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Manufactured Housing Then, Now, And In The Future

Learn about the history and past of manufactured homes and how they evolved from mobile homes! Modular and manufactured home building has come a long way.

Manufactured housing strives toward a bright future influenced by its dynamic mobile home past!

Innovation has driven factory built homes into an age of responsible building and beautiful design with the goal that homeownership can be achieved by anyone!

Where Manufactured Housing Began

Back in the early 20th Century, the first travel trailers and modified vans began popping up all over Western Europe and America. The economic boom of the 1920s gave vacationers the opportunity to travel and live somewhat comfortably in little homes on wheels. 

Mobile Homes of The Past

At the start of World War II, mobile homes became the best option to house workers close to factories producing goods for the war effort.

These homes were mass produced to maximize efficiency at low cost and last the duration of the war. These early homes were cheaply put together and made as temporary housing, while everyone concentrated on producing for the war.
At the end of the war, tens of thousands of homes were sold as surplus to people looking for temporary housing. Though not built as high quality homes, these homes provided shelter to many families in need of lodging close to post-war jobs. 

A Growing Trend Through Time

As people saw this trend grow, companies began producing homes of better quality, with an emphasis on mobility and affordability. Still, these mobile homes were meant to be disposable. 

Many of these mobile homes across the country quickly fell into disrepair. Their deterioration established a reputation for being cheap and flimsy products.

Mobile Homes Meet New Standards

During the 1970s, it became clear that mobile homes were no longer being used as temporary housing, but as an affordable, permanent form of housing.

At this time the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development implemented a code (HUD Code) to standardize the building of manufactured housing to ensure lasting quality and safety.

Also the term “mobile” was dropped and “manufactured” added.

Since then, the standards and process of building manufactured homes have only gotten stricter. For example, updates in the HUD Code helped establish mobile home wind safety and create wind zones.

The Future of Manufactured Housing

The manufactured housing industry can address housing, environmental, and rising populations concerns with quality factory built structures that provide environmentally friendly options in some of the most crowded urban areas around the world.

Here in the U.S., many vacation homes, subdivisions, and even college dorms are manufactured housing products. These custom built options cost a fraction compared to the conventional building methods.

As an example, take a look at the Clayton Built® modular dorm, Mountaineer Hall. Construction for Mountaineer Hall and conventional dorms began at the same time. However, Mountaineer Hall was completed months before the other dorm. 

The dorm was awarded a LEED Gold certification, confirming that the dorm was built with state-of-the-art methods to ensure the structure conserved water and contained materials that promote a healthy interior for the residents. 

Take a look to see how manufactured and modular housing is doing everything from solving issues in poverty to increasing the availability of luxury homes!

For more info on manufactured housing, manufactured housing research and the industry's future, look for more posts in the coming weeks on green building, modular homes around the world, and what to expect in today’s manufactured homes.

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