Mobile homes, manufactured homes, and modular homes are often referred to as the same thing. All three types of homes are manufactured in controlled factory environments, where they later undergo transportation to a construction site. As opposed to site-built houses, their materials aren’t at risk for being damaged during the construction process and can be put together in a shorter time period. Although they’re all similar, modular, mobile, and manufactured homes do have very important differences between them.
Mobile and manufactured homes do share similarities in lacking permanent foundations, but the term “mobile home” is outdated. Mobile homes have wheels and will always be one story. You can choose from a size of either: a single, a double, or a triple-wide. These types of homes are typically difficult to expand on, and when compared to site built-homes, they’re more likely to lose value over time. The term, “mobile home”, generally refers to houses constructed before 1976. Shortly after, the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) instituted new building regulations for homes being made in factories, which has significantly improved the quality of mobile homes.
Manufactured homes are considered the modern version of mobile homes, conforming to HUD’s building standards. Although they comply with these regulations, manufactured homes don’t have to be inspected for structural integrity. Since they are quickly constructed, home buyers can purchase and receive their new home within a few days, but their options for customization may be limited. Energy efficient units are available, and older models can be updated to improve energy consumption. Manufactured homes tend to be smaller than site-built homes, yet with a little design work, they can look very similar. A major benefit of buying a manufactured home is that it’s significantly cheaper than a site-built home.
Modular homes are constructed in large sections and are transported to their locations by a flatbed truck. Once on site, contractors will assemble the blocks, resulting in a house that complies with all building and zoning codes. Modular homes differ from manufactured and mobile homes because they have traditional foundations. These houses range in size, and can be made up of either one story or two. Luckily, buyers are usually able to customize them to their preferences. Modular homes tend to be sturdier than site-built homes, cheaper per foot, and more energy efficient.