After a customer places his order, the manufacturer ships the prefabricated small house kit to the building location, typically in one large shipment. Standard kits include doors, walls, roof parts and siding. Customized kits may include features such as porches, lofts or window seats. Windows may not be included in a standard package; customers may need to order them separately, depending on the manufacturer. After the kit arrives, the manufacturer assembles the home on the prepared site.
The building team assembles the outer walls of the prefab home kit first. In some cases, the customer may choose to save money by assembling the kit himself using subcontracted builders, plumbers and electricians. Customers may also have to hire additional help to add any features not included in the kit, such as appliances. Many prefabricated home manufacturers take care of legal issues such as obtaining permits, and most ensure that the home design upholds local building codes. Homeowners are typically responsible for preparing the site by leveling the ground if necessary, obtaining soil tests and building the home's foundation.
In some cases, available kit designs can be further customized by the manufacturer. Customers may have the opportunity to choose color schemes and to tweak additional features, such as solar panels, flooring, custom windows and energy-saving design features. However, with many prefab kits, customization is limited, and in most cases it adds substantially to the project's costs. Because the kits are pre-assembled in a factory, homeowners do not waste money on unused and discarded building materials. The building process is also more efficient than that of traditional homes, with some prefab home kits assembled by a team in just a few hours.