Different Kinds of Factory-Built Homes

Baker Fred "Gene", Stinson, Olivia  |  4/27/2007 8:06:33 PM

Factory Built Home

"Factory-Built Home” is a generic term that refers to any home that has been predominately designed and constructed in a controlled factory or plant environment. Factory processes are extremely efficient with materials and, thus, are considered more environmentally friendly. In addition, the factory environment can provide a much greater degree of quality control, compared to on-site construction. The degree of assembly that occurs in the factory environment varies between different factory-built types.

The types of factory-built homes described here include:

Mobile Homes/Manufactured Homes

The term “mobile home” is a term that refers to factory-built homes built before June 15, 1976. Mobile homes are now referred to as manufactured homes by the industry and are regulated by federal and state governments. These homes originally were designed as temporary houses that could be towed from one location to another. They are not recreational vehicles and cannot be driven. These homes must be towed or transported to a site.

Many urban areas limit the use of manufactured houses to mobile home parks designed for their use.

Typically, manufactured homes are towed on axles to the site, placed on concrete block supports and tied to the ground by anchoring systems. In some cases the axles are removed.

Manufactured homes are built on a steel frame that physically differentiates the manufactured home from other factory-built homes (i.e. modular homes)

Although manufactured homes are initially less expensive than other factory-built homes, their value generally depreciates over time.

Modular Homes

Modular homes conform to the state, local or regional building codes where the home will be located, not where it is manufactured. These homes initially are more expensive than manufactured homes; however, their value generally appreciates over time.

Modular homes are usually easier to finance than manufactured homes.

Typically modular homes arrive at the site 75%-90% assembled.

Panelized Homes

Panelized homes conform to the state, local or regional building codes where the home will be located, not where it is manufactured.

Panelized homes are characterized by their use of paneled walls. These wall systems are usually delivered to the site pre-manufactured with windows, doors, wiring and sheathing already installed.

Generally, panelized homes require more on-site labor then modular or manufactured homes because they are less complete at arrival.

Typical panel standard sizes are 8-feet to 12-feet tall, by 4-feet to 40-feet wide.

There are two main types of panelized homes:

“Open Wall” Panelized Homes – Homes are constructed of panelized wall sections that contain exterior sheathing only. The home’s plumbing, electrical wiring, insulation and interior sheathing are all installed on-site.

“Closed Wall" Panelized Homes - Homes are constructed of panelized wall sections that contain all exterior sheathing, utilities and finishes. The walls are essentially transported to the site as a complete system; therefore, they require less on-site labor.

Pre-Cut Homes

Pre-cut homes conform to state, local or regional building codes where the home will be located, not where it is manufactured.

Pre-cut homes are designed and cut in a factory. They are then transported to the site in compact sections or pieces for site assembly.

Because pre-cut homes are shipped in smaller sections, they are generally transported to the site faster and more easily. This is particularly important for hard-to-reach sites in dense urban areas.

Pre-cut homes require the most amount of on-site labor and can, therefore, sometimes, but not always, have a higher end cost than other factory-built homes.

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