Different Types of Manufactured Homes

Manufactured homes essentially describe housing that is constructed in a controlled environment and adhere to federal guidelines before being transported to a permanent location. When talking about different types of houses, people mostly get confused with terms- prefab, modular, panel built and manufactured homes. Although, they are sometimes used interchangeably, they all are different from each other.

There are four types of manufactured homes viz. mobile homes, modular homes, pre-cut homes, and homes which are panelized. The term mobile home is no longer used due to the regulations put into place by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

A brief introduction about each type of manufactured home is below:

Mobile Home

Mobile homes are built to meet the Federal building code administered by the HUD. Once a mobile home transported to the site, it has very little work to be done. These types of manufactured homes often come with most of the cosmetic work, including paint and flooring, and some type of exterior finish already completed. Over time, the value of mobile homes depreciates, and they have limited expectancy of usefulness.

Modular Home

Modular homes are generally confused with mobile home, but there are some significant differences. Modular homes are created in parts and pieces, and do not have any standard shape. Each modular home is made of two or more modules. These modules are transferred to the site to be assembled and finished by a licensed contractor. The value of modular home increases over time, just like on site construction.

Modular homes are created to meet state and local codes. The construction techniques used to build modular homes ensure that it has less heat and energy loss. Such homes come without most of the exterior and interior work completed.

Panelized Home

Panelized Homes shipped flat from a factory. You would require a construction crew to assemble the pieces, including wiring, windows, doors, and exterior. These houses have to meet both state and local building codes that oversee the area where they are constructed. One benefit of buying panelized home is that it saves construction time and labor costs.

Precut /Kit Home

A precut home is like a kit for making exterior of a house. It is subject to the state and local codes where it is built; therefore, it does not depreciate. Such homes only include the exterior of the home in the price. You may have to hire a contractor for plumbing, interior, and exterior work. Precut or kit homes offer the least amount of material required to build a home, and therefore, the cost to finish your home can easily triple the total cost of the home.


Make sure you calculate both the long-term and short-term costs of the home you choose to buy. Apart from cost, consider both immediate and later needs as well to make a wise investment. Modular home and Precut home can be ideal options to get good return on investment in long run.