Modular vs. Manufactured Homes: Key Differences

If you’re exploring affordable, quality housing options, you may be considering modular or manufactured homes. But what exactly is the difference between the two? This overview explains key distinctions.

Modular Homes

Modular homes are built in sections or “modules” within a factory. The modules are then delivered to the home site and installed on a foundation.

Once in place, the modules connect together to form a finished home. Modular homes must meet all local building codes just like site-built homes.

Manufactured Homes

Manufactured homes (also known as mobile homes) are fully constructed inside a factory on a non-removable steel chassis with axles and wheels.

The completed home is then transported via truck to a site. It can be placed on private land or within designated mobile home communities.

Construction Standards

Modular homes adhere to the same local and state codes as traditional stick-built homes. Manufactured homes instead follow federal building regulations.

While quality varies, manufactured homes generally utilize lighter materials and more affordable construction. Customization is also more limited.


Modular homes usually appreciate comparably to site-built homes. Manufactured homes generally don’t appreciate in value as much over time.

When researching factory-built homes, weigh pros and cons of modular vs. manufactured models regarding quality, customization, and long-term value.

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