Frequently Asked Questions
The Difference Between "Site
Built", "Modular" and "Manufactured"
While searching for a home, you'll hear the terms
site built, modular, and
manufactured. It's important
to become familiar with the differences between
these structures, whether you are purchasing an
existing home, or plan to build on a vacant lot
that is subject to zoning or restrictive covenants.
SITE BUILT HOMES
- Built from the ground up, entirely at the home
- Conforms to state, local or regional codes (UBC)
where the home is located.
- Often called a "stick-built" home.
About Modular Homes
- Built in modules at a factory.
- Modulars are built to conform to all state,
local or regional building codes (UBC or IBC)
at their destinations.
- Modules are transported to the home site on
truck beds, then joined.
- Modular homes are often less expensive per
square foot than site built homes.
About Manufactured Homes
- Formerly referred to as mobile homes.
- Manufactured homes are built in a factory.
- These homes conform to a Federal building code
(HUD) rather than to building codes at their destinations.
- Homes are built on a non-removable steel chassis.
- Sections are transported to the home site on
their own wheels.
- Manufactured housing is less expensive
than site built or modular homes.
MODULAR HOMES - Frequently
MANUFACTURED HOMES - Frequently
is a Modular Home?
A modular home is highly engineered. It is constructed
in sections and put together by a builder on your
building site. Modular homes are designed, engineered
and built in a factory-controlled environment.
are Modular Homes Built?
The building process begins at the design phase. Our
modular builders use state-of-the-art computer aided
design programs, which aid them in customizing floor
plans and producing drawings and material requirement
lists. Once designed, the building process begins.
This process is similar to what you've seen during
the construction of site built homes. The quality
materials and care detail and the same building codes
and standards are observed. Today's modular homes
are models of efficiency and quality assurance.
Long Does the Building Process Take?
Speed and consistent quality are two of the many advantages
for choosing modular housing. On the average, a home
consisting of two sections will be built in the factory
within a couple of weeks. Once the manufacturing process
is complete, typically with interior finish right
down to carpets and wall finish, the unit must be
transported to a home site and placed on a pre-made
foundation. Final completion is handled by
our set contractors. Normally the home is completed in
two or three weeks, but may take longer depending on roof pitches, sections etc.
the Difference Between a "Modular Home" and a "Manufactured
Manufactured homes, sometimes referred to as mobile
homes, are constructed to a different building code.
This code, the "Federal Construction Safety Standards
Act" (HUD/CODE), unlike conventional building codes,
requires manufactured homes to be constructed on a
non-removable steel frame. Some communities have restrictions
on where manufactured homes can be located.
Modular and site built homes, on the other hand, are
constructed to the same building code required by
your state, county and specific locality and therefore
are not restricted by building or zoning regulations.
A new modular home is inspected by the state of origin or their representatives at the assembly plant
during each phase of construction. Evidence of this
inspection is normally shown by the application of
a State or inspection agency label of approval.
Do Modular Homes Look Like?
Modular homes look like any site built home. Today's
building technology has allowed modular manufacturers
to build most any style of home from a simple ranch
to a highly customized contemporary. And, it doesn't
stop with houses. Modular producers are busy building
banks, schools, office buildings, motels and hotels.
Chances are you've been in many modular structures
and probably never realized it.
I Design My Own Modular Home?
Yes. Most modular companies allow the customer complete
design flexibility. But remember, every manufacturer
is different. Engineering capabilities and product
specifications will vary from company to company.
a Modular Home Better Than a Site Built Home?
The decision is clear. With a modular home you get
efficiency and quality control. Efficiency begins
with modern factory assembly line techniques. Your
home travels to workstations, with all the building
trades represented. Work is never delayed by weather,
subcontractor no-shows or missing material. Quality
engineering and modular construction techniques significantly
increase the energy efficiency of your modular home.
