How Much Does a Modern Pre-fab Home Cost?

There are a variety of reasons to choose a pre-fab home–energy efficiency, quality control, or a quicker build come to mind. For many, though, there is great benefit in lower costs compared to a traditional stick built home. So exactly how much does a modern pre-fab home cost? It’s difficult to compare since each home company advertises their prices differently. We conducted a non-scientific study, searching pricing online for a 2,000 sq. ft. modern pre-fab home, and summarized the results in the table below:

House 1: Heated space only, no fees included $150-$200/sq.ft.
House 2: Delivered, no site costs included $185-$225/sq.ft.
House 3: Complete house, including foundation $710,000
House 4: Total project cost $300-$450/sq.ft.
House 5: ??? It depends

Overall, we found ourselves having to compare apples to oranges. Each company includes or excludes particular aspects of the overall cost. House 1 advertises a price/sq.ft. range of $150-$200 for heated space only. This doesn’t include garage, foundation, or design/engineering fees. House 2 is delivered, but doesn’t include any site costs, which can significantly vary the cost of the home. House 3 is the most interesting, offering one price of $710,000 for the completed home, including foundation. This is surprising since foundation costs alone can vary by 100K from one site to another. House 4 offers a total project cost of $300-$450/sq.ft. If you haven’t guessed, this is the Stillwater price range. You’ll find that we don’t separate “hard” and “soft” costs. Our clients want (and need) to have a full understanding of the whole picture. Since there’s not an option to not pay hard or soft costs, they are included in complete pricing. Finally, our favorite example is House 5, which in their FAQ pricing section just wrote “it depends.” This is probably the most accurate (and least helpful) answer you can get, and we appreciate their sincerity.

Our advice to potential modern pre-fab homeowners is to consider a variety of factors that influence the total project cost, including, but not limited to:

  • Foundation (cost varies depending on topography and soil conditions on site)
  • Site Prep
  • Utilities Access (or Septic/Well system)
  • Shipment/Installation
  • Driveway and/or sidewalks
  • Design Modifications
  • Architectural Fees
  • Engineering Fees
  • Permitting Fees
  • Interior Finishes

Overall, without knowing details regarding your property (topography, soil conditions, etc.), what state/local permits are required, how much you want to customize the home, and what level of finishes you’re looking for, the “it depends” answer may be as specific a response on cost you can find. When conducting research into modern pre-fab home companies, make sure you’re getting the whole picture by asking about the items above. Having an apples to apples comparison with all costs taken into consideration upfront is the best way to ensure no surprises during the process and you can enjoy the benefits of a pre-fab home for years to come!