Difference Between Modular and Manufactured Homes

It takes years of planning and preparation to build a home. But some homes can be built within days.


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Modular and manufactured homes are built in an artificial environment and then taken to the site of the building and gathered there.

Though both of these homes are almost similar to each other, there are a few factors that make them different.

Key Takeaways

  1. Modular homes are built in sections at a factory, then transported and assembled on-site, while manufactured homes are fully constructed in a factory and transported to their final location.
  2. Modular homes are built to local building codes and often have a higher level of customization, while manufactured homes follow federal building standards.
  3. Modular homes typically have a higher resale value than manufactured homes due to their perceived quality and more permanent nature.

Modular vs Manufactured Homes

Modular homes are built in sections, or modules, in a factory and then transported to the building site. These modules are up to 14 feet wide and 60 feet long. Manufactured homes, also known as mobile homes, are built on a steel frame with wheels and a trailer hitch, and are designed to be transported to the building site.

Modular vs Manufactured Homes

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Modular homes are not traditionally built like on the location of the home but in a workshop or any other artificial setting. Small units of the home are designed and then constructed.

It takes about a month or two to create one and is safe to use. 

Manufactured homes are easy to build as it only takes a few days to build one. One can experiment with the designs of the home and get it made according to the needs of the customer.

These homes are pretty cheap but less durable.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonModular HomesManufactured Homes
DefinitionModular homes are those constructions that are made in enclosed space and arranged on the site later.Manufactured homes are built as a single piece of the unit on a stable foundation and placed on the site later.
Time to buildModular homes take around 2 months to get ready for use.Manufactured homes can be built within a few days.  
SizeModular homes are larger compared to manufactured homes.Manufactured homes are usually smaller.
ExpensiveModular homes are a bit expensive to make but cheaper than traditional homes.Manufactured homes are very cheap to build.
ValueThe value of modular homes do not fade away with time.The value of manufactured homes decreases with time.  

What are Modular Homes?

Modular homes are those houses that are not physically built on the location you chose but in an indoor setting.

When all the construction work of the home is done, they are taken to the site where that home would be built. These houses are custom made and according to the owner’s requirements.

Unlike manufactured homes, modular homes can be built with a lot of variety in terms of floor plans, materials, design, architecture, etc.

Modular homes are arranged and organized on the site and cannot be moved after the work is completed.

A modular home is also budget-friendly and does not harm the environment, as most of the materials used to make modular homes are eco-friendly.

Since small parts of the home are made inside a larger setting and not on the actual ground and then assembled, these homes can be constructed within no time.

So modular homes can be built in a short time without compromising on quality and design.

But there can be a lot of issues with building these homes. While building a modular home, electrical connection points, plumbing lines – all need to be taken care of.

Choosing the company that will build your home is a crucial decision to make.

But it is also true that the hustle that goes into making a manufactured home is not there building a modular home as it both saves your time and money.

What are Manufactured Homes?

Unlike traditional homes, manufactured homes are not permanently built on the ground but over a strong foundation of steel or any other material.

For manufactured homes, a single unit of the home is built rather than many separate units. However, it is also arranged on the site after the home is manufactured in an artificial setting.

Unlike modular homes, the value of manufactured homes decreases over time. This is one disadvantage with manufactured homes. However, it is not true that manufactured homes are unsafe for living.

They are well-built and can be made more customized than modular homes. Compared to modular ones, manufactured homes are cheaper.

Since these homes are made offsite, time is not a constraint. But at the same time, it does not mean that safety is compromised.

Manufactured homes are made ready in less time than modular homes as it is created as a single unit, and wheels are placed underneath so that it becomes easy for movement.

These homes are built following all the rules mentioned by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In terms of durability, manufactured homes score a little less than modular homes. Manufactured homes can be customized but not highly. They are usually smaller than modular homes but cost less.

Main Differences Between Modular and Manufactured Homes

  1. Modular homes are usually built in multiple units or pieces. But manufactured is preferably built on a strong foundation as a single piece of unit. 
  2. Modular homes are often larger than manufactured homes.
  3. Modular homes are made complying with the rules mentioned for building normal or traditional homes. But manufactured homes should be built following the rules decided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  4. Modular homes are a bit expensive than manufactured homes.
  5. Modular homes take around 2 months and more time to be constructed. But manufactured homes usually take a week to get finished.
Difference Between Modular and Manufactured Homes
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877705816301734
  2. https://search.informit.org/doi/pdf/10.3316/informit.713423333949693

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