Prefab vs. Modular: Cracking the Code on Tiny Houses’ Building Blocks

tiny house nz

Are you thinking of buying and moving into a tiny house in NZ? If so, then you might have heard of the terms, ‘prefabs’ and ‘modular’. You are probably wondering what these terms mean and how they relate to tiny houses.

Don’t worry, in this blog, we will uncover exactly what these terms mean, including their differences and similarities. So, don’t stop reading if you want to learn more about prefab and modular tiny houses!


Short for prefabricated, a prefab home refers to parts or entire houses that are built off-site, which are then transported to a site for assembly. There are many different types of prefab homes available, including:

  • Modular (they are a subtype of prefab homes!) – more on this next
  • Manufactured – whole houses built off-site and transported to the site
  • Kitset – similar to a DIY project, comes in parts that homeowners can pick and assemble


As mentioned above, a modular house is a subtype of a prefab house, referring to a specific type of prefab home. In essence, a modular house consists of pre-assembled ‘modules’ that are assembled like puzzle pieces or building blocks. This is all built off-site, usually in a factory.

These modules are then transported safely onto the homeowner’s land to be installed. You might even find modular homes already fully formed and only need to be transported to the site. As a result, modular homes are almost always ready to move into.

Tiny Houses

Perhaps one of the best examples of prefab and modular homes are tiny houses, like the ones that we provide at Absolute Tiny Houses. A tiny house offers numerous advantages and is often a cost-effective alternative to a traditional house. As they are prefabricated, you receive peace of mind that your house is being safely and efficiently built off-site.

If you are looking for a high quality, modular or prefab tiny house in NZ, Absolute Tiny Houses and our collection of tiny homes has got you covered. Take advantage of small home living and purchase your tiny house today. Get in touch with us for more information about our tiny houses or if you have any further questions about our tiny house designs and floor plans.

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