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What Is a Manufactured vs Modular vs Mobile Home?

What is the difference between a mobile home, manufactured home, and a modular home?

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to the terms: mobile home, manufactured home, and modular home. In a nutshell, here’s the difference: Manufactured homes and mobile homes are both regulated by HUD, the Housing and Urban Development division of the federal government. According to HUD, a factory-built home prior to June 15, 1976 is a mobile home and one built after June 15, 1976 (when HUD code was first established) is a manufactured home. Both mobile homes and manufactured homes are prefabricated structures, built in a factory on a permanently attached chassis before being transported to site.  A modular home, on the other hand, is built to the same local, county, and state building codes as a site-built home.

Mobile vs. Manufactured vs. Modular Home

Let’s take a deeper look at today’s home construction processes for both a manufactured home and a modular home and see how the two compare.

modular home constructionCommon Misunderstandings

  1. The only difference is how they are set up
  2. There is a difference in how they look
  3. There is a difference in how they are delivered
  4. The foundation makes the difference

Modular vs. Manufactured Home Construction

  1. Manufactured homes are built under the HUD construction code, first established in June 1976. HUD Determines the wind, snow, and energy loads that the home must meet.  Manufactured homes do not require a permanent foundation. However, some lenders may require that depending on the loan program that you go through.   When placed on permanent foundations they can be classified as real estate for taxing purposes, but will always be appraised as a manufactured home.
  2. Modular homes are built in compliance with localized building and safety requirements, the same as site-built homes. Texas approved the IRC code for modular homes in 2001.  The IRC code meets or exceeds the construction codes for site-built requirements and as such, allows for the placement of the modular coded home on to residential zoned properties.  A municipality may not differentiate between modular homes built under the Texas IHB program and site-built homes.  Check the deed restrictions on the property. The city cannot prohibit a modular home constructed under this program from being placed in an area zoned for single-family housing, or a modular office building from being placed in an area zoned for offices. However, you must abide by any deed restrictions and subdivision or architectural controls.

Basic Construction Differences

Typically a modular home will require a heavier lumber package with extra materials being incorporated into the wall structures and framing. Additionally, there are slight differences in the electrical systems, plumbing, and the HVAC systems.

When Oak Creek builds a modular house the following come with the home:

  1. High efficiency furnace
  2. Wind loads that can be up to 181 MPH
  3. R38 roof insulation, R19 floor, R21 side walls
  4. 2 x 6 side wall studs – 16” on center
  5. High profile shingles – 30-year warranty
  6. 25 oz carpet
  7. Multiple 3rd party inspections before final approval

modular home constructionFoundations

All modular homes require a permanent foundation system. There are different styles of foundations – runners, ribbons, slab, stem wall, pier.  Any system you use should be designed by an engineer and needs to pass local inspection. Modular homes can be built “on frame” or “off frame” depending on your preference. Off frame mods have 2 x 10 floor joists and the delivery chassis is removed from under the home.


  • Financing: Who owns the land? Manufactured homes can be financed without involving the land as part of the transaction.  In cases where there is family land or land being offered for use without transfer of ownership, manufactured homes are a great option.
  • Homesite Selection: Are there any zoning restrictions? Inside of city limits, manufactured homes may be restricted to certain areas or locations.  Those restrictions do not apply to modular.
  • Budget: What budget are you working with? The cost to build a modular home will be higher than building a manufactured home

The small voice. – for lack of a better term, what do you feel in your gut?

Contact Us

We hope you’ve found this information helpful. Oak Creek Homes has over 100 floor plans to choose from. Many of our homes can be built with the modular construction standard.  If you would like more information or have additional questions about manufactured home and modular home construction just fill out  the form below.  We’ll put you in touch with the home display center nearest you.  A team member can help walk you through the process of home selection and design as well as assist with financing and site preparation for the home you choose.

Additional Educational Resources

Things to Consider when Choosing a Manufactured Home Builder

19 Questions to Think About Before Buying a Manufactured Home

Manufactured Home Buying: Part 1 – Choosing a builder and choosing a home

Manufactured Home Buying: Part 2 – Financing Options

Manufactured Home Buying: Part 3 – Home Site Selection and Preparation

Oak Creek Homes is the Oldest Manufactured Home Dealer in Texas!

Manufactured home builder Oak Creek Homes has been building mobile, manufactured, and modular homes for over 50 years! We have a home manufacturing factory in Ft. Worth, Texas and a home manufacturing factory in Lancaster, Texas. Oak Creek homes can be purchased at any of our 18 Home Centers across Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.


Oak Creek Homes
We have built over 50,000 homes; quality designs for first-time homebuyers to spacious floorplans filled with long lists of options and comforts. There are a lot of reasons to feel comfortable about choosing Oak Creek Homes, from our available 7-Year Service Protection Plan* to our Quality Care** installation program.
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2 thoughts on “What Is a Manufactured vs Modular vs Mobile Home?

  1. Can I set up a forty gallon aquarium in my home. The aquarium with stand and everthing will weigh about, approaching 800 pounds. Thank you Douglas

    1. That’s a great question. If you’d like to fill out the contact form on the blog page, you can speak with a team member, who’s best qualified to answer that question 🙂

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