Modular or Manufactured?

The Complete Guide to Modular Housing

A modular home is built in sections in a factory. The home site is prepared while the sections are being manufactured. Once the site is ready and the modular home sections are complete, pieces are transported to the home site.  Centennial Homes then attaches the sections on the crawl space or basement and completes the rest of the work required for the final inspection and certificate of occupancy.

The Difference Between Modular and Manufactured

Although a modular home is manufactured, it’s not the same thing as a “manufactured,” or “mobile,” home. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), modular homes are built to the same local, county and state building codes as site-built homes. Manufactured homes, on the other hand, are constructed according to HUD code. HUD requires that a manufactured home be built on a permanent chassis rather than on a foundation.


Modular homes are available in many of the same styles as site-built homes. The most common styles offered by Centennial Homes are the ranch and split foyer. We can can build rather elaborate contemporary styles that are indistinguishable from their site-built counterparts. And as with site-built home plans, modular plans can be customized. Non-load-bearing walls can often be moved or eliminated, and all manner of extras, from a garage to an attic to a deck or porch, can be added.


Financing a modular home is the same as financing a site-built new construction. The mortgage loan begins as a construction loan to be disbursed in several “draws” as construction progresses to predetermined milestones. For example, the first draw might be made after the land has been excavated, and the next after the foundation is in. The work must be inspected at each stage. Once it has been determined that the work has been completed properly, the buyer is asked to sign off on the payment so that the next phase of construction may begin. ¬†Once all the construction-loan money has been disbursed and the buyer takes possession, the loan converts to a standard mortgage loan.

Benefits of Modular Homes Over Site-Built

The primary benefit of modular construction over site-built is that modular has more stringent quality control. Every component of every home is manufactured in precisely the same way each time, and results of every process are inspected numerous times before the home leaves the factory. In addition, factory construction makes weather a nonissue–because the home is built indoors, there’s no concern about weather-related damage or delays. Finally, modular homes are less expensive than site-built homes because volume discounts on materials and automated processes keep prices down. A National Association of Homebuilders comparison found the average construction cost of a modular to be about 11 percent less than that of a site-built home.

Time to Build

The time it takes to build a modular depends on the size and style, but a general guideline for factory work completion is one to two months. According to the National Association of Home Builders Research Center, modular homes are delivered to the home site 70 to 90 percent complete. It takes just days for a local contractor and finish crew to assemble the home and make it move-in ready.

What are Manufactured Homes?

Built offsite, in a controlled environment, under the federal code commonly known as HUD, manufactured homes are built in single or multiple sections and transported and set up on your building site. They can be set on piers, a crawlspace, or conventional foundation, depending on your needs. HUD Code requires that these homes are built to specific standards of strength, durability, fire resistance, and quality.

What are Modular Homes?

Modular homes are built offsite, in a controlled environment, to the same local, state or regional codes that all conventional site homes are built to and include delivery to the site. They must be set and permanently affixed to a crawl space or basement foundation..

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The homes featured on this site are for general reference only. The features and options shown may not be available at all locations.