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The Difference Between a Modular Home Vs. Mobile Home

Are you finally ready to invest in your dream home? If you're exploring different types of houses to buy, you may wonder what the difference is between modular and mobile homes. Although the two options are similar, there are some key differences that you'll want to be aware of before making an informed decision.

If you want to create your ideal version of a home, Carolina Custom Homes is here to help. With this guide, we hope to provide some clarity on modular homes vs. mobile homes so that you can decide which option is best for your needs.

Here's a quick overview of each type of home to help you decide which one is right for you:

Modular Home Vs. Mobile Home—What's the Difference? 

Let's take a look at the difference between a mobile home and a modular home. When you learn the definitions, they start to look quite different to the homebuyer.


What Is a Modular Home?

A modular home is a type of home built in sections in a factory setting. Once the sections are complete, they're transported to the building site and assembled by qualified professionals. Although modular homes are constructed in a factory setting, they must still adhere to the local building code requirements.



Modular homes offer several benefits, such as:

  • Increased flexibility: Modular homes can be customized to your specific needs and preferences. You'll have the opportunity to choose your floor plan, layout, fixtures, and finishes.
  • Shorter build time: Because modular homes are built in a controlled factory setting, the construction process is often faster than traditional homebuilding.
  • Greater quality control: With modular homes, you can be confident that your home is built to exacting standards. In a factory setting, construction crews have access to better tools and materials, which results in a higher-quality finished product.

When assessing a modular home vs. mobile home, it's essential to keep in mind that modular homes are built to the same code requirements as traditional site-built homes. If you're looking to move in soon, modular homes are an excellent option.

What Is a Mobile Home?

Although modular homes are referred to frequently as "mobile homes" in the modern day, there's actually an important distinction between a modular home vs. mobile home. A mobile home refers explicitly to a "mobile home" or "trailer" that was built before 1976. In 1976, the HUD Code was enacted, which created standards for the construction, transportation, and the sale of mobile homes.

Before the HUD code, there were few guidelines or oversight regarding mobile homes. The main requirement was their movability. However, modular homes must now comply with the HUD Code, meaning they're subject to regular inspections and must meet specific safety standards.

Mobile homes built after the HUD Code's enactment are referred to as "manufactured homes." Manufactured homes must be built according to the federal building code, which includes specific requirements for the following:

  • Foundation: The home must be built on a permanent foundation that meets local building code requirements.
  • Permits and inspections: The home must comply with all local zoning regulations, including obtaining the proper permits.
  • Transportation: The home must be transported by a certified installer.
  • Installation: The home must be installed by a certified professional.
  • Construction and Design: The modular home must be constructed to the federal building code and meet specific design requirements.
  • Energy Efficiency: The modular home must meet specific energy efficiency standards.
  • Plumbing and Electrical work:  The modular home must have a certified plumbing and electrical system that meets all local standards.
  • Fire Safety: The modular home must have a fire safety system to help alert and protect the buyer from harm.

If you're considering purchasing a modular home or manufactured home, Carolina Custom Homes is ready to assist. We have ample experience in the modular home industry, and we can help you find the perfect home to suit your needs. When it comes to modular homes vs. mobile homes, we can help you make the best decision for your family. Are you wondering how to prepare yourself for building a house? Check out our free resource for more information!

10 Benefits of Choosing a Present-Day Manufactured Home

The modular home vs. site-built debate has been around for decades, with both sides making valid points. However, there are some critical differences between the two types of homes that present-day manufactured homeowners should be aware of. Here are 10 benefits of choosing a present-day manufactured home:

  1. Cost: Manufactured homes are often more affordable than site-built homes, especially when you factor in land cost.
  2. Energy Efficiency: Today's manufactured homes are built with energy-efficient materials and appliances, saving you money on utility bills.
  3. Customization: Modular homes offer a wide range of customization options, from the floor plan to the fixtures and finishes.
  4. Quick Construction: Manufactured homes are constructed in a controlled environment, which means they can be built quickly and efficiently.
  5. Quality Control: Modular homes are subject to strict quality control standards, ensuring that your home meets all local building codes.
  6. Flexibility: They can be designed to fit any lot size or setback, making them an excellent option for difficult-to-build sites.
  7. Resale Value: Modular homes have proven to hold their value over time, making them a wise investment.
  8. Sustainability: These homes are often made with recycled materials and are built to be energy-efficient, making them more sustainable than traditional site-built homes.
  9. Disaster Resistant: Modular homes are constructed to withstand high winds and other severe weather conditions, making them a smart choice for disaster-prone areas.
  10. Peace of Mind: When you choose a modular home, you can rest assured knowing that your home has been built to the highest standards.


If you're considering a manufactured home, keep these 10 benefits in mind. With today's modern modular homes, you can have all the advantages of a site-built home without the incredibly high price tag. Plus, you can customize your home any way you please.

The Verdict: Modular Home Vs. Mobile Home

So, what's the difference between modular homes and mobile homes? It all comes down to when the home was built and whether or not it meets the HUD Code requirements. Modular homes are made to the same standards as site-built homes, meaning they must meet local building codes and be constructed by a certified professional.

On the other hand, mobile homes are not subject to the same standards and can be moved from one location to another. Although they were popular in the early 1900s, building standards have drastically changed since the 1970s. And when you're making one of the most important purchases of your life, you want to be sure you're getting a beautifully built home that will last.

If you're looking for a quality home that stands the test of time, modular homes are the way to go. With modular homes, you'll get all the benefits of a traditional home with customization options and more control over the price tag. And, with modular homes, you can rest assured knowing your home was built to the highest standards.

If you're interested in purchasing a manufactured home, Carolina Custom Homes can help you find the perfect one for your needs. With our experience in the modular home industry, we can help you navigate the process and make the best decision for your family.


Still have questions about modular homes vs. mobile homes? Contact us today with any questions you have about the process. 

Carolina Custom Homes

Written by Carolina Custom Homes

Carolina Custom Homes of Burlington was founded with a mission to provide customers with an alternative, greener way to build. We partner with North Carolina’s top manufacturers to create both practical and luxurious designs for your home. We maintain a low operating overhead, which means that more of your money goes towards designing and building your perfect home. We provide you with high quality, custom modular homes at an unbeatable value.

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