Real Estate Terminology - Factory Built Homes

Factory built homes - Mobile or Modular?

Known as MANUFACTURED or FACTORY built, these structures are built indoors, sheltered from the vagaries of weather, and then transported to a chosen location, and placed onto a foundation. They may be one or two stories, and serve as a single family home, a bunk house, or an office. They may be delivered in sections or as a whole.

In this blog, we will focus on the types of pre-built, or factory built homes.

Gone are the days of flimsy trailer type homes. Today's factory built homes are high quality structures and can be of better quality than a standard home in a development. There are two main types and one anomaly and a world of difference between the three.

The MOBILE HOME: Sometimes called Manufactured, these are almost completely built in factories, and then taken to the place where they will be occupied. Mobile home components are 14 feet wide, and from 45 to 90 feet long and designed as "single wide" or  "double wide". While these homes are usually placed in one location and left there permanently, they always retain the ability to be moved. Double wide units, however, are rarely ever moved.

A word of caution - There are strict compliance laws around buying and selling mobile homes. For more information  CLICK HERE . For information on Canadian electrical requirements, CLICK HERE.

The MODULAR HOME: Adding to the confusion, modular homes can also be called "manufactured" as they too are factory-built, single-family homes. The difference begins in the factory.

These homes are shipped to a location in two, or more, sections (or modules). Typically the interior and exterior are still unfinished. They are placed on a standard crawl space or basement foundation and from there the structure is finished in the same way any standard home would be finished.

Modular homes meet federal and provincial building code standards for stick built construction, treated the same as a standard built home under the law,and designed to be placed on a concrete foundation and never moved.

The ANOMALY:  We have chosen to talk about the Park Model in this section as they are showing up as cottages across North America, though rarely used as a full time residence. Park Model's are normally less than 400 square feet and are classified as RV's, but built to a slightly higher standard and quality than an RV. They are designed to be easily moved, however, they are not considered as "mobile homes" and do not meet stick built housing requirements.

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