Manufactured and modular homes are different in terms of building and transport methods, structure and size, and costs. Regulatory codes also differ for these houses.
Manufactured homes are built on a chassis that serves as the foundation. Once the house is complete, it is transported on the chassis. Modular houses require a traditional home foundation built at the home site. Flatbed trucks deliver block segments of modular houses to their sites where cranes assemble them into houses that look like comparable ones built on-site.
Regulatory codes for manufactured and modular houses differ. Whereas manufactured home manufacturers are subject to federal guidelines, modular homebuilders follow state and local codes.
Manufactured and modular houses have structural differences. Manufactured homes never have more than one level because the chassis foundation does not provide adequate support. These homes only vary in width, coming in singlewide, doublewide and triplewide options. Modular houses resemble traditional houses and provide a greater amount of design flexibility because they are placed on conventional home foundations. A personal architect can even design a modular house and forward the plan to a modular building center.
Although both modular and manufactured houses are less expensive than traditional houses, manufactured houses tend to depreciate with time. Modular homes follow market trends similar to those of site-built houses. Modular homes are more energy-efficient than manufactured homes and are built with added insulation and energy-efficient materials.