What is a manufactured (mobile) home?
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The term “mobile home” is an outdated term, referring to manufactured homes built prior to 1976.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.
Key Features of Manufactured Homes
- A steel frame under the house which is permanently integrated into the structure of the house.
- Every manufactured home has a HUD Seal – This is a certificate that is affixed to the exterior of all manufactured homes upon passing inspections. The HUD seal will be referenced in all future sales of the house. This is your guarantee that your home complies with all applicable Federal laws regarding construction.
- Manufactured homes come with a heating system installed as a standard feature. You can choose from natural or LP gas, fuel oil, or an electric furnace. You will have the option to install an air conditioner or heat pump unit on site.
- Standard 2/12 to 3/12 roof pitch. (Higher roof pitches may be available.)
- Standard cathedral (vaulted) ceiling throughout.
- Standard with VOG (vinyl on gypsum) – This is a gypsum-based wall panel that has vinyl laminated to the front surface. The seams are covered with batten strips which help to keep installation cost down. Vinyl wallboard can be upgraded to drywall for an additional charge, although the extent and cost vary with each manufacturer.
- A manufactured home is supplied with appliances. The standard package usually includes an 18 cu. ft. refrigerator and gas range. Dishwashers and microwaves are also available.
- These homes can be placed on a full basement, crawlspace, or piers.
- Per square foot, there is a significant reduction in cost over a traditional site-built house.