Are EasyBuild’s modular homes the future of housing in New Zealand?

EasyBuild modular home

A version of this article was originally published on

Anyone who has seen Grand Designs knows that building a new home from scratch can be an expensive and time-consuming process. With so many variables, a lifelong dream can become a stressful, drawn-out experience.

But EasyBuild, a 100% New Zealand-owned and operated modular home builder, is here to prove that it doesn’t have to be that way.

The company builds standalone and multi-unit homes modular that can be constructed in half the time of a traditional build and at a lower cost, making it easier than ever for Kiwis to get into a quality, brand new home, or complete housing development and investment projects faster.

EasyBuild modular home

With more than 25 different designs to choose from, the company can pump out three houses a week from its factory in Upper Hutt. The components are then flat packed, put in a shipping container and sent to sites around the country, where their teams of trained, expert builders complete the homes on site.

EasyBuild Co-founder and Director Mike Fox describes the homes as being “the Ikea of the building industry” and says modular housing has the potential to play a major role in easing New Zealand’s housing crisis, especially given recent RMA changes and council regulations now allowing for greater housing density in urban areas.

“They can be built twice as fast as a conventional home, and they’re energy-efficient and affordable,” he says.

Fox says modular housing offers a much-needed alternative to our traditional way of construction, which focuses on building bespoke homes on site. “We need to be able to give the consumer a choice,” he says.

“You can buy a good-value house that is pre-consented and pre-designed. You can make some tweaks to it, you can get it quickly and you can save a bunch of money and time. Or you go for the traditional method where you wait a long time to get your house, you pay a lot more and it’s put together piecemeal on site.”

“The reason that we can do things affordably and quickly is because we are doing lots of the same thing. We use the same methodology all the time, which enables us to get economies of scale – and that is where the traditional industry falls down. We’re able to produce a high-quality product, in a highly efficient way, that doesn’t cost the earth.”

Fox says the construction method the company uses is similar to what exists in Scandinavia but has been adapted for local conditions and “turned into a New Zealand system”. Fox also points out they differ from other kit-set houses, where essentially you are just sold a “big pile of materials and you put it together”.

“We’ve prefabricated them to a high level in our factory, so that when the walls come out they have the windows and insulation pre- installed, and everything’s already pre-cut and ready to be assembled by our teams on-site.”

Another difference between EasyBuild and many other transportable home or prefabricated home providers, is that because the structure is put together on site and only a deposit paid in advance of the materials arriving on site, typically standard construction lending is available from financial institutions.

Modular housing also has environmental benefits, with total build waste reduced by up to two-thirds of that of a conventional build.

Once on site, a trained team will generally have the homes watertight within seven to ten days, with the construction period taking around 12-14 weeks in total. All house designs also have MultiProof approval from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, making the consenting process much quicker and easier than that of a conventional build, with Fox estimating it normally takes half the time to cut through the red tape and gain consent.

EasyBuild exterior

And because the houses range in size from one-bedroom, 38-square-metre homes to four-bedroom 176-square-metre homes, and there are standalone, duplex and multi-unit options, EasyBuild’s modular homes are suitable for all types of people and styles of living.

Fox says they are particularly popular with existing homeowners looking to unlock more value from their land by subdividing their property or building a minor dwelling to rent out to tenants or tourists. They’re also popular with clients who have multigenerational living requirements, and for larger scale development projects in medium density housing areas.

And while he is aware modular housing may not appeal to people who want a unique, bespoke house, Fox firmly believes that by giving people more choice as to what sort of home they can build, the concept can play a role in getting more Kiwis into warm, affordable housing sooner.

“We’re not all things to all people. We are about providing really robust, high-quality, energy-efficient, affordable homes that can be built quickly and will stand the test of time.”

Head to your local EasyBuild Show Home to discover the comfort and quality of an EasyBuild home for yourself, or contact your local EasyBuild team to start making your new home dreams a reality. 

Talk to your local EasyBuild team today 

Is an EasyBuild home the affordable housing solution you’ve been looking for?

A version of this article was originally published on

A lot of things may have previously come to mind when picturing a prefabricated home. In the past, it’s been considered a temporary housing solution, a glorified garage or an office out the back.

But one Kiwi company is changing all of that, with its Kiwi-designed and built quality modular homes, that may just be the future of housing in Aotearoa.

