manufactured vs stick-built homes
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Manufactured vs. Stick-Built Homes vs. Mobile vs. Modular: Definitions and Differences

Are you trying to figure out the difference between manufactured vs. stick-built homes? We’re here to help! Below, we explain the difference between home types, including manufactured, stick-built, mobile, and modular. 

Manufactured vs. Stick-Built Homes vs. Mobile vs. Modular

This simple guide defines the differences between these home types so you can move forward with confidence. 

Manufactured Homes

Manufactured home, mobile home, trailer… it’s a lot to keep straight! The good news is that what sets a manufactured home apart is actually very easy to define.

The bad news? If you’ve been calling manufactured homes “trailers” or “mobile homes,” you’re behind the times! Like, over 50 years behind the times.

Back in the 1950s, “trailer homes” started to get a bad reputation and were renamed “mobile homes” in an effort to move away from the negative stigma. Then in 1976, the term “mobile home” was officially replaced by the term “manufactured home.” 

Although people still use all three terms to refer to the same thing, “manufactured home” is the official (and correct) name! 

So, what is a manufactured home? 

Manufactured homes are constructed entirely off-site and transported to their final location in one piece. There, they are installed on permanent steel bases. Unlike mobile/trailer homes, these factory-built houses are not easy to move after installation. 

Typically, the construction process for a manufactured home takes less than 3 months, which is more than twice as fast as the average construction time frame for a traditional site-built house! 

Manufactured homes are built according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) code standards which govern their design, construction, durability, and safety. Although these types of homes once had a stigma around them, today they are built to a high standard of safety and longevity. 

Manufactured homes are affordable and customizable, which makes them a desirable option for many prospective homeowners!

Stick-Built Homes

While you may not have heard the term much, “stick-built home” is just a fancy name for a traditional house. 

Stick-built houses are constructed entirely on-site, piece by piece, with conventional building materials like wood, concrete, and steel. (Because of this, they’re sometimes also referred to as site-built homes.) They offer a huge amount of flexibility when it comes to the floor plans and architectural style of the house, and they typically appreciate in resale value over time. 

Mobile Homes

While people often refer to manufactured homes as “mobile homes,” there are some technical differences between the two. In fact, it would be more accurate (though outdated) to call mobile homes “trailers.”

Mobile homes are – surprise, surprise – mobile! They are built on wheels and can be towed behind a vehicle. Mobile homes aren’t installed on permanent bases like manufactured homes, so they remain mobile throughout the life of the home.

Modular Homes

Modular homes are built off-site in sections (or “modules”). When the sections are complete, they are transported to the building site and assembled on a permanent foundation. Once assembled, a modular home is immovable just like a stick-built home. 

Unlike mobile and manufactured homes, modular homes are built to accommodate local building codes and regulations, so you don’t have to worry about compliance with regional standards.

One of the primary benefits of this construction style is how quickly the home can be completed. Why is it faster? For one, construction is taking place in a streamlined, factory environment rather than a remote job site. For two, there are no weather delays! You’d be amazed how much bad weather slows down a stick-built home build. Not so with modular homes which are built in an indoor, controlled environment.

While modular homes don’t allow for as much customization as stick-built homes, there are still many design styles to choose from. Plus, modular homes tend to be more affordable than stick-built homes!

Aspire Communities Manufactured Homes

Are you ready to improve your quality of life? 

We know how tough the housing market is these days. For many people, the dream of owning a home feels farther away than ever. At Aspire Communities, we’re changing that.

Our mission is to create beautiful homes that you and your family are proud to call home. As one of the largest owners and operators of manufactured housing communities in Western Michigan, Aspire Communities offers affordable living focused on your needs. 

We warmly invite you to our communities, and can’t wait to help you find your dream home! Contact us today to take the first step toward affordable homeownership.