What is the Difference between Modular and
Manufactured Homes and what
Restrictions can be Involved?

There are only two basic differences between a manufactured home and a modular home.
  1. The building codes that they have to meet.
  2. The means by which they are transported.

Manufactured homes are the only homes in the United States that are consistently built to the same HUD code. Modular homes have to meet the state code for the state in which they are built and usually cannot be transported out of that state. The building codes for each state can differ greatly. That is why it is very important for you to check into the state codes for your area. HUD codes will remain consistent anywhere in the U.S. Some factories, however, exceed the codes, both state and HUD. They therefore build better homes than some factories who only meet and do not exceed the requirements.

Both homes are completely built at the factory and are usually shipped to a dealership in preparation for delivery to its permanent site. (Occasionally they are delivered directly to their permanent site). The manufactured home is transported on an undercarriage with wheels via truck. The wheels are removed when the home is delivered to its permanent site and setup. They are no longer called "trailers" or "mobile homes." The modular home is placed on a flatbed truck using a crane. A crane will also be used to unload the modular home. (Since a crane is involved every time a modular home is moved this can add to the expense of the home). Both homes are placed on a permanent foundation. If either home is ever moved again it is highly recommended that a professional moving team do this.

In actuality "modular" means 2 or more sections of something fitting together so the word is not a true definition of a type of home but rather a generic word for a multi-section, in this case, a home. Many parks and communities do not want the singlewide "trailers" of the past, (although they are no longer considered to be trailers now). Many of them are unaware that manufactured homes can also be multi-sectional. Possibly, out of ignorance, they insist on "modular" simply because of what the term implies. If you run into this problem maybe you should ask them exactly what they mean by the term "modular." If they say "a multi-section home" then you should be able to choose either type of home. This is important because one may be built better than the other and it should be your choice, as long as you meet any other requirements.

Educate yourself. Know your laws, know your homes. Don't let ANYONE give you a snow job. And don't forget...

To read more on restrictions please check the "Selecting a Site" page. Be sure to click on the link coming off that page called "restricting placement of homes." The restrictions you will find on that page can sometimes apply to both types of homes.


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