How long does it take to build a prefab house

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A timeline for prefab homes

The concept of prefabricated houses refers to the idea of manufacturing some parts of a building off-site in a controlled factory-like environment then assembling it on the site.

Prefabricated houses have been around for some time, which has given manufacturers time to make the process more efficient in terms of time, money and waste of materials. It’s not unusual to choose a prefabricated house.

But what are the actual phases of a prefabricated construction? What should one do in order to be the owner of a prefabricated house?

Even if the construction part is easier than in traditional buildings, there are some steps that need to be followed.

How long does it take to build a prefab home?

When building any type of house, the time that it requires depends on a lot of factors. The same goes with the budget. Considering traditionally built houses, the building process can span over years.

Don’t panic. Prefab homes are usually built in a shorter period of time. You will see that the whole process requires much more planning, which means solving some of the possible problems from the beginning.

The size of the house is also important as it plays a big part in the off-site construction time but also on the on-site setting up. A prefab cabin will be ready faster than a one story modular home.

When calculating how long it takes to build a prefab home, you should also consider the design phase which is probably the most important one. This is the phase where all the decisions are made, therefore it is crucial that everything is taken into account. The total time of the project should also include this part.

All the project’s phases will require some time and, of course, money. It is important to know all of them from the beginning and also what is required for you to do in each one.

The design and planning phase

This is a preliminary phase also known as preparation phase. There are multiple actions that you should know and undertake. If possible, you should find a specialist on prefabricated houses right from the start so the process can go smoothly.


Before doing anything in terms of building a house you should know what is your current budget. Most buyers will need a mortgage to finance their project. Before deciding on a type of prefab house, consult with the potential mortgage broker to find out more about financing a prefab house.

If you don’t own the land yet, this is a good time to start looking as the costs should be included in the budget. Keep in mind that in most cases the house’s transportation and assembling will require the use of heavy machinery. Make sure that the location has enough space for this.

Planning Permission

In this phase you should engage an architect that can help you obtain the building permit. Choosing a local architect is the best option as he is already familiar with local codes and regulations and can help you with other information about the construction site.

Getting the permit should be an easy enough part, especially if you chose a rural area for your home.Obtaining a building permit in a city will typically take longer. After you obtain the permit, you can actually start building.


The delivery of a prefab house or of prefabricated elements require a special, even oversize transportation. It is important that the site is well connected to the roads so this kind of delivery is available.

While some construction companies include delivery within their pricing, some don’t. You should consider this from the beginning and budget it if needed.

Assembly of the parts

This process is usually made by a team offered by the construction company. They usually use big machines, such as cranes to set up all the house elements, so the works have to be completed by a professional team that has worked with prefab homes before.

Depending on the prefab house type and size, this phase can take from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. Way much faster than a traditional construction.

A small modular home will be ready much quicker than most panel built houses. In the first case, the house is divided into modules that are delivered on site, while in the second case, the panels come in the shape of walls and roof that must be assembled on site individually which can take more time.

Installations and interior finishing

After the house is assembled, the installations must be connected, such as the electric installation, heating, air conditioning and, of course, plumbing. This should also be done by professionals, especially the wiring part.

Interior of Wee house prefab
Image courtesy of Wee House: model Studio Wee House

In terms of interior finishing, for some prefab houses the finishes are already there and you can start decorating and furnishing. There are some standard finishes for every prefab house, but many manufacturers will have an option to customise some of the finishings.

What happens next?

Beside the moving in process, there are also other things that you should care about. They are the usual things in construction, such as landscaping and taking care of the house. This final step is very important for prefab houses as well as for traditional houses.

Taking care of the house also increases its longevity and its price on the market, in case you ever consider selling it.

In the end, most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy your new home.

Featured image: Ivika 1-106 model by Akso-Haus

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