EasyBuild, a nationwide modular home building company, specialises in modular homes which can be built up to twice as fast on site as other new home options – at less cost and with no compromise on quality.

If you’ve suffered through the last damp winter in a drafty villa, or you’re stuck while looking for a first home option, these warm, dry and spacious home designs may just be the perfect solution.

EasyBuild co-founder Mike Fox certainly thinks so, and is willing to make the claim that an EasyBuild home offers “the best value on the market”.

“Often, if you want to buy cheap, you end up with no more than a lined-out garage,” he told Newshub. “[But] our homes have above average energy efficiency, they’re made producing very low waste, the construction is way more solid…”

“Every time people turn up to one of our show homes they always say ‘wow, I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as this’.

Modern and spacious kitchen and dining

“It’s the value for money aspect – there will always be something cheaper, but you’re not getting the same quality, warm, environmentally friendly home for your money.”

The numbers back up the claims. According to EasyBuild data, their homes are more than twice as airtight compared to conventional builds, with less than three air changes per hour, compared to 6-10 per hour in conventionally built new homes – all translating to more money in your pocket with lower bills for heating and cooling your home.

To make it even better, building waste is reduced by two thirds, and each build is extra weathertight with a rigid air barrier and ventilated cavity – all features you don’t commonly find in comparable homes.

If you’re unsure about how an EasyBuild home works, Newshub previously wrote about the ‘flatpack‘ designs. Basically, if you can walk to a section, one of the company’s modern, modular home designs can be built on it.

In what will be another huge surprise to anyone who’s ever built a home, the on-site building process only takes around 12-14 weeks from foundations being laid – meaning you’re saving time and money across the entire build, including rent and finance, labour costs and more.

So who’s the best fit for EasyBuild’s housing solution? Just about anyone it would seem -– their wide range of light and spacious designs means there’s something for everyone. But Fox says a major portion of their clientele is especially those looking for first homes, looking to downsize, or add secondary dwellings to their existing land.

If you don’t mind living a stone’s throw from mum and dad, Fox says they’re seeing a surge of first home buyers building on larger family sections after previously being locked out of the market because prices are too high.

“A really big thing we’re seeing is families using their assets if they’re on a large section, by subdividing and building another house on the back for their adult kids or parents to move in to,” he explained, noting that there’s been a big focus on solutions for multi-generational living in recent years.

“Or they’re also great for people wanting to downsize and move into a warmer, drier home. Baby boomers are a big portion of our market – especially people who are retiring – because they’re warm, low maintenance homes that stand the test of time.”

If it all sounds too good to be true, the EasyBuild team recommends you get along to one of their show homes or talk to your friendly local EasyBuild team to see for yourself – before getting out of your cold, damp home quick smart, and into something warm, environmentally friendly and energy-efficient – without breaking the bank.

Talk to your local EasyBuild team today 

Unlocking Efficiency: Why your EasyBuild home can be consented up to twice as fast!

Here at EasyBuild, we’re always talking about how quickly our homes can be consented. In fact, a good majority of our homes are consented by councils in less than 10 working days, with no RFIs. Anyone with any experience in consenting new builds will know this is far from the norm!

This is all possible because each of our home designs has MBIE Multiple-Use Approval, more commonly known as MultiProof.

But what do we mean by all of this? How is a MultiProof Approval different from a Standard Building Consent? What’s the benefit to you? And why is it faster?

We’re here to talk you through the differences in consent types, and the benefits of building a home with MBIE MultiProof Approval.

What is a Standard Building Consent in NZ?

A standard building consent in New Zealand is the typical review process that a new home design will go through to be approved to be built on a section. It involves producing and submitting specific detailed plans, engineering documentation, specifications, site-specific information and other necessary documentation to the local Building Consent Authorities – your council.

The council reviews the consent application documents to ensure that all restricted building work complies with the NZ Building Code and other relevant regulations. This process focuses on the specific details of the proposed project, including its design, structural integrity, safety measures, and adherence to environmental standards. Councils aim to complete a standard building consent within 20 working days, however, requests for information (RFIs) and other factors can extend this timeframe by weeks or in some cases, months, delaying the start of your build significantly and increasing costs.

What is MBIE Multiple-Use Approval/MultiProof?

