There are a lot of myths and misconceptions around manufactured housing. However, the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 began a new stage and the advantages of manufactured housing have been increasing ever since. Here are 5 great reasons to consider a manufactured home:
Manufactured housing is an affordable option for Americans to purchase their own homes. New manufactured homes can cost an average of $74,2001, compared with $359,900 for a single-family site-built home 2. Manufactured homes also cost 10 to 35 percent less per square foot 3 to build than site-built homes.
The middle class loves manufactured homes. According to ManufacturedHousing.org, median annual income for those living in a manufactured home is $34,700. Twenty-four percent of all households, however, bring home $50,000 or more each year. In addition, the average household size is 2.7 people.
2. Control over the Building Process
Anyone who has ever built a home can tell horror stories of cost overruns, delayed construction, and snarly contractors. Such problems are foreign to the manufactured home industry because the homes are built in factories under strict rules and tight federal regulations. The factories build the homes on assembly lines, which leaves little room for error, and the manufacturing process maximizes the efficiency of workers. Moreover, manufactured homes are built in a controlled environment that is not impacted by bad weather, vandalism, and the potential unreliability of contractors and subcontractors 4.
Such control over the building process allows homeowners to reap the benefits of money saved during construction. In addition, factories can purchase massive amounts of materials, products, and appliances at a cheaper rate than a typical on-site home builder, and pass the cost savings on to the homeowner.
What’s a modular home?
Modular homes are built in factories and transported to the final building site, where they are then installed. They’re a type of manufactured home that is flexible and customizeable to a great degree.
3. Speed of Construction
Although the owner is responsible for the foundation, and for establishing utilities like electricity and sewage before manufactured homes arrive on site for final construction, factories can build a typical double-wide or single-wide manufactured home in about one-third of the time it takes a contractor to construct a site-built home5. When the house gets to your property, it’s nearly 80 percent complete, which allows you to move into your new home much faster, as well 6. Just because construction and set up moves at a rapid pace doesn’t mean the builders can ignore safety and building codes. In-house and third-party inspectors examine each structure before and after the home is on site 7.
4. Design Flexibility
If you haven’t figured it out yet, manufactured homes are not your granddad’s mobile homes. Some of the designs are even elaborate. Modular homes, for example, have more than one story. They can have porches, garages and decks, and vaulted ceilings. And depending on the lots, homeowners can add beautiful lawns and landscaping. Builders can also customize houses to customer’s specific needs — want stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, and granite countertops? No problem!
Some companies even specialize in upscale modular homes. One firm, the Modular Center, has a “Masterpiece Collection,” which features homes that range from 2,000 square feet (185.8 square meters) to more than 5,000 square feet (464.5 square meters).
Mobile vs. Manufactured
Mobile homes refer to those built before 1976 when the government didn’t have any building regulations. Since that date, factories have built manufactured homes to a higher standard8.
5. Energy Efficiency
The new generations of manufactured homes are energy efficient. Factories now outfit manufactured homes with ENERGY STAR appliances. Builders take great care in making sure each home is tightly constructed with efficient heating and cooling systems, water heaters, and high-performance windows.
How much money can a manufactured home save a person? Let’s look at one example. A few years ago, North Carolina A&T University and the U.S. Department of Energy studied the energy efficiency of one type of manufactured home. The university built two houses on the Greensboro campus. Each three-bedroom, three-bath house was 1,528 square feet (142 square meters)9.
Although the homes were unoccupied, researchers rigged up the lights and appliances with timers to simulate normal energy use. One house was a “base” house that acted as a control. The other was an “energy” house, which was built with energy-efficient materials and appliances. Researchers expected the energy house to be 50 percent more energy efficient than the base house. After studying both houses for an entire winter heating season and summer cooling season, researchers found that the energy house actually exceeded expectations with an overall savings of 55 percent10.