Prefabricated houses with Aliexpress: pros and cons and popularity forecasts

Prefabricated houses with Aliexpress: pros and cons and popularity forecasts

The Chinese aggregator AliExpress is famous for having everything you need, including prefabricated houses. The price range on the site is wide, the cost of such iron structures starts from $1000. There is a wide variety of shapes, sizes, purpose types, floors, and stylistic solutions.

Experts analyzed this site’s offer and gave professional answers to questions:

  1. What do prefab-houses on AliExpress are made of;
  2. Whether it is possible to assemble a house from these parts on your own;
  3. What is the secret of low prices of Chinese masters’ prefabricated villas?

Surprise-surprise: manufactured homes on Aliexpress are not always what they seem

On the world-famous aggregator, there are often «fake» ads of prefabricated houses. Local developers under the guise of iron structures offer their services for the building construction, abusing the ad filtering system shortcoming on the site.

To get round the Chinese aggregator’s ban on false advertising, companies do not show buyers the final variants of the buildings but their projects with characteristics. But one can order these buildings anywhere in the world, the price is relevant. So here we are talking not about fraud but rather unfair and irrelevant PR.

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Structure and design features of prefabricated houses

Most of the AliExpress’s houses are prefabricated structures with a metal frame and insulation. Some of them are converted sea containers. The connexion of elements is variable: they can be attached both horizontally and vertically.

What one can construct, according to the descriptions on the site: 

  • a villa;
  • an eco-friendly modular house;
  • an office;
  • a garage;
  • a cafe.

Important: manufactured homes from Aliexpress are only frames filled with insulation. Sellers leave the decision about the number of future rooms, finishing and weatherization of walls to the buyers.


Many manufacturers specify galvanized contoured ducts as the frame material. The structures’ strength and carrying force, the provided information reliability of the ad, as well as the product compliance with the standards and grades of the Russian Federation, cannot be checked before receiving the parcel.

Important: in the metal frame buildings, the key factors are the insulation and facade cladding reliability, the interior decoration quality, and thermal bypass absence. In the case of prefabricated structures of Aliexpress, all these components are questionable.

Structures made of converted sea containers may initially have internal engineering networks and finishes. It is enough to joint them according to instructions and install facades and roofs.

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The indicated on the site cost can grow

In general, prefab-houses cost from 80 to 700 thousand rubles, plus 10-25 thousand rubles for delivery to Moscow.

Why is it so cheap? It is simple: the buyer receives metal structures made of the light-gauge structural shapes, and not a ready-made house.

Note: be sure to check with the sellers the design standards and the load-bearing capacity of the structure that you purchase. According to the site descriptions, the final results of the build and configuration vary. All this requires specifications and can lead to a product cost increase.

Set-up characteristics

There are no detailed specifications and projects for the construction of houses offered on the site. It is impossible to assess their load-bearing capacity objectively, this is a pig in a poke. But even with reliably specified dimensions, it is only possible to correctly mount and install homes without a security threat if one has experience in assembling thin-walled structures.

Self-insulation, engineering communications breeding, windows and doors, roofs and facades installation requires experience. In most cases, one will need professional help, which will almost certainly increase the construction price of the erection.

Also, keep in mind that Russian-language installation documentation is not guaranteed. This complicates the build process at times.

Note: in terms of time, if involving a team of 3-4 people, the construction of a prefab-house will take 2-3 weeks. Insulation, facade and finishing work will take another couple of months.

The benefits of prefab houses

Analysis and forecasts

When purchasing manufactured homes on AliExpress, remember that it involves risks. Without being able to specify the availability of the project, knowing the configuration features, the premises final area, without having guarantees and the actual sale contract, such purchase is a pure lottery. The result and durability of the construction is the will of chance, which depends on the integrity of the manufacturer, supplier and professionalism of those who will deal with the set-up and installation.

Important: the seller may not know English, as well as the buyer. Discussing the house purchase, which one will have to assemble yourself, with the help of the Google translator is a huge gamble. It is possible, of course, to hire a translator who specializes in construction topics. This is more reliable but it is not easy to find and check these specialists’ qualifications.

Please, also note that very few prefabricated houses have been sold, and they have almost no reviews. This is a reason to be wary and think. It will be useful to check the photo before buying. Sometimes it may just be images from the Internet. In this case, refuse to cooperate with the supplier.

Of course, prefabricated houses are an opportunity to build a country house and other buildings with minimal costs in a short time. They can also be used as temporary housing, cabins, guest houses or campsites for rent. And the demand for such structures, even though slowly, is increasing. The inhibiting factor is the repulsively low price.

However, according to experts, the trend will gain momentum over time. The share of modular houses can reach 10% in Russia as a whole and up to 25% in megacities of the total number of buildings under construction when a reliable manufacturer of prefab-houses and a trustworthy website for their purchase and sale introduction on the Russian market.

Based on materials: RBC

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