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Differences Between Modular Homes and Manufactured Homes

Modular vs. Manufactured Homes

Manufactured homes are similar to modular homes in that they are both built in a factory. However, modular homes and manufactured homes are significantly different in many ways.



Typically, the title “Manufactured Home” is used to describe a home that is built in a factory, AND is designed according to HUD Code but not according to the local building code.

HUD Code Standards

  • construction
  • fire code
  • design
  • insulation/energy
  • structural requirements

Many manufactured homes that you see today were built prior to 1976, which was a very popular and affordable option due to the ease of construction and manufacturing during that time.


Manufactured homes are built only to preemptive federal codes governed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which among other things require that manufactured homes be constructed on a non-removable steel chassis so the manufactured home can be movable, or moved at any time. Also, state and local zoning regulations significantly limit where manufactured homes can be erected.  Manufactured homes do not have many design options, as they are all built very similar.

Modular homes, on the other hand are built to meet more stringent local and state building codes, such as the International Residential Code, IRC, or the International Building Code, IBC. Modular homes must have a foundation such as concrete or reinforced masonry to meet local building code requirements. Modular homes provide you with the opportunity to customize the floor plan, much more than a manufactured home.

For more manufactured home information please click here.


Hybrid Manufactured Homes

Some manufactured homes produce on-frame or off-frame modular homes. These are homes built in the factory that are designed and built according to the local building code, and not according to HUD-code. These homes tend to be single story, and are fairly simple built homes that are affordable housing, and look like a double-wide manufactured home from the outside.

Hybrid modular homes can be built so that the transport chassis and frame will remain as an integral part of the floor system, or it can be removed and the home placed on a perimeter foundation.

Panelized Homes

What is a panelized home?

Panelized homes are a form of prefabricated homes, that are constructed from factory-built wall panels. Panelized homes are constructed/manufactured in a factory and then transported to the construction site, where it will be constructed very similar to a wood framed home. Although panelized homes are mainly constructed in a factory, they are still subject to local, State and Federal building code requirements and must be inspected.

Advantages of panelized homes

The idea behind panelized homes is to cut down the cost of site built labor, as most everything will be finished and ready to build immediately on the site, with all of the materials included.  In some cases, these panelized homes can be built in a matter of days, not including the site work.  This is a huge advantage, because you don’t have to worry about weather delays or other factors that can come into play when construction is delayed.

Panelized Home Engineering

PSE Consulting Engineers has many years of experience with prefab homes as well as panelized homes.  Our experience in panelized home engineering helps to cut down on construction costs, along with a smooth process when working side by side with the manufacturer.  It helps tremendously to work with a firm that has experience with panelized homes, because the process is a bit different compared to a typical stick framed home.