Manufactured homes fall under the umbrella of what’s known as prefabricated houses, including modular houses. Also known as “pre-fab” residences, manufactured homes differ from site-built residences in that much of the building is done in a factory. The modules or components are sent, and final construction happens at the house’s location. The advantage of this procedure is that the general contractor can save yourself time and money by not having to deal with subcontractors, and the components can be created at a lower price.
Generated vs. Modular
Modular homes are built in sections known as “modules,” along with the sections are transported into a site for final assembly on a foundation. Manufactured homes used to be understood as “mobile homes” or trailers; they are assembled completely at the factory, and the final product is sent as-is to the site. Manufactured homes typically don’t have a lasting foundation, but homeowners may elect to build one. Eventually, manufactured homes can be placed in trailer parks or on personal property.
The style of a manufactured home depends upon the number of sections comprise it. The average section measures eight to 14 feet wide but that can vary among producers. Bigger homes are made up of several sections combined and customized. Unlike modular homes, manufactured homes are only available at single-story configurations. Architectural styles include ranch (typically narrow and longer), cabin-style residences (square with hardwood siding), as well as high-end estate homes with atriums. Floor plans can contain porches and garages made from additional sections.
While floor plans may seem similar on paper, you can personalize a brand new manufactured home by choosing different materials for the roof and siding and selecting a variety of colors and design elements for the inside. More expensive residences feature real wooden cabinetry and provide buyers more carpeting and flooring options. If you buy a used manufactured home, you can replace different elements to better match your taste, just like you can do in a conventional home.
All prefabricated homes fall under the purview of the U.S. government. The Department of Housing and Urban Development regulates structure of manufactured homes to be sure they arrive to safety standards. Additional regulation and requirements for modular homes are imposed by states or localities and are subject to local inspection after on-site assembly. In California, additional state regulations address earthquake along with other regional safety concerns.