Manufactured homes, also known as factory-built homes, pre-fab homes, pre-cut homes, factory-made homes, and mobile homes, are residences that are built in a factory. While some of the finishing touches may not be added to manufactured homes until they arrive on site, nearly every other component of the home is completed beforehand. In order to transport manufactured homes to the building site, they are loaded onto a steel chassis and placed on the trailer of a semi truck. The wheels used to transport the manufactured homes can be removed. The chassis, however, stays in place.
When manufactured homes were first developed, owners were limited in the sizes and shapes they could select from. In addition, manufactured homes had a distinctive look that made them easy to differentiate from stick built homes, which are homes that are built entirely on site. Today, manufactured homes come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes that can be difficult to tell from stick built homes. In fact, manufactured homes be just as large and intricately designed.
Manufactured homes do not fall under the same building code guidelines as stick built homes. Rather, they must abide by guidelines specifically designed for manufactured homes. In the United States, these guidelines are set forth by the Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency. While building inspectors check the work, such as the electric hook up, they are not required to approve the final structure.
Manufactured homes are desired by some homeowners because they generally cost far less to build than a stick built home. In addition, the buyer can select from a wide variety of amenities, layouts, and room sizes. In this way, manufactured homes are completely customizable and capable of being built to specifications.
On the other hand, there are still certain limitations to what can be created with manufactured homes. In addition, some believe the process of transporting manufactured homes results in a reduction of the stability of the structure. Manufactured homes can also be difficult to refinance when certain segments are not placed on a permanent foundation, and they have a tendency to decrease in value over time.