The terms modular home and manufactured home refer to two different entities, but they are sometimes used interchangeably. The confusion usually arises from the fact that modular homes are actually manufactured. There have been many instances where builders of manufactured homes have misrepresented the homes as modular homes, and buyers may not be well informed to know the difference between the two.
These are homes that are constructed completely in factories and transported to the building site in trucks. These homes are built under controlled conditions and should meet strict quality-control regulations and requirements, before these homes are delivered to buyers. These homes arrive at the site as block segments and will be arranged neatly using cranes. Modular homes will be almost indistinguishable from those homes that are built on the site.
- Should conform to state and regional building codes like the homes that are built on site;
- Are treated the same as on site built homes by banks and can be refinanced easily;
- Should follow same market trends as on-site built homes;
- Can be of any size, even though the block sections from which the homes are assembled are of uniform size;
- Should be structurally approved by an inspector;
- Are very much customizable and the design is decided by the buyer before starting the construction; and
- Usually take eight to fourteen weeks to finish.
Manufactured home is the latest label for the homes that were once called mobile homes or trailers. These homes are relatively inexpensive, small, and held to less strict standards than the modular or site-built homes. The main advantages of manufactured homes are their mobility and affordability. This will allow buyers to purchase the best manufactured homes without any serious geographical or monetary commitments.
- Are available in three sizes: single-wide, double-wide, and triple-wide;
- Should conform only to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) code;
- Are inspected, but do not need to be structurally approved by inspector;
- Are manufactured in factories and are never more than a story;
- Do not have a conventional foundation;
- Tend to lose value with time as these homes are difficult to expand; and
- Are transported on steel chassis with wheels and the chassis is never removed.