20+ Differences Between Mobile And Modular Homes

Choosing a home type is one of many problems with buying a house. Mobile and modular homes are two of the primary choices. Mobile houses are smaller and come with several pairs of wheels. They are sometimes referred to as trailers.

The National Mobile Homes Construction and Safety Act were first put into effect in the US in 1976, which is when the first mobile homes were built. 

Modular homes follow provincial or regional on-site building standards. The strict criteria that must be followed make modular homes significantly more sturdy. Both sorts of residences are not built on the site but rather in factories.

Today’s industry offers remarkable and cutting-edge eco-friendly mobile and modular homes. The two designs’ purchasing procedures are likewise rather quick, allowing people to become homeowners in a matter of days.

Comparison between Mobile And Modular Homes

ParameterMobile HomeModular Home
Material UsedIt’s possible to design mobile houses to be lighter. For instance, hardwood flooring is common in mobile houses.Modules are built with materials comparable to those used in a conventional building. Modules might, for instance, have concrete floors.
SizeMobile houses and trailer offices are frequently built using mobile construction.The use of modular buildings is becoming more and more popular as a more useful and effective housing alternative. The modular architecture is not only used to create bungalows, though. Modular structures may be as tall as buildings since the modules can be piled one on top of the other.
DurabilityA mobile home’s owner is free to keep it movable for as long as they choose. After all, the steel chassis won’t be moving. Therefore, mobile houses are usually secured and supported on concrete slabs or pylons rather than having a permanent foundation. A mobile house typically lasts 55 years, although exceptional upkeep can increase this.Modular houses are often built with the idea of staying there permanently. In order to be comparable to traditionally constructed homes, modular homes typically feature a solid, concrete-poured foundation or even a basement. Additionally, their lifespans are generally the same. A conventional home has about 200 years, but with exceptional management, this may be prolonged forever.
Return on InvestmentBut if everything else is equal and both homes are in a permanent location, modular homes often have a higher resale value than most mobile homes. It is essential to remember that a mobile home that is not situated on a privately owned property will lose value over time.Given that it is a more recent way of building, modular homes often do not have the same resale value as homes that are constructed conventionally. This is primarily due to a lack of knowledge about this building technique.

Major Differences Between Mobile And Modular Homes

What exactly is a Mobile Home?

A trailer is another name for a mobile house. These residences are compact, outfitted with all essentials, and mounted on wheels for mobility.

The designs and innovativeness were first included in the 1990s after they were first formally certified and launched on the market in the 1970s.

These houses were more common during World War II as temporary accommodation for workers who frequently had to move around for military needs. 

When the war was over, soldiers returning to the US needed cheap housing, which was in short supply. The 1960s saw a huge growth in their supply as a result of rising demand.

The statute governing the production of these affordable housing choices, outlined in the HUD Code rules, was approved by the US Congress in 1974. Manufactured homes and mobile homes are synonyms.

Mobile Homes Key Differences

  • Because they are constructed on wheels, mobile homes are transportable.
  • The purchase of a completely furnished mobile house, such as a trailer, eliminates the need for a building.
  • Governing mobile houses is the Nationwide Mobile Homes Building and Safety Act.
  • On a steel structure with wheels, mobile homes are constructed.
  • Compared to modular spaces, mobile homes are often significantly smaller.
  • Mobile houses are shipped fully assembled, so there is no construction period.
  • Only one storey is allowed for mobile houses.
  • Mobile houses are significantly more economical.

What exactly is a Modular Home?

A fantastic illustration of housing that has been manufactured is modular housing. These homes are constructed with less time and effort but to the same standards as the on-site residences. When compared to on-site building, modular houses can save construction time by up to 50%. 

The various home components are manufactured in factories and brought to the building site. Then, the pieces are assembled into a house with the aid of cranes and knowledge.

Once finished, a code inspector must check the home to ensure it complies with local building regulations. Due to mass manufacture, most modular homes have identical construction, colors, and finishes.

