The Difference Between Prefab, Modular, and Manufactured Homes
We are often asked, is a modular home a prefab or manufactured home? We explain below what these terms mean.
Generally speaking, there are several ways to construct homes inside a factory and then move them to the owner’s lot, where they’ll receive the final stages of completion. You will typically hear them called “prefabricated” — or “prefab” — homes. There are several types, each with key differences.
Defining Prefab, Modular, and Manufactured Homes
Prefab is the general umbrella term used for a prefabricated building or building component that is built in a factory before its final assembly at the construction site. Contractors and developers use them in the building process for homes, as well as apartment buildings and commercial buildings.
Prefab building components have been around for a long time. Some common building blocks include floor sections with subfloor sheeting, wall sections with the attached underlying layers, and triangular roof trusses. Many years ago, when contractors would build a home, they would build it all right on the job — the kitchen cabinets, windows, and doors. But it’s simply not cost-effective for those items to be built on-site, and today, they are made in a factory and shipped to the job site.
Modular refers to house components built in self-contained units, with well more than half the structure manufactured in the factory prior to delivery. In this way, all modular buildings are considered prefabs, but not all prefabs are considered modular.
Modular homes are held to the same local building codes and standards required of traditional stick-built homes and come in all shapes and sizes. It’s hard to tell the difference between a modular home and a traditional stick-built home, and both fluctuate in value with the traditional housing market.
Manufactured structures such as mobile homes fall under the jurisdiction of federal codes set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). They have the ability to move a finished or nearly finished product to the home site and installed it on either a temporary or permanent foundation. Modern manufactured homes can come in either single-wide floor plans—a home built in one long section—or a double-wide, with two sections joined to make a larger home.
Westchester Modular builds premium, custom homes and does not create mobile homes. To see our clients’ homes, visit our gallery. To learn more about the modular advantage, please visit our post that explains why modular offers so many advantages over stick-built homes.
Leave a Reply