Manufactured and modular homes can be very similar in appearance. Although many people use the terms interchangeably, the code the home is built to can have an effect on the location the home is placed, the finance options, the tax implications, etc.
A manufactured home is any home factory-built in the U.S. to the HUD Title 6 construction standards (commonly known as ‘the HUD-code’). The HUD-code took effect June 15, 1976.
A HUD-coded home will display documentation called the Certification Label and the Data Plate. The red Certification Label (sometimes called the HUD Label) can be located on the tail end of each transportable section of the home. The Data Plate will be located inside of the home. Regulation states that the Data Plate be affixed inside the home on or near the main electrical breaker box, or other readily visible/accessible location. These documents are extremely important; as per the HUD Title 6 regulation removal is illegal. Removal could hinder the buying, selling, financing, or insuring of a manufactured home; they are not replaceable.
A manufactured home is built on a permanent chassis to ensure transportability. However, typically a manufactured home is not moved from its initial installed site.
A modular home is any home factory-built to a local state code. In some cases, a state may have adopted one of the uniform construction codes (i.e. UBC, IRC, etc.).
Modular homes will not have the red Certification Label, but will have a label attached to the home stating the code it was built to. The appropriate State Modular Code Agency will be able to assist you in locating the modular label.
A modular home can be built as an “on-frame” or “off-frame” modular. On-frame will be built on a permanent chassis, whereas, the off-frame modular will be built with removal of the chassis frame in mind. An off-frame modular will usually require additional cranes to assist with home placement. Modular homes are, more often than not, attached to private land.
A mobile home is a factory-built home that is 1) built before June 15, 1976, and 2) not built to a uniform construction code.