According to Handy, pre-built houses offer many benefits over traditionally constructed houses. However, it is still important to understand the distinct differences between manufactured homes and modular homes in order to make a suitable decision when constructing your first house.
Here are a few differences between manufactured homes and modular homes:
- The legal difference – The primary legal difference between a manufactured home and a modular home is that manufactured homes are built in accordance with the federal construction code set by the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) whereas modular homes are built in accordance with local, state, and regional building codes.
- The type of construction – Manufactured homes are constructed almost exclusively in a factory. These are constructed over a fixed, steel chassis that have wheels instead of a permanent foundation. Once the construction of the home is completed, they are towed to the home site which is either leased to or privately owned by the homeowner.
Modular homes are only partially constructed in factories and built in several sections or pieces.
Once the construction of the modular home parts is complete, they are transported to the home site, assembled together, and merged with the foundation to look like a normal home. Since modular homes are placed on a permanent foundation, they can become indistinguishable from traditional houses.
- Safety – Safety and durability are two of the primary concerns of homebuyers who consider building a prefabricated house. Generally, both manufactured homes and modular homes follow strict safety standards. Manufactured homes follow the safety protocols set by Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards while Modular houses follow the construction safety standards set by the local, state, and regional building codes
Still, modular homes have better durability since they are designed to be transported and are merged with a permanent foundation.
- Home design variety – Modern modular and manufactured homes offer home buyers a ton of design and style choices that include cosmetic as well as structural options. However, manufactured homes still have limited customizable choices compared to modular and traditional homes. Usually, they come in pre-selected design choices that the buyers can select and receive.
Modular homes allow more freedom since you can customize the floor plan as well as completely customize the design to your liking.
- Cost and value – Manufactured homes are relatively cheaper to build than traditional houses since modular homes can be almost as costly to build as traditional houses. However, since modular homes are considered as valuable as traditional homes, it is easier to secure financing on modular homes. On the other hand, securing financing for manufactured homes is much more complicated and harder.
Additionally, manufactured homes tend to depreciate in value over time while modular homes tend to rise or fall in value depending on the condition of the housing market.
Handy suggests you consider all the pros and cons of both manufactured and modular homes before settling on your choice. It is also important to hire the service of a reputed home construction company whether you wish to construct a modular or manufactured home in order to get the best value in return for your money.