Modular Homes Key Differences

  • Once a modular home is built, it cannot be readily relocated; it is a permanent construction.
  • Although manufactured in factories, modular homes still need to have some type of construction when they are assembled into a house.
  • The same requirements that apply to houses built on-site must be met by modular dwellings.
  • A modular home’s foundation is frequently made of cement.
  • In general, modular homes are substantially larger than mobile homes. They come in various sizes, so one may make them as large as they like. They thus take up more ground space.
  • Compared to mobile houses, modular homes require more time to assemble. This is due to the nature of the building process.
  • Up to three stories can be found in modular dwellings.
  • Mobile houses cost less than modular homes do.

Contrast Between Mobile Homes and Modular Homes


  • Mobile Homes- Many mobile houses are constructed with wheels for mobility. They are known as “trailers” or “caravans” and are constructed from various materials.
  • Modular Homes- Look at where and how a home is constructed if you want to determine if it is a modular home. They are constructed on a permanent foundation like on-site homes instead of a chassis like manufactured/mobile homes.

    However, it is regarded as modular if it is constructed off-site. Additionally, these essentials must be constructed on-site and are not included: foundation, electricity, plumbing, or sewage.


  • Mobile Homes- Mobile houses come in various styles and may be altered to suit any lifestyle.
  • Modular Homes- With modular houses, personalization options are virtually unlimited. There are several options for extras, including flooring and finishes. Additionally, ecologically friendly and energy-efficient modular homes may be constructed.


  • Mobile Homes- Safety was a key factor in the 1976 policy’s formulation. Before this period, there were no regulations governing mobile houses. Therefore they might be constructed by a broad range of criteria (or lack thereof). The current HUD requirements are not followed by mobile homes.
  • Modular Homes- Similar to homes built on-site, all modular homes must undergo post-construction inspections by independent inspectors before being delivered to determine if they comply with all applicable local, state, and regional building codes.

Build Cost

  • Mobile Homes- Although mobile houses were formerly a more inexpensive choice for many Americans to become homeowners, these homes are no longer produced as a result of changes to HUD policy in 1976. In their place now are prefabricated houses.
  • Modular Homes- Modular homes are real estate once constructed and gain value, much like site-built homes. They can be more economical than on-site choices since they are manufactured in factories, which speeds up construction and eliminates weather-related delays.


  • Mobile Homes- Financing a prefabricated house purchase might be challenging unless you own the property on which it will be built and place it on a stable foundation.

    You may use almost any mortgage loan in such a situation. You might be able to secure financing to buy a prefabricated home to put on a rented property, but the interest rate is probably going to be higher.
  • Modular Homes- On the other hand, financing for a modular house is the same as financing for a site-built home.

    If you’re purchasing a brand-new prefabricated or modular home for a property you do own or are purchasing with the home, you’ll start with a new loan that will transition to a mortgage loan once the house is built.


  • Mobile Homes- Mobile houses can be pulled or carried by trailer trucks. Mobile houses include wheels that enable them to be wheeled into position once on location and then removed.
  • Modular Homes- Since modules lack wheels, they are moved using trailer trucks. A crane is always used to lift modules off the truck and put them where they are needed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

For how long can modular homes stay intact?

Most modular homes have a 30–100-year lifespan. However, how well they are maintained and the materials utilized will determine this.

Although they are constructed to the same codes as homes that are constructed on-site, most manufacturers set higher standards because modular homes must withstand the rigors of transportation.

How long does it take for a modular home to get constructed?

The majority of prefabricated homes may be constructed in four to six months. Traditional homes take an average of eight months to build. However, the construction of a bespoke home may take years in some areas.

What is the usual cost of a mobile home or a trailer house?

Used mobile homes in Florida typically cost roughly $47,853. However, there are choices that can be much less or more expensive. About 1,100 feet square was the typical size.

What is a manufactured house?

Manufactured housing (MH) is a type of home that is built mostly or totally off-site at factories before being transported to the location where it will be used.

When compared to traditional homes built on-site, the price of building per square foot for manufactured housing is often far lower.

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