What Is The Difference Between A Mobile Home And A Modular Home?

mobile home versus modular home

The difference between a mobile home and a modular home lies in the construction protocol used to build the structure and the governing body responsible for its installation. Mobile homes come under the HUD code but modular homes are governed by the local building code.

Trailer Home Vs. Mobile Home Vs. Manufactured Home?

General terms used to describe the same stucture.

I have heard some people say that they live in a “manufactured home” not not a mobile home.

They have all been “manufactured” in factories all over the USA for the past 50 years.

The use of the term “mobile” or “trailer” was once used to describe a small portable home towed behind a vehicle. As these homes became more permanent, the industry has changed the name to appeal to a different type of buyer.

Is It A Mobile Home Or A Modular Home?

These structures can look the same both inside and outside from a distance but they are very different both in their construction and overall regulating government authority.

Sometimes it is necessary to inspect in closer detail.

Each mobile home section will have a HUD label affixed to the exterior of the home. Inside the mobile home there will be a “data plate” giving the manufacture date and factory together with the homes serial number.

However a modular will have a Department of Community Affairs (DCA) insignia and will come under the control of the building code relevant in that particular state.

What Is A Mobile Home-Distinguishing Features?

Mobile home construction and installation are governed by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD.

When a mobile home is installed on blocks the steel I beams remain attached to the house and become part of the engineered support structure. The spacing, support, and load requirements are specified in the state (Florida) statute 15-c.

Who Can Install A Mobile Home?

In the state of Florida a mobile home can only be installed by Licensed Mobile Home Installer.

This is generally the same in the majority of states in the USA.

Who Can Install A Modular Home?

Modular homes can only be installed by a licensed general contractor who is familiar with the building code.

GCs however, often employ mobile home crews to carry out the installation due to the similarities between the set up techniques.

Different Types Of Modular Home.

On-Frame Modular.

With this type of modular home the transportation frame is left on the structure.

The I beam frame becomes a part of the pier and beam foundation. Mobile home foundation pads and anchor systems are used to tie the structure to the ground.

The underside of the home looks very similar to a manufactured home. However, the foundation components will be installed according to site built building code.

Off-Frame Modular.

Modular homes arrive at the job site on a transportation “I” frame.  This steel frame is removed onsite before the home is lowered onto a foundation.The foundation is usually a reinforced stem wall. This wall will be built before the arrival of the home and insected by the local authorities for building code compliance.

Often a crane is used to move the structures into position with spreader bars and steel cables. This can be quite expensive, $5000 per day for the crane is not unusual.

Sometimes the sections are lowered into place with translifts and a roller system.

Local authorities have strict plans which govern the number and type of housing which can be built in any particular location.

Mobile homes can only go into registered parks on land designated “mobile Homes.” Modular homes are allowed to be placed inside “regular” subdivisions or anywhere a conventional site-built home could be built.

Mobile Versus Modular Tax Differences.

Mobile homes are motor vehicles and they have a title for each section.

A mobile home in a park will require an annual tax (tag) to be paid and displayed.

Modular home will pay normal property taxes.

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