A Complete Manufactured Home Glossary

Couple reading a book in the living room of their manufactured home.

Understanding the steps to home buying starts by knowing the right terminology. Which terms are new to you?

You’ve finally made the decision to begin your home buying journey with the Clayton Built® team, how exciting! Or maybe you’re still looking around to decide which home is perfect for you. Regardless, we’re glad to have you as part of our family!

Whether you’re at the very beginning of your journey or you’re a home buying expert, it’s always important to brush up on housing terminology. We want to make sure you understand every step in our home buying process, and what better way to do that than give you a simple guide into our lingo?

So, let’s stop getting stumped on long paperwork or confusing conversations! We’ll have you talking like a Clayton Built® pro, all while creating a seamless journey to your new home.

Building the Home

Josh Fountain Customer Home Crane Set-102

If we were all professional engineers, architects or construction workers, this section would be easy. But, most of us do not have in-depth knowledge on the building process of a manufactured home, so let’s break it down.

Home Construction Terms

Data Plate: This is a sheet of paper inside your home that has information such as the name and address of the manufacturer, the serial number, home model, the date the home was built, verification the home meets HUD standards and more. The data plate is usually found inside a kitchen cabinet, electrical panel or bedroom closet.

HUD Code: The HUD Code is the building standard manufactured home builders must meet. It includes guidelines such as frame requirements, thermal protection, plumbing, electrical and more. It was put in place in 1976 by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which manages the code and oversees enforcement.

HUD Tag: Also referred to as the certification label, all manufactured homes built and sold must be labeled with a HUD tag that assures the homeowner the home was built according to HUD’s Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards.

Mobile Home Tongue Hitch: Associated with moving a home, the tongue, or hitch, is attached at the front of the home to the steel chassis and is used to transport the home from one location to another.

Undercarriage: The undercarriage is the bottom part of the home that protects the insulation and keeps out moisture and pests. There are other parts under a manufactured home that may also be called the vapor barrier, mobile home belly, mobile home belly board, underbelly, bottom board and more.

On-frame: Modular homes are built to local and state building codes, unlike manufactured homes built to HUD code. On-frame modular homes have a steel chassis that remains permanently with the home.

Off-frame: Just like on-frame, off-frame refers to a type of modular home. Off-frame modular homes are removed from the steel chassis and placed on a foundation.

NewClass Foundation Aerial-3

Permanently Affixed to Land: A home is permanently affixed to land when it is permanently resting on the base, or foundation, of the home and cannot be moved.

Pier and Beam: The pier and beam system is the most popular manufactured home foundation system. Anchors are driven into the ground and steel straps are attached to the frame of home, all of which help stabilize the home against wind.

Truss System: The roofing frame is referred to as the truss system. This system, made up of a wood frame, is the base structure of the home’s roof, and it is where roof insulation will be placed. Shingles will then cover the top of the truss system.

Home Buying Terms

Now that we’ve discussed all the things you need to know about building the home, let’s talk about buying the home. Terms that pertain strictly to off-site built housing can be different from those you see in the process of buying a site built home.

Mobile Home and Manufactured Home: Often used interchangeably, these two types of homes are actually quite different. Mobile home refers to a prefabricated home built prior to 1976 when HUD Code was put into place. Manufactured homes, like those built by Clayton, are homes built after 1976 in compliance with the HUD Code.

Home Trade-in: Many home buyers often wonder, “Can I trade-in my Clayton Built® home?” If you are a homeowner, you may be able to exchange your current manufactured home at your local home center for credit toward a new one.

Josh Fountain Customer Home Crane Set-127

Single-section: A single-sectioned home ranges in size from 784 sq. ft. to 1,440 sq. ft., which is about 14’56’ to 18’X80’.

Multi-section: Double and triple section homes can also be referred to as multi-section homes. Multi-section homes have larger, more varying dimensions than a single-section home and are delivered in two or three sections that are joined together at the home site.

NADA Guide: National Appraisal Guides, Inc. is the largest source for information regarding pricing, tools and value of assets like boats, automobiles, motorcycles and manufactured homes. You can use their guides to estimate the current value of your manufactured home.

Chattel Loan: When buying an off-site built home, buyers often hear the term chattel loan. This type of loan is a loan extended to an individual on a personal, movable piece of property. The loan is secured by the personal piece of property.

The housing industry is always changing, that’s why it’s important to stay up to date with the terminology. By understanding the terms, you can make a smart home purchase that fits your specific needs and budget.

I know what you’re thinking… This was A LOT of information. Do not fret, we have you covered! Create a favorites account to save all your favorite posts and get updates about all things Clayton.

Are you ready to find your dream home?
Start shopping now or find a home center in your area to learn more about Clayton Built® home options.

Create your dream home board with a Favorites account.