A quality control process provides 100% assurance
that your home has been inspected for code compliance
and workmanship. In-plant inspectors as well as independent
inspection agencies inspect the home on behalf of
your state and local government.
Modular Homes Difficult to Finance or Insure?
There is no distinction between modular and site built
homes as far as appraisal or financing. Banks and
lending institutions treat both types of construction
the same. Likewise, there is no difference in insuring
the modular property.
Do Modular Homes Cost?
When you add up all the labor, material and time savings
inherent in the modular building process, you will
find that the price of a modular home is
lower than a site built home of comparable size. Plus
you will keep saving money year after year as your
energy efficient home keeps your heating and cooling
Should I Consider a Manufactured Home?
If you're looking to get the most out of your "housing
dollar," you need to consider a manufactured home.
Depending on the region of the country, construction
costs per square foot for a new manufactured home
average anywhere from 10 to 50 percent less than a
comparable site built home, excluding the cost of
land. Today's manufactured homes offer the quality
construction, modern amenities and livability you
are seeking at a price that fits your lifestyle and
Is A Manufactured Home Different from A Site Built
Home? Isn't "Manufactured Home" Just A Fancy Name
For A Mobile Home?
A manufactured home is constructed entirely in a controlled
factory environment, built to the federal Manufactured
Home Construction and Safety Standards (better known
as the HUD Code). A site built home is built "on-site"
using traditional building techniques that meet either
a local or state building code.
Starting in 1976, the HUD Code established a stringent
series of construction and safety standards that ensure
that today's manufactured homes are superior to "mobile
homes," the term used for factory-built homes produced
prior to the introduction of the HUD Code. Today's
manufactured homes are dramatically different in appearance
from the "mobile homes" of yesterday with estimates
that more than 90 percent of today's manufactured
homes never move from their original site. Manufactured
homes, like site built homes, are now available in
a variety of designs, floor plans, and amenities.
Today's manufactured homes are indistinguishable from
site built homes and are fully compatible with any
neighborhood architectural style.
Is The Role Of The Retailer In Purchasing A Manufactured
Home? Can I Buy A Home Directly From The Manufacturer?
Most manufactured homes are sold through retail sales
centers, many of which are independently owned and
Retailers offer a variety of products and services,
including helping you customize the home to fit your
needs and budget. Typically, the retailer is also
responsible for coordinating the delivery and installation
of your home. Furthermore, the retailer can assist
in arranging financing and insurance coverage for
the home. And, once you've moved in, the retailer
is often the contact for warranty service.
Most states do not allow you to purchase a home directly
from the manufacturer.
Can I Be Sure That A Manufactured Home Is A Quality-Built
Home? Do Manufactured Homes Use The Same Building
Materials and Processes?
Today's manufactured homes are built with the same
building materials as site built homes, but in a controlled
factory environment where quality of construction
is invariably superior to what can be done outdoors.
The HUD Code regulates and monitors the manufactured
home's design and construction, strength and durability,
transportability, fire resistance, energy efficiency
and overall quality. It also sets standards for the
heating, plumbing, air-conditioning, thermal and electrical
systems. The HUD Code also ensures compliance with
these standards with a thorough inspection system
that takes place at each step as the home is being
constructed in the factory.
There are major benefits to having your home built
in a factory:
- All aspects of the construction process are
- The weather doesn't interfere with construction,
cause costly delays and warp or damage building
- All technicians, craftsmen and assemblers are
on the same team and professionally supervised
- Inventory is better controlled and materials
are protected from theft and weather-related damage
- All construction materials, as well as interior
features and appliances, are purchased in volume
for additional savings
- All aspects of construction are continually
inspected by not one, but several, inspectors
The HUD-Code Less Stringent Than State Or Local Building
No. While there are some differences between the codes,
this difference has more to do with how the codes
are intended to operate. While state or local building
codes are basically prescriptive, meaning that they
prescribe what type of lumber or what type of electric
wire must be used in the construction of a home, the
HUD-Code is more focused on performance. This allows
the manufacturer to use products that are most compatible
with the factory-building process as long as these
products perform according to the guidelines established
in the HUD Code.
