Types and sizes of manufactured and modular homes

Mobile homes originally were 8 feet wide, then 10, later 12. Now 14, 16, and 18 foot wide models and multi-sections (20-42 feet) are available in most areas. Now they are called manufactured homes.

Single section. The most common and economical is the single section unit, usually 14 feet wide by as much as 80 feet long. This offers 1,200 square feet, or more, of living area. The longer units flex more when transported, however, and may cause minor interior damage which will have to be repaired during setup.

Multi-sections. These are two or more single units that are built and towed separately to the site and then joined together at the site to make one living unit. The parts can be separated and towed to a new location, although this can be a difficult and expensive process. Moving ANY unit(s) should be done by professional movers. More than any other style, multi-sections must be carefully leveled and blocked so that roof leaks do not occur, and heating ducts mesh properly. Multi-sections greatly increase the amount of living space available. A typical model has 24 feet by 60 feet of living area, or 1,440 square feet.

Modular homes are built to state building codes. The individual modules are built up to 90% complete then shipped from the factory by ground transport to the home site where they are lifted over onto a prepared foundation. They have to meet the building codes of the state in which they are manufactured, which may vary from state to state. Therefore, they cannot be moved out of the state in which they were built. The state codes may or may not meet, equal or exceed the HUD standards of the manufactured homes. The HUD codes are consistent from state to state so that manufactured homes may be moved from one state to another, as long as they meet the zone requirements, (wind, insulation and roof load), of the area they are being moved to.

Panelized homes are much like the modular homes with the exception that modular homes are shipped to the home site nearly complete, while panelized homes may take more assembly. They too must meet the state's code in which they were built.

Local conditions and regulations have a great deal to do with the types and sizes of manufactured homes available in any specific place. All 50 states now permit 14-foot-wide homes to be moved over highways. In every area, the home retailer should know the local regulations and the necessary procedures for moving a home. Check with the retailer before you buy.

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