MBIE Multiple-Use Approval is given for pre-approved building designs and is beneficial for builders and companies who build standardised designs. It provides evidence to Building Consent Authorities (councils) that a design complies with the NZ Building code.

EasyBuild has MBIE MultiProof Approval for each of our individual designs.

MBIE’s pre-approval process involves the submission and review of comprehensive plans, including detailed drawings and engineering documentation, along with other documentation that demonstrates compliance with the NZ Building Code and regulations. Once a MultiProof Approval is granted, that design is added to the MultiProof Register, where councils are able to access the information they require.

When a building consent application includes a MultiProof Approval, the Building Consent Authorities must grant or refuse it within 10 working days instead of the usual 20 working days.

Any RFIs, (request for further information) raised while assessing the consent application should only be site-specific (such as service connections, foundations etc), and not related to the design of the home, unless the design has departed from the MultiProof.

A Building Consent Authority (Council) is there to confirm and establish:

  • the design, with any permitted variations, is the same as the design approved in the MultiProof
  • that the proposed site meets the conditions of the MultiProof
  • that the site-specific features of the design comply with the Building Code
  • the on-site inspections required
So how will building a home with MBIE MultiProof Approval help you?
It saves you time

The primary advantage of building a home with a MultiProof Approval is time. Time saved on both preparation of documents required for your home, and the significant reduction in time required for consenting, with a guaranteed council timeframe of 10 working days, if all information is supplied at the time of submitting your building consent application.

With pre-approved designs readily available in the Multiproof Register, council teams can skip the time-consuming review process for standard building consents. This leads to your project getting started in a matter of weeks after submitting your consent to council. Ultimately, your new home will get out of the ground more quickly, and you’ll move into your new home sooner.

It saves you money

The streamlined nature of MultiProof Approvals translates to cost savings. By avoiding the need to create individual plans and consent documents for similar home designs, money is saved on each home build through both the design and consenting phases.

Increased certainty

Because the design has already been approved, there’s less uncertainty regarding compliance with regulations. This leads to smoother interactions with councils throughout the consenting and inspection processes, and fewer surprises during the construction process.

Design flexibility

While the core design is pre-approved, there’s still room for flexibility within certain parameters. Site-specific considerations and minor floorplan design modifications can be made while staying within the bounds of the approved MultiProof designs, meaning your home can be truly yours.

At the end of the day, building a home with an MBIE MultiProof design, such as one of EasyBuild’s wide variety of home designs, helps to save you money and limit surprises and delays during the consent and building phases, while still offering you the ability to make your home unique to you and your family.

Best of all, MultiProof Approvals on our designs help us get you into your new home sooner, which paired with EasyBuild’s unique construction method, makes the entire build process from design to moving in, seriously fast!

Talk to your local EasyBuild team today to get started on your new home journey with EasyBuild, or visit your local show home to experience the quality and comfort of an EasyBuild home for yourself.

The EasyBuild Way

An EasyBuild home under construction

In a world where innovation and convenience go hand-in-hand, EasyBuild Homes’ modular homes are the future of housing in Aotearoa, and are available nationwide.

Getting Kiwis into quality, cost-effective homes, fast, is EasyBuild’s goal, and with our unique modular construction method, we can truly deliver on this promise.

Manufactured with a high-level of prefabrication in our Upper Hutt factory, EasyBuild’s partially constructed homes are delivered to site in a shipping container and completed on site. Completing the homes on site means that if you can walk there, we can build there – essentially we go where no transportable home can! Plus with our network of experienced EasyBuild teams across the country, you can trust that you’re in good hands.

An EasyBuild home under construction

EasyBuild’s unique modular construction method is based on a portal and panel system. Once the portal frame is in place, pre-finished panels with pre-installed windows and insulation are fixed between the portals, followed by ceiling sheets.
Our homes are enclosed and protected from the elements within as little as two weeks on site. If you’re familiar with construction in New Zealand, you’ll know this is a real feat!

Work then continues on both the inside and outside of the house concurrently, and the entire EasyBuild home can be completed in as little as 12 weeks, while our customers can rest assured that there’s no compromise on quality.

EasyBuild’s overall process is designed with speed and efficiency in mind, including MBIE MultiProof approval on all of our designs, which means building consent can be granted up to twice as fast. Gone are the days of lengthy construction projects and endless delays.

