Penny for Penny Cost for A Prefab Home

There are numerous factors that affect the total price of a prefab home. Hence, the answer to this question may really be subjective. It is quite a possibility for a prefab home with similar features to cost distinctly in different continents or even countries. Depending on various aspects such as location (country as well as state), local availability, labor, land prices, taxes, and local building authorities and restrictions imposed have a major role to play when breaking down the overall cost of a prefab home.

Your personal specifications and requirements further add to these bills. Mainly, the plan layout, number of bedrooms and bathrooms required, interior materials and finishes, furnishings, exterior style, and added architectural and interior details may further affect the prices. Furthermore, the cost of transporting your prefab home from the factory to the site may also vary. Hence, if your site is located on a difficult plot of land or a steep slope, it may cost more as compared to a flat land that is easy to approach.

Generally, the prefab homes cost 15% lesser than the counterpart traditional buildings. Let’s break down these estimated costs to give you a general idea of the amount you might end up paying for your prefab home.


Are you planning to buy mainstream land that is easily accessible through the highway, a countryside farm, or a hilltop? Well, all these factors have a major role to play in the cost of the land. Depending on the location, land may cost as little as $1,000 to as much as $10,000. For example, a modular home in New York may cost extravagantly more as compared to the one located in West Virginia.

Adding on to location are the other factors such as permits, transportation costs, excavation costs, sales tax, and land development that may vary as per the local market conditions.

Base Home Price

The average prefab home may cost around $60,000 to $200,000 for a base model and that includes delivery. This is generally $50 to $100 per square foot that may end up getting added depending upon the floor plan, number of bathrooms and bedrooms, and other customizations. For example, a 1000 square foot prefab home may cost about $40,000 to $80,000 for a base model and $80,000 to $160,000 for a finished model.

A base model includes setting up of the modules in place by a crane and timely delivering them. Whereas a finished model includes land preparation, site work such as foundation and excavation, permits, utility construction, and other additional specifications.


It is quite likely to further add customizations in order to feel more ‘homey’ in your prefab homes. In certain cases, many homeowners tend to add prefab extensions for their home offices or even garages and solariums. In the interiors, maybe you like hardwood floors and a custom-designed kitchen? You would also like to go sustainable and energy-efficient by using high-grade insulation, double-paned windows, and high-quality windows and doors to cut down on energy costs. Well, all of this will affect your overall price of the prefab home. Generally, on average, it may cost another $31,000 or more for these customizations and additions.

Site Preparation

The average cost required to prepare land or a site for a prefab home bill to around $4,000 to $11,000. It majorly depends upon the amount of land excavated, cleared, and graded, to begin with the building process. To further break it down, let’s look at the total cost for preparing the site.

Land Survey Costs – $350 to $1,000

Land Clearing Costs – $1,350 to $3,900

Excavation – $1,600 to $4,500 and more

Grading – $600 to $2,000

The share of site preparation is pretty low as compared to the other costs. This also depends upon the topography of your land – if your land is fairly flat with a lesser number of trees, it is going to require lesser labor and time to level the land. On the other hand, a steep site on a hill will comparatively require more excavation, time, resources, and labor to level the land.

Several special conditions such as building on an existing structural site or filling up of the cistern hole may arise. Demolishing an existing building may cost an average of $18,000 that also requires a permit. Whereas if your site consists of a well or a cistern hole, it is recommended to fill it completely with gravel that may cost around $2,500.


Whether it is the monolithic concrete slab, crawlspace, or the basement foundation, the size of the footing and area majorly affects the prices of the prefab home. Typically, a one-story home will cost more as it has a wider footprint as compared to a prefab home that is two-story. Hence, installing a foundation on average may cost around $21,250.

Further breaking them down, a basic basement foundation that includes 8’ high walls, windows, insulation, and a set of stairs will cost around $30,000 for a 1,600 square foot home. This price is subjected to rise in case you aim to add an extra footprint for storage and living space. On the other hand, a block crawlspace that is 4 feet in depth with equipped foam board insulation may cost from $13,000 to $16,000 for a 1,600 square foot prefab home. It is essential for the prefab home to be placed on a buffer space to accommodate plumbing, electrical, and other utility lines to get the building running. A prefab home shouldn’t be placed on a monolithic concrete foundation.

To compare the various costs associated with these foundations, one of the most expensive, basement footings costs around $20,000 to $29,000. Crawl space foundation is $6,300 to $16,300, and pier and beam foundation is $3,000 to $8,000. The stilts are also another expensive option that may cost $12,000 to $30,000.


