Manufactured homes are also known sometimes by names like mobile homes, doublewide homes, or trailer homes. These homes are built in a factory and then transported to the home site in trucks, just like prefab homes, but the similarity between the two ends there. In fact, there are many differences between manufactured homes and prefab homes.
Construction and Delivery
Manufactured homes are usually built on steel I-beam frame and will have axles and tires attached to the bottom. These homes will also feature a welded steel tongue-towing unit attached to the front. Usually, these homes are towed to the site on their own wheels and the wheels and tongue are removed when the home is installed.
On the other hand, prefab homes are built with the same building materials and methods as the site built homes, although these homes are made in transportable sections that are then delivered to the site. The different sections of the homes are connected together at the site to make the complete home.
Manufactured homes usually sit on a foundation that is made by rows of stacked concrete slabs. These slabs are placed over plastic pads and reinforced with tie down straps. Straps will be provided every four to eight feet along the sides of the home to connect the steel frame of the home to stakes in the ground. The manufactured home is first rolled into place and then the foundation is built under it. You may also find a manufactured home with a permanent foundation, but these homes are very rare.
Prefab homes are installed on permanent foundation like that of site built homes. The modules of the homes are lifted using a crane to place in the proper position. These modules are then attached together to make the complete home.
Manufactured homes are usually built to a national building code that is put forward by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the year 1976. These codes are upgraded regularly.
Prefab homes are built as per the code of the area where the home will be placed finally. For instance, in Florida, the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) regulates the construction and installation of prefabricated homes.