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What is a Manufactured House?

Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann

A manufactured house is a mobile home or a double-wide home. The manufactured house is assembled inside of a manufacturing plant, and the home is placed upon a chassis or frame complete with wheels. The manufactured house can then be transported to the home site where it is typically set over a basement or cement slab that was constructed in advance. The manufactured house is typically built to order from a buyer's choice of pre-designed plans, and often the buyer has the option of imposing some special design requests into the blueprints.

One advantage of purchasing a manufactured house is that this type of home is typically much more cost-effective than a new construction home built on site. A selling tip is that the manufactured house can offer more options than a traditional home due to the savings. Options such as garden tubs and hot tub/jacuzzi tub packages, sky lights and private master baths are normal selling hot points. Vinyl siding and quality window packages are being offered on the homes in an effort to compete with traditional home sales.

Many manufactured homes now come with vinyl siding.
Many manufactured homes now come with vinyl siding.

In the United States, the manufactured house is not required to meet local building codes. The home is mandated to comply with Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) codes, which are federal codes. The utility connections must be inspected by local inspectors once they are connected to the home. One disadvantage of purchasing a manufactured house is that it may decrease in value over time.

While most manufactured houses are built on non-removable steel chassis with axles and tires, some are built on lumber joists that can be removed from the steel chassis once on the home site. This type of construction is best-suited to a home that is going to be placed on a basement. For the homes manufactured on a non-removable steel chassis, the tires and axles are removable. Often a plywood sub-floor will be attached to the bottom of the steel chassis, thereby sealing it from sight.

Before deciding on a manufactured house, it is imperative to check with the local community ordinances in your area. Some communities do not allow a manufactured home to be placed within the community. It is important to remember when checking on the restrictions in the area that manufactured housing and modular housing are not the same. A modular home is built in sections in a factory and delivered to a home site; however, these homes fall under different regulations than manufactured homes. The main difference between the two is the steel chassis that the manufactured home is built upon.

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    • Many manufactured homes now come with vinyl siding.
      By: Dennis Oblander
      Many manufactured homes now come with vinyl siding.