4 Affordable Prefab Starter Homes

Tiny House: The Kanga on E 2nd

Tiny House: The Kanga on E 2nd

If you are thinking about building a small house, all of these prefabs make great starter homes, granny pads, and even vacation retreats.

At one time, prefabricated houses weren't considered a sound investment. While they made homeownership more affordable, they were essentially low-cost housing that wasn't very good-looking or, more importantly, as weather-resistant as stick-built homes. 

However, thanks to cutting edge building techniques, there are plenty of affordable, durable and customizable prefab options that not only look better but can also withstand wicked weather.

The following list features five affordable prefab starter homes. We also included need-to-know facts about prefabricated dwellings.

  • 01 of 04

    A Stylish Timber Frame Home

    TimberCab Interior pre fab home
    The interior of the TimberCab FabCab

    This 550 square foot prefab called TimberCab by FabCab, a Seattle company that specializes in building sustainable, healthy homes. Some of the Universal Design features you will find in FabCab homes include step-free entryways, wide doorways, and plenty of windows that fill the home with natural light.

    Prefab facts: There are three types of prefab houses:

    • Flat-packed or panel homes arrive on-site as kits with all the pieces like floors and walls pre-cut and ready to assemble on a permanent foundation.
    • Modular homes come partially built from the factory. They arrive on-site as preassembled modules that a building crew will secure together and install on a permanent foundation.
    • Manufactured homes are similar to mobile homes. Both come entirely built from the factory. When the fully assembled homes arrive on-site, they are not installed on a permanent foundation.
    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    A Cozy Manufactured Cabin

    Tiny House by WheelHaus

    The Wedge by Wheelhaus is a prefab home on wheels that arrives on site fully assembled. The interior living area is a compact 400 square feet, and it has a porch that brings an additional 100 square feet to the plate. Want to stay in a Wedge before buying? The Fireside Resort, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming has several of these cozy cabins available for guests.

    Prefab homes generate less waste while being built than conventionally constructed abodes.

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    A Prefab That Was Once a Shipping Container

    Prefab Container Home

    There are not many building companies that specialize in shipping container homes. That's why we were thrilled to hear about Montainer, a company based in Montana that transforms used shipping containers into compliant code dwellings. But wait, there's more. Their in-house team will help you avoid a nasty case of sticker shock during the building process. They will identify all of your costs including installation before construction begin

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    An Adorable Starter Home or Retirement Abode

    Tiny House by Kanga

    This pleasant one-bedroom home is an eco-friendly and energy-efficient city-dwelling by Kanga Room Systems based in Austin, Texas. All of their prefab building kits are made locally and can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. Even better, all of their homes can be customized both inside and out.

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  1. Ganiron, Tomas U. Jr. Almarwae, Mohammed. Prefabricated Technology in a Modular House. International Journal of Advanced Science and Technology vol.73, 2014 pp.51-74. doi:10.14257/ijast.2014.73.04