How Modular Homes and Manufactured Homes Differ
by Janet Wickell
Facts About Modular, Manufactured, & Site Built Homes
When you are buying a home, you might hear the terms modular homes, manufactured homes and site built homes. It's important to understand how they all differ, no matter whether you are purchasing an existing house or plan to build on land that is subject to restrictions. The differences can affect a home's price and its resale value, and even dictate whether or not it can be built on your land.
What Are Site Built Homes?
They are constructed entirely at the building site.
They conform to all state, local or regional codes where the house is located.
Often called 'stick-built' houses.
A well-built, cared for site-built home generally increases in value over time, although its location plays a key role in value.
What Are Modular Homes?
Modular homes are built in sections at a factory.
Modular homes are built to conform to all state, local or regional building codes at their destinations.
Sections are transported to the building site on truck beds, then joined together by local contractors.
Local building inspectors check to make sure a modular home's structure meets requirements and that all finish work is done properly.
Modular homes are sometimes less expensive per square foot than site built houses.
A well-built modular home should have the same longevity as its site-built counterpart, increasing in value over time.
What Are Manufactured Homes?
Formerly referred to as mobile homes or trailers, but with many more style options than in the past.
Manufactured houses are built in a factory.
They conform to a Federal building code, called the HUD code, rather than to building codes at their destinations.
Manufactured homes are built on a non-removable steel chassis.
Sections are transported to the building site on their own wheels.
Multi-part manufactured units are joined at their destination.
Segments are not always placed on a permanent foundation, making them more difficult to re-finance.
Building inspectors check the work done locally (electric hook up, etc.) but are not required to approve the structure.
Manufactured housing is generally less expensive than site built and modular homes.