The average cost to deliver a prefab home may cost from $3,000 to $12,000 depending upon the size and shape, a number of modules, and the total distance. Just in case if your site is located away from the mainstream somewhere in the difficult plots of land where accessibility is comparatively difficult – it is going to cost far more than the former plot of land. Moreover, delivering a prefab home also includes an on-site crane and a crew to assemble the modules onto the foundation. Generally, an off-frame prefab home may cost from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the size, complexity, as well as distance. Whereas transporting an on-frame prefab home for up to 50 miles may cost $1,000 to $8,000.

Furthermore, you should also expect to pay for the flag cars that drive behind and in front of these trucks to alert the surrounding drivers about this oversized truck that holds your prefab home. However, this fee may vary depending on the country as well as state and local regions.


After your prefab home is delivered and the foundation is set to withstand your home, the installation process begins. It generally takes somewhere between $10,000 to $50,000 to install a prefab home with an additional bill for customized layout or any exterior improvements. This is when the series of work is introduced – mainly called ‘buttoning up’.

This process includes the attaching of various sections together, installing the façade finishes such as sidings, completing interior finishes such as drywall and painting, installing, and hooking up of the appliances, and testing all the doors and windows. Furthermore, the gutters, trims, and all other carpentry-related works are installed. In the end, the entire structure is tested and inspected to confirm if it meets the building codes.


If your site is located very close to the street, it is quite a possibility that you can easily connect with the utility services that may cost only $2,500. On the other hand, if you are in favor of installing the HVAC system and a septic system, the prices are expected to striking rise. Breaking them down, the HVAC system mainly includes the AC, air ducts, furnaces, and gas lines that may cost somewhere between $8,000 and $12,000 for a generic 1,600 square foot home. This system also includes air ducts and gas lines that run underneath the prefab home.

A standard septic system of a prefab home may cost around $5,000 to $8,000. However, this price solely depends on the soil quality of the region. Know that you need excessive land to install this system. Here is a list of the breakdown: (

Electrical Panel Costs: $850 – $3,000

Electrical Wiring Costs: $2,000 – $9,000

Septic System Costs: $3,500 – $10,000

Plumbing Installation Costs: $2,300 – $5,200

Gas Line Installation Costs: $500 – $2,000

HVAC Installation Costs: $4,800 – $12,400


Building permitting costs may fluctuate from as little as $500 to as much as $4,000. Majorly depending on the local municipality, the cost of the permits may vary from region to region and even the size to the overall layout of the prefab. This will also include the permit for the driveway (if are planning to have one).

To breakdown, a generic backdrop of the permit fees, have a look at the following fees involved: (

  • Building Permits: $1,919
  • Pre-Plan Review Fee: $20
  • Mechanical Fees: $503
  • Certificate of Occupancy: $20

Not including the sales and all the other relevant hidden costs, expect to pay an average of $5,000 to $15,000 or 5% to 7% of the total cost of the home. This also depends on the region you live in – some states and countries tend to impose a higher rate as compared to the others.

Driveway and Landscaping

Constructing a durable driveway is extremely crucial for your prefab home. Constructed of concrete, a driveway may cost around $4 to $6 per square foot for almost a 4” thick drive. This price may increase to $5 to $7 if you are building a 10’ wide path. A driveway can either be made of concrete, asphalt, or gravel. Out of these three, gravel is the cheapest while also high maintenance at the same time. Whereas asphalt exhibits a refined and clean appearance but also requires periodic maintenance. This material is comparatively cheaper than concrete but expensive than gravel. Last but not the least, concrete driveways are the most expensive options. They also offer great longevity and durability.

On the other hand, landscaping costs should also be involved. Here is the breakdown that you might want to consider adding on to your bills:

Decking Costs: $4,000 – $10,000

Fence Costs: $1,500 – $3,000

Shed Costs: $1,500 – $5,000

Landscaping Costs: $3,000 – $16,000


The final price of your prefab home comes to $200,000 at least. However, this price is subjected to rise given that you further customize the interior finishes, exterior finishes, and the overall layout of the prefab. Also depending on your location and the local authorities should this value increase. It is definitely a given that these homes end up saving you bigger bucks as compared to traditional buildings of the same size. Moreover, you also end up saving time and major indirect costs imposed on the construction process.

Now that all the penny costs are briefed right from purchasing the land for your prefab to the installation and completion, do you feel confident about buying one as your next home? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments below.