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What is a Manufactured Home?

By Jared Moats

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about manufactured homes. While these homes have existed for nearly 50 years, many people think they are the same as mobile homes or trailers.

This isn't true.

Home quality, national construction standards, and customization options make manufactured homes distinct from the mobiles homes that were so popular in the 1920s through the early 1970s.

After you read this article, you'll know:

  • How manufactured homes are better than mobile homes and trailers
  • How manufactured homes are constructed
  • Why manufactured homes are a quality choice

Quality and safety – HUD code of 1976

Before 1976, there were no national building standards that mobile home builders adhered to. This not only made mobile homes inconsistent in quality – they were oftentimes unsafe and did not last long.

The U.S. government recognized this problem and took action in 1976.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development created the HUD code in 1976. This code set official construction standards for mobile homes and renamed them as manufactured homes, setting them apart from the unsafe and inconsistent mobile homes and trailers that came before.

From 1976 onward, manufactured homes were required to meet standards regarding:

  • Home design
  • Home delivery and portability
  • Fire safety
  • Body and frame construction
  • Thermal protection
  • Electrical systems
  • Much more

Construction process

Manufactured homes are built using a process similar to modular home construction. Like modular homes, manufactured homes are built entirely indoors in a factory, and then the sections are delivered to your site and assembled by a construction crew.

An important thing to remember, though, is that manufactured homes are not set on a foundation. This sets manufactured homes apart from other custom home types, such as modular homes and site-built homes.

Choose the home that's best for you.  Read "Modular vs. Manufactured vs. Site-Built Homes"

Instead of sitting on a foundation, manufactured homes have a permanent steel frame as part of the floor structure. The home is built to be moved, if necessary, so the home's location does not have to be permanent.

Faster build times

There are two major advantages to manufactured homes: they are fast to build, and they are made out of quality-controlled materials.

Because there's no foundation and the home is built using an efficient factory process, your home can be finished in 2-4 months after your home is ordered.

Compare that to how long it takes to build a site-built home. It can take 6 months - 2 years or more to construct a site-built home. If you want to move into your home quickly, manufactured homes may be a great choice!

Quality-controlled materials

Manufactured homes are made out of quality-controlled materials. This is another advantage of being built in a factory.

All materials are stored indoors in a controlled environment. The home is built almost entirely indoors, too. Your manufactured home is less likely to be exposed to poor weather conditions, ensuring the materials will not warp or be negatively affected by bad weather.

Manufactured homes are also examined throughout the construction process to ensure they meet quality construction standards.

For example, manufacturers used and trusted by Middletown Homes employ third-party companies to inspect their homes during the construction process to make sure the home is properly built according to the national HUD code.

Key Takeaways

Manufactured homes are:

  • Held to the national HUD standard to ensure safety and quality
  • Built in 2-4 months thanks to efficient building processes
  • Built indoors using quality-controlled materials
  • Inspected by unbiased third-party companies (depending on the manufacturer)

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Tags: manufactured home, home builder