Are modular homes cheap? (The top misconception in the offsite building industry today.)

Are modular homes cheap? One of the most popular myths in the residential home market today is that all modular homes are cheap. Ok, yes you can get budget-priced modular homes – they’re called dongas.

In this post, we dig into what the term ‘cheap’ means in a building context, when modular is right for you, and when it’s not the best option.

So, read on to help get some insight into whether a modular home could potentially be the right building method for you.

What does “cheap” mean?

In saying cheap, we generally mean less than a project builder. Something around $1000m2. And we’re here to tell you that no – modular homes aren’t necessarily cheap.

If you are looking for the cheapest way to build your home, then your going to have to compromise. Lots. Especially on quality, service and inclusions. And this is where your cheapest homes fit because you get what you pay for.

So, if modular homes aren’t cheaper – why build modular?

Fair question. First up, let’s clarify the position of modular homes in the market and more specifically, Westbuilt Homes on what we can and can’t do. Modular building isn’t the be-all and end-all. It’s not for everyone and its not always the best way to go!

In saying that, we find that clients that choose to build their dream home as a prefab home do it for the following 3 reasons;

  1. It’s quicker. Build time usually is 8 weeks in the factory and 4 weeks onsite. Most of our clients have moved into their new home within 6 months of deciding to go ahead.
  2. They don’t want a complicated building experience. One of the key benefits of the modular building experience is the need to ensure that EVERYTHING is sorted and decided on well before we start building. To ensure efficiency, we don’t want disruption during the build process.
  3. Fixed price. While a modular home isn’t necessarily the cheapest way to build – we can guarantee you the following;
    1. The price will be rigid.
    1. We don’t believe in variations.

In short, if your time-poor, and want a simple, easy and stress-free building experience within a guaranteed timeframe for a fixed price then modular is highly likely the best option for you!

Westbuilt Homes

 When is a modular home worth considering?

So, as we said above – modular homes aren’t all things to all people. We find that modular works best in the following situations;

  • Your site is acreage or is more substantial than about 2000m2
  • Your site has a slope, and you’d prefer not to cut and fill.
  • You want a raised floor
  • You want a unique home design
  • You’ve got specific requirements you need to be met.
  • You want the Queenslander, or Colonial look with large verandahs.

When is a modular home NOT right for you.

Ok – we’ve covered off the key reasons our clients consider modular building. Again, we’re not all things to all people, and if you find that the below points fit you then modular homes are probably not going to be the best building option for you;

  • You’re in a new estate
  • You’re wanting the lowest possible price
  • You’d prefer to have a slab home
  • You want a brick and tile façade
  • Your looking to do lots of the work yourself, as in a kit home or removal home.
  • You are happy to pick an off the shelf plan with limited options.

All this thing are totally valid points. We get that. If you find yourself falling into these categories, then we’re sure that there is something out there for you. Find out more here –

Check out this Houzz article on the pros and cons of prefab building.

Unique Home Design vs Off The Shelf Design

Now, let’s just look into the two main types of builders you can use. The first is a builder who will help you create a unique home design with unique inclusions just for you. This is where Westbuilt, as a builder falls into. We’ve got an in-house licenced building designer and will help you create a home design that suits your needs down to the ground. These types of builds are more expensive.

The second type of builder is an off the shelf builder. These usually are your large, volume builders who have a vast range of designs and a lower price point. To achieve their more economical price point, they have to limit their client’s design change options and inclusions.

Where does Westbuilt sit in the residential home building market

Lastly, thinking about Westbuilt specifically, where do we fit in the market. We believe we offer our clients quality, custom-designed homes for guaranteed pricing and fixed timeframes.

Find out more and download our fact sheet here.


If you have your own vision for your house, we are happy to work with you to design the perfect layout that is tailored just for you.


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