Manufactured vs. Modular Homes

“Manufactured homes are no longer for trailer parks,” said Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

“Manufactured homes have the benefit of driving down construction costs. And in the wake of a natural disaster, manufactured homes could restore damaged property in weeks or months, not years.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) sponsored the first-ever Innovative Housing Showcase in Washington from June 1-5. The event included panel discussions, interviews and demonstrations with exhibitors, lawmakers, entrepreneurs and housing industry leaders.

The intent of the gathering was to educate policymakers and the broader public on innovations and building technologies in new manufactured homes that address affordable housing issues across the country.

The exhibits, which included prototype houses, showcase innovative building technology that addresses affordability and resiliency during natural disasters. The 18 exhibitors featured building technology demonstrations, information for future home buyers and housing counseling services.

Skyline Champion Corporation, a factory-built housing company that specializes in manufactured and modular homes, brought a pair of homes to the National Mall.

What are manufactured homes?
Manufactured homes, sometimes referred to as mobile homes or trailers, are built as either a single section or multi-section home (depending on the floor plan). They are pre-constructed in the factory on a permanent chassis; therefore, a permanent foundation is not necessary. These homes usually have skirting around the bottom to hide where the wheels were removed and to give it the appearance of a typical home.

Manufactured homes conform to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) codes. During your search, you’ll often find them referred to as “HUDs.” The HUD code regulates the design, construction, structural durability, transportability, fire resistance and energy efficiency of a home. It also prescribes performance standards for the mechanical, plumbing and electrical standards.

Manufactured homes offer families the chance to own a comfortable, amenity-filled home at a fraction of the cost. Families living in manufactured homes have a spacious and luxurious floor plan. Many floor plans range from basic models to more elaborate designs that feature vaulted ceilings, fully equipped modern kitchens, energy-efficient gas fireplaces, double pane windows, comfortable bedrooms with walk-in closets, and bathrooms with recessed bathtubs and dual vanities. Many homeowners have customized their homes to have extra insulation, ceiling fans, and thermal pane windows to improve air flow, lower utility bills, and provide a more comfortable living space.

What’s the difference between manufactured and modular homes?
Both manufactured and modular homes have one thing in common: both are built indoors and transported to their intended location.

Known as factory-built or pre-fabricated homes, modular homes get built in multiple pieces, unlike manufactured homes that get built in one piece. The completed two to five pieces of the home get transported to the home site, where they are then joined on top of a solid foundation. Once all the pieces are joined, these homes look similar to site-built homes. These homes must also adhere to local and state codes, depending on where the building is located.


Limitone, Julia. “Ben Carson: Manufactured Homes Are No Longer for Trailer Parks.” Fox Business, Fox Business, 3 June 2019,

Lerner, Michele. “Innovative Housing Showcase Is Coming to Washington.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 27 May 2019,
“Manufactured Homes on National Mall Make Big Impression.” MHVillager, 4 June 2019,

“Manufactured and Modular Homes.” Manufactured and Modular Homes,

Brown, Sanda. “Mobile? Modular? Manufactured? What’s the Difference and How to Choose the Right One?” The Difference Between Manufactured vs Modular vs Mobile Home, Builder Homesite Inc, 3 Oct. 2017,

“Modular Homes Section.” Modular Homes vs. Manufactured Homes,

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