What is a Prefabricated Home?

What is a Prefabricated Home?

If you want to know what a prefabricated home is, you’ve come to the right place. We’re taking a look at the definition and the different types of homes you’ll find in this category.

What is a prefabricated home? It’s a frequently asked question, so let’s get right into answering it: A prefabricated home is one that’s constructed indoors in a building facility and then moved to the home site for the finishing touches. You may also hear them called “off-site built homes.” This is compared to traditional on-site built homes, which are completely constructed at the home site.

What are the types of prefabricated homes?

There are several different types of prefabricated homes, and the main difference between them is the building codes they are constructed to.

Mobile homes

While many people still use “mobile home” to refer to any kind of prefabricated home, mobile homes are actually a thing of the past. In 1974, the National Mobile Home Construction and Safety Act went into effect to distinguish older mobile homes from newer manufactured homes. And in 1976, the HUD Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (or HUD code), created national standards for manufactured home construction, safety, energy efficiency and more. Finally, the Housing Act of 1980 mandated that the term "manufactured" be used in place of "mobile” when referring to new homes that are built to HUD code.

Manufactured homes

Today’s manufactured homes are built indoors to HUD code and offer home buyers a wide variety of styles, features and customization options. Manufactured homes also typically come in three sizes: single, double and triple section.

Depending on factors like where the home will be located, these homes can also be placed on a pier and beam foundation, permanent foundation, crawl space or basement. If the manufactured home has a pier and beam foundation, it’s likely it can be relocated by a contractor who specializes in moving manufactured homes.

CrossMod home with gray siding and roof, white trim on the porch, attached garage and driveway and green lawn in front.

Modular homes

Modular homes are also built indoors, but they are not constructed to HUD code. Instead, modular homes are built to follow all applicable state, local and regional building codes based on the location of the home – just like an on-site built home. These codes can vary by state, city or county and determine things like what the home’s roof can look like and what type of foundation or frame it needs to have.

CrossMod™ homes

CrossMod™ homes combine some of the features of prefabricated and on-site built homes into an affordable, innovative housing option. They are constructed in a building facility and include details like an elevated roof pitch, a garage, carport or covered porch and a permanent foundation.

Woman and man sit on brown couch in the living room of a manufactured home with coffee table in front of them next to a stone fireplace with a TV above it, and a bookshelf and window behind them.

At Clayton, we build and sell a variety of manufactured, modular and CrossMod™ home models. From farmhouse to modern to every style in between, Clayton Built® homes have features like kitchen islands, luxurious primary bedroom suites, open floor plans and more. We also use quality materials from top home building brands, so all that style is backed by strength customers can rely on. And we keep affordability in mind too, from our construction process to the way we design our homes. It all comes together for a beautiful home that’s just right for you, not anyone else.

Are you interested in learning more about the Clayton Built® home models that are available near you? You can head over to our Find a Home page today to explore prices, options and more.

CrossMod is a trademark of the Manufactured Housing Institute.

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