Modulars vs. Manufactured Explained

Ever asked someone what the difference is between mobile, manufactured and modular homes but never knew the answer? It’s a good question that we’d be happy to help answer! We will compare manufactured homes to modular homes that can be custom built, but first let’s make sure we know where the term “mobile homes” belongs in this discussion!

the difference between manufactured, mobile and modular homesMobile Homes: This is what manufactured homes were called prior to 1976. It was in that year when the U.S. government implemented the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) building standards for mobile homes. Mobile homes are now referred to as manufactured homes, even though people still use the term “mobile home” interchangeably. This greatly improved the quality of homes being built, and standardized factories across the U.S. that produced mobile homes.

Manufactured Homes: After the HUD standards of 1976, mobile homes were now called manufactured homes. These are homes that are made in a factory in single or double sections, and then delivered to a property by a truck. Manufactured homes are built to federal HUD housing standards and are NOT low quality housing options, despite being highly affordable due to streamlined labor costs from a factory-built setting. These are the “new” mobile homes, and legally are called manufactured homes since 1976.

Modular vs. Manufactured – Where Are They Built?

Manufactured Homes: As their name implies, these homes are manufactured instead of being built directly on site. These homes are built in a controlled factory setting by highly-skilled American labor. They are built completely “ready” for people to live in after being delivered to their property and transported as a complete section on delivery.

Modular Homes: Modular homes are similar to manufactured homes in that they are also built in a factory setting, usually by the same home builders that produce manufactured homes. Modular homes are brought in sections to your property, and then assembled on location.

Modular vs. Manufactured – How Are They Built?

the difference between manufactured, mobile and modular homesManufactured Homes: Because of federal quality regulations, manufactured homes are built with stringent requirements for durability, construction material quality, resistance to fire, energy efficiency and thermal regulation. They have to meet safety and quality standards for electrical, air conditioning, plumbing and heating systems. Manufactured homes are built as single section units (known as “single wides”) and double section units that are “fit” together once on site (known as “double wides”). There are also multi-section units for three or more sections available from some factories.

Modular Homes: The difference between manufactured and modular homes is noticeable in this area. These homes not only meet the federal HUD housing standards, but are built to even more specific state and local housing codes and thus meet the same housing requirements for electrical, plumbing, construction, heating/AC and energy efficiency as a “site-built” home would in your average suburban neighborhood. You can place modular homes in San Antonio in most locations granted you have an empty piece of property to put it on. Modular homes can also be easily built to custom floor plan specifications before delivery and fit the exact needs of your family.

Modular vs. Manufactured – How Are They Delivered/Installed?

manufactured homes placementManufactured Homes: A manufactured home is delivered in a complete, “ready to live” section on the back of a flatbed truck, brought directly to your property. A professional delivery team places the home on a leveled gravel pad, or concrete runners if preferred. If it is a multi-section home, the team “joins” the two sections together seamlessly, and ensures the home is complete and habitable before finishing delivery and installation. These homes can be moved again if the owner wants to relocate from their property.

Modular Homes: This is one of the most significant where you see the differences between manufactured and modular homes. Modular homes in San Antonio Texas are delivered in sections by truck and, depending on the floor plan specifications, may need more assembly on site than a manufactured home. They are also installed by a professional delivery team, and every modular home has a fixed concrete foundation put in place that conforms to state and local building codes. These homes cannot normally be moved again after being placed, and are considered a “permanent” part of the property like a site-built home.

Modular vs. Manufactured – How Are They Financed?

Manufactured Homes: These homes are not financed with “traditional” mortgage options that a site-built or modular home offers. They are generally treated as a “chattel loan” and can be financed by themselves apart from the property. You can also choose to finance them together with the property, or to keep them “titled” separately from each other.

Modular Homes: Any modular home must be financed with your property. It is then treated as “real property” with a traditional land/home combination mortgaged in generally the same way as the homes in a traditional neighborhood. You would proceed with financing with similar lenders and procedures as for a site-built home, and have many options to choose from for financing terms.

Still Have Questions On Modular Homes? Give Us A Call or check out our new infographic that highlights the differences between the manufactured and modular homes of Texas.