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Modular homes versus manufacturing homes

September 10, 2008
There are many misconceptions about modular construction and modular homes. A common misconception is that modular, panelized, manufactured and mobile homes are all the same. This is simply not the case. Hopefully, this list of frequently asked questions will help to explain some of the differences between these types of construction.

Q What is modular home construction?

A. Modular home construction is a system built home building process where the home is constructed in a factory in accordance with the same Uniform Building Code (UBC) as a site-built home. Once completed at the factory, the modular home is transported to the building site and permanently set and attached to the foundation.

Q What is a mobile home (also known as manufactured or HUD homes)?

A. Mobile homes are built in a factory in accordance with a federal building code or HUD code. These homes are typically parked or installed in a trailer park or similar location.

Q What is a panelized home?

A. Panelized homes are shipped to the site in structural building panels. The panels are then assembled on-site. The home is finished on site in a similar manner as a stick built home.

Q What is a kit home?

A. Kit homes (i.e. log homes) are a mail order home where all the pieces are delivered to the customer - similar to a panelized home. It is the customers' responsibility to assemble the panels. This type of home is regarded as a do-it-yourself project.

Q Do modular homes withstand environmental elements?

A. Yes, modular homes are built to withstand all of the elements including: rain, snow, extreme cold and high winds (including hurricanes).

Q Do modular homes retain their value?

A. Modular homes, like site built homes, appreciate in value. In comparison, a mobile (manufactured or HUD) home generally depreciates or looses its value over time, similar to the depreciation of a motor vehicle (i.e. car).

Q Are modular homes built with the same amount of material as site built homes?

A. Modular homes are built with 30% more material than site built homes. They are built to withstand the rigors of shipping. The structural building components including the walls, floors, and ceilings are nailed, bracketed, glued, and corner bolted for added strength.

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This article is a great simple FAQ on the differences of modular versus manufacturing homes.

Rick Gomez.