The terms “manufactured” and “mobile” are often used interchangeably, but there are distinct differences between these two types of homes.
The term “mobile home” is an outdated term, referring to manufactured homes built prior to 1976. During that year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enforced a new set of regulations called the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (HUD Code) to ensure safer home construction and installation of factory built homes. Therefore, “mobile homes” built after 1976 have to meet the HUD Code and are referred to as manufactured homes.
Manufactured homes are more commonly referred to as sectional homes in reference to its size – single sectional (singlewide) or multi-sectional (doublewide). While these homes still tend to carry a negative stigma because of the mobile homes of the past, they are actually an excellent choice for the budget conscious home buyer and are far more luxurious than any mobile home you may have seen.
When it comes to construction, manufactured homes are covered under strict building standards and are built and installed in compliance with HUD code.
The HUD Code was adopted by an act of Congress in 1974. Its purpose is to regulate the construction of manufactured housing, a process that is overseen by the federal government to enforce the idea that everyone is entitled to quality, affordable housing. Because it is an act of Congress and monitored by the federal government, HUD Code overrules local building codes. However, on-site contruction not governed by the HUD Code (porches, decks, garages, etc.) must be built to comply with local building codes.