Pioneer Affordable Homes

Manufactured Homes VS. Site Built

Are manufactured homes better built than stick-built homes?

It is often difficult to know what the true differences are between a modern day manufactured home and a more traditional home that is built on-site (also called a stick-built home).  Unlike the site-built (stick-built) home, the manufactured home is built in a factory, in a climate-controlled environment and then they are moved directly to the home-site.  The manufactured home is built following codes and guidelines that often meet or exceed local building codes.  Once they are transported to the sight, they are fastened to a permanent foundation.  At that point, it can be difficult to distinguish between a manufactured home and a site-built home.  Because of the superior construction and craftsmanship, the new manufactured homes can often qualify for the same mortgage rates and they also have similar appraisal values as the site-built homes.  Because of this superior quality, many banks and lending institutions have shifted their lending policies to allow the same type of financing that the more traditional homes have gotten for years.  This is a major shift in policy for the mortgage companies and it is a sign that there has been an increasing level of awareness among many professionals regarding the improved quality of the modern-day manufactured home.

Today’s manufactured home is built with very high standards and craftsmanship.  The end product is a huge improvement over what most people remember the older manufactured homes to be.  Because manufactured homes must withstand the rigorous stresses associated with moving them from the factory to the home-site (which can often be hundreds of miles) they are engineered to be particularly strong.   There is tremendous flexibility involved in building a modern manufactured home.  Often, you can do almost anything that you can do in a site-built home.  There have been people that have brought a hand-scribbled floor plan to the manufacturer to see if they had a house like it in their plan book and have been pleasantly surprised to find that the manufacturer could build the customized plan that they had drawn out themselves.  Today, the flexibility to customize a new manufactured home goes far beyond what many people realize.  You can customize kitchen cabinets, countertops, bathroom fixtures, window coverings and just about everything else in the house.  The new manufactured homes are nothing like their older counter-parts.  They are not just a house; they are a beautiful new home that your family will enjoy for years to come.

Usually, a manufactured home can be built in a much shorter time-frame than a stick-built home.  Part of this is due to the fact that you can work on the foundation and the house at the same time.  With a traditional site-built home, you cannot do that.  Each house is on a schedule and the manufacturer does not use subcontractors to do the work, they are all employees of the manufacturing company.  As a result, none of the houses are held up for weeks, while waiting for one person to finish a particular job.  Most manufactured houses are ready to be moved to the site within six to eight weeks from the day that it starts to be built in the factory.

Manufacturing and building a home in a climate-controlled environment has additional benefits too, particularly in the Midwest where harsh winters can hinder the building season.  When ice, snow or rain soaks into porous lumber, there is always a chance that the moisture will be trapped and never completely dry.  When that happens, there is a possibility of mold accumulating later.  Also, wood warps and it is never very good for lumber to get that wet.    All this happens in site-built homes.  Unlike site-built homes, manufactured homes are built indoors, so their walls are straight and true.  There is no chance of mold or mildew accumulating later because the home is always in the controlled environment, while it is being manufactured.  The home is only moved to the site after it is weather-tight and has locking doors.  You will never find scraps of drywall in the heating ducts either.  The manufacturing process is an efficient, stream-lined operation and all work performed is meticulously held to the highest standards.  You don’t always find that with all contractors who build on-site homes.

Today’s new manufactured homes are built with superior quality.  They are a tremendous value and rival the quality of many traditional site-built homes.  They are often less expensive, while offering far more than you could normally get in a traditional home.  Of course, it is always wise to carefully compare different manufacturing companies.  Just like contractors, they do not always offer the same level of quality.  It is also very important to tour their manufacturing facility, so you can familiarize yourself with their manufacturing processes.  There are many advantages to purchasing a manufactured home now though, so take the time to carefully research all your choices.