In Kenya, owning an affordable home has been said to be a fantasy for many. It is a huge investment. While there has been an oversupply of houses in the high-end areas of Nairobi, there still exists a high demand for affordable housing for the middle-income segment. But this is soon bound to be history following the introduction of affordable housing solutions, the mabati prefab houses. 

Also known as prefab houses or iron fabricated houses, these mabati houses are built off the desired site, and then later transported to their destination. Thanks to technology and the evolution of the industry, these mabati houses are no longer referred to as for the poor. People are now embracing the thought of living in different types of houses: be it wooden, iron fabricated or even customised shipping containers as long as it is affordable.

So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of a mabati house?


Fast construction

Unlike mortar and brick construction, mabati houses do not take long to construct. This means that you will be spared the stress that comes with following the fundis and checking the standards of the materials that have been used during the construction of the house. All you have to do is wait for a ready house and assemble at an agreed location. 

Energy saving

Fabricated iron houses entail solar panels on them and special windows to help you save on energy, this means that electricity costs will be minimal compared to mortar and brick type of houses. 

Also, this kind of house does not pollute the environment like other types of houses. For example, materials used to develop brick-and-mortar constructions emit dangerous chemicals to the environment. This is because some roofing tiles and plumbing pipes have lead, a poisonous metal that can affect your health. 


Mabati houses are among the most affordable houses one can own. Coming as an already-made house, this will save you the hustle of paying the workers. Also, you will not have to pay more where you should pay less. Some workers tend to lie to their clients on the costs of materials to make profits. Also, this type of house costs less since fewer workers are needed to build it.


Land cost

For mabati houses, owning the land you intend to support the fabricated iron house is a bonus. This means that those who don’t own land will have to buy one. This will add more expenses on your side since you will also need utilities that don’t come with the house like water and electricity.  Also, you will need to examine the ability of the land to support the house, which will add more expenses.

Note that you will also have to pay for land permits.

Ready money

One of the disadvantages of getting a fabricated iron house is that you will not benefit from a mortgage or long-term payment plans offered for other houses. However, you will need to pay for the mabati house before its construction. Make sure that the permit allows you to have a flexible payment plan till the completion of the house. 

It is wise to have a budget plan before you commit to any mabati house, to avoid any regrets along the way.

Low resale value

In case you feel the urge to sell the mabati house, it might be a little harder than other houses. This is because of the notion that still exists in some people’s minds that mabati houses are for the poor. Also, the value of the house may not increase hence making it hard to get an investor.