Modular Or Manufactured? Where To Start Your Journey

Clarify some modular and manufactured home differences for your homebuying journey!

Now more than ever, home buyers have a lot of choices when buying a modular or manufactured home. It used to be that you had very limited floor plans and selections to choose from, but now, Clayton offers cabinets, paint colors, faucets and everything in between for modular homes and HUD Code manufactured homes!

Selecting a Location

When you think about buying your new home, an important place to start your journey is identifying where your new home will be located. Cities and states have different zoning requirements, and it’s important to know what size home will fit on your lot and what the zoning is for modular and HUD Code homes.

Exterior shot of a modular home with blue siding and a large front porch

Selecting Modular or Manufactured

A HUD Code manufactured home is built to federal standards and is inspected for strength and durability before it leaves the home building facility. The home is built on a steel chassis that it is transported on and remains with the home after arriving at the building site.

This is where the term “mobile home” originally came from--a manufactured home can be moved in the future in case you need to move locations for a career, family or emergencies because it is still on the steel chassis!

A modular home is made of modular components that are put together at the site and are built to local and state codes. The completed modular components leave the home building facility on a flat-bed truck.

Typically, they do not remain on their steel frames—they are constructed to be attached to a permanent foundation at the site. There is always an exception to the rule though, and recently, some manufacturers began building homes as “on frame” modulars.

So which is the perfect choice for you?

Independence Model 5228-105-001

Affordability vs. Luxury

If you want a home that you can renovate and grow with over time, purchasing a modular home will probably be your best choice. Since a modular home complies with all applicable local and state codes, and because the modular components are typically built without a frame, it’s easier to make structural changes.

This also makes it easier to build two or more stories, add extra wings to your home or even design a floor plan from scratch. Beyond customizing your floor plan, many modular homes offer exterior options like roof and porch options, materials customization like counters and flooring and even HVAC and electrical system modifications!

Manufactured homes have the perk of being incredibly affordable. While you may not be able to renovate and customize one as easily, this is part of a manufactured home’s affordability! Many home builders already have floor plans and materials prepared for a set manufactured home design, so it takes less time and resources to build a manufactured home. In the end, this process saves you money and time.

With either a manufactured or modular home, consider that different regions of the country have different needs. While homes in Arizona, Florida and Texas typically don’t have basements, many Midwest buyers do want to have one as an option.

It is possible to have a basement with a HUD Code or modular home, and you can also have attached garages, large porches, outdoor kitchens… all are possible with prefab homes!

Taking That First Step

My recommendation is that you start by finding a home retailer in the area you want to live in. They will know what the zoning restrictions are and make sure that the home you decide on can actually be built in your area.

The Clayton website makes this search easy. Just enter your zip code on our home page and we can get you in touch with the right people!

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