Why Should I Consider A Manufactured Home?
If you’re looking to get the most out of your "housing dollar," you need to consider a manufactured home. Construction costs per square foot for a new manufactured home can be 35% less than a comparable site-built home excluding the cost of the land. Today’s manufactured homes offer the quality construction, modern amenities and livability you are seeking…at a price that fits your lifestyle and your budget!
How Is A Manufactured Home Different From A Site-Built Home? Isn’t "Manufactured Home" Just A Fancy Name For A Mobile Home?
A manufactured home is constructed entirely in a controlled factory environment, built to the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (better known as the HUD Code). A site-built home is built "on-site" using traditional building techniques that meet either a local or state building code.
Starting in 1976, the HUD Code established a stringent series of construction and safety standards that ensure that today’s manufactured homes are superior to "mobile homes," the term used for factory-built homes produced prior to the introduction of the HUD Code. Today’s manufactured homes are dramatically different in appearance from the "mobile homes" of yesterday…with estimates that more than 90 percent of today’s manufactured homes never move from their original site. Manufactured homes, like site-built homes, are now available in a variety of designs, floor plans, and amenities. Today’s manufactured homes are indistinguishable from site-built homes and are fully compatible with any neighborhood architectural style.
How Can I Be Sure That A Manufactured Home Is A Quality-Built Home? Do Manufactured Homes Use The Same Building Materials and Processes?
Today’s manufactured homes are built with the same building materials as site-built homes, but in a controlled factory environment where quality of construction is invariably superior to what can be done outdoors.
The HUD Code regulates and monitors the manufactured home’s design and construction, strength and durability, transportability, fire resistance, energy efficiency and overall quality. It also sets standards for the heating, plumbing, air-conditioning, thermal and electrical systems. The HUD Code also ensures compliance with these standards with a thorough inspection system that takes place at each step as the home is being constructed in the factory.
There are major benefits
having your home built in a factory:
- All aspects of the construction process are quality controlled.
- The weather doesn’t interfere with construction, cause costly delays and warp or damage building materials.
- All technicians, craftsmen and assemblers are on the same team and professionally supervised.
- Inventory is better controlled and materials are protected from theft and weather-related damage.
- All construction materials, as well as interior features and appliances, are purchased in volume for additional savings.
- All aspects of construction are continually inspected by not one, but several, inspectors.
Can I Customize A Manufactured Home To Meet My Particular Needs/Wants?
Today’s manufactured homes come with "standard" features that you would find in a site-built home. Many floor plans are available that range from basic models to more elaborate designs that feature vaulted ceilings, drywall, fully equipped modern kitchens, comfortable bedrooms with walk-in closets, and bathrooms with recessed bathtubs. You may also select from a variety of exterior designs and siding materials, including wood, hardboard, or vinyl siding.
With the vast majority of manufacturers now using the latest in computer-assisted design, you have the flexibility of customizing your home’s floor plans, interior finishes, and exterior designs. Your lifestyle and your budget are the only limitations to the options available to you.
Many manufacturers also provide homes that are "accessible" for those with special needs. If you are interested in such a home, work with your retailer to order a home with accessible features, such as extra-wide halls and doorways, accessible counters and appliances, and specially equipped bathrooms.
Will A Manufactured Home Appreciate In Value?
Generally, a home is a great investment. Appreciation on any home -either site-built or manufactured - is affected by the same factors: the desirability and stability of the community, supply and demand for homes in the local market, and maintenance and upkeep of the home. When properly installed and maintained, today’s manufactured homes will appreciate the same as surrounding site-built homes.
Will I Be Able To Insure My Manufactured Home?
Yes. There are several insurance companies that specialize in offering insurance coverage for manufactured homes.
Are Manufactured Homes More Susceptible To Fire Than Site-Built Homes?
Manufactured homes are no more prone to fire than homes built on-site. As a matter of fact, a national fire safety study by the Foremost Insurance Company showed that site-built homes are more than twice as likely to experience a fire as manufactured homes.
Fire resistance provisions of the HUD Code include strict standards for fire retardation and smoke generation in materials, large windows in all bedrooms, smoke alarms, and at least two exterior doors which must be separate from each other and reachable without having to pass through other doors that can be locked. Site-built homes are required to have only one exterior door and no "reachability" requirement.
Are Manufactured Homes More Vulnerable To Damage From Tornadoes And Hurricanes?
While many like to joke that "mobile homes attract tornadoes," there is no meteorological or scientific basis to thinking that that theory. In fact, the explanation for the reports of damage to manufactured homes from tornadoes is quite simple: manufactured housing is largely found in rural and suburban areas where tornadoes are most likely to occur.
As to hurricanes, valuable lessons were learned from the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which destroyed or damaged thousands of site-built and manufactured homes. Now, in areas prone to hurricane-force winds, the standards for manufactured homes are equivalent to or more stringent than the current regional and national building codes for site-built homes in these high wind zones.
Also, proper installation and anchoring of the home is a key element is how a manufactured home will perform in severe weather situations.
Can I Make Repairs/Renovations On A Manufactured Home The Same Way As With A Site-Built Home?
While you should perform minor repairs and upkeep on the home, just as with any home, it is advisable to hire a professional for more extensive repairs and renovations. Your homeowner’s manual outlines maintenance requirements.
Source: Manufactured Housing Institute