Independent analyses comparing the state or local
building codes with the HUD Code have found that "on
balance, the codes are comparable" and "the net cumulative
effect of the differences between the two codes is
more likely on the order of hundreds of dollars, rather
than thousands of dollars per unit." In some cases,
the local or state codes are more restrictive, while
the HUD Code is the more restrictive in other situations
such as ventilation, flame spread, and structural
I Customize A Manufactured Home To Meet My Particular
Today's manufactured homes come with "standard" features
that you would find in a site built home. Many floor
plans are available that range from basic models to
more elaborate designs that feature vaulted ceilings,
drywall, fully equipped modern kitchens, comfortable
bedrooms with walk-in closets, and bathrooms with
recessed bathtubs and whirlpools. You may also select
from a variety of exterior designs and siding materials,
including wood, hardboard, or vinyl siding.
With the vast majority of manufacturers now using
the latest in computer-assisted design, you have the
flexibility of customizing your home's floor plans,
interior finishes, and exterior designs. Your lifestyle
and your budget are the only limitations to the options
available to you.
Many manufacturers also provide homes that are "accessible"
for those with special needs. If you are interested
in such a home, work with your retailer to order a
home with accessible features, such as extra-wide
halls and doorways, accessible counters and appliances,
and specially equipped bathrooms.
There Limits On Where I Can Locate or Place A Manufactured
Many cities and towns, still relying on outdated perceptions
and stereotypes of "mobile homes," have zoning regulations
limiting where you can place a manufactured home.
However, more and more urban and suburban governments
are recognizing that today's manufactured homes are
virtually indistinguishable from site built homes
and are allowing manufactured homes to be placed in
Before purchasing a manufactured home, be sure to
check the zoning regulations in the area where you
want to live.
Before purchasing a manufactured home, be sure to
check the zoning regulations in the area where you
want to live.
Takes Care Of Installing A Manufactured Home? Can
I Do It Myself?
Most states have laws that govern the installation
of a new manufactured home. Your retailer or the subcontractor
installing the home is responsible for ensuring that
the home is installed in accordance with state regulations
and the manufacturer's installation instructions or
with an installation designed and approved by a licensed,
registered engineer. The proper method of installing
the home will depend on the design of the home and
the conditions of the location, such as climate and
Depending on the type of loan used to finance the
home, the lender may have some specific requirements
for the foundation and installation of the home as
Manufactured Homes Covered By A Warranty? Who Do I
Contact To Service Problems Covered By A Warranty?
Most manufacturers now offer warranties to guarantee
the quality, workmanship, and major heating and cooling
systems of the home for a specified time, usually
ranging from one to five years. This warranty also
tells the home buyer what to do if a problem arises.
Makers of the appliances provided in the homes also
provide either "full" or "limited" warranties. There
are major differences among warranties and these warranties
should be provided to you in writing.
The retailer also has distinct responsibilities in
the installation and servicing of the home. Be sure
to have the retailer clearly state in writing its
responsibilities and warranty coverage for the home's
transportation and installation.
Even if your home and some of its appliances do not
have a written warranty, the buyer does have implied
warranties under state laws which require a new home
and new appliances to work normally and perform properly.
A Manufactured Home Appreciate In Value?
Generally, a home is a great investment. Appreciation
on any home - either site built or manufactured -
is affected by the same factors: the desirability
and stability of the community, supply and demand
for homes in the local market, and maintenance and
upkeep of the home. When properly installed and maintained,
today's manufactured homes will appreciate the same
as surrounding site built homes.
Kinds Of Financing Are Available For Manufactured
Just as there are choices when you buy a site built
home, there are a variety of financing options when
you buy a manufactured home. Down payments and loan
terms are similar - 5 to 10 percent of the manufactured
home's sales price, and loan terms of 15 to 30 years.