And what about the end result? Light-filled, quality, affordable homes in a range of family friendly designs, with raised ceilings, exposed rafters and unmatched energy efficiency, that are built for New Zealand’s unique conditions and designed to stand the test of time.

Talk to your local EasyBuild team today to get started on your new home journey with EasyBuild, or visit your local show home to experience the quality and comfort of an EasyBuild home for yourself.

Q&A: Putting the ‘Easy’ into building

Mike Fox and Scott Matthews, EasyBuild Factory
Mike Fox and Scott Matthews, EasyBuild Factory
Mike Fox (Director) and Scott Matthews (CEO) of EasyBuild Homes.

This article was originally published on

EasyBuild is a Hutt Valley business helping transform New Zealand’s residential building industry. NZBusiness sat down with CEO Scott Matthews to determine their competitive advantage.


NZB: Why does it make sense to buy a modular house?

Scott: Most of us dream of home ownership, in fact most people would argue that it’s a human right. We have all been raised in an environment where you commonly design your own home, and every home is different. The building industry advertise this all the time, but then customers wonder why the house is often poorly insulated, expensive and requires lots of heating.

This is very different to many parts of the world where people by a house off plan and it is one of perhaps 30 in the same location that looks similar. I often make the analogy that if you want a good, reliable and fairly priced car, you would buy a Toyota Corolla. However if you want something different you would drive a custom build or a Ferrari. 

Looking at a modular home vs. a custom designed home, the pricing difference is similar, but you’ll get better bang for your buck with a modular home in terms of build time, thermal efficiency, environmental friendliness, and other benefits, when compared to a standard construction house of the same price.

Modular homes are normally quick to build, well insulated and built, minimise waste and are normally priced the same as a similar sized home, but superior quality.

NZB: Where did the concept come from for your company?

Scott: The concept is relatively old, with the original inventor using this method some 30 years ago. However, the designs were brought up to date and the business was launched in its own right five years ago. We have a simple but enduring purpose. We want to provide Kiwis with warm, robust, and affordable housing because we believe everyone should enjoy living in their own EasyBuild home.

NZB: Tell us a bit more about your point of difference?

Scott: We’re a local business building affordable, quality, robust, and warm homes nationwide. We build quickly and efficiently whilst reducing waste and trying to source materials locally wherever possible. We also create opportunities to train and support those returning to work and looking to engage in the workforce. Available nationwide, we now have 10 licensee locations building houses in their local communities across the North Island from Northland to Wellington and are looking to expand into the South Island.

NZB: Describe your manufacturing process?

Scott: Essentially the skeleton of the house is produced as component pieces in a factory, so every piece required for the shell of the house is cut, marked, drilled and prepared for quick assembly on site.

All the external walls are constructed as super insulated panels, containing insulation suitable for any climate, conduits for power, a waterproof shell, and finally, the windows, rebates and window architraves are fitted before the house is sent to site in a shipping container.

NZB: How did covid and the pandemic impact your business’s progress?

Scott: The last 12 months have been interesting. Yes, we have faced challenges with the businesses – namely the hyperinflation and material shortages in the New Zealand market. However, despite the many challenges our business is growing.

We have also taken on more staff and now have 17 staff (11 in the factory and 6 in the office). Our commitment is to hire local where possible, and we recently committed to take on a student next year via the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce Employment to Education programme.

We have also earned our stripes with social housing projects – a strategic move for us to diversify and future proof the business, developing social housing models, whilst still providing homes for families.

We have gained a solid reputation for building affordable, warm, and quick housing by social housing providers and iwi. Our projects over the next 12 months include working with Kainga Ora, Trust House and Wesleyan Community Action Group

In terms of materials, we have a good relationship with our merchants and a direct relationship with our local producers, particularly Kiwi Lumber and Juken. 

NZB: A major housing development dedicated to first home buyers is about to get underway, can you give us an update on where things are at in terms of the build?

Scott: We feel very privileged as a business to be working with Koru Kāinga and our own values align with the objectives of this development; to bring affordable, quality housing to local families and first home buyers.

We have worked with Koru Homes NZ founder Adrian Chooi to design 51 three-bedroom homes in Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt and provided a team of experts or a “dream team” to support the planning and resource consent application.  Developments of this nature don’t just happen, and we have really enjoyed supporting this development. We are proud to be part of New Zealand’s first private development dedicated to getting first home buyers on the property ladder.

