What is the difference between a modular home and a manufactured home?

Modular homes are assembled on a site and anchored to a base, while a prefab house is transported in one piece to a site and can be relocated. Because they can be moved, manufactured homes are considered movable property (personal property), as are recreational vehicles. Both mobile and modular ones are built in the same tightly controlled factory environment and can look the same in many cases. When analyzing the construction of the houses, both use construction materials and crafts of the same quality in most cases.

A prefab home is built to meet National Prefab Housing Construction and Security Standards (HUD Code), while a modular home in Florida is built in accordance with Florida State Building Codes. Both types of houses are of excellent quality and construction. Like prefab homes, modular homes are built within the building's premises and then transported to the site of origin. On average, a modular home will cost approximately 25% or 30% less than a conventional home built on a site. A modular home is still built in a factory-controlled environment and is built in accordance with the Florida State Building Code, and is governed by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), the same building codes that govern a traditional house built on site.

Depending on factors such as where the house will be located, prefab houses can also be placed on permanent foundations, tight spaces or basements. And after the creation of the HUD Code in the 1970s, the Housing Act of 1980 later mandated the term “manufactured” instead of “mobile” in all federal laws and publications that referred to homes built after 1976. When a modular home is built inside a factory using assembly-line construction methods, there are no weather delays and this considerably reduces labor costs. The main difference between prefabricated and modular houses are the codes with which they are built, which we will talk about later. Some areas may also require that modular homes be permanently installed on the house site without a steel structure, while others allow foundations on frames and lower slope roofs.

Factory-built modular homes can be built in a much shorter period of time than a conventional house built on a site. Prefabricated houses are built with quality materials within climate controlled building facilities and in accordance with the HUD Code. For example, some states, such as North Carolina and South Carolina, have regulations on the appearance of a modular home that regulate minimum roof pitch requirements, the length of the overhang and the foundation of the walls. In many cases, modular homes may qualify for the same mortgage loans and conventional insurance rates as site-built homes.

When it comes to comparing prefab and modular homes, another factor that can differentiate them is the type of foundation that is normally used for each one.

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