If you are buying the home and land together, or plan
to place the home on land you already own, some financial
institutions offer traditional real estate mortgages
with similar interest rates. Should you be purchasing
the manufactured home separately from the land on
which it will be located, the home will probably be
financed as a personal property manufactured home
loan, usually with a somewhat higher interest rate.
FHA-insured and Department of Veterans Affairs-guaranteed
(called FHA and VA) loans are available to manufactured
home buyers. These types of loans may offer lower interest
rates or lower down payment requirements if available
in your area. They require more paperwork during the
credit application and approval process and, therefore,
may take longer for approval than a conventional loan.
I Be Able To Insure My Manufactured Home?
Yes. There are several insurance companies that specialize
in offering insurance coverage for manufactured homes.
Manufactured Homes More Susceptible To Fire Than Site
Manufactured homes are no more prone to fire than
homes built on-site. As a matter of fact, a national
fire safety study by the Foremost Insurance Company
showed that site built homes are more than twice as
likely to experience a fire as manufactured homes.
Fire resistance provisions of the HUD Code include
strict standards for fire retardation and smoke generation
in materials, large windows in all bedrooms, smoke
alarms, and at least two exterior doors which must
be separate from each other and reachable without
having to pass through other doors that can be locked.
Site built homes are required to have only one exterior
door and no "reachability" requirement.
Manufactured Homes More Vulnerable To Damage From
Tornadoes And Hurricanes?
While many like to joke that "mobile homes attract
tornadoes," there is no meteorological or scientific
basis to thinking that that theory. In fact, the explanation
for the reports of damage to manufactured homes from
tornadoes is quite simple: manufactured housing is
largely found in rural and suburban areas where tornadoes
are most likely to occur.
As to hurricanes, valuable lessons were learned from
the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which
destroyed or damaged thousands of site built and manufactured
homes. Now, in areas prone to hurricane-force winds,
the standards for manufactured homes are equivalent
to or more stringent than the current regional and
national building codes for site built homes in these
high wind zones.
Also, proper installation and anchoring of the home
is a key element is how a manufactured home will perform
in severe weather situations.
I Make Repairs/Renovations On A Manufactured Home
The Same Way As With A Site Built Home?
While you should perform minor repairs and upkeep
on the home, just as with any home, it is advisable
to hire a professional for more extensive repairs
and renovations. Your homeowner's manual outlines
Once your home has left the factory, the HUD Code
does not include provisions for additions and alterations.
Such modifications may jeopardize your home warranty.
They may also create malfunctions or an unsafe home.
An approved addition should be a freestanding structure
that meets local building codes, and you may need
a construction permit from local authorities.
Failure to follow the manufacturer's instructions
on maintenance and renovations can void the manufacturer's
warranty, as well as lessen the value and life of
There Any Other Special Considerations I Should Know
About Before Purchasing and Living In A Manufactured
Like any home, while your mortgage payment may be
your biggest expense, you will have other regular
and periodic expenses, such as property taxes and
service fees for water and utilities.
While, theoretically, a manufactured home can be moved
after its initial placement, it is neither common
nor advisable to do so. If you relocate, make sure
you use a professional transporter; never try to move
the home yourself. Cost is another consideration in
moving the home. Besides transport expenses, which
include licensing fees to take your home through a
state, you'll have to pay for a new foundation, installation,
and utility hook-ups.
SOURCE: Manufactured Housing
*Some options shown are at additional costs, i.e. log siding, porches, steel roof, laminate floors etc.
**All prices include delivery and setup to most location within 100 miles of Belgrade. Call for additional mileage freight charge.
***Specifications and other items shown are subject to change without notice at any time for any reason. Photos, drawings, and floor plans in this web site may include items provided by others that are not necessarily offered by Kit Homes. Availability of certain items, plans, and models may be limited to certain areas and/or builders
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