Modular Home Vs. Manufactured Home

By jeffgmck • December 14th, 2010

When you are buying a home, you might hear the terms modular homes, manufactured homes and site built homes. It’s important to understand how they all differ, whether you are purchasing an existing house or planning to build on land that is subject to covenants. The differences can affect a home’s price, resale value, and even dictate whether or not it can be built on your site.

What Are Modular Homes?

  • Modular homes appraise, mortgage, and appreciate in value like other site-built homes in the area.
  • Modular homes are built in sections at a factory. They are about 65% complete when they leave the factory.
  • Modular homes are built to conform to all state, local or regional building codes at their destinations. In Alabama, that code is International Residential Building Code.
  • Local building inspectors, when available, check to make sure a modular home’s structure meets requirements and that all finish work is done properly. All modular homes are inspected by the State of Alabama in addition to local inspections.
  • Modular homes are usually less expensive per square foot than site built houses.
  • A well-built modular home should have the same longevity as its site-built counterpart, increasing in value over time.

What Are Manufactured Homes?

  • Formerly referred to as mobile homes or trailers, but with many more style options and upgrades than in the past.
  • Manufactured homes are about 95% complete when they leave the factory.
  • They conform to a Federal building code, called the HUD code, rather than to building codes at their destinations. HUD code is identical in every state.
  • Manufactured homes are built on a non-removable steel frame. Federal law mandates that the frame cannot be removed.
  • Sections are transported to the building site on their own wheels.
  • Multi-section manufactured units are joined at their destination.
  • The State of Alabama inspects the installation of all manufactured homes.
  • Manufactured housing is generally less expensive than site built and modular homes.

At Corky’s we are an authorized Builder for R-Anell (, Nationwide Homes (, Southern Homes (, and Cavalier Homes (

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