Modular, Mobile, and Manufactured Homes

how to tell the difference between modular and manufactured homes

What is the Difference Between Modular, Mobile, and Manufactured Homes?

There are a variety of prefabricated homes, including modular, mobile and manufactured homes. These homes don’t always look different, which is why it can be difficult to pinpoint the unique prefab model. The main detail is that each house is built to different building codes, which we will dive deeper into shortly. If you are curious about how to tell the difference between modular and manufactured homes, keep reading to learn the basics from the experts at Verani Realty. 

What are Mobile Homes?

Mobile homes and manufactured homes are often used interchangeably, although their differences were distinctly outlined in 1974. The National Mobile Home Construction and Safety Act was passed in ‘74, followed shortly by the HUD Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards in ‘76. The HUD Code set a new standard for manufactured homes in the following areas: design and construction, body and frame requirements, thermal protection, plumbing and electrical, fire safety, and energy efficiency. 

In the early days, mobile homes looked similar to trailers and were often used as affordable housing alternatives for workers that needed location freedom. Mobile homes are prefabricated houses that are then transported to a plot of land. Over the years, the mobile home industry has continued to grow, which is why you see lux properties that disguise their mobile features. 

After 1976, mobile home requirements changed which federally mandated that the word “mobile” be replaced with “manufactured.” The code changes improved the standard of living, elevating the mobile home experience to the beautiful manufactured homes popular today. 

What are Manufactured Homes? 

Manufactured homes will look very different from mobile homes pre-1976. However, if you hear people talking about “mobile homes” built after 1976, these are the same as manufactured homes. In sum, they are built with higher grades of safety, manufacturing, and production standards. Buyers will likely see three manufactured home models: single section, double section, and triple section. This refers to the number of housing pieces, eventually conjoined together upon placement on your property. 

So how do you tell the difference between modular and manufactured homes? As we mentioned earlier, it will usually come down to the building code. You may notice a difference between modular and manufactured homes based on the type of foundation. Manufactured homes can be built with a pier and beam foundation, or placed on a permanent foundation, basement, or crawl space area. 

What are Modular Homes? 

Modular homes are created similarly to manufactured homes. Typically, they are built in a factory and transported to the property of your choosing. If you want to tell the difference between modular and manufactured homes, ask about the code requirements. Modular homes are built to state and local building codes, whereas manufactured homes are built to the national HUD code. 

The building requirements you have to meet with a modular home will depend on the area you live. Keep in mind that some regions may place harsh restrictions on your customization freedom. For this reason, some people opt for manufactured/mobile homes. 

Why Should I Choose a Mobile Home? 

Hopefully, this article helped you understand how to tell the difference between modular and manufactured homes. If you are ready to settle down in a city/state and don’t mind the building codes, a modular house might be an option for you. However, mobile homes give you more flexibility to relocate to new regions and choose customization options with ease. 

There are plenty of options on the market that give you the luxury benefits of a normal house, with less upkeep and financial responsibility. Today, mobile homes are created with precise and strategic standards to ensure a high standard of living. They are a great option for affordable, flexible, and reliable housing. 

If you’re searching for mobile homes for sale in Maine or New Hampshire, contact us today, your trusted and knowledgeable Verani Realty REALTORS®. Call your local Verani agent or visit for more information.

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