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Home > What is a Manufactured Home?

What is a Manufactured Home?

Some people use the terms “manufactured home,” “modular home” and “mobile home” interchangeably. However, it is important for consumers to know the differences in these construction terms before they begin shopping for a new home.

A manufactured home, or a mobile home as it was commonly called prior to 1976, is a home that is constructed almost entirely within the protection of a factory. It is built on a specially designed steel frame (or chassis) and delivered to the final home site virtually completed. Some refer to these as “HUD code homes” because following 1976, their construction requirements and inspection have been regulated by the Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Association as defined in the HUD Title 6 Construction Standards.

The manufactured home is built on a steel supporting frame in an environmentally protected building space. When it is 90 to 100% complete, it is then transported to the building site. Once the home has been installed and inspected, the wheels on the steel frame can be removed, but the steel frame remains in place.

Building Codes for Manufactured Homes

In the United States, HUD (the US Department of Housing and Urban Development) regulates manufactured housing through the HUD Code instead of local building codes.  Each home must meet these federal guidelines and inspections rather than the local building codes of the area where the home is built.   After each home or segment of a home is built and inspected, it is labeled with a red tag that is the manufacturer’s guarantee the home was built to conform to the HUD code.

A manufactured home can come in many different sizes and shapes. It may be a simple one-story “mobile home,” or it can be a complex triple wide with lots of custom features.