Modular Homes vs. Manufactured Homes

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 the federal 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 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 benefits 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 non-issue. 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% 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 70-90% 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 and 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.

To learn more about manufactured homes, click here!

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.

To learn more about modular homes, click here!

Want to Learn More About the Differences Between Modular and Manufactured Homes?

If you want to speak to someone directly about the differences between manufactured homes and modular homes, we’re here to help! Our expertly trained sales and support staff are happy to provide any insight that can make your home buying journey a more enjoyable one. We’re able to answer any questions related to choosing, purchasing, or financing your new home, too! Just fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch right away. Or if you prefer, you can always give us a call at (888) 776-8510 any time!