All going well we hope to commence building in early February 2023 and the build will be phased with 51 units built over the next 18 months. 

NZB: How has being based in Upper Hutt benefitted your business?

Scott: We have been really pleased with the ongoing support provided by the Upper Hutt City Council and the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce. The council recently invited us to a job fair in which we received a few leads for potential workers. In fact, we have had no issues employing people in the area. Geographically we are in an ideal spot for operating our business – close to State Highway 1 and 2; close to our suppliers and licensees as well as all the projects we have lined up locally.  We know good commercial space is hard to come by, so we are grateful to be operating out of 880sqm of floor space and 400sqm of yard space.

Our work with social development housing providers is also benefiting the local economy. As we are in a commercial zone, we can operate 24 hours a day (subject to observing noise limits) which effectively means we have the opportunity to run a shift-based system across 7 days, expand and take on more local staff as we continue to grow.

NZB: What are the future plans for the business and where are you experiencing growth?

Scott: We are experiencing growth in not just social housing but from families seeking modular housing built on their own sections – from mum and dad’s wanting to build a smaller house for their children who can’t get on the housing ladder; to retirees wanting something smaller and easier to maintain and so on. Our houses range from 38sqm to 176sqm so we cater for all needs. The recent changes to the Building Act/RMA allows many people to build value by adding an additional dwelling on their existing section.

New Zealand’s Affordable Housing Crisis – why is it so hard to produce low cost homes?

In EasyBuild founding Director Mike Fox’s July Building Today column, he discusses New Zealand’s affordable housing crisis – and why it’s so hard to produce low cost homes.

Mike’s article elaborates:

“It is one of the biggest problems our country faces — we cannot produce the affordable housing that’s so desperately needed.

But we can produce an overabundance of expensive homes. So why the massive disconnect between demand and supply?

Without political ownership and a major overhaul of the current regulatory processes, affordable housing will never be delivered. New Zealand’s journey to housing unaffordability has been 30-plus years in the making.

Over the past four decades, I’ve built hundreds of homes, and have watched the market progressively tilt towards larger homes on smaller, very expensive lots, with building time frames stretching out and productivity plummeting.

Unfortunately, this is what our current system and market dictates, but it is woefully under-delivering on what we need to house everyone, especially in the dawning era where affordability will be paramount.”

After our Government’s Kiwibuild solution failed, they soon realised too that the delivery system in NZ is broken, full of delays, hurdles, costs and skewed towards high cost land and therefore high cost homes.

Mike continues, “We have been building a disproportionate oversupply of expensive larger homes, with the greatest area of demand being affordable homes, hardly catered for.

This needs to change, and quickly. However, if we continue to follow the same regulatory processes, how can we expect a different outcome? It just won’t happen.

If we want affordable housing, we need to produce affordable land free of inflationary minimum size and design-restrictive covenants.

In reality, these covenants are put in place by developers to raise the price of subsequent section releases. They cut out a large portion of buyers who might be wanting a smaller, more efficient home.”

At the end of the day, to solve this crisis, we need a different approach, says Mike, “The solution is relatively clear — we need fewer rules and political fortitude, as local authorities will need to be curbed and, in some cases, overruled — and not just for Government projects.

If they asked me, I would remove all smaller residential projects from the Resource Management Act as it is no longer fit for purpose, and the planning process too subjective. The process often gets highjacked by neighbours, anti-commercial practices, personal agendas and nimbism.

More standardisation of design and modular building needs to be increased, and the consumer conditioned to not expect a bespoke home if they want affordability and value.

Building companies create the expectation that you can have your home any way you want. However, if the consumer realised that building bespoke added at least 25% to the cost of their home, they may view things very differently.

This is even more important now where people will be cutting their cloth accordingly, and looking for homes within their means that deliver efficiency on all fronts.

The social and health costs from not getting more affordable housing into the market far outweigh the cost of providing good housing. All these people forced to live in motels, cars and caravans need a stable, warm place to call home.”

Check out Mike’s full article on

EasyBuild have the perfect solution to help New Zealand’s affordable housing crisis, and we’re committed to providing high quality, excellent value for money homes for Kiwis, around the country. Talk to us today about how EasyBuild can help you.

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