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What Is the Difference Between a Modular and a Mobile Home? While the terms are often used interchangeably, modular and mobile homes have many important differences. 

What is a Mobile Home? A mobile home—also known as a manufactured home—is a pre-constructed structure that is transported to a site after it is completely built. These types of homes play an important role in housing millions of Americans because they are often low cost and don’t require land ownership. Mobile home parks and communities are popular options. Mobile homes, despite the name, are rarely moveable after they are put in place.

There are some downsides to a mobile or manufactured home. Many come as standard rectangle designs with limited ability to customize shape or floorplan. These structures also tend to lose value over time, particularly when they are on a rented property. 

Why Do I Need a Structural Engineer for My Mobile Home? The requirements for residential manufactured homes vary state by state, but safety is vitally important to these structures. Typically you will need a structural engineer to engineer the foundation or provide an inspection to check the foundation. If you plan to make any modifications to the mobile home or an addition to the mobile home, such as a deck, you will need to consult with a structural engineer for structural engineering drawings. 

What is a Modular Home? A prefab or modular home may seem similar to a mobile home, but they differ in some important ways. Modular homes are often more similar in design to a traditional home, with multiple floors, rooms, and amenities. However, the modular home is designed so the structure itself can be pre-built in a workshop and transported in pieces to the final home site.

Modular homes are an upgrade from traditional construction because it’s a modern green building process. Building the structure in pieces in a contained environment means no rain-soaked wood sitting on a job site or bugs burrowing into the framing as it waits to be completed. Smart, computer-aided design also means less waste of materials, which saves labor and costs. After it’s complete, a modular home can look just like a conventional home, even though they are designed and built differently

Why Do I Need a Structural Engineer for My Modular Home? A structural engineer is a great place to start when you’re considering building a modular home. Our team of experts can help determine what type of structure you need to suit your desired design and aesthetics. Modular homes need careful planning and engineering to withstand not only the day-to-day elements but also transportation to the home site. Contact a structural engineer if you are considering a modular home.

What Can PSE Consulting Engineers Do to Help Me? We are proud to be members of the Modular Building Institute. Our experience with modular homes and buildings means that we can get your project done right so you can have the custom modular home of your dreams. Designing a custom home with a structural engineer can ensure the process goes smoothly with as many green building aspects as possible. Call our team today to get started!