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How Modular Homes Can Save Australians Thousands

How Modular Homes Can Save Australians Thousands

Modular homes are a living solution today that in continuously rising in popularity. This is because of many factors, mostly stemming from the rise in housing costs. 

Property owners are the main market for these portable buildings, as dropping a shipping-container-sized home into a backyard will open up opportunities like providing a living space for adult children, in-laws, a temporary residence for friends and family, or most popular of all - as a short term rental unit for platforms like Airbnb.

modular tiny home made from a shipping container

Across Australia today, they're used as tiny homes, granny flats, demountable homes, portable homes, mobile homes and more. 

The real question on everyone's mind though, is how much will these modular homes really save me in the long run?

In comparison to building even a small granny flat in your backyard or as an extension of your main house, you may want to know, does a modular home cost less than building a granny flat?

Let's address those questions and see exactly how modular homes can save Australians thousands of dollars. 

Firstly though, let's define what a modular home actually is.

What are modular homes?

Modular homes can come in many shapes in sizes. 

They are typically either foldable, expandable, attachable or demountable units that come in varying designs.

For example, a modular home can be comprised of many shipping-container-sized units that are attached together with walls added or removed from the interior to provide a greater living space.

A lot of the time, these modular homes come from a manufacturer as a flatpack unit, and put together by a team of professionals.

Our team at HTC builds and customises the JULIET series of modular container homes from our warehouse in Sydney, NSW.

If you want to learn more about the differences between container homes, from expandable to modular to custom built uints, then read our article comparing different types here

What are modular homes used for?

Modular homes can be used for a variety of different things.

Uses such as a granny flat on your property, tiny home, holiday cabin and portable home are just a few different cases that modular homes have been used in the past. 

To some's surprise however, these portable demountables can be used for much more than just a living space.

Site Security Sheds

2 modular buildings used as site sheds for security on a construction site
Above: Two of our JULIET1 modular container homes used as security site sheds 

Modular homes can be used for more than just homes! Site security sheds are a perfect use for a modular building.

They can be transported, put together, modified and customised to one's desire.

This makes them great for builders and project managers as they can serve as a central location for the security of their site.


3 modular homes together into one large living space
Above: Our JULIET3 Basic modular unit featuring 3 modular homes combined together

Just imagine what you could put in there!

Modular homes make the perfect mancaves. They can be joined together to create and expand your living space to turn your compact studio into a large area for things like ping pong tables, billiards, a home theatre, gaming setups, and more.

When joined together, they retain their water-proofing and structural stability, giving you peace of mind that your mancave is secure from Australian environmental factors!

Portable Off-Grid Cabins

black tiny home cabin in australia on coast looking over sea
Above: Our JULIET1 Premium with added patio used as a portable cabin tiny home

Have a holiday property? Modular homes can make a perfect getaway retreat! 

What actually makes them portable though? Well all that is required to transport them is a flatbed and a crane. These can be hired across Australia by hourly rate of usage.

What about the off-grid aspect? Well modular buildings can be fitted out with solar, septic, water tanks and more to bring your container home to life.

At HTC, we offer all of these as add-on options to your unit. Browse our home options here.

A modular home can bring a new, compact living space to otherwise unused land on your property.

Do you need council approval for a modular container home?

Each council in Australia may have their own laws regarding granny flats and modular homes.

What it comes down to is that our units at HTC can be classed as movable dwellings.

This means they share similarities with caravans or camper vans in that they are not fixed to the ground, can be relocated, and are within certain dimensions.

Even though our units do not come with trailers, they may not need to have wheels affixed in order to be classed as a movable dwelling.

Some customers in the past have gotten custom trailers built for their units in order for them to easily move the units around, however HTC does not at this time recommend any particular trailer building or hiring company.

To find out more about different state's regulations on movable dwellings, please find our various links on our Links & Documents page.

Now to address the main question of this article - 

How modular homes can save you thousands

On building costs

According to, a 1 bedroom granny flat in Sydney can cost on average $85,000 to $100,000.

Considering modular homes from HTC can range anywhere from $13,000 to $80,000 and provide you with close to or just as much space as a custom built granny flat, they may be a more viable option according to your budget.

The build quality of modular homes may be a research point that you're looking into.

Our JULIET series in particular are built with a heavy duty galvanised steel frame and TPS sandwich panel walls.

eps sandwich panels

Above: 75mm TPS (also called EPS) sandwich panels used in our modular homes' walls

This wall material is used in applications like coolrooms and other similar scenarios where insulation is required.

They provide a great amount of strength and structural stability while maintaining their thermally insulating quality.

On environmental factors

The mobile nature of modular homes means they can be placed wherever you can safely put level footings.

By keeping your unit portable, you can relocate with ease and not worry about the environmental hassle that comes with tearing down buildings.

Want to move your tiny home to a new property? No problem. Need to relocate in a hurry? Modular homes allow you to do so. 

The only impact on the environment your modular demountable container home would have is the footings you make for it.

Above: Footings (besser blocks) for a JULIET1 modular home 

Demolishing old buildings leaves a mess of rubble that needs cleaning up and adds more time to the overall process.

By enabling a living space to be reused and relocated, modular buildings provide not only an environmental benefit but a financial one too.

On energy costs

Energy prices are another thing that adds stress to Australians. The price of electricity is going up every year and because of this, off-grid living is becoming more and more adopted.

The off-grid capabilities of modular homes allow you to have a self-sustaining space capable of creating a comfortable living area for your friends, family and guests.

Products like solar power kits are essential for any off grid setup, and HTC's modular homes are made to be utilised with such products.

Above: Solar panels and batteries mounted onto a JULIET1 modular container home

Solar panels and batteries will make any modular home capable of producing and continuously storing unused energy for itself.

This makes modular homes an amazing option for not only green energy advocates, but all those looking to save money on energy in the long run!

In conclusion, modular homes provide land owners and those with space on their existing property the opportunity to create an affordable, scalable, relocatable living space that is great for those on a budget looking for a granny flat, container home, tiny home, mancave or holiday home.