Modular Homes vs Manufactured Homes: What's the Difference?

As an expert in the housing industry, I am often asked about the difference between modular homes and manufactured homes. While these two types of homes may seem similar at first glance, there are some key differences that set them apart. First, let's define what we mean by modular and manufactured homes. A modular home is built in sections or modules in a factory and then transported to a site where it is assembled and anchored to a base. On the other hand, a manufactured home is built in one piece and transported to a site, where it can be relocated if needed.

This means that manufactured homes are considered personal property, similar to recreational vehicles. Despite their differences in transportation and anchoring, both modular and manufactured homes are built in a tightly controlled factory environment using high-quality construction materials and craftsmanship. In fact, when analyzing the construction of these homes, they can often look very similar. However, there are some important distinctions between the two when it comes to building codes. Modular homes are built to meet National Prefab Housing Construction and Security Standards (HUD Code), while modular homes in Florida must adhere to the Florida State Building Codes. Both types of homes are of excellent quality and construction, but this difference in codes can affect where they can be placed. One major advantage of modular homes is their shorter construction time.

Since they are built in a factory, there are no weather delays, which can greatly reduce labor costs. In fact, modular homes can be built in a fraction of the time it takes to build a traditional home on site. In terms of placement, modular homes have more flexibility than manufactured homes. They can often be placed on any residential lot that is not restricted by zoning laws. However, in some parts of Florida, where zoning laws may be more restrictive, there are plenty of zoned building lots available for prefab homes. When it comes to appearance, both prefab and modular homes can look very similar to traditional homes built on site.

However, there are some regulations that may affect the design of a modular home. For example, some states have regulations on minimum roof pitch, cantilever length, and foundation wall requirements for modular homes. So why the difference in codes and regulations? It all goes back to the history of these two types of homes. Before 1976, manufactured homes were often referred to as mobile homes and were built according to federal building codes set by the U. S.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). However, after the creation of the HUD Code in the 1970s, the term "manufactured" was used instead of "mobile" in all federal laws and documents referring to homes built after 1976. Today, manufactured homes are often found in communities specifically developed for this type of housing. On the other hand, modular homes can be placed on any residential lot that is not restricted by zoning laws.

Willis Prusha
Willis Prusha

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