How much does it cost?
This is by far the most asked question when it comes to prefab houses.
The answer is not a short one.
Most Manufacturers will not be able to quote a house on the spot and will dodge the question with "it depends".
Well, that doesn't really answer the question... does it?
Unless you are ready to settle for a catalog house (not really custom-made), you'll have to wait... and we are talking about weeks!
To put an end to the problem of pricing a prefabricated custom-made home, we partnered up with "Creatomus", an innovative Startup leading the way of mass customization of factory-made homes.
To answer the question "how much does a prefab house cost" we developed a house price calculator.
We believe that a question about price deserves a quick answer and that answer has to be numeric.
Yes, Manufacturers, we hear you: the price really depends on many factors.
...but those factors can easily be determined with some questions and the numbers can follow quickly.
Creatomus is a fast-growing Company which goal is to enable faster price calculation and delivery of houses by removing the friction typical of the design process in the early stages of a residential construction project.
The core value proposition of Creatomus is that, by using prefabrication methods combined with their software solution, we can build houses that are customizable to a large degree without loosing in implementation speed.
When a potential homebuyer starts planning his home he has to face a big problem:
how to get a reliable and complete quote for the project?
Believe me, this is not an easy task.
Unfortunately, the question of affordability is a very important step in the project and this conundrum represents a huge bottleneck for the implementation of the project.
If you downloaded our planning & building checklist, you should understand how important it is to get the affordability question out of the way as soon as possible.
But why is it so hard to get a price?
Understand this: there is no such thing as a "price per square meter".
The price of a building is affected by many variables and no two building have the same price per square meter... unless they are identical.
Just to paint for you a better picture of this problem, here is a list of some of the factors that affect price:
- floor plans of the house (area and shape)
- number of floors
- shape of the roof
- number, size, materials of the windows
- type and thickness of insulation
- thickness of walls and other structural elements
- type of exterior finish
- type of interior finish
- type and performance of technical installations (electricity, plumbing, heating, ventilation, ...)
- details (dozens) of interior accessories (doors, stairs, tiles, ...)
I am sure you understand that defining each point with sufficient accuracy (exactly how you want it) would take days of work.
This is why usually Manufacturers quote the house for a delivery that does not include any interior works.
It is simply faster to price it and it narrows down the customization options (by a LOT).
In any case, examine your drawings and getting the basic price right still takes time.
In a previous article, we explained that pricing a house from scratch takes one working day of one person.
The problem is there are other people waiting for their price offer... so you end up in a queue.
Good Manufacturers have dozens of price requests each week, therefore their queue can be quite long.
The result is that you'll have to wait for several weeks before your project lands of the desk of an estimator.
This is why we decided to build a house pricing tool.
Reducing to ZERO the time it takes to get an offer.
This is what we wanted to achieve with this house pricing tool.
The goal is not to give a super precise price... for that, you sill need manual calculation.
...but let's face it, when you start your project most details are not clear yet.
Is it really worth to waste one day of someone's time to get a precise price on something that is just hypothetical?
We believe it is not.
A better solution would be to put you in the position to get that price estimate without having to talk to anyone at all.
That is exactly what the tool does... in minutes.
How does it work
The house pricing tool is very easy to use.
It all starts by asking you some questions and it does not require you to have a floor plan already!
The concept is simple: describe your needs and we'll figure out how big your house will be (and how much it will cost).
Here are the 8 questions the tool will ask you:
- how many floors does your dream home have?
- how does your roof look like?
- how big your windows will be?
- how many bedrooms will you have?
- how big your kitchen will be?
- how big your living room will be?
- how many bathrooms do you need?
- do you need storage space?
Based on this answers, we build a simplified model of the house and we are able to estimate quantities for all the different components of the building (foundation, walls, roof, windows, ...).
Yes, there is some serious math behind it, paired with deep knowledge of the prefab processes.
After using the configuration "wizard", you land on a page that will immediately show you the cost of the prefab kit for the house you just described and the approximate MINIMUM cost for the entire build.
The house is "created" as a combination of rooms matching with the requirements you set with your answers.
Play with it until it fits your budget
In the "modify" tab, you can add/remove rooms or move rooms between floors.
You can also change the size of the rooms and change the size of the window in each room.
Yes, it can get pretty specific if you want.
Architects love it already.
Each change in the model results in a change in the price.
NOTE: to move rooms between floors use drag&drop. It works on mobile as well.
If you have a project already, take the floor plans and go in the "modify" tab to adjust the rooms to match exactly your drawings.
Modify the size of the rooms in the table and make sure all the rooms of your house are listed.
If you don't have a project, you can still imagine your new home and adjust each room to match your needs.
After this exercise, you should have a pretty good estimate of the house kit price and of the MINIMUM total price of the build.
Where is the Money?
In the "chart" tab, you can get more details on the components of the house, namely:
- area of each component
- price incidence of each component
- energy loss from each component
This is meant to show you at glance "where is the money" and "where should you put more money".
Hovering the mouse on a sector of the chart will tell you which building component correspond to each color.
The first chart shows the incidence of each building component, by area.
The second chart shows the incidence of each building component, by price.
Note for example that windows usually make for a small % of the area but a considerable % of the price (windows are about 3 times more expensive than walls).
The third chart shows the Energy losses of the building, which will determine your heating bills.
Note how windows again account for a considerable part of losses (windows lose about 4-5 times more Energy than walls).
Assumptions and Limitations
Now, keep in mind that these, although pretty accurate, are just estimates.
There are no drawings behind this price and a lot of details will have to be figured out to build up the final price.
However, the tool packs over a decade of experience in making price offers and it is usually accurate to a 10% range.
The model is based on construction components with precise specifications.
To get a full list of specifications, click the yellow button in the pricing tool and ask Creatomus to send you the details.
If you want more information on the process of building a prefab home or you have any other kind of question, feel free to reach out to us.