of designs you can implement.

While there is some customization available, the designs of prefab homes are, by and large, set in stone.

Let’s say you love the overall layout of a specific prefab home, but would desperately like to alter the shape of its kitchen. In most cases, you won’t be allowed to do so.

Stick-built homes, on the other hand, allow for complete customization. You’re the one drawing up the plans, so you get to decide on the layout.

Zoning Issues

Simply put, some municipalities don’t allow prefab homes to be built on their land.

In these areas, you have two choices. One, buy an existing house — or two, build a house in the traditional style.

Make note, however, that in most areas, prefabricated homes are accepted. The areas that don’t allow them are generally high-end neighborhoods where every house exceeds 2,000 square feet.

More Responsibility

In many cases, prefabricated houses come with more responsibility for the future owner.

Not only must the future owner find a lot on which to place the house, but he or she must also set up utilities, ensure that the house abides by zoning regulations, and find a suitable construction crew.

See, while the prefab manufacturing company will build the majority of the house, it won’t do much else. As such, all the other responsibilities will fall onto your shoulders.

This is not generally the case with a stick-built house.

When you build a stick-built house, you hire a construction team to handle all of these responsibilities for you. You can generally just sit back and wait for the process to finish.

A Prefab Home Is a Cost-Effective Option

And there it is — the answer to “how much does a prefab house cost?”

As you can see, prefabricated homes are cost-effective options, and are very often available at a fraction of the price of stick-built homes. So, if you’re looking to build a home soon, you should seriously consider going with a prefab.

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