Manufactured vs Modular How do you tell?

I need to know how to tell without a doubt if a home is modular or manufactured. Can anyone help? thanks jon

  • Mobile Home: Factory built steel chassied unit sited prior to June 1976
  • Manufactured Home: Steel Chassied unit built & sited under HUD codes (enacted 1974 effective June 1976)
  • Modular home: Structure designed and built to meet all local codes but factory built in sections rather than site built (no steel chassis)
    I believe Gerry B. was helpful in the above wording.

How Modular Homes and Manufactured Homes Differ

by Janet Wickell

Facts About Modular, Manufactured & Site Built Homes

When you are buying a home, you might hear the terms modular homes, manufactured homes and site built homes. It’s important to understand how they all differ, no matter whether you are purchasing an existing house or plan to build on land that is subject to restrictions. The differences can affect a home’s price and its resale value, and even dictate whether or not it can be built on your land.

What Are Site Built Homes?

  • They are constructed entirely at the building site.
  • They conform to all state, local or regional codes where the house is located.
  • Often called ‘stick-built’ houses.
  • A well-built, cared for site-built home generally increases in value over time, although its location plays a key role in value.

What Are Modular Homes?

  • Modular homes are built in sections at a factory.
  • Modular homes are built to conform to all state, local or regional building codes at their destinations.
  • Sections are transported to the building site on truck beds, then joined together by local contractors.
  • Local building inspectors check to make sure a modular home’s structure meets requirements and that all finish work is done properly.
  • Modular homes are sometimes less expensive per square foot than site built houses.
  • A well-built modular home should have the same longevity as its site-built counterpart, increasing in value over time.

Read More Facts About Modular homes](

**What Are Manufactured Homes? **(Mobile Home)

  • Formerly referred to as mobile homes or trailers, but with many more style options than in the past.
  • Manufactured houses are built in a factory.
  • They conform to a Federal building code, called the HUD code, rather than to building codes at their destinations.
  • Manufactured homes are built on a non-removable steel chassis.
  • Sections are transported to the building site on their own wheels.
  • Multi-part manufactured units are joined at their destination.
  • Segments are not always placed on a permanent foundation, making them more difficult to re-finance.
  • Building inspectors check the work done locally (electric hook up, etc.) but are not required to approve the structure.
  • Manufactured housing is generally less expensive than site built and modular homes.
  • Manufactured homes sometimes decrease in value over time.

Read More Facts About Manufactured homes](

Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it. It is greatly needed.

A rectangular sticker in the rear where the taillights would be is a manufactured.
A 8x11 inch piece of paper, with state certification number on it, glued to the inside of the cabinet door under kitchen sink, or a blue round sticker on the electrical panel with state certification number. The modular home has the plan approved by your state, that is what the cert. number is. I am in Missouri so I would imagine the cert. numbers my be placed somewhere else in other states.

To clarify more, in Missouri, the modular homes are manufactured homes on foundations that are state approved. There are no visible differences other than the stickers.

Y’all, including Gerry B. should google “on frame modular homes”.

I know how to tell. If it is a modular, I won’t inspect it. But if it is a manufactured, I won’t inspect it.

Don’t do many inspections do you, Dylan?

I don’t care for inspecting these as most are POS, but I do do foundation inspections on them with best $100 10 min. inspection to date, and that is if you use their lead, if you generate your own leads it is $150

Your loss. I’ll inspect anything that comes my way.

Most importantly, if you are inspecting modulars or manufactured homes, make sure that the type of home (you are inspecting) is clearly stated in your report. I remember hearing a story about a couple who purchased a SF manufactured home at the same market value that a SF newly constructed home was selling for.

These homes are priced differently and your client should be aware of the type of home they are purchasing.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m above those, they’re above me. I believe it takes a special education to properly inspect them. In addition, the mod’s in this area are usually a very far drive. The education, along with the drive time, and the amount of work included with a crawlspace and everything doesn’t add up to the typical inspection fee I can get for one of those.

With all the continuing education available, I focus on indoor air quality and general building safety classes. Nothing against them personally, just alot involved for a fee that in my opinion is not justified.

Modular Home Inspection is done the same as anyother home. They are built with the same type lumber and are built to state and local codes. (IRC) if they were built in the last few years. Some States requier a lable on the out side of the building saying that this is a factory built home and it meets the IRC or IBC and the year. Some two story Modulars the steel frame or tralier may remain under the floor of the second story. I only know this to happen in one project. On the east cost some modular homes will be built with wood and steel. If you anyone needs more help contact me. We had a large project completed of 400 units and planing on building 290 more this coming year.

The article from Ms. Wickel is incorrect. (Why do we use a source as authoritative when we don’t know the 1st thing about their credentials. All I know about her is that she wrote an article for the website, Whoop-tee-do.)

See this thread and my comments there:

Yes, some areas may differ some.

It is interesting that North Carolina Department of Insurance, ***Manufactured Building Division ***gives a validation stamp to Modular Construction.

See? All this over an inspection type I ave trouble getting $200 for. Heck, with the new lowballers around here, I might not get $99

Hi Erby,

I’m the first to agree, the lines between manufactured and modular are becoming very blured, however your not going to see a home without a steel frame with a HUD acceptance plate, also many modulars are being built outside of HUD approval, but should in all respects meet local codes rather than Federal HUD codes.

BTW, I know of at least 1 manufacturer of steel chassied homes who builds 2 storey homes :shock:



Modular - modsetcape.jpg

Mobile -

:mrgreen: :stuck_out_tongue:


Well that certainly clears it up :shock:

Thread over.

Question: Why is an Arkansas divorce similar to a tornado?

Answer: Somebody is going to lose a mobile home.

Here we go, have a good one on this topic. Inspected a home today and it is listed as a modular in the MLS. From what I understand, modulars dont have steel frames or underfloor insulation with black vapor barrier: mobile homes do. So, thinking that it might be a mobile home from underneath, it has no HUD sticker and a full attic. HMMMMMM. Is this a modular/mobile hybrid? (Joke). What are your thoughts, mobile or modular?